The magical wonders of paint

I give up. I accept that I’ll likely never know why WordPress ate the photos in so many of my 2015 blog posts – but, pressing onward bravely, I’m going to share a house update!

Brown is my favorite color – really everything neutral and earthy is calming to me. Blue was my favorite in the 80s and and I must have overloaded, because my home and my wardrobe went earthy neutrals in the mid/late 90s and I’ve never looked back. 

Brown has been the dominant color in our house:


That said, I was super tired of e-v-e-r-y room in our house being brown. And bugged that in certain light, the brown looked green. (See photo above.) Every room’s color was on the same Sherwin Williams paint swatch – Kilim Beige, Hopsack, Steady Brown… This time, I wanted something a little more “fresh” that would tone down the orange of our maple cabinets in the kitchen, so no green.

Oh, you thought I was going to turn the world on it’s end? No, sweet friends. That would be cuckoo.  <wink>  I just wanted to throw in some greige. This “inspiration” color combo above is awesome, but my research (and testing) confirmed a hint of green in the Revere Pewter, so I went with it’s kissing cousin of colors – Sherwin Williams Colonnade Gray. You couldn’t tell them apart unless you are someone who is ridiculous enough to watch YouTube reviews from decorators discussing paint undertones. (And that would be me.) 

Colonnade Gray is actually gray and it’s a pretty saturated color – not really “greige” or “light” like say Benjamin Moore Edgecombe Gray. (My friend Dawn just painted her whole interior Edgecombe Gray and it is stunning!) Anyway, Colonnade Gray is  definitely a warm gray as you see in the kitchen photos below – but sometimes it skews tan depending on the lighting in the room and time of day – as you can see in our entry, above. 

We touched up the trim with Sherwin Williams Extra White and I’m super happy with that contrast!


I’ve got some black here and there in furniture, a little decor, frames, stair railings, etc. and I am liking how it all comes together so differently with the relatively simple change of our wall color. 

Up next, I’ll share some of my recent gardening exploits. 

Sooo…

When you neglect your blog for a year, your domain name {at home in the cove dot com} can expire and someone else can register it. Oops! So, I need to make a decision about the future of this blog, but until I do, it will continue to exist here on WordPress as athomeinthecove.wordpress.com .

I’ll leave you with this picture of the kids in downtown Auburn last November when we went down for the Auburn v. Vanderbilt football game.

All the best in 2017,
Kim

Lessons learned from our summer garden…

 

I decided to capture my “lessons learned” from this summer so I can keep track of what is and isn’t working. Some things have been so easy to grow and others have been disasters!

LESSONS LEARNED

Here’s what I now know: Lantana is really easy to grow but it needs sunshine, rain and a lot of space to spread out. In the picture below, you’ll see the Lantana that I planted last Spring… So cute. So little. So unassuming.

May

May

In July, it was still a great little pop of color, but it kept on growing like Jack’s beanstalk!

Yikes.

Some of the Lantana branches grew from 2 inches long to 4 feet long! By August, it had completely covered the Hostas. Next Spring, I will plant Lantana in a sunny spot with plenty of room to grow!

Next up, I deduced that Hydrangeas need a lot of water. I’ve had three Hydrangeas under a Flowering Cherry tree for many years, but the tree is bigger and fuller now which blocks access to sun and rain.

They start out looking great in the Spring, but by mid-summer, they droop and need me to supplement with the hose.

Womp womp.

My failed attempt at a vegetable garden devolved into a real life Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! In the picture below, you’ll see our teeny tiny plants next to a big tomato cage…

By mid-summer, each plant was 5 feet tall and 2-3 feet wide. They grew together into this woven mess where tomatoes couldn’t get any sunlight and wouldn’t ripen. They all strangled each other in a dramatic, prolonged death scene and I finally had to haul the whole nest to the curb. I couldn’t even pull the cage loose from the vines!

Next year: one tomato cage per plant – and – in a new location with afternoon sun.

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.jpg

Here’s what has been easy…

Sunflowers grow very fast and very tall.

They need a sunny spot and you cannot crowd them or they’ll create shade and kill themselves off. I had waaaaaaay too many crammed into this little spot.

Caladiums are happy in any shady spot. These were grown from bulbs I planted under a tree. I’ve always had success growing them in pots, too, as long as they’re shaded by a porch.

Everything in this picture above is easy – just plant it and walk away. I have never killed a Crepe Myrtle tree! And that is saying something, friends! Ditto for Red Bud trees. They are so resilient! All these shrubs are unkillable, too: the green one is called Cleyera and the purple ones are both varieties of Loropetalum. Down low is a ground cover called Purple Winter Creeper.

Monkey grass is [sadly] unkillable so I contend with it. #notphotoworthy

Here’s a close-up of another Loropetalum. I have several varieties and they all add such nice color!

Likewise, Nandina will grow everywhere I stick it in the yard and adds such nice color – evolving from green to orange or red. Some varieties are lime.

Hosta Lillies come back year after year whether in a pot or in the ground. They just want a shady spot. So easy and so pretty!

These are my favorites: Purple Coneflowers a.k.a. Echinacea. This variety is Kim’s Knee High (gotta love the name). They come back every year bigger and better than the year before! I may put a little cage around them next year for support and/or to keep kids and pets from tromping through them.

Gosh, I am in love with these flowers.

I have two spots in the yard that kill everything I plant there. Ever the optimist, I am going to try again next Spring and see what happens!

NEXT STEPS

My plans for the Spring = dig it all up and move it all around and hope that makes all the difference:

  • Move Huechera to the flowerbed that kills everything and wish it all the very best.
  • Move weary, sad Azaleas to the shady spot currently occupied by Heuchera. <insert despair + low expectations>
  • Backfill Azalea vacancy with Loropetalum.
  • Move Hydrangeas next to Bryan’s blueberries in the space shaded from afternoon sun by the Pear tree.
  • Plant a Crepe Myrtle in the spot that kills every tree ever. <success rate: 0 for 4>
  • Plant Sunflower seeds in the same spot as this year, just less of them.
  • Plant Lantana right behind the Firecracker Gladiolus and Asian Lillies to give that spot heft.
  • Consider adding a Crepe Myrtle by the tree fort and a Burning Bush next to the grill.

Soooo….

A pipe burst in an exterior wall and flooded the side yard – and our master bedroom, closets and bathroom. <sigh> We have 5-6 industrial fans running 24 hours/day to help dry everything inside and they. are. so. loud.

It’s a mess but, you know, more of a hassle than anything.