Thursday, May 29, 2014

Window Box

I'm on a planting kick lately-

I've also planted some beds up by the street (no photos taken yet- I still need to mulch or put pine straw down).

So while standing back and admiring the work, I got to thinking about adding a little something under the window in the center...

..the one directly over the front door.

Two words: window box.
The window was about 35-inches across, so the planter itself needed to be at least 2-feet long.

Big Lots had several options, but the one I ended up with is from Lowe's.  It was only about $12.

My mom and I shopped for the plants, and as usual we followed the "thriller/filler/spiller" rule: something tall in the center to grab your attention, a mounding or trailing plant to fill out the planter, and something to spill over the perimeter of the container.

We chose angelonia for the thriller. (I forgot to get a picture of it before we hung the planter. Oops.)

For the filler and spiller, we went with two of my summer annual standbys: petunias and sweet potato vine.

All do well in the sun.


Pardon the bag of rocks and garden hose.

This type of container does not hold moisture very well after watering, but I found something on Pinterest that suggested putting a diaper in the container under the soil to help retain some water.  So far it seems like it's working pretty well!

In just a week or two, the petunia will fill out and the sweet potato vine will be spilling over the sides.

Window boxes are an easy way to add so much charm.  

This house is starting to look like someone loves it again.
Happy Thursday!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Weekend Getaway

It's been a hard week at the Amber Bottle House, so Wednesday night (without me knowing), Grant made arrangements for us to spend some time at a bed and breakfast in Blue Ridge, Georgia over the weekend.  (He's so sneaky!)

We've been there once before and have been wanting to go back because it's beautiful...

...the little town has cute little shops and restaurants, and there are great places to hike and swim.

This time we stayed at Aska Lodge Bed & Breakfast just outside Blue Ridge.  We were greeted with cake by the innkeepers and shown to our room which had this view...

The breakfast the next morning definitely did not disappoint either.

After the amazing food, we headed into town to poke around.  Before we even made it downtown, we saw three ladder-back chairs on the side of the road with a sign on them that said "$10 for all three."  A few minutes later, we had three chairs in the back of the 4Runner.

Who buys chairs on vacation? Apparently, we do.

Saturday must have been my lucky day because there was an open-air market happening in the square downtown. Woohoo!

There was every kind of artisan there, but I was attracted to a booth with framed needlework.  I purchased these two at first to be gifts...

... for $10 and $15 (!!).  Then, on a whim, I asked if they could make a custom one and mail it to me. Not only could they customize a piece, but they could do it while we were walking around. Um, yes, please!


It's a little ridiculous how much I love it.

We spent the rest of the morning walking around the town.  Stores like {threads}, Sycamore crossing,    Blue Ridge Adventure WearBlue Ridge Fly Fishing (I'll let you guess who chose to go in there), Blue Ridge Cotton Company were all great to peruse.  (Eventually, I left Grant at Black Bear Bier Garten so that I could do some real shopping.) When I went into Presents of Mine, time froze for a moment because they do something for which I have a weakness: monogramming. (I'm a southern female- liking seer sucker and monograms is prerequisite... and stereotypical.)  Their turn-around time was also astonishingly quick: before the end of the afternoon.  So I picked out a little something for me...

Before picking Grant up from the husband daycare, I had to take a quick shot of the adorable pharmacy up the block...

Then we headed out to find some waterfalls and trails before heading home.

We were so grateful to have the getaway, even if only for 24 hours.
Happy Memorial Day!

If you're planning on visiting Blue Ridge...
City of Blue Ridge
Chamber of Commerce
Cabin Rentals
Scenic Railway
Waterfall Trails
More Trails

Sunday, May 25, 2014

My Office: Getting Close

My office got its start within the first week or two at the new house. (See here.)
It has still just seemed kind of... empty.  

While re-arranging some things downstairs, I came across some botanical prints we'd had in the dining room in the Little Rock house.  Grant suggested we hang them over the daybed in my office...

...I'm a fan.

The large blank wall by the door was begging for something, so we hung my diploma from pharmacy school...

I couldn't see hanging my diploma in a main area of the house.  Too weird- I mean, not many people who come to my house care to see the paper that proves I went to pharmacy school... other than my mom. :) An office is the perfect place for something school-related.

It has such a nice frame and matting, so I'm happy it has a home now (after a year of being wrapped up). I'm also happy it just so happens to match the decor of my office.

The same desk & chair from Little Rock...

...are on the wall opposite the daybed.  I don't have nearly as much craft storage as I did in the old house with all the built-ins, so I'm still searching for some shelves to hang above the desk.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying this view.

Happy Sunday!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Spring Front Porch

One of my favorite things to do in the Little Rock House was work in the yard, especially planting in pots around the front of the house... I was excited to get some spring flowers growing in our new house.

The main things we (my mom- the resident garden expert- and I) had to keep in mind was scale: our house sits pretty far off the road... the containers and plants themselves had to be large enough to have presence from the street.

We started at The Barn Nursery in downtown Chattanooga because they have every plant imaginable and their employees know plants.

We walked around and around trying to find something similar to the tall purple plant we had flanking the front door in Little Rock (seen above).  I also wanted to make sure the plants we chose would flower all of summer. (Several that I really liked only flowered spring/early summer.)

We landed on Mystic Spires Salvia to be the centerpiece of the planters (chosen mostly for its color and height)...

 as well as a variety of trailing petunia and sweet potato vine to spill over the sides of the pot.

Next we headed to Garden Ridge to find some large planters.  Most of the larger options were either urn-style planters or modern/Asian-style.  Also, pots are expensive; the two large, square ones I bought were $50 each!

My mom and I brought the spoils back to my house and got to digging. 

Because the pots were so large, we used the containers from our newly-purchased plants to take up some space in the bottom of the pot. (Once we removed the plants from the plastic containers, we just crushed the plastic slightly to get them to cover the bottom of the pot.  It sounds weird, but you'll save money by using less potting soil.)

Then we poured some gravel into the tow pots.  This also helps reduce the amount of expensive potting soil you use, as well as improves drainage.

Then we planted!

The salvia was our "thriller" plant- meaning that it's the tall plant in the center of the pot.

We planted the petunias in the corners closest to the door...

... and the sweet potato vine in the outer corners.


The petunias and sweet potato vine will spill over sides in just a week or two.
I love that the pots are traditional, but not the standard terra cotta pot.  In fact, they remind of the containers manicured boxwoods are often placed in.

The purple of the salvia stands out from the brown of the door and is tall enough to be seen from the street.

Happy planting!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Dining Room Part Four

Our dining room has looked decent for a month or two now, but it hasn't felt finished.

We had the table (read more here, here, and here), the chairs, the buffet, the new chandelier...

...the plate rack...

...and the curtains were hung.

The walls were still bare, so we hung a mirror and blue-and-white plates (read here) on one wall...

... and Grant and I created a little something with our ironstone set for the other wall:

The chipped platter in the center is a Home Goods find.  I think the arrangement completes the room nicely.

For now, anyway.

Happy Friday-Eve!