Sunday, June 29, 2014

How To Plan a Foundation Landscaping Design

OK Klass.....
I think I may have written about this last year....
I can't remember.....
So, if I did, and you remember, just skip this post and wait for the next one!!!!!

As I wrote a few days ago, I am going to go over the basics of planning a foundation planting.
I like it when the plants start low and increase in height towards the back of the bed.
The plantings I ripped out were all the same height.
I started with white flowering rhododendrons in the back row.
Next height down I installed white, dark pink and light pink roses.

The ones I used were Knock Out roses. As one of my readers pointed out, they tend to be idiot proof.
(My brother isn't having great luck with his, so I wonder what that says about him?????
He calls them Knocked Up roses.
He's a doctor, and that's his sense of humor........
Since he's my older brother, I blame my sense of humor on him....)
They are an old fashioned type of rose, so they open up to a looser flower than a tea rose.
Since these roses can grow quite large, I hack them back to the main branches every spring, before they start to leaf out, otherwise they would end up taller than the Rhododendrons 
This is the same shot, a few weeks apart.....

As the summer goes on, I need to give them a good pruning every now and then, or they will get too big.
If you plant them somewhere without something behind them that you want to see, you can just let them go to town!!!!!
Mine seem to like a good soaking every other day, as they are doing much better since I put in a drip irrigation system.
Like all roses, they need a certain amount of sun to flourish.

In front of the roses, I have a few perennials, like Autumn Joy, which is a type of sedum that can grow quite large,
 and I never remember that, and don't give it enough room.......  
It blooms in the fall, that's why it's call Autumn Joy!!!!!
I found a type that was a pinky purple rather than the more common red.
The above pictures of sedum are not from my garden but from the web.
That's because it's not fall I can't take any pictures of it in bloom.....

I also planted some purple chrysanthemums, which I have to prune back a couple of times over the summer, so they don't get too leggy.

In front of the perennials I planted hosta plants.
I really love them as an edging along a path. 
There are larger ones along the path away form my steps, and my landscaper found some really small ones to form quarter circles at my entryway.
They frame the small round boxwood topiaries that flank the front.
These are sort of a pain to prune, but I got me one of them there electric charging small hand clippers which make the job much easier.
On both sides of the front door are large mountain laurels that were there originally.
I decided to leave them, and let them grow taller, because I like something higher by the entry.
They get a little taller every year, I am so proud of them!!!! 
I never used to like mountain laurel, but now I think they're gorgeous!
It may be that they just needed the space to fill out.
The flowers are quite spectacular, and bloom after the rhododendrons are finished.
I have three different colors.
There must be a graft on one of the bushes.

that's just some basic info for ya,
hope it was some help, or at least a little entertaining....

on that note
Latah, Gatah


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Ah Do Love Ma Roses!!!!!

Check out the foundation plantings I had put in in front of my condo!!!!!
I could lie, and write that I planted them myself....
but those days of bending over and digging are in the past for my old aching bones.
My back just couldn't handle the manual labor.
When I bought my condo, 
my entry looked like this.....
I couldn't be havin' none of that!!!!!
The plants in the front were huge ink berries.
It took some real grunt work to dig them out.
Luckily that's what money is for!!!!!
And young men!!!!! 
Like most of what I do in my gardening endeavors, 
the first stuff I had planted didn't make it.
Some of it was squashed by snow.....
Some of it, that was planted along the path,
 was clobbered by the salt used in the winter to keep us from slipping and falling on our keesters.
Some of it didn't make it for reasons only the plant knew, and it wasn't talking because it be
dead, dead, dead.
Before I had the front replanted, I increased the size of my front stoop.
The existing one was so small, that I could just imagine falling off it due to my
 chronic condition of klutziness.
I've been informed by my doctor that there is no cure....
no vaccine,
no pill.
no inhaler.
no therapy.
So, I had to take the solution into my own hands, and use what I know!!!!!
I had it made large enough for a small bench on which to place my groceries, as well as a place for a planter or three. 
For now, I only have one.
I found a fake concrete urn at a local garden store and bought a hanging Martha Washington geranium plant to go in it.
I don't like to use real concrete because then I have to clean it out and cover it in the winter so that it doesn't crack.
Resin and plastic can be left out.
I love fake sometimes.
Not all the time..... just in the right places.....
and that decision should be always left up to me, as I am the arbiter of taste in my tiny universe.
(where was I????? Oh, yeah, plants....)
After I bought the hanging plant, all I did was pull off the wire hangers and plop the plastic pot in the urn.....
voila!!! instant accent!
I have a drip irrigation system that waters it, I hate watering stuff. 
It's boring.
 I just occasionally cut off the dead blossoms.  
Here's another of my WONDERFUL side by side comparisons!!!
the roses have been happily living in their new home for a few years, and are starting to fill in nicely,
In the early spring, I cut them back to just the main branches, really cutting them down.

below is the view coming from my parents condo.
Here you can see my parents condo just to the right of mine.
Next post I will talk more about the plants I used that actually worked in the harsh New England weather.
I will explain a little about landscaping for foundation plantings.
But now....
I have to go to work on my fabric line.
It takes a lot of time because I don't know what I'm doing.

On that note,
Latah Gatah

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Just Because You Hung Something On A Wall.....

Doesn't Mean It Has To Stay There.....

OK kampers......
We left off with me telling you about Kris's Krappy Krisis!!!!!
She had snagged some pretty little watercolors on eBay, but they were in garish painted gold frames.
So, I sanded them a little to let the underlying red show through, and then waxed them in a dark wax.
Some of you pointed out, that gold leaf was traditionally laid over red paint.
You are soooo right!!!!!!
Being me.....
I already knew that.....
I am omnipotent!!!!! 
I can't figure out why some frame company would go to the trouble of under painting the frames red, just to completely cover the red with the gold!!!!!
NONE of the red showed through.
I know.....
They were just waiting for me to come along and sand them to finish the job!!!!!
(OK, Betsy, take a breath.....)

They were going to be hung in Kris's guest room.
We had originally hung plates that Kris had found.
As I had told you last post,
I felt they blended too much into the wallpaper.
This is where the title of today's post comes into to play!!!!!
"Just Because You Hung Something On A Wall.....
Doesn't Mean It Has To Stay There.....!!!!!!!!"
I changed out the four top plates with the four reworked watercolors.
I think it looks much better.
The prints stand out from the wallpaper, yet work with the colors and theme of the space.
The finish on the frames now blends with the mirror...
 (that I gave to Kris.....I am such a good friend!!!!!)
Here's another of my stellar side by side comparisons!!!!!
We just have to finish the wall to the right of the beds.
We have reframed some needlepoints that we grabbed at an auction, and are just waiting for the framer to finish another couple of little floral paintings.
I love the way this room is turning out.
It's a very "Betsy" room.
Kris was kind enough to give me my head on the decorating, and I ran with the bit between my teeth!!!!!
Those are horseback riding terms.....
 we used to own horses at the same stable.....
We do a lot of things together.....
We also sold them at the same time.....
Horses are a full time job.
I wanted to be retired.
I'm off on another tangent.
before I drift any further into the workings of my warped mind.....
Latah, Gatah

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Sometimes Plates On A Wall Have To Be Changed!!!!!

I wasn't happy with the way the plates looked around the mirror over the chest in Kris's guest room.
I felt they blended in too much with the wallpaper.
But 'cuz Kris had bought them.....
(without my knowledge or advice.....)
(she's ALWAYS doing that.....)
I tried to make them work.
They are very pretty, but they are too much like the wallpaper.
Kris is always on the lookout for more good stuff,
and she found some really nice leetle watercolors.
But they were framed in some really bad frames.
Bright gold, and too tacky for words.....

She wanted to reframe them.
But before she did.....
I suggested that she let me see if I could rework them first.
I liked the size and the detail, just not the finish,
So I figured I could paint them or sommin, like that!!!!
I took them down to my basement. dungeon, workshop, and decided that because they were so shiny,
that I would first give them a light sanding, so the paint would be more apt to stick.
Well....knock me over with a feather!!!!!
Beneath the crappy paint, was a nice red showing through!!!!!
So, I lightly sanded them with a fine sandpaper.
And them, I waxed them with a dark furniture wax.
I think they now look like a better grade of frame!!!!!
Of course the photograph sucks, because I blew it up from a shot I took of it hanging on the wall in the room.
I am not going to show them in the room until my next post because I am stringing out this story as
long as possible!!!!!

On that note,
Latah, Gatah

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Toss Pillows Can Make a Room

I finally got off my beehind and got Kris her feather fills for the needlepoint toss pillow covers we found on eBay.
The covers were supposedly 16" square, so that was the size I bought.
I like it when the filling is not so big that it over stuffs the cover, creating a too tight fit.
In this case, the pillows were actually larger than stated, and the feather fills I got weren't large enough, so now Kris can wait another gazillion months for the correct size.
I am really earning my fee!
'Course, I'm not charging anything, so there ya go....... 
The beds were done in a cream on cream color scheme, with green duvet covers folded at the ends.
They needed a punch of color against the pillows, so that's why we got the needlepoint covers.
Remember these?????
I spent some time cutting off the tassels trim and rope edging to create a more fashionable look.
We felt the trim was just too heavy.
Here's a before and after.
I like them much better with the trims cut off,
In the room they add just what I wanted.
A splash of color at the heads of the bed, pulling in the feeling of the wallpaper and draperies.
I still need to pick up the lampshade for the little sconce between the beds.......
Kris is not impressed with my memory.
I keep forgetting to get it when I'm at the Boston Design Center.
The room is really starting to come together.
It's all a matter of adding layers of color and texture to a design.
I took this picture and edited it, so I might as well show it to you.....
I have nothing new to say about it.......
The touch of color at the head of the beds makes such a difference!!!!
Won't it be wonderful when I finally get the lampshade????!!!!
We are recovering the old one I had that's in the photo on the left.
We keep tweaking this room.
I'll show you some more on my next post!!!!!
I know!!!!!
Another cliff hanger!!!!!
On that note,
Latah, Gatah
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