head diy Design Fanatic: June 2013

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Summer Mantel

I know I've been spending most of my time in the garden lately and my house has been left to fend for itself.
Couldn't have done that just a few years ago when our girls we younger and it seemed that every room always needed to be picked up and organized.

Every day.

Is it still like that at your house or was it just me?

Things still pile up, but the main level of the house stays pretty neat and tidy. 

My mantel hasn't changed since Easter and it's nearly July
Well, I did put away the bunny, eggs and Easter grass...
But, everything else stayed the same.
So yesterday, in honor of the 4th of July, I brought out the flags and changed up a few things to create a simple summer mantel.
It was the least I could do. 

You might notice that the mirror and the twig wreath I made haven't moved...
...since Easter.

I picked some blue hydrangeas and put them in a white pitcher...

Aren't blue hydrangeas the most beautiful flowers ever?

The painting our oldest daughter painted for mother's day looks great on the mantel. I pulled it away from it's former home in the living room bookcases.

I had a few flags left over so I put them in a pitcher full of calla lilies picked from our garden...

Calla's have been a favorite flower of mine since, well, forever; they are so elegant and graceful.

Now that I've finally finished my summer mantel, I need to get back outside...

Been working on re-finishing the deck. 

There's lots to do outside, so the house will just have to wait.

Have a great weekend!


Monday, June 17, 2013

What's Happening In The Garden

How's the weather in your neck of the woods?
Summer has definitely arrived here in the South. 
Don't know about you, but the humidity makes me melt and really takes all of my energy away. 
I thank God for air conditioning.
I am not sure how women made it through all those hot and humid summers before ac. 
I've mentioned before that I never really sweat before moving to Charlotte. 
Seriously...even after exercising.
 Even in Palm Springs when it was 100 degrees. 
 (the desert, by the way, was one of my favorite places to go, but it had to be 90 degrees or it was too cold)

The first summer we were here in Charlotte was the first time I really sweat...
I felt something on the top of my head and
thought something was wrong with me.
Would love to know how all you Southern ladies stay cool when you have to go outside. Please tell me because I have to go out every couple of days to tend my garden.

Guess Summer would be a great time to catch up on indoor projects... redecorate a bedroom, paint our master bath, organize something...

Back to the garden: 
Went out just a few days ago and picked about 5 pounds of turnips. Look at these beauties! 
I haven't ever tasted a turnip before and have no idea what to do with them...I'm leaving that up to Mr. Fanatic. If you have a tasty recipe, please let me know.

I only planted one 5 foot row of turnips and they did well. Not sure about the beets next to them, we'll see when I pull them up next week.

I wasn't sure how the turnips were growing, until we came back from vacation and some were popping up out of the soil. Just like radishes, turnips pop up when they're ready to be picked.

To store turnips, cut most of the tops off and put in a plastic bag in a cool place. I put mine in a Ziplock type plastic bag and don't "zip" it all the way.

The main heads of the broccoli were cut of a few weeks ago, but now the side shoots are producing little crowns. It's difficult to go back to store bought broccoli once you've grown your own.

I saved one of the broccoli plants planted  last fall and let it go to seed. The plant stopped producing crowns last February or March and the seeds are finally ready to pick. Since the plants were from heirloom, open pollinated seeds and not hybrid, I can use the seeds and plant them next fall or Spring. One plant produces thousands of seeds.

You remember my planter box project don't you? The beans I planted in them are all the way past the top of the poles now. It's the first year growing beans for us. Can't wait to see how they produce.

The tomato plants are having a tough time. We've had soooooooooooo much rain the past several days, lots of humidity, which is bad for tomatoes. Just ordered some organic fungicide to help them out. Hope it works because Mr. Fanatic wants lots of tomatoes so he can make and can salsa.

The garlic plants are starting to fall over, which means they are almost ready. Still not sure what to do with all that kale. The small leaves aren't bad in salads.

The zucchini plants are getting big and the cucumbers on the trellis are beginning to flower....cucumbers not too far behind. 

A few flowers are blooming in the garden, as well. Big echinacea  pink double delight are popping up near the basement patio.

The gardenias are blooming too and their fragrance wafts throughout the backyard close to the house.

So excited that one a few of my hydrangea bushes are blooming and one plant has actually doubled in size. I even have several flowers on two of the four plants! (for those of you who missed it: I planted these hydrangeas several years ago and they just never grew any larger. This year I transplanted them and they are doing better. )

I love the flowers on these blue/green Hosta. 

The first flower just bloomed on the Lantana.

Coreopsis are bright and cheerful. 

Crimson Pirate Day Lily are blooming profusely. 
 Now you are up to date as to our garden in June. 

Would love to know how you keep cool during the summer and what's blooming in your garden. 

Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesday

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Grow Tomatoes In 5 Gallon Buckets

I started seeds indoors several months ago, but they were really slow growing, so I went out and bought a few larger plants so we could have tomatoes sooner.  I put the small tomato plants outside in larger containers and they have grown up pretty well. 

Problem is....I ran out of space. I only have one 4 x 8 raised bed in our North garden set aside for tomatoes and 6 tomato plants are already planted in them . 

So, what to do...what to do.

Choice one is to give the extra plants away.
Uh, in my neighborhood, that's not going to happen. 
Seems vegetable gardens are, uh, not too popular.

Choice two is to just throw them away...but I just couldn't do that.

growing tomatoes, diy design fanatic, burlap

Choice three
Plant them in 5 gallon buckets.

To do this you just need to
1:  drill 4 holes in the bottom of each bucket.
2: add good soil. I used 1/3 compost and  2/3rds dirt
3: add some crushed egg shells and a little Epsom salt to the hole where you plant the tomato.

Plain plastic buckets are NOT going to cut it  if you live in a neighborhood with an HOA and I don't want to look like, well, that I'm growing tomatoes in buckets.

I just happen to have some burlap, so I cut a piece and wrapped it around the bucket and safety pinned the back. 

4: wrap your plastic bucket in burlap

Doesn't it look better than a plain white plastic bucket?
growing tomatoes, diy Design Fanatic, burlap

I think so!
diy Design Fanatic, growing tomatoes, burlap, tomatoes

Add a stake or tomato cage to the plastic bucket to hold up the plant when it gets big.

If all goes well, we'll get a few juicy tomatoes out of this experiment. That is, if the squirrels, deer and other critters don't get them first.

Have you ever grown tomatoes in 5 gallon buckets?
Please share!
If you'd like to see how we built some great looking planter boxes, you can see them HERE.
wood planter boxes, garden, vegetable garden, grow veggies in planter boxes, container gardening


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Vintage And New Finds

It's always fun shopping while on vacation and we shopped a bit while we were in Blowing Rock.
A few of my new additions are displayed in our foyer. 
Nope, I still haven't written anything on my framed chalkboard, but I'm sure I will someday.

I found this antique looking magnifying glass at Windwood Antiques. Windwood had a great combination of both new and antique items. If you plan a trip to Blowing Rock, be sure to visit them and don't forget they have a  large downstairs area filled with furniture and accessories. We would have missed finding a really great item had we not heard  the storekeeper mention it to someone else. 
 Windwood also has a large companion store in another location, but we didn't have a chance to go. Sounds like we need to plan another trip to Blowing Rock!

I found the cute formed crocheted item(not sure what to call it) at Take Heart. Most items were a little pricey, but I managed to find a few things that weren't too much.

I'm always on the lookout for antique books and keys and found both at a good price at Windwood Antiques.

The store owner bought a huge lot of vintage books while on a trip to Germany and all of the books were in German. The books were $15 a piece and the keys were $4 and $6. 

My daughter spied both items after I told her to be on the lookout for vintage books and keys. She picked the blue book out for when she re-decorates her bedroom. Until then, it can stay downstairs : )

diy Design Fanatic, vintage finds, vintage books

What's on your list when you shop for vintage items?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Chetola Resort Blowing Rock

If you're looking for a great summer getaway with your family or for a beautiful place for a romantic weekend, Chetola Resort should be high on your list. 

Last week Mr. Fanatic, youngest daughter Fanatic and I spent the week in a condominium at Chetola. 
There's also a lodge and a Bed and Breakfast at Chetola, as well. 
Not being fancy people and preferring to take care of ourselves (must be the diy in us), we loved staying in a two bedroom condo nestled in tall trees and perched up on a hill. Of course we also loved the fact that the whole stay at the Chetola only cost us $250 because we used some extra points my dad had in his timeshare. 
But, if you don't have timeshare points to use, you can always be on the lookout for a Groupon for the Bed and Breakfast. A couple we met at the fire ring one evening mentioned it.
Chetola Resort, Blowing Rock, Appalachian Mountains, lake

You can't miss the Chetola Resort when you drive to the little mountain village of Blowing Rock.
I've always dreamed of staying there ever since first visiting the area several years ago.
The drive is lit in the evening with lights along the wooden fence.
Chetola Resort, Blowing Rock, Appalachian Mountains, lake

The road meanders around the lake and across a stone bridge, then over the creek.
Chetola Resort, Blowing Rock, Appalachian Mountains, lake

Chetola is  a Cherokee word that means "haven of rest".
Definitely a fitting name.
Chetola Resort, Blowing Rock, Appalachian Mountains, lake

The Bob Timberlake Inn is up ahead...
Chetola Resort, Blowing Rock, Appalachian Mountains, lake

The Inn also has a wonderful restaurant where we had dinner the night before we left. The Bob Timberlake Inn was once the Manor House for some of the previous owners. 
Chetola Resort, Blowing Rock, Appalachian Mountains, lake

 Here's the view of the lake, looking back at the Inn. 
On the day we arrived, there was a big white tent set up for a wedding passed the gazebo. 
Just as we got out of our car to check in, the bride and her father were waiting to cross the road and walk down the path to the lake.
 What a wonderful place to get married!Chetola Resort, Blowing Rock, Appalachian Mountains, lake

 At the far end of the lake, there is a bridge and a spillway with a little island below filled with hostas and rhododendron. Chetola Resort, Blowing Rock, Appalachian Mountains, lake

Looks like a little secret garden. Wish we could have walked down there, but the wooden steps were blocked off. 
Chetola Resort, Blowing Rock, Appalachian Mountains, lake

 The rhododendron bloomed during our week long stay. They were everywhere and so beautiful!
Chetola Resort, Blowing Rock, Appalachian Mountains, lake

Chetola Resort, Blowing Rock, Appalachian Mountains, lake

There's lots to do at the resort. You can read about all the activities, spa, etc. that this resort has to offer at  chetola.com
All three of us went out on a paddleboat and peddled out to the middle of the lake.  Lucky for me, Mr. F and daughter Fanatic got to be the ones who "powered" the boat. 
I just enjoyed the ride!
Chetola Resort, Blowing Rock, Appalachian Mountains, lake
Needless to say, I would pack my bags and go back any time. The weather was perfect and so much cooler than back in Charlotte. 
Where are you off to this summer?
 Do you have something fun planned and do you go on vacation where you can get pampered?


ps. I was not compensated in any way from Chetola Resort; I just wanted to share a great place to go to in Blowing Rock!