Garden

Weathered Gray Planter Bench

Monday, February 11th, 2013

A few weeks ago, Matt and I agreed to host an outdoor party in early summer in our backyard to raise money to benefit the local public elementary school that my children attend (the committee twisted my arm!) so I thought I’d get a head start on sprucing up the rear yard. We had a bare patch of wall looking a little blah and I’d always envisioned a bench with planters to dress it up.

I went searching online and discovered an affordable ready-to-assemble planter bench, but in its natural state it felt a little too rustic so I thought I’d give it a more sophisticated stain + paint treatment.  As you know, I’m a lover of gray and white but I didn’t want to completely cover up the wood grain so I opted for a stain and paint combo and I’m really thrilled with the results.

weathered gray and white planter bench

 

I started out with this rustic cedar bench I bought for $70 and with a little DIY elbow grease turned it in one day into something more suitable for the style of our home with a few simple products.

before and after bench

 

This project was pretty simple, I assembled it when it arrived then gave it a two tone stain + paint treatment, trying out a new stain from the Rust-Oleum line of products.

gray and white bench with planters

 

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September Porch Scene

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

There’s a fall outdoor decor party over at Rhoda’s place today which was the perfect kick in the pants I needed to spruce up our porch for the season.  I wanted something  simple, but then foolishly declared I was using only white and green pumpkins on the porch this year.  Then I was told after a dozen phone calls to vendors that “there are no white or green Cinderella pumpkins this early”.  So then I just used faux instead and it all worked out. 

fall porch mums centsational girl

 

Shades of purple and green dominate with scattered potted perennials and purple mums, I also added tall willow branches inside the mums for height.

sept front door centsational girl

 

This year’s fall wreath is an adaptation of my spring willow wreath – I recycled it and wedged in some preserved green oak leaves from the supermarket, white berry stems, and a few pinecones.  Boom.  It’s what I call my “ten minutes because I’m tired and the kids have soccer practice” fall wreath. 

fall wreath centsational girl

 

Tall purple fountain grasses sit next to purple mums filled with tall willow branches.

purple mums and willow branches

 

hmm

 

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Two Weeks to a Greener Lawn

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

It’s the hottest month of the year and my lawn is brown and yucky!  Or at least it was until I decided to do something about it.  This is that patch of flat lawn in our backyard where the kids kick the soccer ball, play badminton, capture insects, and play with their friends, but it was getting prickly under their feet and becoming such an eyesore.  Our front lawn stays nice and healthy, but this one in the rear yard was looking really sad.

 

I went down to my local True Value to see what I could find in their garden department.  The store manager recommended ammonium sulfate for a quick fix to green it up again, applied in the evening after the hot sun fades and given a healthy watering to dissolve the granules.  Knowing little about lawn fertilizers, I took his advice.

I was surprised how quickly the lawn turned lush and green again, I had it in the back of my mind somehow that these things take a lot of time, but the ammonium sulfate was a great quick fix – here’s the result two weeks later.

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