Friday, May 1, 2015

April Showers Bring May Flowers: Springy Flower Wreath, My New Favorite Down Time Activity, and What's Popping up in our Gardens!

Hi, friends! It's been a little while since I was blogging regularly- sorry it's been so long! I'm aiming to get back into a more regular schedule, now that my grad school courses are finished for now. Let's catch up on a few things- some door decor, my new favorite wind-down activity, and a spring gardens update.

I was looking for something colorful and spring-like to replace the wintery wreath we had hanging on the inside of our front door. This isn't a place that I used to hang something, but I found a wreath at a Target this winter, on clearance, that I couldn't resist, and this was the best spot for it.

Now that it's time to really clear out anything with a hint of winter (the snow has finally all melted!), I knew I wanted to replace it with something more coloful, and that could last through the summer.

Last weekend, I took advantage of an expiring Teacher Appreciation coupon at JoAnn Fabrics, and picked up a grapevine wreath and some faux flowers to whip up a quick door decoration.

The sunflower I bought came with some leaves, but since you wouldn't have been able to see them when the flower was tucked into the wreath, I took them off and attached them to the wreath using some wire.

I knew I would want some of the wispy forsythia on the sides, and the bigger flowers along the bottom, so I just worked from the center and added on to both sides, alternating flowers, so things stayed even. I chose not to glue anything in, so I can rearrange later if I'd like, and since the flowers all had wire stems or clips attached, it was easy to just tuck flowers in or clip them on where I wanted, and then adjust as needed. If you wanted, you could hot glue things in place.

A few weeks ago, I had read something about coloring books for adults being a new trend, that promoted relaxation and a screen-free downtime activity. I love to color, loved the pretty floral coloring books available, and knew I had to give this a try. I ordered a flowers coloring book and a 50 pack of colored pencils on Amazon just in time for April vacation, and got right to work! 

You can choose to color in the book, or photocopy the pages, so you can do them more than once. I've finished my first page- it took me a few days, sitting down for a few minutes here and there, and I love the result! 

Coloring is definitely relaxing, and I like that it's something other than staring at the TV or my iPhone, which I'll admit, typically are included in my down time, when I'm trying to unwind. If this is something that sparks your interest, I definitely recommend giving it a try! 

We finally have some action going on in our gardens! We have several garden beds around our yard, and each have different, mostly flowering plants, in them. The crocuses always go first, both purple and white. 

I love the way they look right before they're going to bloom, and then also when they're open and soaking up the sun! I wish that they lasted longer. 

Usually next up are the daffodils. While driving for the past couple of weeks, I have noticed that most people's daffodils are already in full bloom, and have been, but ours are just starting to show their yellow in the last two days. We usually have both creamy light yellow and then bright yellow blooms. This photo from last year is one of my favorites!

The succulent leaves of our sedums are coming up, catching raindrops, and getting bigger each day. I need to go out and snip off the dead flower stalks and blooms! 

We also have several other plants coming up, like peonies, bleeding heart, columbine, tulips, daylilies, irises, lambs ear, and a few other things that I can't identify. Once they are up and blooming, if I still have no idea, I'll post a picture here and ask for opinions! We have planted so much, and so many things were already planted when we moved in, that I always am surprised by a few things each year.

We have a new vegetable garden laid out, with much more space. Instead of the two small raised beds, we decided to create an in-ground bed, and Rich did a fantastic job getting it all ready to go! We have cherry tomatoes, herbs, beets, tons of rainbow carrots, beans, lettuce, and a few others sprouting from seeds and waiting to get planted. 

What does spring look like where you are? Is anything in bloom yet, or just poking up out of the ground? Do you, too, have "mystery" plants, or is that just me?

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