Thursday, April 24, 2014

Sometimes it's difficult to remember....



That this, the front bed...
(all "first" photos show how the yard looks now)

becomes this!




Or, that this, the terrace wall bed,...

becomes this... .




That the hydrangeas at the entrance, go from this...

to this... .




The courtyard...

turns into this!




And the living room bed...

transforms into this... .





Or, that the stone bed (which hides the large box for the underground utilities and the electric meter), just up the drive from our stone beehives at our entrance...

will look like this... .




And, that the single stone bed...

will be filled with hostas.




That our old, dug well head (which we use for irrigation)....

will morph into this!




And, that the cutting garden...

will be filled with herbs, vegetables and tomatoes!
(Photo was taken at the end of last summer when our painter was here for his annual three-week vi$it;)
One of the first big projects for the season will be to build a fence around the garden.  You can see the granite posts lying next to the raised beds which will serve as the corners posts and as the posts for the iron gate.  Between the posts will be a wooden picket fence, painted black, on which I will plant a purple clematis (that's the plan for now anyway;)!


 So, even though it's difficult to remember right now... .I have hope!

 Happy spring and happy gardening to you!


116 comments:

  1. This is so pretty! I hope you will share it at my NEW 'Home Sweet Garden' link up party every Tuesday starting April 1st! Love your shares... Happy Spring! ♥ Brooke

    This week's party is here...http://nblo.gs/W9UdN

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  2. Happy Spring!!
    Everything is so beautiful at your home. I was anxious all last summer to see your cutting garden with the old gate. Now I will be anxious to see it after your plans for this summer.
    Best Regards!! Wenda

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    1. hi Wenda, There were so many projects last year that the fence kept getting put off, so this year it's on the top of the list;)

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  3. I love seeing the transformations! There must be something in the air because I did a post today about what my house looked like as it was being built compared to what it looks like today. Your property and house are gorgeous!
    -Shelley

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    Las creaciones de Victoria

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  5. It IS hard to remember! I have been looking back at last years pictures too. I have to ask: how far back to you cut your hydrangeas??? I can't even see them in the before pictures! I have always pruned them SOME but maybe I should do more? Your home and grounds are spectacular! We are starting to see trees blooming and some signs of life coming out of the ground!!! It is a VERY exciting time of year!

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    1. hi Pinky, I pruned the Annabelles back to several inches from the ground, the Endless summer to 6-inches and most others to 8-12 inches depending on the variety. I find if I am ever in question about how much to prune, a simple google search will find an answer or you-tube for me! We also just fertilized them all with Hollytone (which is organic and a great price at Costco.)

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    2. I was going to ask the same about cutting back hydrangeas! I have never cut back so far before, just done pruning as Pinky mentions. Thanks for the detail on what you do! Lovely garden!!

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  6. Absolutely beautiful! I love the lushness of your beds.

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  7. Joan, Dan, and Ella: Isn't nature wonderful?! One of the great things about living in this area is the change of seasons; I love them all! Happy Spring, Cindy

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    1. I'm just wishing this season would hurry up and get here already! Hi to M.

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  8. Your green is coming!! I can't wait too to see everything alive and blooming again. Happy spring to you too, Joan!

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    1. I just noticed the little buds on the maples, so I think you're right Kat!

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  9. WOW!!! Your yard is beautiful. A lot of hard work has been done since you moved into your lovely home. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. a LOT of hard work.... and sweat indeed! Thank you.

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  10. Don't you just love seeing it come alive again! It renews the spirit!!

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  11. It's all so beautiful Joan, I've been following from the very beginning and you two (and Ella) have created such an absolutely lovely home...cheers!

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    1. hey Shelly, So nice to see you- its been a while. Hope all is well in beautiful WA!

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  12. I love the hope of Spring! Such a beautiful home & yard you have.

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  13. Ahh, the joys of having real seasons. It's lovely to have that change. Our garden goes from green to overgrown green with the the climate here.

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    1. Ha! Yes, when we lived in Dallas we said we had two seasons: hot and hot as hell;)

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  14. I don't think I saw the cutting garden finished or "the gate " in looks great. Right now I look out at barren gardens...I know there are hosts and white bleeding hearts out there....hope they survived the winter.

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    1. Hopefully the cutting garden will be "finished" soon;) I'm sure the hostas and bleeding hearts will pop up soon- they're both so hardy.

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  15. Joan,
    So pretty. I love before and afters. Spring is a new beginning, every single year. You have such a wonderful garden in all of the different areas.
    I hope you and family had a wonderful Easter.
    Karen

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    1. hi Karen, This was the first time I took photos of what it looks like this time of year and it was fun for us to see what it becomes too. Motivates us to continue!

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  16. Oh I hope you've give another update at the end of summer so that we can see how all the beautiful plantings have matured. Love posts like these. It must be so fulfilling to take a walk around your property and see the amazing changes.

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    1. I will. So many of the beds are still so new that this should be the year they "jump"!

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  17. So bare now! Do you have to replant or do the plants regrow after winter?

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    1. Oh gosh no! Everything is perennial and will come back. (I'm tired just thinking of having to rebuy/replant it all;)!! I do tuck in a few annuals in the front bed and have an annual corner in the courtyard in front of the lilacs, but other than that all perennials!

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  18. All just a stunningly beautiful home and garden. Both you and Dan, and Ella too of course, have created the most beautiful place in which to live. You are very talented and creative. Just gorgeous, all of it.

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    1. Thank you so much Tania, that is so nice of you to say.

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  19. Your before and after photos are a great contrast and give a lot of hope for what will come in a short while. Your gardens are really beautiful and have so many nice stone features. Have fun!

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    1. Thank you Pamela, We do love our stone:) We still have several large stone projects to finish- hopefully this year.

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  20. I have to remember to take winter before photos, this was so much fun! It's amazing how bleak it all is in the winter! Great post! Maria

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    1. Oh do Maria! Even Dan, when he saw these photos all together, said how it makes him realize what all the work we're doing right now will lead to- otherwise it's just all so bleak, like you said. With your eye for color I bet your gardens are lovely!

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  21. Love your before and after pictures. It is so easy to forget how much something has transformed or grown. Your posts always make me want to get to working on my house. Just wish there was more time, money and energy to get it all done.
    Cindy

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  22. I love all the seasons, but my very favorite is Spring, and the greening up!!! I could just stay outside all the time...though even down here in Virginia, we have dipped down into the 30's. I love the before and after, your afters are so spectacular! Happy Spring Joan!!! :) donna

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    1. Yes LC, we're still dipping in the 30's too!

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  23. I love this post Joan! If I had moved to my house in the winter I would have thought the gardens were quite desolate; little do they show in the off season what is to come in spring! Already my peonies are popping up, isn't it so exciting? Your gardens are just lovely, so green and lush in bloom!

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    1. Lisa, I have hints of peonies coming up- yes, very exciting!

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  24. It was neat to see some gardens you haven't featured yet. This post gives me hope that some of the wee baby plants I put in last year will some day fill out to be beautiful lush gardens.

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    1. They will Julia! Take photos to mark the yearly progress, you'll be glad you did!

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  25. Joan, I can not tell you how much I love everything about your blog! I have recommended it to all my friends and family. I am so appreciative that you do not have all the "sponsors" and the commercial pressure to do all the "promotions" that so many of my blogs do. I'm seriously considering eliminating them...so tired of all the hype. LOVE everything about your home and family!! Thank you so very much! Nan

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    1. Thank you Nan for sharing the blog!
      I hear what you are saying, but I guess as a blogger I understand the need/want for advertisers. I hate to disappoint, but I too am working to add some sponsors to the blog. I'll explain.... From a blogger's point of view, the time it takes to write, photograph, edit a single blog post can take HOURS of one's time (many bloggers have said it is the equivalent to having a part time job!) , so to receive a stipend at the end of the month is a much appreciated reward. The nicest thing you can do if you love a blog... any blog, and want it to continue is to "support it". A person can support their favorite blogs by leaving comments, AND by clicking on the ads on their sidebar and/or under individual posts; AND buying items through their Amazon links (if applicable, and not necessarily item featured (for example, books on my sidebar) but "any" item that is searched and purchased through a link on a blogger's site. Bloggers who have ads (as I do) get paid by the number of people who click on ads. The person does NOT have to buy anything, they just have to "click" and visit the ad's site. The price per click is based on the number of people who visit the blog, so I greatly appreciate you sharing my blog with your friends and family:) Blogging takes a LOT of time and energy and motivation can easily wane (especially after 5-1/2 years;). I often wonder how much longer I will continue to blog due to the time commitment, so the payments at the end of a month are often incentive to keep writing and sharing.
      My point in all of this is that the ads/sponsors really aren't a bad thing, but instead are a way someone can support their favorite bloggers to compensate for all the time and effort the blogger puts into writing/entertaining their readership. When I visit my favorite blogs I always take a second and visit some of their ads as I would hate for them to stop writing.

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    2. Joan, you always have such a wonderful point of view. Thank you for sharing this as I am new to the blogging world. I will now make it a point to click away when I open my favorite blogs, yours being my most favorite! Oh to have sponsors!! That would be a dream and allow me to stay at home when my youngest goes to school next year! Cheers to you! Emily

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  26. Oh, bring on the green. We so deserve it after such a tough winter.

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    1. It really has been a tough one hasn't it Katherine? You'll be moving into your new house at the perfect time of year!!

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  27. Always happy to read your articles. Thank you for sharing ...

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  28. Such patience and vision to work towards your realized dreams.
    pve

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  29. A good reminder to be patient.... here in Minnesota (near Minneapolis), we are just experiencing 'ice out' and tulips are just about 4 to 5 inches high....some daffs blooming....a looonnngggg way from actual leaves! :) Looks beautiful, love your cutting garden in particular! Rosie

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    1. oh no Rosie- y'all are even way behind us. I just noticed the little buds (which will open into leaves) on the maples, so hopefully you'll catch up soon!

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  30. What I like best about early spring is how FAST the gardens change out of their winter nakedness! Seems like things sprout up overnight, and everything turns green all of the sudden. One day, the hostas are barely breaking the surface of the soil ... next day, they are starting to unfurl. (Your garden spaces are lovely!)

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    1. That is so true Connie, overnight! I'm sure spring is beautiful with all your roses at HW gardens!

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  31. Hi Joan...as always....everything looks lovely. I do know how much work it is, as I garden, too, but it always seems to be worth it. I'm always checking in here for inspiration, so if you "see" me lurking, I'm harmless! :) Thank you for sharing your lovely home and grounds.

    Bev

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    1. Thank you Bev. I really can't tell who's here visiting or "lurking";) so no worries:) I am honored that you come here for inspiration!

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  32. Please Please Please will you come and design gardens at my house?

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    1. I will!! Last year, after finishing planting the last of the beds at the house I told Dan we needed to go into garden designing as I don't think I'm going to be able to NOT buy plants. I need an outlet for my buying and ideas:)

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  33. So beautiful and inspiring! I live in MA and have endured an endless winter, as you have, so the arrival of spring is a cause for celebration! I have a question regarding your living room bed... Can you tell me what the white flowers/bushes in the front left of the bed are? Thank you.

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    1. That little corner of the bed is planted with annuals each year. Last year (in the photo above) I mixed white impatiens, white begonias and white geraniums.
      We were in MA last weekend and I was surprised how much more green I saw there then here, we're always a week or so behind- it was exciting!

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  34. Yes it has been a very L-o-n-g winter this year and everyday the subtle little plant changes make me smile.

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    1. So true Cath. I think that is one of the many reasons we all love spring so much- it makes you stop and be truly in the moment and see all the little things that bring so much pleasure and joy!

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  35. Your grounds look absolutely beautiful!!! I can't wait to see what they look like this summer.

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  36. Hello from the West Coast of Canada! I have been enjoying your blog for a long time, have read it from the beginning and finally wanted to comment that I appreciate all the work that goes into every post that you put together. Spring has been here for quite a while here on Vancouver Island so I am happy see that the weather is finally turning for all of you on the East Coast. I love how you have camouflaged the well head on your property. We have 2 wells on our farm and one well head is right in the middle of the side lawn at the front of the yard. So now I have a good idea to incorporate it into a nearby bed. Have a great weekend, Joan.

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    1. Dan was in Portland, Oregon yesterday and he was telling me how green it was there. Love Vancouver Island- such a beautiful part of the world! Thank you for your comment- I really appreciate you leaving one. Yes, those well heads can be an eyesore at times, glad to offer an idea!

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  37. Oh my goodness, you home and gardens are stunning. I love them all. So pretty and it looks like a magazine photo shoot.

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  38. breathtaking.....beautiful !!!!!!!!

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  39. Beautiful post as always Joan! I am enjoying my Bunny Williams's book (which I was introduced to from reading your blog). Enjoy the warmer weather! Dawn

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    1. Oh, I'm so glad Dawn; it's a wonderful book, isn't it?! And the recipes are wonderful as well!

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  40. Yes, this winter took its toll on many of us but I still have hope! Your beautiful gardens will be back in all their stunning glory before you know it.
    Thanks for sharing,
    Suzanne
    Pieced Pastimes

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  41. Everything is so beautiful, Joan! I can only hope to make the beds at my new (New England) home half as beautiful! Thank you for always being an inspiration, indoors and out! --Shannon, the soon-to-be New Englander

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  42. It's all so lovely, and I can't wait to see the garden fence. It sounds like it will be beautiful

    Smiles,

    Carol

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    1. Me too Carol- I really love the idea of having a vine growing on it. There is a lot of hardscape (even just the house alone) and I think it will have a softening effect on the whole.

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  43. Does everything go dormant in winter and then in spring it all pops back up again or do you replant all the plants. I live in California so I don't know how it works where it snows.

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    1. hi Gabrielle, Yes, most of the shrubs are deciduous and the other plantings are perennials and they will all come back.

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  44. Your home and garden are just breathtaking!

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  45. Absolutely gorgeous! Thank you for sharing.
    Enjoy your time.
    Margaret
    http://www.decordesireforbeauty.com/blog.html

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  46. amazing. it would have been fun to see it all like this under snow too!! can't wait to see it full grown.

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    1. Good idea Joni, I'll take the four season pics for next year.

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  47. These pics are beautiful! And it keeps getting better with time. We have a home in rural northeastern PA and with very few exceptions, the deer eat almost everything I plant. I haven't found anything that deters them, including fences. They're favorite seem to be my hostas, they're always nibbled down to a nub. Do you have any issues with deer where you live?

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    1. Knock on wood...... we don't. We do have deer, but they seem to stay in the woods at the edge of the meadow. I've had issues with rabbits eating hostas at the beginning of the season. In another post several readers mentions a spray product that creates a deer fence that they had really good luck with.

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  48. Beautiful transformations!!! I really love the hardscaping on your property - especially all the granite and stonework. Hope your garden is greening up. We just came home from Maine, and it was still chilly there. xo

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    1. Still chilly here to Loi. We're greening up, but slowly;)

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  49. Oh yes! The act of becoming........all so beautiful!

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  50. It's inspiring to see where you started and what you've created. I'm at work getting the spring garden tidy and replanted where needed. Lots of work, but the rewards are so worth it.
    Thanks for sharing your inspiration.

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    1. The rewards really are so worth it aren't they Sarah?! Love gardening!

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  51. Thanks for the reminder! Green is a little slow in coming this year. I keep reminding myself that come June, it will be difficult to remember what early spring looked like in New Hampshire.

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    1. Hope it's all green in your part of NH Kate!

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  52. But it's taking sooooo long! :) I looked at photos of my yard last year on April 20th, everything in full bloom, beautiful color...we aren't there yet still. Your photos gave me a little dose of patience I needed-we will see green again right?

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    1. Hope you are now as green as we are Sarah! It happened overnight and is so amazing.

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  53. I just love looking at your wonderful house!

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  54. Joan, I absolutely love your home and garden. you are amazing. I live in upstate NY and STRUGGLE with what to plant outside our newly renovated old farmhouse ;). with you being in NH, I think I can steal your ideas!! what else do you have planted along with all your hosta and hydrangeas? (specifically in that picture to the side of your double porches?) I am desperate for some help in choosing perennials for the northeast!!!!!! thanks xo eileen

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    1. hi Eileen, First, it's important to note that this bed gets a little morning sun, but is essentially a shade bed. Knowing what kind of light your beds get is so important.
      Per my folder and garden tags I have planted in this bed: Peach Blossom Astilbe, Purple Palace Coral Bells, Christmas ferns, Kathy White Azalea, Summer Snowflake Viburnum, Maiden Grass,and a Chicagoland Green Boxwood. I also add impatiens in the summer. Hope this helps!

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  55. You are one of my inspirations as we remodel, add on and love our 1850s Texas Farmhouse on the creek. I've mentioned you in my blog before. Www.buildingsoutherncharm.blogspot.com

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  56. Everything is just beautiful.

    Would love to see an update on your arch in your courtyard -- are the vines climbing as planned?

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  57. Hi Joan, just wondering if your exterior white trim paint is the same color & finish as the exterior siding. I'm hoping to make paint choices for our new home and can't decide on the exterior finish. Thanks!

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