Tag Archives: flowers

Spring Love

Fall has just about always been my favorite season. I love the changing leaves (even though that happens pretty late here in San Antonio), wearing cute layers, cozy evenings with hot chocolate, forcing Wrigley into his Christmas sweater. But over the last couple of years, Spring has really been giving Fall a run for its money as my favorite season. Warmer evenings, longer days, dinners outside, fresh flowers from our garden, pastel colored shorts, bluebonnets blooming along the side of the highway, Fiesta season, I just can’t get enough of it!

This Spring is extra special because it marks the first time since we graduated from Trinity that Chip is not studying for the CFA, so it’s been a lot of fun getting to share this season for the first time in four years. We’ve already planted some new vegetables and flowers in our garden and so far, they’re all growing pretty well. Chip’s dedicated himself to our grass and it’s slowly getting more and more green and plush, so Wrigley has loved getting some Vitamin D outside and games of frisbee. We recently got some patio furniture from Ikea and I’ve forced kindly asked Chip to eat outside with me as much as possible. It’s wonderful. Spring, please feel free to stick around as long as possible.

New roses

New roses

New blooms from the rose bush we planted last spring

New blooms from the rose bush we planted last spring

Glad our gerbera daisies survived the winter

Glad our gerbera daisies survived the winter

First signs of a baby squash

First signs of a baby squash

Tomatoes and basil - can you say pizza night?

Tomatoes and basil – can you say pizza night?

Flower side of the garden

Flower side of the garden

Still need to plant more vegetables and herbs

Still need to plant more vegetables and herbs

Need a low maintenance plant? Get geraniums.

Need a low maintenance plant? Get geraniums.

Little bit of greenery for our table

Little bit of greenery for our table

Wrigley loves Spring, too

Wrigley loves Spring, too

What a goof

What a goof

Enjoying the bluebonnets with the pup last week

Enjoying the bluebonnets with the pup last week

Hope you’re all getting wonderful weather, too. If you are, you better be taking advantage of it before summer kicks in and we all run back inside!

Nantucket: The land of flowers

This is it, the final post on our trip to Nantucket (if you missed the others, they’re here, here, and here). One thing that I wasn’t expecting prior to our trip to this little island was the amount of vegetation we would see. In hindsight, I really shouldn’t have been surprised; Nantucket is so cute that even their weeds and overgrown fields are adorable. If only that worked here in San Antonio…

I loved walking around Nantucket and looking at all of the flowers, especially the hydrangeas which are one of my favorites. Sadly those don’t survive here in SA (trust me, I’ve tried twice and failed twice), so I couldn’t stop taking pictures of all the hydrangeas everywhere. All these flowers also gave me the opportunity to test out our new Canon Rebel camera! Note: I still have a lot to learn.

Thanks, Nantucket, for a great trip!

Pretty in pink

Pretty in pink

If only these grew in SA, too

If only these grew in SA, too

Hydrangeas everywhere

Hydrangeas everywhere

Can this be my garden?

Can this be my garden?

This one would be fine, too.

This one would be fine, too.

The roses were in full bloom, too

The roses were in full bloom, too

More roses

More roses

Front yard flowers, round two

For the most part, Chip and I have put most of our yard work efforts in the backyard. We spend way more time out in the back so naturally that’s where we decided to focus our first few projects (getting grass put in, staining the fence, planting a garden). But we still talked a bit about the work we wanted done in the front yard and had only done one project there so far. We tried planting flowers once before around our big tree, but those have since died… we (mainly me…) didn’t do a good job keeping up with the weeds that had originally covered that area and within a couple of months, they had reclaimed that base for themselves. We have plans to pull those suckers out again and then cover that section with newspaper before laying down some nice mulch, but we haven’t made that little project a priority yet. Instead, a lot of our conversations had turned to the actual flowerbeds we have in our front yard. We had cleaned out one side months ago and tried planting some blue plumbagos, but I accidentally loved them too much and overwatered those poor plants… oops. The other flower bed had two large green bushes that we just didn’t like at all and had no intentions to keep. So over the course of a couple of weeks, Chip did some serious work digging out all those plants and starting to shovel out some of the bad clay dirt we get here in San Antonio. All of that early prep work made it much easier for us once we actually got started on these two flower beds over Labor Day weekend (thanks, Chip!).

We both had a four day weekend from work for the Labor Day holiday, so we got that Friday off to an early start with a trip out to Milberger Nursery. If you live in San Antonio and haven’t been there yet, you really should go check it out. I was a little overwhelmed the first time we went there, but now really appreciate the huge variety of plants, flowers, grass, dirt/compost and anything else outdoor related that you can think of that they have there.

Pretty flowers at Milberger’s

We had a pretty good idea of some of the flowers we wanted, but we still walked around the entire property at Milberger just to make sure we knew what all our options were for some easy flowers. The staff there was really helpful and gave us some tips on what other plants we should include so we would have green in our front yard year-round. We also bought some Texas landscaping books that the ladies working the cash registar highly recommended (hey, I need all the help I can get!).

Loading up the truck

Must read these books!

Here’s what the flower beds looked like when we got to work on Friday: not pretty.

Empty and ready for flowers

Overwatered and flower-less plumbagos

Now that we’ve had a few rounds of yard work projects, we’ve become a little more experienced in the planting process. Our official steps are:

1. Shovel out a good chunk of the clay and rocky dirt. We did several wheel barrel worths for each section and then brought in an organic topsoil/compost mix.

2. Rake out the new topsoil/compost mix to level out the area.

Raking the dirt

3. Space out the plants (probably my favorite step).

4. Plant! This part has gotten pretty fast for us as Chip has become a pro at digging holes for all my plants :)

One side with the newly planted flowers

Other side!

5. Water, water, water. We were advised by the staff at Milberger to give these plants a really good soak the day of planting and then wait a couple of days before watering again. These are supposed to be low-maintenance flowers, so hopefully we will only need to water 2-3 times a week.

We were able to add mulch to the flower beds later at the end of Labor Day weekend and were really happy with how it all looked. They’ve lost some of their blooms since then, but I have faith that they’ll be fine (definitely getting enough water with all this rain!). We’re still hoping to add a nice stone border around these flower beds, so hopefully that will be one of our next projects!

Mom’s visit to San Antonio!

Someday, my blog posts won’t be so delayed. Not sure when that day will be, so in the meantime I guess my posts will be a couple of weeks behind!

Chip went to a CFA bootcamp at Creighton two weeks ago in preparation for his exam in June. He would be gone from Wednesday afternoon to Monday morning, so my mom came to visit me so I wouldn’t be alone those days (she’s a good Hispanic mom!). I hadn’t seen my mom since March so I was really looking forward to getting four days together.

My mom flew in on Wednesday evening and we had been planning to go to San Marcos on Thursday from some quality mother-daughter time shopping (yes, my Type A mother and I planned out our itinerary in advance for the four days she would be here). Unfortunately, the weather that Thursday was downright awful. There was heavy rain in the morning (which didn’t stop us from going to Anthropologie!), but the storm got pretty intense when we were getting ready to head up to San Marcos. We checked the weather out on our phones and since it looked the storm would be traveling with us towards Austin, we decided to postpone our trip until Friday. We then decided shift some things around in our weekend itinerary and go do some shopping at Home Goods for a few really cute planting pots to use later in the weekend (Saturday, per our schedule).

Planting pots from Home Goods!

Waiting to go to San Marcos on Friday was a very smart decision. The weather couldn’t have been any more different than it had been the previous 24 hours! Whereas Thursday had heavy rain, thunder and lightning, Friday was sunny and gorgeous (and a little humid… oh, well). We got to San Marcos shortly after all the stores opened so we were spared from all of the usual madness and traffic that comes with shopping at the outlets. My mom and I enjoy a good bargain, so we had a great time going to a lot of the stores there. One store we went to for the first time was Tory Burch. They had some awesome stuff and my mom was able to get some really cute outfits!

Post Tory Burch shopping

Stocking up at Lowe’s

After spending most of the day in San Marcos, we made our way back to San Antonio and stopped at one of my favorite stores: Lowe’s! My mom also really enjoys gardening, so we had planned to do a little bit of flower planting together while she was in town. So after stocking up on flowers, succulents, potting soil and mulch, we made our way back home to unload my car from the day’s purchases. Once my car had been emptied out, we took a break to relax and make some yummy fish tacos for dinner (mom, you better make these for dad now! :)). After we ate and rested with the dogs for a bit, it was planting time. We chose to put the pots from Home Goods along the side of the patio where we have a small strip of soil. I had originally planted some blue plumbagos here, but dear Wrigley destroyed them (twice because I was foolish enough to try again) while wrestling with Duke. We figured pots would be more dog-proof, and by figured I mean hoped.

The dogs checking out my mom’s planting skills

Let me tell you, I think I prefer planting flowers in pots than in the actual ground… it’s so much easier! It really felt like we were done in no time at all since we didn’t have any big holes to dig through the rocky Texas soil. Here’s what our finished project looks like:

Ta-da!

I am so excited about how this turned out. It really gives our backyard some personality and I love how it filled out this space. And thankfully, Wrigley hasn’t found a way to ruin these flowers! I hope I haven’t spoken too soon… once we got these flowers finished, it was time to get to the succulents. I knew I wanted succulents in our garden area, but had originally been thinking about making a wreath with them. However, that plan was thrown out the window once I saw this cute vegetable planter pot at Home Goods.

Working on the potted succulents

Love it.

Now, my mom and I don’t always have the best depth or quantity perception (just ask my dad about it!). So we accidentally bought too many succulents for the pot pictured above. Instead of returning the succulents we didn’t use, we decided to get a cute hanging basket to put the rest in! So back to Lowe’s we went for this little extra project.

Leftover succulents

On Saturday evening, we went to Picknikins for dinner. We had originally chosen this place because they are dog friendly and we thought it would be a lot of fun to take Wrigley and Duke with us. Unfortunately, poor Duke is still pretty scared of cars and there was no way we could get him in without giving him a panic attack. So we left the dogs to enjoy the backyard while we went out to dinner. We had a great time talking over dinner with wine and sangria (my mom even almost finished her glass of wine! :)).

Wine and sangria with dinner

Sunday was Mother’s Day and my mom’s last full day in town. I was so grateful that I would get to spend this special day with my mom. I sadly can’t remember the last time I got to be with my mom on Mother’s Day as it almost always fell before finals were over at Trinity. Because of this, I really wanted to have a special brunch with my mom. After brainstorming some places, I surprised my mom and made reservations at the Plaza Club. I knew my mom would absolutely love this since this is where Chip and I had our wedding reception. It was a bit surreal being back at the Plaza Club and I definitely caught my mom getting a little emotional a couple of times!

Brunch at the Plaza Club

Our view of downtown at brunch

Happy Mother’s Day!

Our brunch was absolutely delicious. It was probably the best tasting buffet I’ve ever had! We had mimosas and really tasty shrimp, ceviche, caprese salad, crepes, Texas shaped waffles and more… we definitely left feeling very full! We spent the rest of Sunday relaxing and making sure everything would fit back in my mom’s suitcase (that shopping trip to San Marcos made it a little tricky!).

I am so thankful for the time I got to spend with my mom. It’s probably the most consistent amount of time we’ve had with each other since before the wedding and the days together just flew by. Looking forward to the next time I’ll get to see her and my dad!

Garden flowers

Check it out, another yard work related post! haha in all seriousness though, Chip and I have had a great time working together outside on these projects and trying to make our home more and more special. As I mentioned in my last post, we were able to get our vegetable garden planted a couple of weeks ago. Next on the list was getting the flowers planted on the other side of our garden area. So with last weekend upon us, I went to Lowe’s Friday afternoon (our first of four trips there for the weekend) and stocked up on flowers, including different gerber daisies, gardenias, hydrangeas, petunias, marigolds and lavender along with some little white flowers I can’t remember the name of.

We started tilling Friday afternoon, but since we were doing it by hand this time instead of using the awesome, big rented tiller, it took a bit longer than we had anticipated. We also had to be careful since we had a few sprinkler pipes on this side of the garden that we had to keep an eye on. And yes, we did hit one and poor Chip spent a significant part of Friday afternoon trying to fix it (I was able to stain more of the fence during this time since I have absolutely no knowledge on sprinkler systems). Luckily it was all sorted out by mid-day Saturday, so we could get back to tilling and getting the clay dirt out. Then it was on to adding in good garden topsoil and compost, re-tilling and then planting! We still have a little more work to do in this garden, but I think the bulk has been completed. We’re hoping to stain the garden fence in the next couple of weekends as well as work on the center pathway and get some lighting out here. We’re so excited to see how it will all look when the work is completely done! I think we’ll also enjoy having a weekend free to relax more than we have been lately… :)

Pesky sprinkler pipes...

Back to tilling!

My favorite part of yard work - mapping out the plants!

Love the sunny marigolds

So excited Lowe's had hot pink gerber daisies

Flowers planted!

Veggies growing well so far!

Front yard flowers

Nothing says spring like fresh flowers, right? I couldn’t wait for spring this year and had been excited for Chip and I to do some flower planting for the first time. While we initially thought my backyard garden would be our first green thumb project, it got put on hold for a bit until we had a small fence built to block it off from the dogs (can’t have them stealing my future tomatoes!). So in the meantime, we turned our attention to our front yard. We really didn’t have much of a vision when we first started. All we knew was that we didn’t really like the way it looked originally, so anything should, in theory, look better. We spent a little bit of time driving around neighborhoods in Alamo Heights for inspiration before heading over to Milberger Nursery a few weekends ago and stocking up on little flowers that we would plant around the oak tree in our front yard. Now when we first moved in, our neighbor kindly warned us that nothing would ever grow around this oak tree except for weeds and that it was bound to kill anything we tried – grass, flowers, plants, etc. Luckily this hasn’t been true!

Oak tree... before

The first thing we had to do for this flower project was to pull out all of these little weed things that were growing around the tree. It doesn’t seem like much work, but let me tell you those suckers really put up a good fight. I’m pretty sure I would have thrown in the towel and let them win if Chip hadn’t been so determined! I also have a bit of an expectations problem and after seeing how quickly my parents would de-weed our yard growing up, I was not happy that this small area took us about two days to empty out. We went through several rounds with these weeds, first pulling up the ones that would come out somewhat easily. Then we had to use a small pick to dig the others out, exposing some very deep roots we weren’t expecting. These weeds may be small, but most had roots that would extend out a good six inches or so that we would just have to hack off with a small garden axe.

So... many.... weeds!

Getting closer!

Our supervisors :)

Once we eventually cleared out the area under the tree and had tilled the soil with organic compost, it was finally time to start planting these flowers. While at Milberger’s earlier that day, we realized that impatiens were our best bet for this area since they are pretty shade tolerant (we did make the rookie mistake of just picking pretty flowers at first before an employee kindly let us know that we were wasting our money not getting shade resistant flowers to plant under a tree….). We didn’t buy enough flowers that day to fill the whole area, so the following weekend had us over at Lowe’s, stocking up on more flowers and adding zinnias to our mix.

Planting flowers for the first time in my life

More flowers...

Flowers!

Now, of course I was a little worried that these small flowers would slowly (or not so slowly) die off. They were the least expensive flowers we saw at both stores, so I subconsciously thought this meant these flowers would be weak and that all this work would be for nothing. Luckily these flowers have proven to be heartier than I had expected (except for the zinnias, those are struggling a bit…). Anyway, here’s what the area looks like now a few weeks later!

Flowers in bloom!

I’m really surprised with how full those little impatiens are getting. I’m thinking of take most of the zinnias out and just putting more impatiens in, but it’s not at the top of our yard work to-do list :)

Now while I had been planting these flowers, Chip was clearing out one of the flower beds in front of the house. We will eventually get rid of all of the bushes in the front yard and replace with flowers, but we haven’t finished this yet.

Chip clearing out the old plants

For now, we’ve planted two small hydrangeas and two blue plumbagos in this flowerbed. These are actually two of my favorite flowers and it means so much to me that Chip has given me complete free reign to plant whatever I like around our home. I’ve always loved how full hydrangeas are and was very happy to see them on sale at Lowe’s a few weekends ago. We’re hoping they’ll get full/big enough so I can have fresh-cut hydrangeas in vases inside :) As for the blue plumbagos, these are flowers that I’m pretty emotionally attached to. We had them in our backyard growing up and my beloved childhood dog, Scottie, loved to lay in these flowers on hot Tucson afternoons. Because he was a sheltie, those little flowers would get caught in his hair so we always knew when he had been resting near my mom’s flowers. We had to put Scottie down when I was 17 and buried his ashes by his beloved plumbago bushes, so I always knew that these would be flowers I would want in my own home as an adult. Luckily Chip agrees that they’re pretty, so they are now part of our front yard :) Showing once again that we are gardening rookies, we didn’t measure the area of the flower bed before we bought these hydrangeas and plumbagos, so half of it is still empty… haha I’m hoping we’ll fill it up in the next week or so, but in the meantime here’s a quick picture of our blooming flowers.

Hydrangeas and Blue Plumbagos!

My boys :)

Taking a break with Wrigley and Duke

Blast from the past - Alex and I with our childhood dogs Daisy and Scottie