Posts Tagged 'landscaping'

Happy Weekend + Foxglove Love

The bad news: it’s raining cats and dogs right now. Dogs especially, since I’ve got not one but TWO fur babies who are afraid of thunder piled at my feet right now. My mom’s dog, Henry, appears to be as scared of thunder as Lula is. Whatevs, y’all! More cuddles for me!

Happy Weekend + Foxglove Love | Rosemary on the TV

But the good news is that all this crazy rain we’ve had lately is doing wonders for my flower bed! Our Jane magnolia is in full bloom AGAIN, even though Jane magnolias typically bloom in April. And I’m especially pleased with my foxglove! Up until a couple of weeks ago, all I had was a mound of greenery. Everything I read on foxglove said that they typically don’t bloom in their first year of planting. You get a lot of greenery and maybe a stalk, but don’t expect blooms.

UM, SO WRONG. Three of my four foxglove plants have stalks coming up but one of them is completely bloomed AND it has a second blooming stalk as well. It’s currently about three feet tall and getting taller every day! Gorgeous, huh? So glad I planted these this year!

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Hope you have a great weekend ahead! If you’re in the Little Rock area, my super cool friends Christie & Caleb of the super cool Roll & Tumble Press are having an EPIC moving sale in the morning! I’m sad they’re leaving us but not above fighting for their stuff (that bar cart…I can’t). It’ll also be their annual Misprints sale, so if you’ve had your eye on some Roll & Tumble prints, now’s the time to snatch some up at discounted prices! If you’d like to come shop, email me for details: rosemaryhallmarkcreative (at) gmail (dot) com.

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P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home Tour with #AR529

P. Allen Smith's Garden Home and #AR529 | Rosemary on the TV  #interiordesign #landscaping #gardens #chickens #mossmountainfarm

P. Allen Smith's Garden Home and #AR529 | Rosemary on the TV  #interiordesign #landscaping #gardens #chickens #mossmountainfarm

Last week, my friend Hannah of Sundry Mumsy and I were invited to attend a bloggers luncheon at P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home at Moss Mountain Farm. The event was hosted by Allen and the folks at AR529, Arkansas’ direct-sold 529 college savings program. We began the day with a few words from Allen on the importance of education before touring the home and gardens, then enjoying an amazing lunch and hearing a panel discuss the importance of college savings for families.

P. Allen Smith's Garden Home and #AR529 | Rosemary on the TV  #interiordesign #landscaping #gardens #chickens #mossmountainfarm

P. Allen Smith's Garden Home and #AR529 | Rosemary on the TV  #interiordesign #landscaping #gardens #chickens #mossmountainfarm

I’ve been to the Garden Home before, but I’m always so impressed with its beauty and charm. A few years ago, I wrote a cover story on Allen and learned the myriad ways that the Greek Revival style home is actually completely eco-friendly, as anyone who watched the process of building the house on his television show can attest.

P. Allen Smith's Garden Home and #AR529 | Rosemary on the TV  #interiordesign #landscaping #gardens #chickens #mossmountainfarm

A 6,000-gallon tank under the front lawn collects rainwater from all over the gardens, which is then used to irrigate the sprawling lawn and beds. The metal roof uses a radiant heat system to heat the home’s hot water, floors and air. And the walls are filled with insulation made from Arkansas soybeans.

P. Allen Smith's Garden Home and #AR529 | Rosemary on the TV  #interiordesign #landscaping #gardens #chickens #mossmountainfarm

P. Allen Smith's Garden Home and #AR529 | Rosemary on the TV  #interiordesign #landscaping #gardens #chickens #mossmountainfarm

The decor is, of course, jaw dropping. A lover of history, Allen has filled his home with antiques and any of the soft surfaces are reupholstered with organic fabric.

P. Allen Smith's Garden Home and #AR529 | Rosemary on the TV  #interiordesign #landscaping #gardens #chickens #mossmountainfarm

P. Allen Smith's Garden Home and #AR529 | Rosemary on the TV  #interiordesign #landscaping #gardens #chickens #mossmountainfarm

The back porches are my favorite part though. The porch on the ground level, right off the kitchen/dining area, features comfortable furniture and a relaxed dining area for al fresco dinners, while the upstairs porch features twin beds and a copper bath tub.

P. Allen Smith's Garden Home and #AR529 | Rosemary on the TV  #interiordesign #landscaping #gardens #chickens #mossmountainfarm

P. Allen Smith's Garden Home and #AR529 | Rosemary on the TV  #interiordesign #landscaping #gardens #chickens #mossmountainfarm

And of course, there are books everywhere, which is both the way to my heart and reinforcement that Allen is serious about education.

P. Allen Smith's Garden Home and #AR529 | Rosemary on the TV  #interiordesign #landscaping #gardens #chickens #mossmountainfarm

Next up was a tour of the gardens, which are completely jaw dropping. As a champion of the farm-to-table movement and supporting small, local farmers, much of his gardens grow edible plants and are used in educational tours for everyone from gardeners who come to tour the property to groups of school children.

P. Allen Smith's Garden Home and #AR529 | Rosemary on the TV  #interiordesign #landscaping #gardens #chickens #mossmountainfarm

P. Allen Smith's Garden Home and #AR529 | Rosemary on the TV  #interiordesign #landscaping #gardens #chickens #mossmountainfarm

Our garden tour was cut short by rain, so we all headed to the barn to have lunch and learn about #AR529. Though I don’t have children of my own, I was really interested in hearing about this program – especially as someone who took out a lot (A LOT) of student loans and will work to pay them off for another 20-25 years. We also learned about #AR529’s Gift Plan, which is something I already knew about. My mom opened a gift plan account for my cousin’s baby when he was born, and with something as simple as a barcode that family members can print off the internet, we can all make contributions to Ethan’s college savings plan in lieu of gifts at Christmas and birthday parties (because seriously – how many two year olds need another toy, am I right???).

P. Allen Smith's Garden Home and #AR529 | Rosemary on the TV  #interiordesign #landscaping #gardens #chickens #mossmountainfarm

To learn more about AR529 and The Gift Plan, visit the websites below. Seriously – it’s never too early to start saving for college!

http://www.arkansas529.org

https://www.thegiftplan.com P. Allen Smith's Garden Home and #AR529 | Rosemary on the TV  #interiordesign #landscaping #gardens #chickens #mossmountainfarm

And for more info and photos, check out Hannah’s post over at Sundry Mumsy!

 

Put it to Bed

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My goal this spring was to FINALLY finish the flower bed in front of the house. We built this bed summer before last and I’ve slowly been adding plants to it over the last two years. So this year, I was going to fill any leftover space, call it finished and move on to the backyard. Above is a photo of our house when we moved in.

Then we built a flower bed:

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Then my mums went crazy:

Mums the Word | Rosemary on the TV #fall #mums #curbappeal

But as you can see from the photo above, there were still big empty spaces on either side of the rose bushes, so last month, I planted a handful of hearty perennials and a few colorful annuals. And they are growing like crazy!

DIY Spring Landscaping | Rosemary on the TV #flowerbed #gardening #landscaping #DIY #herbs #herb #garden

DIY Spring Landscaping | Rosemary on the TV #flowerbed #gardening #landscaping #DIY #herbs #herb #garden

DIY Spring Landscaping | Rosemary on the TV #flowerbed #gardening #landscaping #DIY #herbs #herb #garden

So what did I plant? Well, I added lavender and sage to my herb garden, which is growing out of control right now!

DIY Spring Landscaping | Rosemary on the TV #flowerbed #gardening #landscaping #DIY #herbs #herb #garden

DIY Spring Landscaping | Rosemary on the TV #flowerbed #gardening #landscaping #DIY #herbs #herb #garden

And I made a point of planting colorful perennials so that they will hopefully come back next year. I stuck with a purple/yellow/pink color combination (something about red flowers makes my house-with-a-yellow-front-door look like a McDonalds) and planted Blue Salvia, which have gotten really big and add such a nice color, shape and texture contrast to the other flowers.

DIY Spring Landscaping | Rosemary on the TV #flowerbed #gardening #landscaping #DIY #herbs #herb #garden

I also planted foxglove, but they probably won’t bloom this year. Just a reminder when you’re landscaping: if you are planting multiple types of plants, put the tallest ones in the back of your flower bed – just like putting the tall people in the back row of a photograph – and the smallest ones up front. Foxglove will get very tall, taller than my other plants, so even though it’s in the back, it’ll still be visible from the street.

DIY Spring Landscaping | Rosemary on the TV #flowerbed #gardening #landscaping #DIY #herbs #herb #garden

DIY Spring Landscaping | Rosemary on the TV #flowerbed #gardening #landscaping #DIY #herbs #herb #garden

In addition to all these new plants, my mums are coming back again, so I alternated the daisies and some creeping phlox between the leafy green mum growth. Probably pretty soon, I’ll have to trim the mums back, so they aren’t quite as big as last year when, after the first big rain, the flowered branches weighed so much they snapped! And of course, our knock out roses are killing it, once again!

DIY Spring Landscaping | Rosemary on the TV #flowerbed #gardening #landscaping #DIY #herbs #herb #garden

And there you have it! I’m putting this flower bed…to bed (sorry, couldn’t resist). And now? On to the back yard!

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Mum’s the Word

Last fall, I planted a few small mums in the bed across the front of our house. These were just a few bucks a piece at Lowe’s. And I splurged on two of the large, $39.99 mums for the pots by the front porch:

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The plan was to enjoy them during the fall and winter, then plant something else in the spring. But I was busy and a little lazy and that never happened. The mums stayed green all winter, and by spring, I had big, round ball-shaped shrubs all the way across the front of the house:

The House | Rosemary on the TV

They didn’t look too terrible, and I didn’t really get a chance to do anything else, so I let them grow. By summer, they were waist high! In July, I trimmed them back once, until they were about a foot tall. By last month, they were huge again. AND NOW:

Mums the Word | Rosemary on the TV #fall #mums #curbappeal

Mums the Word | Rosemary on the TV #fall #mums #curbappeal

Mums the Word | Rosemary on the TV #fall #mums #curbappeal

WHAT?! They are even bigger and yellower than the $39.99 mums I planted in pots last year (though, I still have those as well!). With sixteen of these bad boys, if I were to go to the store and buy them this size, it would cost me more than $600. A lesson in laziness, friends. For funsies, here’s a look back at the house over time:

HouseFrontExterior-Before

The first time we ever saw it.

Mums the Word | Rosemary on the TV #fall #mums #curbappeal

Right after we bought it and had a new roof installed (thanks Google Street View!)

The House | Rosemary on the TV

After our big landscaping project.

Mums the Word | Rosemary on the TV #fall #mums #curbappeal

And now, with a fresh paint job and a ridiculous amount of yellow mums. Next up: black shutters!

2012 : Top Posts and Fave Instagram Photos

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Manscaping, Phase 2 : A Guest Post from Aaron

The post heard ’round the world! For some reason, this post struck a chord with Pinterest users everywhere and turned Aaron into an internet star. Or, in his words, “Move over, Keyboard Cat! I’m an internet sensation!” When we finished up our front yard landscaping project, we chose to use recycled, biodegradable newspaper in place of that black weed blocker fabric. That little eco-friendly detail made this my most popular post by a long shot.

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Manscaping, Phase 1 : A Guest Post from Aaron

So I guess it makes perfect sense that the first half of that project was my second most popular post of the year. I’m trying to not be a total brat about the fact that my two most popular posts of the year WERE WRITTEN BY AARON.

84th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

Fashion Recap : Oscars 2012 or “How Billy Got His Groove Back”

If I know anything, it’s this: you guys love a fashion recap. This year was no different, with the Golden Globes and the Emmys showing strong numbers. But the award for most views goes to the Oscars Fashion Recap. I’d like to thank the Academy and Billy Crystal’s jowls. {view past fashion recaps here}

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The Big Door-y Reveal

Back in January, Aaron and I spent a weekend replacing seven (!) interior doors in the hallway and master bedroom. This was what our hallway looked like before the new doors, and just looking at this photo makes me sad. Excuse me while I go stand in my bright, happy hallway for a moment. (P.S. Replacing doors is hard. Which is why we still have seven left to replace. In the future, we’ll set our pace to one door per year or so.)

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Light Strawberry Cupcakes

Another post whose Pinterest popularity caused it to skyrocket into a top post position. Did you know that diet soda and a cake mix make the most delicious diet cupcakes of all time? No? Well then, today is your lucky day…

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2012Insta

Follow me: @rohallma

And thank you so much for reading, commenting, liking on Facebook, lurking, whatever it is you do.  It makes the time and effort I put into this blog worthwhile. Cheers to 2013!

Manscaping, Phase 2 : A Guest Post from Aaron

Friends, I’ve been ready to wrap up this landscaping project since about four minutes after I began it. And lo, the time is nigh! We are just a few finishing touches from completion (for now, of course, since…you know…plants die and stuff), so I badgered Aaron to write his Manscaping follow up and guess what? He only complained a little bit. What a sweetheart.

If you missed the first installment, check it out here. If you’ve been dying to read how it ended, I’ll let Aaron take it from here.

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When we left off, we had all of our blocks in place and then we brought in extra dirt to level things out.  Things were starting to take shape and the thought of the finished product’s lush splendor had given me my second wind.  Now I could move on to adding mulch and transplanting the four dwarf hollies and the rosebush. Because we could only work on this project on the weekends, transplanting was tricky – especially for the rose.  As you can see, I left it in place while I started mulching so that I could plant it as soon as I had removed it.

If you have ever done any gardening you are probably familiar with that terrible black “weed-stop” fabric that is often used. If you have ever had to remove a flower bed or just do a little renovation, this same fabric has probably been on the receiving end of an impressive string of four letter words. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, suffice it to say that after a nuclear attack, the only thing that will exist besides cockroaches and Twinkies is this fabric. Ironically, to be so durable it doesn’t stop weeds all that well. Go figure. Because I hate this fabric so much, I was excited to learn that a considerable number of people avoid it by using newspaper instead. I put the newspaper over the dirt 3-4 pages thick and then covered it with mulch. The newspaper will prevent any grass and weed seeds from germinating, but unlike fabric, it will decompose after about 18 months. By that time, any grass and weed seeds that were present in the soil on planting will be dead.  It’s green, it’s cheaper than fabric, and when you decide to remove or redesign the bed later on, you will not have the headache you would with fabric.

And so it went.  Lay down newspaper…drop on a bit of mulch to keep it from blowing away… newspaper… mulch… newspaper… mulch. Mulch is actually the best means of preventing grass and unwanted weeds from germinating in the bed. In order to get the most protection, we applied the mulch 3-4 inches thick throughout the bed.

Here is the old arrangement with the four holly bushes cornering the rose bush.

The holly bushes found a new home on the opposite end of the bed surrounding our new Jane Magnolia, commonly known as a “Tulip Tree.”  In the spring the tree’s blooms resemble purple and white tulips.  To round things out we had to purchase a fifth dwarf holly.

The rose bush was moved to the center of the bed and is flanked by two new pink knock-out roses. Between the roses you can barely see a couple of Indian Hawthorn. These are evergreen shrubs that have small pink blooms in the spring.

To line the outside of the bed we chose Trailing Verbena. Our bed gets full sun almost all day long. This limited the choice of annual we could use. This variety of verbena will spread and eventually spill over the edge of the bed while blooming through the summer.

Finally, the bed was finished!  Admittedly, it looks a little sparse, but after all that time and effort, we were proud.

The finishing touch were the two planters we decided to use to frame the front steps. The planter in the foreground will eventually be placed in the area currently occupied by our immortal violas. We planted them last fall and they lived through the mild winter. We’ve been expecting them do die for the last month, but they just keep hanging on. Most likely, to get both containers at equal height, we will need to build up that little square three stones high and fill it with dirt and mulch.

Here’s a rough ariel drawing/example of Rosemary’s artistry. This fall, we plan to finish things off by planting some bulbs in transition areas on either side of the roses and in the “island” in front of the steps.  We are going to plant bulbs that bloom in both spring and summer (possibly fall or winter too!). This should give us some color throughout the year. And that, my friends, is manscaping.

{Aaron is my boyfriend. He owns this house I’m constantly tearing apart. And sometimes he’ll write blog posts about things I do not enoy or understand, and therefore, am not qualified to blog about. Read his other guest posts here and here.}

**TWO YEAR UPDATE**

It’s been two years and the newspaper has completely biodegraded. We’ve had little-to-no weed pulling thanks to our newspaper trick! We will probably replace the newspaper next year, but for now, the few weeds that we have tend to pop up right at the base of the plants, where I originally had to dig a hole through the newspaper. 

We never had a problem with squirrels or birds digging up the newspaper and shredding it everywhere. The newspaper’s gone now, but even at the beginning, that wasn’t a problem, even though we do have birds that dig little holes all over the bed to find grubworms. If it was a problem for you, I might suggest putting a thicker layer of mulch down next time.

Lots of commenters have asked if this would work in a vegetable garden, and though I have personally never tried it, a nice commenter informed me that it does, indeed, work great in vegetable gardens!

And finally, I feel like I need to mention that I am NOT a gardening expert. This project was the first time I’ve ever built or even fully landscaped a flower bed. I’m happy to answer your questions if I have an answer, but please know that I’m probably not the best person to ask for gardening advice! 🙂 

Best of luck and thanks for reading!


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