Let’s Face the Music Blogiversary

Back in January Hilary at My So-called Home asked some blogging questions which I decided to respond to on my first blogiversary which is today, March 4. Since I began I’ve posted at least once everyday.

The Glade

1. What was your goal/plan for starting your blog? Fun/making money/creative outlet?

I wanted to make sure to have  documented progress of the renovation of The Glade.

Glade Cottage

2.  What have you learned the most from blogging? Both positively and/or negatively.

  1. That I can commit to a daily creative project and carry it through. 
  2. That people are very kind and supportive.
  3. That risks are worth taking.

    The Wee Little House

3.  What are your future goals for your blog? Are they different than when you started or the same?

I still want to document the building progress but now I enjoy the creativity and determination that goes along with a daily venture.  I’d like to hone my writing skills which to my mind have always been mediocre. I’d like to continue improving my photographic knowledge so each picture shows exactly what I’m trying to expose.

Thanks for reading. Jo


Unpotted Primroses

Do you remember the great deal I got on these yellow primroses I used for our Soup Swap party?

Centerpiece for a party table
They were a quarter a pot; $1.25 for 5. Now they’re planted on the south side of the cottage through the kindness of Charlie.
The primroses are planted on the left side (South) of the cottage.
They’re looking a little ratty now since they’ve already bloomed.
Five perennial primroses planted near the cottage.

They’re planted near some deep purple primroses that are just beginning to show some spring color. 

Purple primroses ready to blossom

 Perhaps we should have planted these along a path so we could tread the proverbial “primrose path”.

Have you had any good bargains lately?

Sidebar: To be “led down the primrose path” is an idiom suggesting that one is being deceived or led astray, often by a hypocrite. The primrose path also refers to someone living a life of luxury apparently linking primroses to libertine indulgence.

An early appearance of the phrase in print occurs in Shakespeare’s 1602 play Hamlet (Act I, Scene III), where Ophelia, rebuffing her brother Laertes’ insistence that she resist Hamlet’s advances, warns Laertes against hypocrisy:

Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven,
Whiles, like a puff’d and reckless libertine,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads
And recks not his own rede.

Source: Wikipedia


#78 on The Master List

Last year in May I started a Master List of projects at The Glade. Number 78 on that list is: Make a list of vintage things to be on the look out for the new additions. I’m sure there are perfectly wonderful used and salvaged items we could incorporate into the building plan while at the same time saving money.

1.  Small chandeliers

2.  Ceiling lights

Lighting fixture from the 1940s trimmed in copper.

3.  Closet fixtures – poles, drawers, cubbies, cabinets, doors, etc.

4.  Trim – baseboard, chairrail, cornice, doors, windows

5.  Bookshelves – lumber, trim

6.   Interior doors – French doors and regular doors preferably with hardware


7. Door hardware – Especially a new handle to make the front door functional which would also fulfill  #52 on the list: fix door knob on front door.

Something vintage like this would be nice.
8.  Furniture to convert to bathroom sink vanity (I almost forgot this one.)
I’m going to keep my list handy when I go to salvage depots, thrift stores, and yard sales so I don’t miss a treasure.
Most of these photos may be viewed at my Pinterest site.
Are you into vintage things? Or do “modern” and “new” float your boat?

Welcoming Pathways

Among the changes to The Glade as part of the renovation will be a larger, central front door. While the new option is exciting, like every change, it means other subsequent changes will be necessary.

Projected placement of the front door.

 One of those changes will be the path, currently brick herringbone, leading up to the front door.

Currently, the walkway to the front door from the driveway is brick.

 The run of this walkway will need to be redesigned to accomodate a larger front entrance porch and should complement the materials used to make the front and side porch surfaces. I’ve been considering of what the decks of the new porches should be made.

    • Concrete – The landings near our entrance doors are made from formed concrete.  They’re very basic and not very attractive.

      The front stoop (oh, how I dislike that word) at The Glade.
    • Brick
        • Pavers
      • Field stone
    • Blue stone
    • Wood

Some of these elements are can work together to give a distinctive look. For instance stone can be bordered by brick to tie the different materials together.

(The sources for the above pictures can be found on my Pinterest board Paths, Porches and Walkways.)


What is your paving preference? Do you like to combine elements?

First Spring Planting 2012

The first seeds going into the potager at The Glade this year are sugar snap peas, radishes and collards.

Early crops - Collard greens, radishes and sugar snap peas

There are 16 smaller squares in each 4 by 4 square in the garden.

Each large square is marked with 16 small squares.

Each of these crops has a unique spacing in a squarefoot garden. Perhaps the most unusual are the peas. Normally a square is planted with 1, 4, 9 or 16 plants evenly spaced in the 1 foot by 1 foot square.

8 pea plants in each square foot

 Peas and beans, however, use 2 rows of 4 (thus 8) plants per square.

 The second crop is collards which have 4 plants per 1 foot square.

Finally, Charlie planted a variety pack of radishes all of which are planted 16 to a square.

Peas, collards and radishes can withstand some mild frost and benefit from cool weather. After planting the seeds, Charlie watered them

Seeds are well-watered when first planted.

and topped them with an old window to keep them warm.

An old window helps warm the soil and protects the seeds.

Maybe one day we’ll actually make some cold frames from our old windows.

Do you use a cold frame? Have you begun your spring planting yet? What are you favorite crops?

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Frugal Garden Upgrade

We’ve had a squarefoot garden at The Glade for almost 10 years.  The garden has grown from four 4-foot by 4-foot squares to 16 this year.

2011 Garden at The Glade

We have always used salvaged wood (1 by 6s) to create the squares.

2011 garden squares made with 1 by 6s.

This year since we are rebuilding from the aftermath of Hurricane Irene we’re going to use 2 by stock.

Salvaged "2 by" stock ready to be cleaned, cut and used.

We noticed while driving down the boulevard recently someone had crashed into a sign and fence (not on private property) which after a couple of weeks had not been cleaned up nor repaired.

Charlie nailed the corners together with large (maybe 14 d) nails.

Charlie helped the clean up effort by clearing away some of the broken lumber. To his delight there were lots of 2 by 6s and 2 by 8s from which 4-foot sections could be salvaged.

The new square is ready to be situated in the garden.

He began rebuilding the frames for his garden squares one by one from the salvaged wood.

2" by 6" by 48" garden square - 1 down, 15 to go

This substantial lumber gives the garden a more permanent and architectural appearance.

Do you reuse old broken stuff?

Sidebar: When nailing into wood (especially with large common nails) hammer the tips of the nails so they don’t split the wood.

Flatten the tip so nails don't split wood.

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Entrance to the Potager

We planned our 2012 garden here and here.  This summer we’re going for a potager style with a more formal entrance than we’ve had in the past.

Groundplan of projected 2012 potager

 We started the entrance by dividing and transplanting lilac on the outer edge of the planned entrance area here.

The transplanted lilacs are circled in yellow.

 Between the lilacs on either side of the projected gate we’re transplanting 6 lavender plants: 3 on each side.  One of the plants has been growing for a few years in a square in the vegetable garden. (The big green blob in the 2nd row, 2nd column in the groundplan above.)

The grey blob is one lavender plant.

 Charlie trimmed it back hard to make it easier to transplant. We also have 5 scraggly lavender plants on the west side of the foundation which need to be moved for the renovation we’re planning.

Close up of the lavender in front and box behind.

 Charlie leveled the soil between the lilac bushes and planted the lavender.

The plants are scruffy but a large root ball helps the plants settle into their new home.

 We accented the main path by clearing the lamb’s ear where the path begins at the edge of the driveway and laying 4 river stones we had picked up on vacation some years ago. (For a better look at the lamb’s ear refer to the photo above with the yellow-circled lilac bushes.)

We're trying to decide the best arrangement of the river stone path into the potager.

 Eventually the river stones will be impressed into the soil with only a stepping stone remaining. Then we’ll plant some of the plentiful indigenous moss we have growing throughout the yard.

The structure of the potager begins to take shape.

 We hoping all the rich, dark soil will soon be covered with new growth.

Looking toward the house at the potager entrance.

 Every project in the garden counts on growth in the future.

Do you have a hopeful project? Is it too soon to get started?