It’s Time for the Garden Par-Tay

UPDATE: We will continue the party through the weekend so if you’ve not had a chance yet to link up, there’s still time! Don’t miss out on some great fun.:)

Welcome to the first, not-sure-if-it-will-be Annual, Spring Garden Tour!

Typically when I think of garden parties (and you know I do all the time), I picture a crowd of high-brow sophisticates milling around a perfectly manicured lawn sipping champagne as a string quartet gently strums in the background.

There’ll be none of that here. But only because Bubba and them were already booked and it would be scandalous, scandalous I tell you, if the PW was spotted buying booze-in-a-box at the Wal Mart.

Instead, let’s have a Diet Coke and try to keep the dirt off our darlin’ Yellow Box flip-flops while we make our way through one another’s favorite outdoor spaces.

Sound good enough?

Cool then…let’s go!

Firstly, let me introduce you to my little Gnome. He is the keeper of the new butterfly garden. He is very sentimental to me because my precious great-grandmother was a great lover of nature and these imaginary little people. This guy reminds me of her and all the walks we took together through the woods and her own flower beds when I was a younger girl.

Here is my finished butterfly garden. I gave you a preview of the plants I used. I am such a nerd for not having taken a before photo because you really can not appreciate how great this spot looks now. Imagine dead azaleas and accidental gourd vines where the kids busted the ones I had on the porch during the fall two years ago. It was a hot mess so I can barely take my eyes off how great it looks now. I’m looking forward to how it will fill in.

I read the coolest thing a few years back that is a great encouragement as you are awaiting the explosion of perennials. The first year they sleep, the second year they creep, and the third year they leap. Anybody else find that to be true?

Also make sure you notice my Savannah Girl. This was a gift from my MIL when my daughter was born. She is a sweet reminder of that special time in our lives as well as my home place of Georgia. She reminds Luke of a broken back since he is the one who’s had to pick up her 200 lb. carcus and move her on several different occasions. The boys think she has a monkey face and can not possibly comprehend why I have a concrete girl in the flowerbed.

Needless to say, we need a few more lessons in appreciating the finer things – like yard art. How could pure-bred, self-respecting southerners not love some lawn ornamentation?

I’ve tried to raise them right. Really, I have.

Okay, so this is the back view of the little garden. I planted the Russian sage behind my girl so it would form a backdrop for her in a year or three. Oh, and that little stepping stone you see? I love the saying on it, “Ours is just a little house but God knows where we live.”

We also have wild morning glory in this part of the flower bed. You can’t kill that stuff so instead of beating it, I’m trying to tame it. I’m still pulling new sprouts out of the mulch almost daily but I’m letting it grow around my girl’s base. I usually let it take her over because I love the blooms. When the vines begin to overtake her face, she looks like a swamp thing out of a B-Movie. Still, in my eyes she’s a beautiful, flowery, swampy, monkey-faced girl. And isn’t that all that matters? Hold on…I think that would preach.

Here is the front of the house which, even though I tried really hard to complete, is just not finished yet. Again, like a moron, I have no before’s. Just like the other area, it was full of dead azalea and weeds galore with some dern pokey ones at that. The beds also were covered in pea gravel which I despise – not because it doesn’t look great but because my kids throw it at each other. Luke and I stripped the whole thing bare (He loved that). The shrubs I put in are Loropetalum. I also plan on adding a couple of Knockout Roses and some bright green ornamental grass. I’m hoping to finish sometime this summer. If I do, you’ll be the seventh or so to know! Even after this project, we have so much more that needs to be done but gardening wouldn’t be fun if it were ever finished.

Okay, lastly I want to show you my favorite place outside. This, girls, is my beloved porch swing. It is where the bulk of my book is being written and where I go when I just want to have a moment by myself with God. It’s yet another sentimental thing because it came from my great-grandfather, Pop, (not the husband of the great-grandma) whom I loved with all my heart. He was forever telling me how proud he was of me so to think I could sit in this place where he did and do something I never dreamed possible makes it all the more special.

So I can tell on myself for being tacky, those green cushions are my Christmas ones turned upside down. And that funky fake flower? That is something I dragged out fhe house as a feeble attempt at making my table cuter. It is usually covered with my laptop and 2 dozen books. I meant to have the prettiest pot planted (say that five times fast) before today, but the ball games and house full of children? They are a suckin’ the creative life outta me. I’m just scrapin’ by, people.

Okay, I’m back from chasing that rabbit. I also adore my windchimes (hanging over the swing). Those came from a shop in West End, NC called the Blue Monkey owned by some of our dearest friends. They (the windchimes, not the friends) are such a soothing backdrop while I drink half-a-dozen Diet Cokes, eat sour gummy worms, and try to figure out what in the world to write next. Even when it is 90 degrees out it is always cool in this little corner.

So that’s it. Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you have seen that your garden/outdoors do not have to be Better Homes worthy in order to be special. I try to choose things that I love and have meaning to me so that my heart is filled each time I look.

For those of you who are participating, simply sign the Mr. Linky below and link to your garden post, not your homepage, so we can all stop by. I can’t wait to visit and hear your own stories!

Party on!

An Incredibly Important Reminder

The Garden Tour is tomorrow….Are you coming? Just grab the button in my sidebar for your post if you want to play. There will be a Mr. Linky for those of you who want to participate. Otherwise, I hope you’ll join us just to look!

p.s. Scroll down for the latest Ministry Wife Survey. It’s a good one!

How Does Your Garden Grow?

UPDATED TO ADD:

Remember everyone, this isn’t just for flower gardens and you don’t have to be the cover for Southern Living to participate. You are more than welcome to tell us about your favorite outdoor retreats. For example, is there a porch swing, a gazebo, a hammock, etc. where you love to take your morning cuppa and Bible? Do you grow veggies? Are you an apartment/condo dweller with a patio garden? We want to see !

The time is fast approaching for our Spring Garden Tour. I hope you are getting as excited as I am about visiting one another’s outdoor spaces to see what’s growing on! (hardy har)

I’ve been busy working in an area in front of my house that was really overgrown until recently. We’ve taken out a lot of dead plants, weeds, etc. and are slowly but surely replacing them with some of my perennial favorites. Remember, I told you I love low maintenance!

As a preview, here are just a few things I’ve been planting:

Russian Sage: Smells wonderful and butterflies love them. We already had two or three flying around before I ever got them in the ground!

Lantana: The girl at the nursery told me this little beauty would get enormous. I’m thinking I should have bought more than one but we’ll see how it does. They bloom yellow, orange, and pink and also attract, you guessed it, BUTTERFLIES!

Coreopsis:

I love the blooms on this little pretty. The foliage is really great, too – It just floats on the breeze.

Verbena: Another butterfly haven. If you plant it, they will come…..

Vinca: The only annual I’ve planted so far. They love hot, full sun so I’m hoping they will do well where I’ve planted them.

Lavender: I’ll be planting this in a pot for now. I can’t even describe how great it smells!


I got all of these plants at Lavender Mountain in Rome, Ga. I’d never been there before but, girls…oh my goodness. Their garden section is just luscious. The darlin’ woman working there was an enormous help in choosing the right plants for the area I needed. I have no idea how to group flowers so I am so glad a pro was there to give me a few pointers.

Well, that’s all I’m telling you for now except that as of this morning I have all of this in the ground and hopefully it will fill in a bit before the Tour. Or better yet, I hope it all isn’t dead before then. I took a few pics today to be safe.

So don’t forget – Mark your calendars and join in! I’ll put up a Mr. Linky on Friday morning for you to link your post.

I can’t wait! :)

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