Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Garden Update: Green Beans, Sunflowers, and Steps!

Mother Nature has been hard at work in the garden this month… I have been in the garden, but not really working all that hard. :)  Mama Guthrie has also been there, and she works a lot harder than me!

We put in a row of forsythia bushes and lilies on the left, added some perennials on the right and weeded all about.  Plus we started working on the steps leading down through the wooded path from the English Garden to the gate.  Here’s a look at what’s been going on:

The pathway down from the English Garden is steep and uneven, so we thought putting in a few steps would make the journey easier and more picturesque.  :) 

IMG_6732

IMG_6730

Basically, we started at the bottom and dug a level place for the first step.  Then we lowered it in place and checked it for levelness before filling in behind it.  We aren’t being super picky about spacing because these steps will just follow the terrain of the ground.  So some may be deeper than others if the hill will accommodate that.  But because we are using 6x6’s for the actual steps, they will all be the same height.

IMG_7024

We had these timbers left over from when we dismantled the swing in the English Garden.  John cut them in half so we could reuse them as steps.

IMG_7026

IMG_7034

Mama has always claimed that she can level by eye, whether she is laying rocks or pavers or timber steps, apparently.  This is what we got after she eye-balled this step:

IMG_7036

Looks good to me!  :)

IMG_7041

We ran out of timbers after five, so we’ll have to get some more of those to finish the rest of the hill.  And these are just sitting on the dirt, with no reinforcement to keep them from moving, so we still have to hammer rebar in to hold them in place. We’ll be back to share the rest of the steps at some point!

Now onto the garden!

While Mama was weeding the creek bank and picking up rocks (a million of them at least!) she built this little dam in the creek.  Now the water trickles through the rocks and makes a lovely sound. :)  And it’s cute!

IMG_7030

While she did that, I planted some more lilies and the forsythia on the left side of the garden.  It’s lovely, yes?  Just wait until next year and everything will look nicer!  Some mulch would certainly help!

IMG_7032

The garden is looking good; as you can see the corn is getting taller!

IMG_7046

IMG_7048

We finally have green beans growing on the vines!  Yay!

IMG_7050

And my pumpkin is almost ready to harvest.

IMG_7052

The sunflowers are blooming, too, which is my favorite thing ever! I love them!

IMG_7078

IMG_7044

Speaking of sunflowers, we have this random volunteer sunflower coming up on the right in the weeds at the edge of our property.  How special!

IMG_7075

IMG_7074

The corn is tasseling, so hopefully we’ll be seeing ears soon!

IMG_7076

And I picked my first green beans this morning.  What a harvest! ;) 

IMG_7080

While I wait on my tomatoes, peppers and corn, I’ll just enjoy the zinnias and sunflowers…

IMG_7054

IMG_7056

Happy Summer!

signature 1

P.S.  To see the garden from the beginning, check out:  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Happy 4th of July! (and Happy 5th Birthday Blog!)

Happy Independence Day!  And Happy 5th Birthday to It’s a Horvath’s Life!  288 posts and counting, I’ve been blogging about my house, my garden, my family and other random thoughts from my life for five years!  Thanks for joining me here!

We decided since the weather was so beautiful (85 and sunny!) that we should host a little party for the 4th of July!  My family came and joined us for hot dogs and hamburgers, potato salad, baked beans, deviled eggs and apple pie!  Yum!  The house and lower deck were festive, decked out with all my patriotic d├ęcor. 

IMG_6977

IMG_6988

I even made some cute little arrangements with paper fans left over from Ruger’s Cowboy Party

IMG_6987

IMG_7006

IMG_7004

We spent the afternoon stringing beans from my mother’s garden (goes pretty fast when five people are working!) while Papa entertained us with his guitar.  Then we had dinner and went out to play cornhole and visit on the deck.  I put more bunting on the lower deck, along with my sparkly centerpieces from our party two years ago.  I also added my Moravian star light to the string lights in the ceiling.  It’s both festive and functional!

IMG_6947

IMG_6949

IMG_6952

IMG_6951

Riley was worn out from a day of running around chasing the cornhole bags! 

IMG_7009

After everyone left, Michael and I walked over to the town square for the local fireworks show!  Once again, it did not disappoint.  It was a great day!

IMG_20140704_213500_682

Hope you all had a fun 4th of July celebration! 

signature pink

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

A Garden for Fairies

Are you aware of the “fairy garden” phenomenon?  It’s sweeping the nation… truly. ;)  Okay, I don’t really know how widespread the fairies are, but I figured if there are any in my neighborhood, they might like a cute little house to live in, and a cute little garden to frolic in.  So, I’ve been gathering supplies to build a special place for them.  I had originally intended to spend no money on this little project, since I figured fairies appreciate frugality.  But then I spied this little fairy dwelling at Joann for 70% off.  Apparently a lot of people thought $20 was a bit much for a tiny house, because there were a lot of these left on clearance!  (I’ve found that most of the accessories marketed for the fairies are quite pricey.  Which is why I made most of mine or scavenged for scale-appropriate rocks and trinkets that were just laying around.)

When I got home, I realized that I already had a perfect spot for the fairy house, but I just hadn’t noticed it!  You see, one of my deck planters had an unfortunate loss, the “thriller” plant (to be joined with the filler and spiller) had suffered a mysterious fatal disease and was mostly dead.  So, I dug it up (gave it to my Mama with the green thumb) and in it’s place, I put the little fairy house.  It’s perfect… serendipity! :)  Planter saved!

IMG_6965

All that was left after that was to rearrange some of the “shrubbery” for a little yard and garden path.  The pathway is little striped seashells that I had collected on a beach trip.  (I like the smooth, flat kind.)  I rummaged through my jewelry box and found a little seashell tortoise to live in the yard.  Then I added a little rock sign welcoming fairy dwellers to the “Fairy Cove”.  :) 

IMG_6961

Next, I added a little twig birdhouse and a couple of blue birds to the side yard.  The birdhouse my brother and I made with a stick cut into a short piece.  We drilled a hole for the door, notched the top and added a copper roof.  The perch is a piece of matchstick that we stuck into a tiny hole on the front.  Then we hung it on a tiny shepherd’s hook made from a coat hanger.  Thanks John! 

IMG_6963

The finishing touch was a tiny fence made from wooden skewers cut to length and glued to a ribbon.  That will keep the flowers from invading the side yard. :) 

IMG_6968

I hope some fairies come along and take up residence!  I hear purple flowers are their favorite!

signature pink