Monday, May 30

the gardens a go

My garden has been quite content over the past few days given the sun we've finally seen.  I had already started my broccoli, parsley, greens and sowed my beans a few weeks back.  The beans were reaching up for the sun today...

Despite all the rain my plants are in full swing. I am going to devote this week getting all my outdoor blog posts completed.  I have some posts coming up on hostas, annuals, my garden in full view and I've asked my mom - The Queen Gardener who knows ALL about plants - to write up a nice how-to for any beginner green thumb wannabes :)  So stay tuned!

My garbage, compost and rain barrel system wasn't working for me - the bins were sitting on earth and being the neat freak I am it was time for a tidy-up. The claustrophobic feeling lattice laying up against my deck had to go.

I laid down pavers from last years stone step DIY to tidy up the area. 

Now my bins with wheels are easily movable .  No more pulling them out of the wet earth after its rained for three weeks straight in Halifax.

Watch for more landscaping posts this week!

Friday, May 27

creative design mix

If your anything like me, you love mixing classic modern with traditional timeless.  Creating balance is what it's all about, and mixing different periods is where it's at.

A few weekends ago while showing homes we viewed the model suite at The King’s Wharf development in Dartmouth.  The look and feel of the condo is very modern but the designer gave it character by adding traditional pieces.  I was tres impressed!

Tuesday, May 17

Simple Fireplace Setting

Sometimes we think too hard about decor.  I found this online and was drawn to it.  Traditional and timeless I love it.  The wood piled to the side of the fire place is comforting isn't it?  The modern furniture mixed with a fabulous fireplace and mirror makes this room a favorite of mine.  And to top it all off a black about a dose of "relax".

Sunday, May 15

Landscaping Tips for Dog Owners

Growing up with large yards in the country compared to city living with tiny yards presents its challenges to dog owners.

When it was just Abby, my cocker spaniel, the grass did OK.  We've since expanded our family.  Berlin, our German Shepherd, loved to tear around the yard during her puppy stages and voila the grass was gone.  Forget about green grass...there was none at one point, just dirt or mud if it was raining.  I was raised by two green thumbs so it's in me...I strive to have a beautiful well maintained yard.  Although my idea of beautiful is not as traditional as my parents when it comes to the lawn.

Here are some landscaping tips for dog owners:

Know your grass types. There are some grass types that are more hardier to paws then others.  Kentucky bluegrass for example is heartier and works well in our cool climate.

Dirty paws tracking mud into the house? Create an area between the yard and the door where the dogs can wipe their feet.  I have a basement entrance that I take my dogs through when its mucky out.

It helps if you can get your dogs to eliminate elsewhere other then on the grass.  Some people train them to use a shredded wood or gravel area. I don't have the space.   We walk the dogs more then just letting them out for a pee...bonus is they (and we humans) benefit from more exercise.

Stand alone plants are vulnerable to damage.  Plant trees, shrubs and flowers in clusters and they will have a better chance standing up to rough play.

Research the types of plants you are purchasing. For example a common plant the Rhododendron is poisonous to dogs.  I have a large one in my backyard that my dogs have never bothered with but it's good to be aware in case you have a pooch with an uncontrollable appetite.

Consider other alternatives to grass. If you want a green alternative you can try a clover lawn. Clover lawns don't stain the way grass does when exposed to urine.  "Hardscape" is when you chose to lay stone or mulch and is a less maintenance required alternative.

Strain from using pesticides of any sort. It's not good for anything or anyone.  Over the years we've been convinced that the perfect grass is carpet like and weed free which requires time, money, pesticides, fertilizers, regular watering, etc.  Go back in time and think of what is more natural and kind to the environment - healthy soil is surely not a result of frequent weed killers. Don't put your family or pets at risk it's just not worth it!

Have a woofunderful day!

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