Buffalo Botanical Gardens

As we continue to adjust to the city of never-ending winter, I mean, Buffalo, we went on a mission to find spring a few weeks ago.

We didn’t have to go far, just 30 minutes south from our house, to find the Buffalo Botanical Gardens.

Buffalo Botanical Gardens

We found spring!

Stopping to smell the flowers

Cheese!

Warmth and pretty, pretty flowers!

Family photo!

To be fair, this post was drafted last weekend during our freezing rain bout, which was then followed by our first 70 degree day in exactly six months, and there is snow in the forecast tomorrow!

I’ve been told that it has snowed plenty of times in May here, so I’m not putting away my snow clothes quite yet, but I thoroughly enjoyed this week’s dose of vitamin D!

 

 

 

 

 

{Gone Pinning} Memorial Day mocktails

GonePinning

I’m more than halfway through my pregnancy and as the weather warms up, I want nothing more than a refreshing cocktail. While I know that I CAN drink during pregnancy, I’m opting against it for the most part. I’ve had a few sips of wine but I’ll be sticking to the mocktails this weekend and into the summer months.

Here are some of the delicious-looking mocktails I’ve found Pinterest:

Blackberry fauxjito

Blackberry fauxjito

Pear basil sipper 

Pear basil sipper

Ginger beer mojitos 

Ginger beer mojitos

Strawberry lemonade -- a classic!

Strawberry lemonade — a classic!

Blueberry mint lemonade

Blueberry mint lemonade

Dark invader

Dark invader

And these booze-filled cocktails also look good. I can just omit the booze and they’ll taste more-or-less the same, right!?

Blackberry margarita

Blackberry margarita

Peach Mango Pineapple White Sangria 

Peach Mango Pineapple White Sangria

Strawberry and peach sangria

Strawberry and peach sangria

Sstrawberry and rhubarb sangria

Strawberry and rhubarb sangria

Cheers to the long weekend and our expected Seattle sun! 

Spring has sprung {2015}

It’s here! It’s here! Happy spring to you!

Here on Megan’s Island and in the Pacific Northwest, we never really saw a winter (sorry to rub it in, east coast) so this spring transition isn’t as big as it is some years.

Look, this Magnolia tree is almost done with this round of blooming! It’s been spring for SO long here!

It's raining flowers on Megan's Island!

It’s raining flowers on Megan’s Island!

With the days getting longer and warmer, I’ve scoured the internet for some ideas to help spring shine inside and out.

Spring!

Spring!

Tulip wreath 

Tulip wreath

Flower cookie bowls

Flower cookie bowls

So many other great things about spring: Easter, baseball, tulips, the list goes on!

Here are some more signs of spring in our yard!

Signs of spring in the backyard

Signs of spring in the backyard

Flowers for days!!

Flowers for days!!

For all of my finds, visit my “Sunshine-y days” Pinterest Board! And get out there and enjoy the warm sun-showers!

New planter boxes!

Or are they raised beds? I don’t really know the difference. What I do know, however, is that I love them!

Our new planter boxes/raised beds

Our new planter boxes/raised beds

I’ve been thinking about some iteration of these boxes for the past couple of years and other things (like the pizza oven) have taken priority… until now. Brandon and I took advantage of our early spring weather and the leftover cedar from the front fence to build these beauties.

Planting beet seeds

Planting beet seeds

Each box is 4′ long x 2.5′ wide and is planted with all sorts of goodies: raspberries, strawberries, garlic bulbs, kale, carrots, snap peas, peppers, beets, and a couple of lettuces. (Letti?)

Raised bed #1: Raspberries, strawberries, kale, beets, garlic bulbs and carrots!

Raised bed #1: Raspberries, strawberries, kale, garlic bulbs and carrots!

Raised bed #2: Lettuces, sweet peppers, snap peas, and beets

Raised bed #2: Lettuces, sweet peppers, snap peas, and beets

Here are some of the in-progress photos for your enjoyment:

Before shot of our new garden area

Before shot of our new garden area

Before photo: stocking up on soil, plants and seeds

Before photo: stocking up on soil, plants and seeds

Box construction

Box construction

The boxes are Brandon-sized!

The boxes are Brandon-sized!

Lightweight!

Lightweight!

Proud of his work!

Proud of his work!

Is it spring in your neck of the woods? Did you take advantage of the nice weather? Tell me all about it!

Spring bulbs

It’s possible we had our last warm day of the year this past weekend — it was 75 degrees on Sunday! — and I took advantage of it by spending some quality time in the garden.

A couple of weeks ago I spotted some Hyacinthus bulbs at Costco for a reasonable $15. There were 28 bulbs in the pack, far too many for us to use, so we split them with my parents. They had purchased a different pack of bulbs and split those with us. We’re going to have so many flowers come spring!

My first time planting bulbs

My first time planting bulbs

Using my genius idea from last year, I found my leftover golf tees and painted the tips purple. Once everything dies back for the winter, these will help me know where to look for new growth. I used a $0.59 bottle of acrylic paint that I had on-hand (it’s Husky purple!) and painted the tops. They dried within a couple of hours.

Purple bulb markers

Purple bulb markers

Once the paint on the tees was dry, it was time to get to planting! I dug my holes per the specifications and covered them back up with dirt.

Bulbs = planted

Bulbs = planted

And...that's it. Bulbs are so easy!

And…that’s it. Bulbs are so easy!

Looking forward to the spring and all of our new flowers!

Looking forward to the spring and all of our new flowers!

Spring to-do list

The combination of multiple 70+ degree days and record-breaking rain has done a very positive number on our garden. We’ve been maintaining everything pretty well and over the weekend I spent some time cleaning up and taking inventory of what’s next on the to do list. In honor of my favorite Young House Love bloggers, my very own Listy McListerson…

Needed: More moss ground cover

Needed: More moss ground cover

Front yard

  • Clean, stain and seal our bench in the front courtyard
  • Clean and stain fence
  • Drill drainage holes in the front retaining wall
  • Exchange busted walkway lighting for ones that work (Thanks, Lowe’s. Not.)
  • Get a new hose (Maybe one of those shrink-until-they’re-full-of-water fabric hoses?)
  • Import more moss for ground cover
  • Even out the concrete slabs
  • Think about replanting the plants along the walkway
  • Fix light above garage
  • New front door mat (Our Pinterest project gone wrong isn’t cutting it anymore…)

Side yard

  • Remove grass and weeds
  • Build and plant raised beds (It’s time to grow our own kale… and tomatoes, squash, and raspberries, among others…)
  • Drill drainage holes in the wine barrel planters (side and back yards)
Side yard: before

Side yard: before

Back yard

We're so close to finishing our pizza oven!

We’re so close to finishing our pizza oven!

  • Pizza oven! Pizza oven! Pizza oven! We’re so close to getting it done and will this spring!
  • Make a wine barrel cocktail table (on wheels, with a plexiglass tabletop) for the deck
  • Build lower deck bench seat (Ideas here)
  • Have landscaper out to trim the hedges, get rid of the blackberry on the tree

Just a small little list, right? I’m not promising that this is all going to get done this year, but now that I have a list I’ll have more direction for how to proceed. We have a three-day weekend coming up soon. Maybe we’ll tackle this list then.

Spring has sprung

Just a few weeks ago I planted some spring bulbs and guess what? They’re already coming up!

Sprouting astilbe

Sprouting astilbe

Before too long they’ll be flowering up a storm. I’ve also been really impressed with our ferns. We have planted 19 varieties of ferns in the backyard in the past year and I’m happy to report that they’re coming back! We’ve had great luck/green-thumb-skill with most all of them except for a sword fern that we might have overly cut back. (Possibly thanks for nothing, Cisco.)

Ferns: returning! Love me some fiddleheads

Ferns: returning! Love me some fiddleheads

 

This is a Japanese Painted Fern that we thought was a goner, having been dug up by squirrels. BUT: We've got fiddle heads

Japanese painted fern

This is a Japanese Painted Fern that we thought was a goner, having been dug up by squirrels. BUT: We’ve got fiddle heads!

More fiddleheads

More fiddleheads

Camellia blooms

Here’s a wide shot of the fern garden…and the cats. I love spring.

Cats in the fern garden!

Cats in the fern garden!

Our camellia has already returned to full glory.  Here’s the evidence:

Camellia blooms

Camellia blooms

The warm, sunny weather combined with intermittent rain have been great for the garden. Check back for more garden updates!