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
Warmth and pretty, pretty flowers!
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!
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:
Pear basil sipper
Ginger beer mojitos
Strawberry lemonade — a classic!
Blueberry mint lemonade
And these booze-filled cocktails also look good. I can just omit the booze and they’ll taste more-or-less the same, right!?
Peach Mango Pineapple White Sangria
Strawberry and peach sangria
Strawberry and rhubarb sangria
Cheers to the long weekend and our expected Seattle sun!
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!
With the days getting longer and warmer, I’ve scoured the internet for some ideas to help spring shine inside and out.
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
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!
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
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
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, garlic bulbs and carrots!
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 photo: stocking up on soil, plants and seeds
The boxes are Brandon-sized!
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!
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
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
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
And…that’s it. Bulbs are so easy!
Looking forward to the spring and all of our new flowers!
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
- 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…)
- 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
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.
Just a few weeks ago I planted some spring bulbs and guess what? They’re already coming up!
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
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!
Here’s a wide shot of the fern garden…and the cats. I love spring.
Cats in the fern garden!
Our camellia has already returned to full glory. Here’s the evidence:
The warm, sunny weather combined with intermittent rain have been great for the garden. Check back for more garden updates!
We tried to celebrate Brandon’s spring break from school this week, but circumstances beyond our control made that less of a reality. We did use “spring break” as our theme of the week for dinners, but the rest, relaxation and sun weren’t in our cards this week. But man, doesn’t that sound nice? I can almost see/smell/hear the sounds of the waves now…
Since I don’t have the time to travel to a fancy tropical location, I scoured the interwebs (thank you, Pinterest) for some things that get me in the mood for spring, sun and relaxation. Enjoy!
Hawaii: Yes, please
Beach: yes, please
Cocktails? Yes, please.
Strawberry tequila lemonade: yes, please
Kiwi blueberry mojitos: yes, please
Adult Capri Suns (vodka + lemonade): yes, please
And to drink all of this safely by the pool?
Plastic wine glasses: yes, please
Some tropical-inspired foods? Yes, please.
Monkeying around with lots of tropical fruits
Grilled avocado salsa: yes, please
Citrus-y cilantro shrimp: yes, please
Vietnamese summer roll salad: yes, please
It seems as though February showers brought March showers and March showers will likely bring more April showers and then possibly we’ll get some May flowers. In between all of those Seattle showers, spring has sprung on Megan’s Island.
Little buds are here! It’s SPRING!
The plants are still alive! Yay!
I took advantage of a break in the rain last weekend (seriously, it’s been so rainy here; halfway through the month we had already received more than three times the amount of rain we usually get in the entire month of March!) and planted some bulbs that I found at Costco.
Shade garden bulbs from Costco
I like to focus most of my gardening time on the backyard and this project was no exception. Our garden gets very little sun, so I’ve learned to limit myself to shade-specific plants. I finally learned how to ‘plant right for my site‘ and have killed way fewer plants since.
I bought the perennial shade lovers bulb mix and scoped out where I was going to plant my new plants. Thankfully, I was able to navigate the garden very well because of some forward thinking I did last November and my well-placed golf tees.
I planted Ostrich Fern bulbs in our fern garden and “the nothing” / “grotto” (more on that later) and Bressingham Blue Hosta bulbs in the hosta garden (are you sensing a garden grouping theme yet?) and pink Federsee Astilbe bulbs throughout the garden, mainly in the pots.
I guess the rain is a good thing, since its helping the bulbs grow roots and grow into tall, beautiful plants. More on that once I see some actual growth.
Megan’s Island fern and hosta gardens. Can you see the white golf tees?