The Ancestry Wall

A few years ago, I got the idea of creating a gallery wall with old photos of my kids’ grandparents, great-grandparents and even great-great grandparents. I slowly began collecting old photos and various frames, referencing gallery walls on Pinterest for inspiration. Originally, all of this was going on a blank vertical space at the end of our staircase until I realized… it wouldn’t fit!

Scratch Plan A.

The professionals suggest that you lay it out ahead of time and create a paper template to stick to the wall – and use laser pointers for accurate alignment. I kept shuffling frames in the den floor over the course of a couple of weeks. (Silly, I know.) My son walked in and said, “Mommy, why are you thinking about this so much? Just put them on the wall.”


So I walked over to the Plan B wall – the hallway off the kitchen and hung the picture of my grandfather with his teammates on the cotton mill village men’s baseball team. Then I picked up frames and hung them up one by one, quickly and without over-thinking it.

I love how it turned out!

There’s a story behind every picture and now the kids will have a visual to go along with stories about their great-grandfather Everett who was one of 9 boys, and their great-grandfather Harold who went to work in a cotton mill when he was 9 years old…

The wall also means my great-aunt Mattie and her husband Lonnie will be remembered even though they never had children to pass along their names or DNA.

I am in love with this wall.


This Month in the Yard: June

I was just looking back at the pictures I took around the yard in early May – and – wow! It’s amazing how much everything has grown in 6 weeks! We’ve had a very rainy Spring and Mother Nature has worked her magic…

First, we need to discuss my new “happy place”. I am loving the side porch/pergola! We stained it since cedar otherwise grays over time. The plants are filling in nicely so that the space has a little privacy.

This picture was taken in the morning sun and it’s still pretty shady – it’s all shade by afternoon.

This picture is two weeks old because the Asiatic Lillies came out in mid/late May and did everything they were going to do in two weeks – now they’re gone. Bummer! They were pretty though.

The purple Day Lillies emerged as the Asiatic Lillies went away, which was a nice trade-off. My Gladiolus bulbs are popping up just behind the Day Lillies.

I am amazed every year at how fast these shade loving coleus grow!

The Hydrangea has a bloom! Remember last year it never bloomed at all!

I am really pleased with the flowers off the back patio – they are FINALLY filling in! This is the third summer for what I had envisioned to be Southern Living lushness. Last year was pathetic. This year brings great hope!

The Purple Coneflowers are gigantic! And they’ve spread since last year. I hope they take over!

Purple Coneflowers

More purple Day Lillies back here as well as two varieties of Cana Lillies in pots and in the ground (an experiment with bulbs).

Here’s a close up of a Day Lilly. I love the purple and yellow combo!

Bryan’s Blueberry bushes are loaded up this year!

Quick shot of all the trees which seem to be happy and green this year… Of course, it’s not August!

The Lantana is loving this spot by the creek which gets speckled sunlight.

My sister-in-law, Kathryn, gave me this gorgeous Calla Lilly for my birthday!

The Magnolia has a couple of blooms! It sure is growing s-l-o-w-l-y but gets prettier each year. It still looks more like a shrub than a tree.

Here’s what isn’t growing… The Trumpet Vine (bulb) that I’d intended to scale the playhouse appears to be dead. Some of the bulbs I planted off the back patio, in some pots, and in a side bed haven’t sprouted. I am done with bulbs. The Cana Lillies are slowly, slowly emerging as are the Gladiolus – all bulbs. The Flowering Cherry by the neighbor’s house is still trying to live but it looks rough and the new Burning Bush looks stressed. I’m giving them both time.

All in all – very happy with this year’s garden!!!