The Garden : FREE MULCH in Huntsville & Bloom of the Week

Looking for a way to spruce up your garden beds? 

Our neighbors told us about the free mulch from the Huntsville Botanical Gardens. We don't have access to a truck so we grabbed an old plastic trashcan and unpacked a few more of our Rubbermaid tubs, loaded them in Silver Flash, grabbed our shovels and headed down the road.

There were huge piles of wood chip mulch - FREE mulch (well, donations are appreciated)!! It took us about twenty minutes to shovel as much as we could in the tubs and trashcan so it wasn't that bad. We barely made a dent in the mulch piles. Between our tubs, there was just enough mulch to fill the front yard and it looks lovely!

So, thank you, Botanical Gardens of Huntsville. You deserve the Award for Being Awesome this month. 


We're enjoying the blooms from the front of our vegetable gardens. I picked a few marigolds and placed them in a tiny teacup last week to add to our dining room centerpiece.


But this week's bloom feature goes out to the Black-eyed Susans which have so lovingly overtaken the end of our walking path through the garden. We're trying to figure out how to take care of that problem. 


The Garden : Assembling the Tomato-Trailing Trellis for the Raised Garden Bed


How can you transform an overgrown raised garden bed into a thriving vegetable garden? 

We're so glad you asked...

The raised garden bed looked something like this when we first looked at the house:


Add on three months of glorious Alabama sunshine and rain, and well, this garden bed needed some tough TLC. Sounds like an oxymoron, but it's achievable.

My mom uprooted every single inch of greenery in this bed and cleaned it all out. The huge elephant ears that you saw from our herb garden were transplanted from this garden first. It was unbelievably hard work. There are no words to express our gratitude towards my mom and dad for all of their help.

Next we covered the bed in fresh Miracle Grow, mixing in the old dirt. After a quick shop to Lowe's and the local garden center, we planted lettuce, tomatos, squash, eggplant, jalapeño peppers, bell peppers, basil, cilantro, parsley, zinnias and nasturtium (which is an edible flower and quite delicious!).


JD soaked them in some serious amounts of water...

And then it was time to assemble the trellis:



There is something so endearing about seeing the two favorite men in your life work together.


Isn't he such a stud?


They even let me help!


They laid a board down the center for ease of picking and watering the plants while walking through the center instead of walking in our garden bed.

In about two weeks, everything flourished!!


Our greatest gardening endeavor is for our raised bed garden to look like this masterpiece in a few months (or at least next summer):


This is a truly thriving vegetable garden, cared for from seed to veggie by my dad. 

He and I spent Father's Day morning sitting in his garden, drinking hot tea and listening to birds. I'm not sure if it was his best Father's Day ever but it was certainly my favorite!



The Garden : Generations of Green Thumbs

Welcome to the home of robins, bluebirds, blue jays, squirrels, chipmunks, fireflies, and whimsical plants.

AKA: Our Garden

I wish we could say that we built it from the ground-up, but we didn't. With the simple sign of a pen, we obtained this absolutely amazing garden along with our new home. 

It's magical.


Forget a green thumb. These previous homeowners must have had green streaming from each of their fingertips. A number of people are terrified that we're going to ruin have a little trouble keeping the garden up since I haven't always had the best luck with something as small as a potted plant... but I really think we'll get the hang of it eventually.

When all else fails, we must remember that all things will [hopefully] grow back.

At least, that's what my mom tells me.

I think that's one reason I love this garden so much. It reminds me of both my mother's and my grandmother's gardens. They are - hands-down - the best gardeners I know. Their gardens are both extraordinarily lovely, charming and peaceful. I loved walking through Gingin's gardens with her when we lived at the Bungalow; and no time is sweeter with my mom than when we play in the dirt and have conversations surrounded by rich blooms. 

"I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falls on my ear
The Son of God discloses"

That's one of our favorite hymns. I have no doubt that we all sing it when watering our gardens. 

{Side Note: I butchered Gingin's hydrangea bushes (my favorite flowers) at the Bungalow when I attempted to "prune" them for the first time. That was my first terrible gardening experience. But, just like mom and Gingin said, they have grown back. There is hope for me yet!}

mom and her garden

mom and dad's raised garden beds

deeply thankful for these green-thumbed lovebirds


Dad is an incredible gardener also, especially with vegetables. He is a master scientist. It comes in handy when growing all of your plants from little seedlings!

JD and I have confidence that we will be able to keep a beautiful garden because we have our families as a resource.

JD and dad spent a lot of time tackling this task before we moved into our new home.
Next week, we'll share our raised garden bed project with you.


In the meantime, here are a few of the perennials in bloom this week:

Balloon Flower

 Coneflower 



"He is like a Tree Planted by Water..."

My absolute favorite part of last week was gardening with my parents... 
or rather, learning how to garden. They have this extraordinary fairy garden in their backyard. The base of the garden is an old iron cast bathtub from my grandparent's lakehouse at Lake Rabun in North Georgia. Isn't the entire garden just magical??




Here are a few close-ups of the fairies. Little kids LOVE playing in this garden, especially our little niece / cousin Emma Kate. Just precious. :)


This is Gnomeo and Juliet. JD and I really liked this movie but mom and dad had no idea who these little figurines were until we told them. :) Don't you love the little door? My parents are going to attach matching windows going up the tree to act like a castle.


Fast forward to this week and we end up at a nice little quiet time I spent with the Lord while waiting on the maintenance man to come hang up my new art project on the wall...

Jeremiah 17:7-8 says, "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit."

First of all, did you catch that line where it says we are blessed if we not only trust in the Lord but actually transform our trust to be Jesus? I hadn't ever thought of it that way until reading this verse. It's a challenging thing, but so much more rewarding. When Jesus is our trust, we have absolutely nothing to be anxious about. For He is good. He is enough.

Secondly, I fear that I wouldn't have truly grasped verse eight if I had not spent the week gardening. God really knows when to place things in front of our eyes, huh? Dad taught me a lot about deeply planting the roots - especially tomato roots because they spread quickly with enough water. 

Think about that with a tree. 

If we are deeply rooted and planted beside the Living Water, we are going to grow in mighty ways through Christ's power alone. Better yet, fear will begin to disperse because we will have faith in knowing that our roots are deeply planted, spread widely and quenched by the Living Water of our Savior. 

We are so thankful for this Truth today. 

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And here is our garden at the apartment!! :) 

{sigh}

I LOVE using fresh herbs and practically punch myself in the kneecap when I have to buy herbs at the grocery store. We left the herb garden (in the strawberry planter) at the bungalow when we moved, so we're thrilled to have it back home with us. Finally, fresh herbs without the cost! 

We're growing rosemary, chives, parsley, thyme, mint and basil. 

The box on the wooden pedestal is our tiny fairy garden. It's quite sweet.



And here's one more photo of mom for ya... 

The John Deere has always been an Adams Family staple. I can't remember a summer when she wasn't on this thing. And if she wasn't riding around the yard, picking up tree branches or rocks before my dad plowed through on the much bigger tractor, well... you would probably find me chugging along on it. 

Hope you're having a wonderful week!! 









Special Finds at The Cotton Depot

Is it in you?? The desire to find the hottest deals at the lowest prices... with the most history behind it? 


Here are the hottest things I found when antique-ing in Monroe, GA, at The Cotton Depot with my mom the week before Easter...



There is just something classic about an old rotary phone, no? This screams retro and America. Don't you love it? I had to part ways with it after snapping this photo because I have a lovely yellow one just like it (oh, but it would fit in so wonderfully with my light blue and red kitchen appliances!!). 



Old filing cabinet. 
Oh yes. I've been searching for something like this for a while. I just never expected it to be so perfect. This purchased jewel will be stored in my shabby chic office when we buy a new home. 



These pieces were created using photo frames and candlestick holders. Fantastic way to create a tiered look to those photos, word art creations or scrapbook paper accents!



This lady's booth is one of my favorites. She has such a beautiful way of organizing her products. Old suitcases such as the one above simply make my heart melt. Did I mention that my mom had a tiny tan one waiting for me (with a few inches of fabric for me to play with tucked inside) when I went to visit her and dad the week before Easter? She knows me so well. :)



{sigh} 
An old sewing machine head. This baby was only $22 but will probably never be able to work again without the sewing table and presser foot. I don't care. It's beautiful. 



One day, JD and I will buy an old typewriter to put in our home. We just have to find the perfect one. This one was close to it, but I had already maxed out the budget for my trip. How so? 

...Well, we'll show you that once we have it all settled and cozy in our home...





And finally, I couldn't resist sharing this absolutely striking photo of my mom walking her garden. 

Isn't she beautiful? 


We had the best time walking around their yard as mom pointed out each plant and the history behind it. Many of the plants have been pulled from her mother's and grandmother's yards, simply to be re-planted in my parent's yard. I look forward to the day my mom and Gingin pass down plants to us when JD and I move into our first house. 

Come back Thursday to see photos of my parent's yard and the magical little fairy garden they've created in an old rusty bathtub from my grandparent's lake house in North Georgia.