Sunday, May 27, 2012

Taking time to see the beauty


How is your Memorial Day weekend? We have had a very nice one. A visit from relatives, grilled outdoors and just had a very relaxing time.
I took a break from all projects and work to just enjoy my family. We all need a little "down time".
The weather is gorgeous albeit very warm hot, it's in the 90's. I believe we're going to have a very hot Summer since it is only Spring and we're already having mid 90 degree days.


I wanted to share a photo of one of our Lantana plants. I love the delicate little flowers, to me they look so perfect and sweet. 

Our back yard is filling up with lots of color from all the beautiful plants and flowers.

How is your yard looking? Are you taking the time to see the beauty of all your hard work? I hope so.
When I take the time to look, I can say that it is all worth it.

I hope you all have a splendid holiday weekend.


From the Heart,
Jana


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Spa and Bar-B-Q area re-do

I've not posted much lately but that doesn't mean that I haven't been busy~take a look at what we've been up to.

Our backyard spa and bar-b-q area is still underway. If you would like to see more BEFORE pictures they are HERE and HERE. This project has turned into a major re-do to say the least. What started off as just getting a new hot tub/spa has turned into us changing up a lot of the yard space.
I mentioned to my husband the other day while outside working, remember we got the hot tub so we could relax. When oh when is the relaxing going to take place. It's been nothing but work so far.
Retaining wall completed

After finishing the retaining wall and putting dirt around and behind it we received a down pour a couple of days later that we weren't expecting, which washed ALL the dirt around the wall and into our pavilion, covering every square inch of the concrete. Our mistake was not packing the fresh dirt hard enough, plus there's not any grass on the incline yet. When I seen the mess that the rain created, it was very disheartening but it didn't dampen our spirits too long, we knew it had to be fixed. So after thinking a bit we decided that since the water didn't have anywhere else to go, we (meaning my husband and sons) had to dig another trench to lay more pipe and two additional drains. I was busy getting all the dirt scraped, shoveled and swept out from the pavilion.
Instead of filling dirt back in around the pipe we decided to put in French Drains, small rocks for drainage under the pipe and then on top of that I put River Rock to give a nice accent. The 3" pipes have holes drilled into the top side so that the water with drain right into the pipes from the top side along with the drainage vents. That's so if we have a huge down pour again (which we will) the water will drain quickly before giving the area time to fill up and over-flow onto the pavilion area. I really like how it has turned out.
French Drain with river rock

The next step was to get grass onto the hill area.
My daughter and I ended up laying 2 pallets of Saint Augustine grass instead of sowing seeds. Now we don't have to worry about wash-out if it rains anytime soon.

Lights installed into retaining wall
Area beside the Bar-B-Q area covered in new grass
The Bar-B-Q area brick are not finished as of yet, we've had more pressing things to do with the retaining wall, the drainage area around it and laying new Saint Augustine grass. We will get back to laying brick for that area most likely after Memorial Day weekend.

I've still been busy on other projects though the back yard has taken up a lot of time. All I have to do is finish them up, take pictures and do the write up. Can hardly wait to show them to you!

This has been a major project with lots of trail and error however in the end I love this new space and how well the brick look, and don't you really like the new grass? I look forward to the grass taking hold, we will have to water it like crazy for the first two weeks.


I'll post more photos of the Bar-B-Que area when it is finished.

Sharing with:
Wow Us Wednesday
Mrs. Hines Class
Shabby Creek Cottage
Wicked Awesome Wednesday
DIY by Design
Home Stories A to Z
Cowgirl Up! Link Party
Open House
Blog Stalking Thursday
Shine on Fridays
Feathered Nest Friday
Pity Party
Friday Redoux
Inspiration Friday
Met Monday
Mission Possible

Also supporting Habitat for Humanity.
Supporting Habitat for Humanity


From the Heart,
Jana
 


Monday, May 7, 2012

Bananas...Growing your own



This weekend I noticed that we have a new banana bell growing on one of our banana plants. The timing is so early this year to get one. Normally it isn't until later in the Summer months. I suppose it has a lot to do with the shorter winter that we had and also the fact that I didn't cut the plants down in the fall of last year like I usually do.
We have grown banana plants for several years and have enjoyed growing the little bananas. Every year we cut the plants down to about 24 inches in height. A lot of folks dig up their plants and store them in their garages. We have about 60 plants so it's just easier to cut them short then bury them with mulch for the winter months.
So far this year, I have plants that are about 15 foot tall. Last year in the month of May they were about 2 foot with only a leave or two on the plant. I'm really enjoying the beauty of the plants early this year and the wonderful shade they put off.
The below photo taken on May 6th.

You can see under the red bell leaf that is peeling back the little banana fingers. This close up picture is on day two (May 7th). Banana plants quickly change, really day by day you notice huge differences. Soon there will be several groups of little fingers growing. The bell drips a very sticky substance all day. Normally we get about 40 bananas to each plant that grows a bell. I won't know for a couple of days how many we will receive off this plant.
I'm very excited to have our first bananas of the year showing already. I just had to share. I'll take photos day by day and share them next week to show just how fast these wonderful plants change so quickly when growing bananas.

If you've never grown banana plants, their very easy to grow. Give them lots of water and plenty of fertilizer and they grow magnificently. I fertilize weekly, which seems like a lot to most people, but I've noticed you never have to worry about burning the roots/tubers by over-fertilizing.
We really enjoy the beauty they give us around our pool area. It looks so tropical. And I didn't have to go anywhere except my back yard. You just can't beat that. :0)

Sharing with: 

Metamorphosis Monday Wow Us Wednesday 

Show & Tell with Mrs. Hines

 



From the Heart,
Jana

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Made my own button



I'm the first to admit that I'm not a techie person by any stretch of the imagination but I'm thrilled that I was able to make a blog button.

Seeing everyone's cute little buttons on their blogs was making me feel like I was missing out on something. So I finally decided that I would try my hand at making one.    

It wasn't as hard to do as I thought it would be. The hardest part was deciding what I wanted my button to look like and also what picture that I wanted. I fiddled with that for some time last night. Even made a button then decided that I wasn't quite happy. So I started completely over.

So, what do you think? 

I would be thrilled if you decided to "Grab My Button" over on the right side panel. 

P.S. Made a change to the font on the sidebar button from the one pictured above. I think I like it a little better.

From the Heart,
Jana

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Up date on Spa and Bar-B-Q area

It's been several days since I last had an up-date on the progress of our new Spa and Bar-B-Q area. The retaining wall is complete and looks great! Can hardly wait to share photos of it.

The other area is still in the works. We have changed our minds at least a dozen times on the exact look that we want. In the process of re-designing the area we determined that we need more brick, so 1000 more brick were ordered and should be delivered either Friday or Monday. That should give us time to change our minds another dozen times. ha~ha. Once the brick are delivered it shouldn't take us long to have the bar-b-q area finished and I'm able to share our new space with you all.

In my spare time, my mind has been busy dreaming up new projects to compliment our back yard area. Although who knows when we will get around to them all. First we have to finish with this one.
Until next time.

From the Heart,
Jana