Tag Archives: nature

Kingwood Center Gardens Pics Pt. 2

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Kingwood Center Gardens Pics Pt. 2

Hello! Today, we are going to take a look at my last bunch of pictures from the Kingwood Center Gardens in Mansfield, Ohio. The estate and botanical gardens of Charles Kelley King was an absolute delight to explore with my family and I am itching to go back. I am also looking forward to going to the Cleveland botanical gardens with my husband since he had to work the day we went to Kingwood. 🙂 Let’s get to it:

While it was so fun to walk through the grounds of the Kelley estate with my family, my favorite part of the day actually happened indoors. About halfway through the botanical gardens is an expertly placed children’s play center so the little ones can cool off and have quiet time after a lot of walking. We took a pit stop there with my nephew and I had the best time playing with stacking blocks and stuffed frogs with him. Due to the pandemic, it was hard to see my brother and his family who live out of state so I I really cherished getting to have some TT time with him. ❤

Another cool part of the botanical gardens is the Storybook Trail. Every twenty feet or so on this wooded path, there is a display of a page from a children’s book. As we walked the trail, my brother and I took turns reading about a baby bat named Chiro and that was also special to me since I have never got to read a story to my lil nephew before. Even though he won’t remember our day at the Kingwood Center Gardens, I will for forever. It was the best. 🙂

Are there any botanical gardens in your area? What is your favorite outdoor activity? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Pansy Party 2.0

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Pansy Party 2.0

Hi! A few weeks ago, I planted a pansy patch in the front yard of my parent’s house with my dad and it was a hoot. I felt so proud of our handy work after we completed our project and smile every time I see the pretty blooms. We are still waiting to begin planting vegetables but, in the meantime, my dad has begun decking out our garden space with his vast collection of solar lights and statues. This past week, he upgraded our pansy patch to a fairy garden and I love the results! Check out the 2.0 version:

Not only is the landscaping of my parent’s yard beautiful with its flowers, dogwood tree, and raised planters but it is also filled with outdoor decor that offers adorable surprises throughout. There are an abundance of strand solar lights wrapping around trees and bushes and in ground ones that display a nightly “light show” in the yard. Not to mention his insect hotels, bird baths and houses, pinwheels, wind chimes, and bird, hummingbird, and butterfly feeders that provide perfect bird watching opportunities and the music of nature.

I was so tickled when I saw the 2.0 upgrade of our pansy patch because almost all of the decorations he chose for it were gifted by me! The fairy garden motif also was special to me because my dad and I had recently enjoyed looking at the employee fairy garden contest together at one of his physical therapy appointments. Seeing the little colorful mushrooms poking out among the flowers, solar lights, and garden gnome Godzilla brought me back to the Christmases and Father’s Days that I gifted these decorations to him and it was so nice to see him still using them a few years later.

I can’t wait to garden more with my dad and am looking forward to seeing how he upgrades our next project! ❤

What is your favorite flower? What is your favorite kind of outdoor decor? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Pansy Party

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Pansy Party

Hi! My dad is an avid and exceptional gardener but, unfortunately, broke his arm and dislocated his shoulder about a month ago. Needless to say, his injury put a huge damper on his plans for his flower and vegetable garden this spring and summer so everyone in my family has stepped in to help make it happen anyways. This past week, I spent some time outside with my dad planting pansies while he oversaw the process and we are both very pleased with the outcome of our first project! Check it out:

I used to love helping my dad in the garden when I was younger and our afternoon planting flowers brought me back to those happy times in the sunshine with him. He was so sweet to provide gardening gloves for me to protect my talons with and it felt really good to metaphorically get my hands dirty and make something beautiful grow. Our pansy patch was a team effort and my dad and I planned the layout together and I dug the holes while he removed the flowers from their containers.

I absolutely love pansies because I remember helping my dad plant them back in the day and my grandma used to have them growing outside of her funeral home. I feel so proud every time I see our completed project in my parent’s yard and it immediately brings me back to the time I spent with my dad making it happen.

We gardened on the most glorious spring day and it was a blast to enjoy the weather and talk and laugh about anything and everything. In fact, it was so warm out that day that I was wearing shorts and my legs got pretty filthy. Just like in my youth, my dad helped me hose off all of the dirt once the flowers were planted and it was the perfect way to end our Pansy Party. I can’t wait to start our spring veggie garden next!

What is your favorite outdoor activity? What do you plan on growing in your garden this year? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Issues To Look Out For When You Have Trees In Your Yard

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Issues To Look Out For When You Have Trees In Your Yard

Trees can be an amazing addition to any outside space. In fact, this is such a wonderful little extra that it’s not unheard of for homeowners to ultimately make their decision to buy based on something like a lovely oak tree in a corner. Unfortunately, as amazing as they are, trees are also pretty extreme forces of nature. While this needn’t be a problem if your yard is large enough that they’re well out of reach, it could soon spell issues if your trees are up close and personal with your property.

Of course, you’re going to want to do everything that you can to avoid resorting to removal. Still, it’s vital to look out for these signs that your tree might be taking its toll on your house in the wrong ways:

Blocked gutters:

Autumn leaves can get everywhere, including into your gutters. This is the case no matter how much you sweep them up and, left unchecked, those autumnal remnants could well cause blockage issues that lead to everything from leaking pipes to damp interiors. To avoid this, it’s fundamental to rake leaves at least once a day in the fall, and also to install a drain cover that keeps the worst at bay. Make sure, too, that you invest in professional gutter cleaning or tackle this task yourself at least twice a year. That way, you can keep enjoying that tree, without once feeling its impact in your waterworks.

Overhanging branches:

Unlike flowers, trees grow wherever they want to, meaning that overhanging branches can soon become a problem. This can cause safety issues even in your own yard, but, most often, branches have a habit of growing over the garden fence. This can cause rifts with your neighbors like little else, especially seeing as they’re not legally allowed to chop those branches down. Make sure it doesn’t happen by getting any errant branches pruned at least every two to three years. This will instantly refresh your outside space, and might just ensure that you stay on the best terms with everyone else on your street.

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Structural damage:

Unfortunately, trees can also cause structural damage if surprisingly large tree root systems make their way under your property. If this happens, your structural foundations are at real risk, and immediate action is necessary if you notice warning signs such as cracks in your stonework, bulging walls, or uneven floors.

Luckily, tree surgeons can cut longer roots without damaging your tree itself, meaning that there’s no reason this needs to spell the end. Depending on where roots are, professionals may even be able to install root barriers that stop a repeat performance. However, this is dependent on fast action, because a tree that’s too deeply embedded underneath your house might need to go, after all.

Whether you spend much time in nature or not, trees can be an amazing addition to your yard. Or, at least, they can be if you stay vigilant of these key issues at all times!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Everything’s Coming Up Daffodils

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Everything’s Coming Up Daffodils

Hello! The last time I went to my mom and dad’s house, I was completely amazed by all of the lovely yellow daffodils lining their driveway. I had been there two days ago and there wasn’t a single bloom – then, out of nowhere, there was color everywhere. Yellow flowers always put a smile on my face because they remind me of my grandma and the daffodil surprise felt like a special hello from her. Check it out:

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The Daffodil Day was, indeed, a glorious one with temperatures in the seventies and it put me in a hopeful, happy mood. I have been enjoying my time outside so much after being cooped up all winter and have already been making the most of the nice weather with photo shoots with Johnny, going on walks with my brother, and playing at the park with my niece and sister. All of the beautiful flowers blooming is an added bonus. 🙂

I hope all of you are experiencing mild temps and flowers and here’s to a wonderful and safe spring!

What is spring weather like in your area? What is your favorite outdoor activity? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Social Distanced Outdoor Activities For Warm Weather

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Social Distanced Outdoor Activities For Warm Weather

Howdy! The warm weather brings us the exciting promise of seeing friends more safely in an outdoor setting. However, it is still so important that we maintain a social distance because COVID-19 and variants of the virus are still a very real threat. Today, we’re going to look at a few outdoors activities that can be done from a social distance and are a lot of fun too. Try incorporating the following into your next outing with friends:

Paint A Masterpiece:

Pre-COVID, paint nights were insanely popular and for good reason – they’re a blast! And now, they can make a comeback because having a painting party outside is a possibility. For a project, you could all find something different to try your hand at painting or even hire a local artist to walk you through a summer landscape. Set up blankets six feet apart from each other with some snacks, drinks, and art supplies on each one. You could host the party in your own backyard or at a local park. No matter how your masterpiece turns out, it will be so nice to create with your friends in the fresh air.

Food Wars:

Everyone who likes to grill more than likely thinks they are the best at it lol so put the skills of those in your friend group to the test with a good old fashioned cook off. Every week you could have different categories like appetizers, main dishes, and desserts so the less grill savvy can participate and keep track of how everyone is faring on score cards. By the end of summer, you will find out who is the master chef!

Gardening Group:

Gardening is such a rewarding hobby and can be done from a social distance. Perhaps you and your friends could start a garden together that you can all help tend to so everyone can have fresh veggies and flowers all summer long. Of course, it doesn’t have to end there! Look up recipes that utilize the veggies you are growing and host a garden party to showcase your hard work.

Games Tournament:

Work hard play hard, amiright? But seriously, there are so many fun outdoor games that can be played from a social distance so why not put together a backyard tournament for your friends? Cornhole, bocce ball, croquet, and horseshoes are all great places to start. Don’t forget that there are huge outdoor versions of classic games like Jenga, chess, checkers, and Connect 4. If anyone has children, you could all work together to create an outdoor Candy Land board for them to enjoy.

For bonus categories in your tournament you could include best sidewalk chalk art, best bubble soap, most Pogo Stick jumps, and the like for even more fun in the sun.

Backyard Water Park:

Okay, stay with me here but how cool would a backyard water park that you and your friends put together be? I have been thinking about this so much because the pool at my apartment community won’t be open again this summer and it would be nice to have somewhere to cool off! Now, when I say water park, I don’t mean huge slides and a wave pool. No, I’m talking an ultimate Slip n’ Slide, sprinklers, water balloons, a kiddie pool to soak your feet, a sand castle building set up, and an area to work on your tan. And, of course, an endless supply of concession stand style snacks and lemonade. I think that would just be the best!

I feel like people hear the phrase “social distance” and they instantly think “less fun” but that isn’t the case at all. You just have to get a little creative, like with the ideas above, and you will safely enjoy each other’s company in the great outdoors all while having a ball. 😀

What are you looking forward to this summer? How do you plan on seeing your friends social distance style? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Warm Weather Projects For Your Property

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Warm Weather Projects For Your Property

There’s just something about the combination of spring cleaning and the improved weather that turns the “curl up and relax” mentality of winter completely on its head. When the sun comes out, it puts a renewed pep in our step and I’m sure many of us have been thinking about home improvement projects both big and small that can be worked on during the warm weather.

If you’re experiencing the “get up and go” attitude of spring but nothing immediately comes to mind, consider the following projects:

Windows & Doors:

Replacing old windows and doors will give a welcome facelift to both the interior and exterior of your home. A bold front door is a must and if you get new replacement windows, then it is all the better to let the sunshine in with. New windows and doors are also an instant curb appeal booster so it will raise your property value! If you’d like to take this idea one step further, you could even turn one of the rooms into a sun room with floor length windows. A bright, sunny room will be a nice change of pace after the darkness of winter.

Backyard Fun:

It’s safe to say that absolutely everyone will be outside as often as they can in the warm weather so make sure your backyard is well equipped. This could mean arranging a patio area or a deck for social distanced hang outs or preparing your barbecue pit for the season. If you enjoy woodworking you might want to try your hand at making and decorating cornhole boards for tournaments. Don’t forget a net for volleyball and badminton!

Of course, if you want your backyard to be the ultimate place to hang out this summer, you will want it to look its best. Flowers, gardens, soft green grass to play on, and solar lights and other decor are all great places to start. Remember, a well kept outer property will only help boost your curb appeal so don’t be afraid to go all out with your gardening.

Nature Window:

Creating a nature window ties the two ideas above together for an activity you can enjoy inside. Outside of a large window place bird feeders, baths, and houses, hummingbird and butterfly feeders, butterfly bushes, and insect condos. Basically, anything that will help attract local wildlife. You will have the perfect view of all of the birds flying in and out and all from the comfort of the air conditioning! Not to mention that all of the animals will thank you. 🙂

Don’t let your get up and go energy get up and leave! Try out some of the projects above to welcome back the warm weather.

4 Benefits Of Greenery In And Around Your Home

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4 Benefits Of Greenery In And Around Your Home

It’s said that nature can be beneficial for our health and well being in a variety of ways. It not only adds beautiful color to your home but can lift your spirits as well as improve your air quality. Here are four benefits of greenery in and around your home:

Nature Makes You Happy:

As humans, there are core connections that we need. One is that we need human connection with others in order to feel content and fulfilled. Whether that’s being a social butterfly or simply connecting with others over the internet or with a small family unit. The other thing is that nature and being around nature can also help make us happier on the inside. There’s something about seeing a flower blooming or that stark green color on a leaf that can improve our mood for the better.

That’s why it’s good to have plants in all of your rooms, especially in places where you need that little bit of extra life, perhaps the bedroom where you’ll wake up feeling tired or sad from a dream you’ve had. Seeing something so colorful and alive can be uplifting.

It Keeps The Air Cleaner:

Whether you’re working with a bud trimming machine in your job or doing some casual gardening outside in your backyard, having greenery around you can impact the quality and cleanliness of the air. Plants and flowers help to purify the air, making it healthier for us humans to be able to breathe in and out. It’s important to incorporate a lot of greenery in your home and around it to help contribute to this science that’s proven to help with your health on the inside.

Helps Improve Mental Health:

Gardening is an amazing activity to take up if you struggle with your mental health. It will feel so good to get outside in the sunshine, breathe fresh air, and help something grow. Gardening is a true testament that if you nurture and care for something, you will achieve beautiful results – much like tending to your own mental health. A new hobby also helps fill excess free time and will provide a deep sense of accomplishment when your first flowers begin to bloom.

You’re More Productive:

Productivity or a lapse in productivity is something that most of us will tend to experience on a daily basis. Sometimes we’ll have good moments of productivity and others, slightly less to none at all. It’s always good to find ways of inspiring and motivating you whether it’s in your personal life or work life. Plants and flowers can help bring that productivity, sending good vibes to your brain to stimulate it. So if you’ve been feeling a lack of it recently, then be sure to invest in a few more plants for your home.

The benefits of greenery in and outside your home are proven to be helpful in creating a happy environment so use these tips for yourself this spring!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Spring Has Sprung!

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Spring Has Sprung!

Hello! While there is an actual calendar date for the first day of spring, it has already sprung for me because of the bulbs and flowers popping up in my parent’s yard. My dad is an incredible gardener but, unfortunately, just had surgery for a dislocated shoulder and broken arm which means he will have to sit this gardening season out.

My family has all agreed to step in to tend to the yard and garden this spring and summer under my dad’s watch and I’m excited! I used to love helping out in the garden when I was younger and this past week as I walked around the backyard, I was delighted to see some flowers already poking out from the dried grass and leaves. Check it out:

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This has been a crazy past few weeks for my family with my dad’s injury on top of other personal matters and seeing these sunny little flowers during a beautiful day made me feel hopeful. Yellow was my grandma’s favorite color and one of mine too. She also loved planting flowers, herself, and catching sight of my dad’s crocuses and his “buttercups” as he calls them was like getting a special hello from her.

Despite the much needed transition into warm weather, things still feel so dark right now due to the pandemic. However, stepping out into the sunlight and having the first flowers of the season there to greet me put a smile on my face. It made me feel genuinely happy and I am looking forward to spending time outside with my family in the nice weather. My gardening skills might not be up to par with those of my dad but I’ll give it my best shot so he can still have his yearly flowers and veggies during his recovery. ❤

When do you feel like spring his sprung? What is your favorite flower? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Making Your Outdoor Space The Perfect Hang Out

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Making Your Outdoor Space The Perfect Hang Out

Despite the weather being cold and gloomy, it is never too early to think about how to improve your outdoor space this spring and summer. Once the warm weather hits, it will be a lot easier to safely socialize outside which might make you even more motivated to turn your outdoor property into the best on the block. Try out some of these ideas and you will be back to seeing your friends in the warm summer’s breeze before you know it:

Lush greenery:

The first step to turning your yard into the place to be is to get your landscaping just right. Soft green grass, lovely foliage, and bright flowers are a must. It will make your space so inviting and will surely impress your guests when they come to visit. Some people, like my dad, are born with green thumbs. But, if gardening is not your strong suit, then enlist the help of landscaping Toronto for a front and back yard you can be proud of.

Comfortable outdoor furniture:

You will not want your friends to have to sit on the lawn when they stop by, so it’s important to get some nice outdoor furniture to rest on. Wicker chairs with plush cushions, lawn chairs, and benches are a great place to start. As long as you take care of the furniture, that is! Heavy rain and stifling heat can turn that once super comfortable cushion into a moldy disaster.

A fire pit:

There is nothing better than sitting around a bonfire with your friends so maybe this will be the year you invest in a fire pit. It will feel so good to do something “normal” again while being a lot safer outdoors. Can’t you just smell the bonfire and hear the crickets chirping now?

Outdoor activities:

Don’t forget the games! A nice, lush lawn is just begging for some bocce ball, croquet, and cornhole – all of which can be played social distance style. Invite a few friends and have yourselves a garden party. Don’t forget the tiny sandwiches and lemonade!

Made in the shade:

On especially sunny days, it will be crucial to have a spot to cool down in – whether that be a table with a great big umbrella, a Sun Setter, or a kiddie pool to soak your feet in. After all of this time spent indoors, I’m sure many of us will be in our gardens all day come summer time. If you find yourself retreating back inside when it gets too hot, a cool down space to continue to enjoy the great outdoors in will be a must when preparing your space.

In my opinion, winter has been flying by. And, in just a few short months, we will all be able to have the opportunity to socialize a bit more outside so make your outdoor space this summer the best ever!