This is our first spring in our new home, and we’re in the process of evaluating our yard to determine what’s working and what needs work. This weekend I attended a class on ‘Texas Tough Plants’ at the Dallas Arboretum with a hope of learning more about low-maintenance plants that are well-suited to our area. The instructor described the class as an “intro to plants that are hard to kill,” which was perfect for me since it matched my strategy earlier this year for buying and maintaining houseplants.
After the two-hour session, I left with a better understanding of the plants we already have and a list of new ones to add to the mix. Our initial plan for this season was to identify what is doing really well in our yard and plant more of it, but the class gave me a bit of confidence to introduce a few new plants too.
With that in mind, here is a list of native plants that are in our yard or likely to be added soon:
I may be going a little overboard with the plants in our house. At last count, we had 32 plants (including Jenna’s indoor flower and vegetable garden). That’s a lot of plants, but the truly amazing part is that I’m keeping them alive. And as my plant collection grows, so too must my planter collection. I’m always on the lookout for simple, beautiful containers to add to my collection.
Some of my favorite dream planters above: cube, hanging, vintage, cement, geometric, retro stand, mid-century, garden box.
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Last night I joined a flower workshop with the amazing team at Bows and Arrows. I’ve admired their work via Instagram for awhile, so it was great to learn a few tricks from these talented folks. If you’re in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, I highly recommend taking a workshop – they have a photography and flower class coming up this weekend and a two-day workshop in Marfa this summer.
I’ve never been great at arranging flowers, but I was pretty impressed with the look I was able to create last night (photo above). A few things I learned:
- It takes some time to style an arrangement. In the past, I’ve always spent 15 mins or so on an arrangement. During the workshop, I spent over an hour creating my masterpiece. While this won’t always be possible, starting early and allowing lots of time is definitely key.
- Always use floral foam to hold the stems in place and make sure the foam is tightly placed within the container. After soaking the foam, you can press it gently against the top of your container to make an impression and then cut along those lines to create a perfect fit.
- Start by defining ‘the bones’ of the arrangement: a tall piece and a low extending piece, for example.
- Don’t be afraid to mix heights. In the past, I’ve always tried to cut each stem the exact same length. In looking at the Bows and Arrows arrangements, I realized that they have a mix of shorter and taller stems, giving the overall piece some movement as well as the quirkiness I love.
Here are a few more scenes of the floral awesomeness from last night:
I love having lots of plants in our house, but I don’t have the best track record keeping them alive. Every spring, I fill my house with plants, only to have most of them heading for the trash bin by the end of summer. This time around, I’ve been reading up on indoor gardening and have even started selecting plants based on hardiness. I’m especially encouraged by articles about plants that seem to thrive under any conditions. Surely, I can make keep a few of those alive.
Here are a few of the articles I’ve found most helpful:
Here are a few more scenes of green in my own home:
One of the best things about moving is dreaming of all of the updates you’ll make to your new home. When we first visited the house we’re buying later this month, I barely even noticed the storage shed in the backyard. In fact, I didn’t even look inside until we returned on inspection day. But once I came across the picture above on Pinterest, and I immediately realized the potential of our little shed. Someday little shed, someday.
Sources: Inspiration Shed / 01 Light / 02 Bistro Lights / 03 Planter / 04 Paint
One of the features the kids would like in our new home, along with the cooking robot, is a pool. It probably won’t look anything like these (we do live in Texas, after all), but a girl can dream:
Sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6
In addition to the farm-to-table style dinner with Outstanding in the Field, our recent trip to the west coast included a meal at The French Laundry, one of three restaurants owned by Thomas Keller in Yountville, CA. Just across the street from the restaurant is a large organic garden, which supplies many of the vegetables featured on the menu.
Last night I returned from my ‘culinary adventure’ with my close friend Tara. Over the course of 5 days, we visited Napa, San Francisco and the Santa Cruz area, eating and drinking quite a bit along the way. My favorite meal was a farm-to-table style dinner at the Everett Family Farm organized by Outstanding in the Field.
Here are a few scenes from our evening touring the farm and enjoying an amazing dinner prepared by local chef, Santos Majano.
It’s that time of year in Texas when dining outdoors moves to the top of my list of things to do. It only lasts for a couple of weeks in the spring and again in the fall, so I have to take advantage while I can. This year, I have the added excitement of attending an amazing outdoor dining event with Outstanding in the Field, an organization that travels the country hosting farm-side dinners featuring foods grown on-site. I’m heading out to Santa Cruz next month for their dinner at Everett Family Farm, but in the meantime, I’m trying to create a nice dining space in our own backyard. Here are a few things on my wish list right now:
Sources: 01 / 02 / 03 / 04 / 05 / 06 / 07
Outdoor Dining Inspiration Images: 01 / 02 / 03
A few weeks ago, Buzzfeed invited me to submit a craft idea for recycling light bulbs. As part of the project, I bought a vintage wooden sugar mold. I loved the mold and knew that eventually I would repurpose it as a planter. I finally got around to planting a few succulents into the mold this weekend, and I’m pretty happy with the results.