This has been quite the summer! We had this new deck and pergola added this spring and here is what it looks like with all the plants since the last post. It's been lots of hard work between mulching, adding pea gravel and plantings. Believe it or not, ...

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"Catherine Holman Folk Art" - 5 new articles

  1. How Does My Garden Grow? Quite Contrary!
  2. Outdoor Living and Garden Renovation
  3. An Evening With Susan Branch in KC
  4. Spring Gardening
  5. Remodeling the Staircase
  6. More Recent Articles

How Does My Garden Grow? Quite Contrary!

This has been quite the summer!  We had this new deck and pergola
 added this spring and here is what it looks like with all the plants since the last post.

It's been lots of hard work between mulching, adding pea gravel and plantings.  Believe it or not, I still have 18 bags of mulch to put out.  It seems to be never ending, but I'm like Mary, Mary quite contrary....

It would be a lot more fun if the heat and humidity hadn't been so bad.  See Rick's new "Green Egg" grill in the distance?  He's so proud of that and has made some great meals out there!

At first we were afraid we had added too much pea gravel around the deck, but it's growing on me.  I can always add lots of potted plants to fill in.

We took out a lot of large yew bushes that were around the old gazebo and I'm not sorry to see them go because they were always needing to be trimmed.  We are looking for low maintenance plants at our age.

See those bags of mulch on the right?  Want to come help?

I still have my pale green adirandacks and they make a nice conversation area below the pergola.  

A nice and much needed rain arrived this morning and I got a break from watering the potted plants.   I've been working from my laptop at our new table and chairs early in the morning before the heat hits.

Each year I wonder how much longer I'll be able to take care of all these flower beds, but they do bring me so much joy to look out over while enjoying my morning coffee.

The blue hydrangeas were amazing!  They are my favorite.  

Rick added some sweet lights too!  It's so peaceful out here under is manmade stars.

The first person to tell me what that bag of water with a penny in it is for hanging from the light fixture by the door wins my "Chimney Smoke and Cheery Snow Folk" 300 piece puzzle.  I forgot to take it down for the pictures so I've decided to use it as a giveaway game.  


Outdoor Living and Garden Renovation

Lot's of changes have been happening at our house.  In my previous post I was sharing my garden with you.  I was doing that so I could preserve my memories, because this is what my view was a few days after that.

Our beautiful old gazebo is now gone because it was falling apart. It had survived several years through three different families who loved it so much! We will miss it but have many photos to remind us. 

The next two days of progress on the new deck and it was fun to see it coming together.  We cut down the yew bushes and will be changing the landscaping later.

This is my view on the third day. Our poor dogs were in a little bit of shock because they couldn't figure out where the stairs went off the back of the deck.  

The following day it was really coming together.  Don't you just love the smell of fresh cut wood?

Our deck designer/carpenter Adam Park at AP Custom Works, LLC put up our pergola and started the railing. It's really coming together.  I can not express how much Rick and I love this!

That's my old climbing rose bush in that red bucket that was growing up the gazebo.  I need to figure out where it's new home is going too be in our yard.

This is my view before all the railing is up.

This is what it looks like now.  I love it!

I've got some new landscaping to do.

The dogs are still confused about the step situation even though there are stairs on all three sides of the pergola, they still go over to the stairs by the back door.  

My new view from the back door!  I can't wait to get my deck chairs up there.

Our view from our upper stairway landing. Now if the torrential rains will stop washing all our grass seed away, I'll be even more happy!

Thanks Adam for the beautiful new deck!  Rick and I love it and can't wait to share it with our family! 

An Evening With Susan Branch in KC

Do you ever have one of those days where you can't wipe the smile off your face?  Yesterday was one of those days.  My daughter, Amber, and I spent the day together shopping, having lunch on the Plaza in KC, and then we (drum roll please) went to hear Susan Branch talk about her new book, Martha's Vineyard Isle of Dreams.  I have been a huge Susan Branch fan for years!

I have so many of her books:  Sweets to the Sweet, Vineyard Seasons, Christmas Joy, The Summer Book, A Fine Romance, Fairy Tale Girl, Girlfriends Forever(I've given this one as gifts too), and now this new one!  I've been charmed by Susan's artwork from the first time I saw her illustrated recipes in a magazine (I can't remember if it was Country Living or Country Home).  I used to tear them out and save them.  Then I got hooked on her handwritten and illustrated books and calendars.  

The new one is very special because it's now autographed and because we got to meet Susan and her husband, Joe.  

Amber looks a little jealous that Susan is extending her hand to me.  Not sure what that look is all about, but we both thought it was funny, so I'm sharing it!

I hunted outside for their van before we entered the building and couldn't find it.  Joe was kind enough to tell us where it was parked so we could take pictures.  They are traveling the country on their book tour in this beauty!  I've seen it on Susan's blog which you should definitely read.  Also, go to her website and sign up for her newsletter Willard.    I adore the whistling birds on her website!  

Sorry about the pictures of the van, but I have a new cell phone and still learning to use that camera.   Such a fabulous day!  Thanks Amber!

Here's a few of my Susan Branch collection along with a few other favorites on my hutch.

There is so much going on at our home recently and I will share it all with you soon hopefully!  


Spring Gardening

We've been having some pretty crazy thunder storms the last couple days, so I'm glad I was able to get some gardening in before it hit.  I was also able to get some photos of my backyard before the storm.  

The sad thing is that the gazebo has seen better days.  It looks great from this side, but to my neighbors behind us, it looks like it's about to fall over.  We are having a new deck put on soon minus the gazebo.  Hopefully I won't be sorry.

Looks like I'm going to have a lot of cleanup after the wind and rain brought down all those messy dropping from the oak trees.  It almost looks like moss because there is so much of it.
When you enter through the back gate the aroma of lilac and dianthus is heavenly, or so I'm told.  I don't get to enjoy the wonderful scent due to allergies.  Anyone else have this problem?


Remodeling the Staircase

I just spent hours trying to figure out where my blog disappeared to.  I learned a big lesson from a major mistake on my part.  When I purchased my google domain name last year and dropped the "blogspot", I never thought any more about it until recently when I tryed to get on my blog and it was no longer there.  Finally I realized that I hadn't gotten my yearly renewal reminder for my domain name.  I checked my email again and several hours later remembered that I had to set up a gmail account when I registered my name. Having never used this email account for anything else, there the reminders were sitting in my gmail account waiting to be paid.  It was due the middle of March and after 30 days they dropped my blog from view.  Luckily I found out what was wrong before 60 days when it would have been deleted.  It only costs $12 to renew each year and I now had to pay $112 to restore my blog.  That was a whopping $100 mistake on my part.  Lesson learned!    

In case you were wondering, this is where we are at on the staircase remodel.  The stairs are all in, I filled all the nail holes, and sanded.  They are now ready to be stained and varnished.  I'm waiting for a string of nice weather for at least 3-4 days so I can open the windows for ventilation.

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