My Home

Without a doubt, one of my most popular projects has been my DIY Acrylic Curtain Rods.  (some people say lucite, some say acrylic - potatuh, potatah)  So imagine my feelings one night when I am searching for hardware for our Master Bath renovation, and I come upon an image of this.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="300"] brass pipe clip[/caption] Do you see what I see?  I instantly thought "I CAN MAKE SOMETHING WITH THIS!"  Originally, I was thinking I could put brass rods through these to make some killer hardware, but then I pondered acrylic.  It would definitely be cheaper, and since the pipe clips are a little more bulky and industrial looking, perhaps that would be the perfect combination of mechanical and sophisticated. This is a rather convoluted story, but follow me on the struggle for an idea to come to fruition... So the next day, I called up my local plumbing supply searching for brass pipe clips.  They did not have them, never heard of them.  I called several others...nothing.  No one seemed to have ever heard of pipe clips; rather, pipe clips that were brass (aka pretty).  Finally, I got my answer after calling yet another plumbing supply store (and after he laughed at me when I told him I was looking for brass pipe clips).  After sending him the picture, he said, "Oh, these are probably European.  In the UK and countries over there, they care about stuff like this.  You will never find these here." (WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU AMERICA?!  : )  ) Therefore, I did what I always do when I cannot find something in the States, I go to Ebay UK.  My first set of clips I ordered from this seller.  They were very nice and easy to work with.  Sadly, in the midst of all of our home renovations, the pipe clips got lost.  By the time I went back to order, my Ebay UK seller was out of the ones I needed.  I had to find another source.  Then I found Supreme Plumb.  On their site, they tell you they will not ship internationally, but they will.  Just email them.
Note:  When I am shipping items internationally, I always request Expedited Shipping.  It is worth the extra few dollars, and trust me, Standard Shipping from other countries these past couple of years has been a nightmare.  I bought some art for a client last year, and it was stuck in customs for MONTHS.
Just FYI, if you prefer a silver look rather than a gold, pipe clips come in chrome, too. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="397"] chrome pipe clip[/caption] The new pipe clips arrived, and I was ready to get started. Here is what you need...

It has been really fun getting to show you all our garden we have been working on for so long.  (see article on here) It has been quite the journey these last three years, and in case you missed it, you can see all of the before pictures and read the background story in this article.

Today I thought I would talk more about the details of our garden makeover.  Keep in mind that this is where we started...

[caption id="attachment_9071" align="aligncenter" width="640"]November 2013 November 2013[/caption] And here we are now!

garden makeover

For this garden space, I really wanted a "put together organically over time" feel.  Our house was built in the early 1920's, and back in the day, this area was supposedly a beautiful rose garden.  What I really love about design is bringing life to a space, breathing art and color and texture to it.  It is so gratifying to turn something not so great into something beautiful.

Once we got the pavers set in the center of the garden (we used these 18x18 pavers from Home Depot), I was immediately imagining what I wanted the dining set to look like.

dining set outdoor

garden makeover

Well hello!  I have a big garden reveal coming up in the next couple of weeks, but I thought it might be helpful to show you where we started, and what has transpired over the last nearly three years since we started this project! I think people are afraid of gardening because they are 1. worried they are going to kill things, or 2. they think they have a black thumb, or 3. it just seems like a lot of work.  Well, the answer to number 1 is "you will", my response to number 2 is "it's all a learning process", and number 3...well, it can be.  If you go into it with the mindset of "this is a trial and error process", I think you will be much better off.  But just like with most things, a good plan is a great place to start. When we moved into our house, we loved this space (pictured below) for a future garden, but before we could get started, we needed to do other things to the house like put on a roof and have working bathrooms, haha.  This is the earliest photo I could find of the proposed garden - it is from July 2012.  You can see the chainlink fence butts into the tall wood fence.  (which was not aesthetically pleasing)  You can also see lots and lots of weeds. [caption id="attachment_9075" align="aligncenter" width="640"]before garden makeover July 2012[/caption] It really is a shame it was in such bad shape, especially after we heard that in the 1920's and 30's, this space was a lovely rose garden that people would stop by and see.  Apparently, it had quite the reputation!  The previous owners of our home used the area as a dog yard of sorts, so it looked like...a dog yard. If you have been following this site for a long time (as in since the beginning), you may remember me talking about the space as my "Dream Project". [caption id="attachment_9073" align="aligncenter" width="640"]garden before July 2012[/caption]

We tossed around some different ideas and plans and finally began the work in November of 2013.  The first order of business was to remove the chainlink fence and replace it with a fence of matching height.  Since the wood looked different (old vs. new), we decided to paint it all charcoal grey.  I thought painting the wood coupled with plants would help hide the difference in the two fences.  The ground was also tilled, the ancient laundry pole removed, and all the weeds were taken out.

[caption id="attachment_9071" align="aligncenter" width="640"]November 2013 November 2013[/caption]

This area had a non-functional sprinkler system most likely installed in the 1940's so that was all removed, and a new sprinkler system was installed. (we used drip irrigation in the outlying beds and sprinkler heads in the raised beds - drip irrigation saves water and is more cost effective!)  The plan was to create two large raised beds and a patio space for a dining table and chairs.

[caption id="attachment_9070" align="aligncenter" width="640"]November 2013 November 2013[/caption] In the next photo, you can see on the right a cost effective solution (much cheaper than wood fencing) for hiding the air conditioner, sprinkler box, and other outdoor items we need to store.  We bought those old gates at my favorite local salvage store/yard, and after support was added, they provided a very nice screen for unsightly items. [caption id="attachment_9069" align="aligncenter" width="640"]November 2013 November 2013[/caption] The gates even came painted the same color as our fence!  It was uncanny how perfectly the color matched!

fence and gate color match

I feel like I need to take a moment here and thank Robbie Young from Mansfield Landscape & Sprinkler for all of his hard work on this space.  Many of these jobs that were the basic foundation of the space were out of my husband and I's realm of expertise, and he was so diligent and easy to work with.  Highly recommend, thanks Robbie!

Shortly after we finished the garden space, and had a few plants in the ground, we got a crazy Texas ice and snow storm.  It was kind of a bummer because we ended up losing a lot of plants.  (we are not used to that kind of weather here)

[caption id="attachment_9077" align="aligncenter" width="640"] December 2013[/caption] But by January 2014, things had perked up a bit.  The garden was still pretty bare bones, but it was still winter time, and we knew we would get more plants in the ground in the spring. [caption id="attachment_9066" align="aligncenter" width="640"]January 2014 January 2014[/caption] [caption id="attachment_9064" align="aligncenter" width="640"]January 2014 January 2014[/caption] In April of 2014, we got right to work.  Last year was our first real garden experience in this house.  It was a ton of work planting and planning and researching, but it was fun, too.  We involved the kids in the raised beds planting, and they really enjoyed it.  (my husband, my dad, the green thumb of the family, and myself planted most of the plants in the main beds)