Garden

Scent Filled Weekend

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

It would be fair to describe me as a lavenderaholic, if there is such a label.  I can never get enough of this botanical that possesses most therapeutic scent in the universe. 

I have a dozen lavender plants scattered around my garden, but I still like to tour the commercial acres of lavender this time of year.  Last year I visited the Lavender Bee Farmthis weekend we decided to pop into Matanzas Creek Winery, famous for their gardens, lavender farm, and acclaimed chardonnay.  

lavender garden sign

I convinced the kids it was worth the half hour drive because they could go hunting for bunny rabbits, ala Elmer Fudd.  We didn’t spot any, but at least the idea kept them busy while Mr. CG and I strolled the grounds. 

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Curb Appeal: Eight Weekend DIY Projects

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

I get a lot of emails from readers asking for tips and advice on sprucing up their interior spaces or fixing up their thrift store finds, and I’m happy to correspond.  One reader posed this question addressing the exterior of her home, so I thought I’d answer it right here !

“Dear Ms. Kate,  We just got married and purchased our first home a few months ago.   We’re very excited about our new place, but the outside of our house is a tan box and doesn’t look much different than the rest of the cookie cutter houses in our neighborhood.  We’re looking for ways to pretty up our front porch and front yard.  Could you possibly share some ideas on how we can turn our plain Jane into something special, maybe some weekend DIY projects we could tackle ?  Thanks so much for any help.  Jenn R. ”

Congratulations to you and your husband Jenn on buying your first home – what an exciting moment !  Welcome to the world of home ownership where you’ll now spend more weekends than you imagined at the local home improvement store !!!

Since my husband and partner-in-DIY happens to be a real estate appraiser with over 20 years experience in valuing homes, I shared Jenn’s inquiry with him.  Mr. CG has inspected and appraised thousands of homes, so together we came up with these ideas for eight weekend DIY projects that will instantly add curb appeal to any home. 

1.  Paint or replace your front door. 

It’s amazing how much a pop of color on a front door or a fresh coat of semi-gloss can make your ‘plain Jane’ stand out from the crowd.  As long as there are no homeowner’s association restrictions, go right ahead add jazz up your door with a fresh coat of paint.  It’s a good idea to prime it first for durability.  Be the inspiration for all your neighbors – no doubt, they’ll be painting their front door in no time too !

 blue and red front door

black and turq front doors

yellow and teal door The Little Greene; BH&G; Blissfully Domestic; Hooked on Houses; Apartment Therapy; Yellow Front Door

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Simple Pleasures: Climbing Roses

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

A few years ago, we planted a Cecile Brunner climbing rosebush to cover a patch of fence.  This weekend it is in full bloom ! 

Flowers are meant to be shared, so here’s a few glimpses of its beauty:  

 

roses 11

 

roses 12

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