Improve your front porch with a Highlander sign

I guess it’s no news to you that I’m a big fan of our Highlander collection, is it? I believe it may be quite obvious since I’ve been showing off a few photos from my own sign, where you can see that I have several pieces from this collection myself. However, I wanted to show you how a Highlander sign can be used to improve the look of your front porch, or your side entry for that matter.

The photo above belongs to Carolyn, with the beautiful and interesting blog Sweet Chaos Home. She won this sign by participating in a blog give-away, and I think she made the perfect choice. This Highlander sign looks just perfect at her beautiful side entry. It was beautiful before, and it got even better with this addition. If you’re interested in a closer look you can get it by visiting her own blog post, where she writes about her award. I really think you should take a look, not only to see the sign, but to read all her entertaining blog posts. You can also see what the side entry looked like before she received the sign.

This sign has double trim and the size is 4.3″x8.3″. I personally love this size, and it’s perfect for American house numbers as it has room for up to 5 numbers, but it can also be used with fewer numbers, such as 3 or 4 numbers.

Would you choose this size if you won a sign? And would you go with the Highlander collection? I love it, but I also consider to choose a blue and white house number sign, as I think this would be a great match for our light yellow exterior.

Harvest and enjoy – a rewarding hobby

I love spending time with friends and family, but I also think it’s important to have a hobby, or something to focus on, that is your own, something you really enjoy doing when you’ve got some time to spare, or when you just feel a need to be alone for a while.

I’ve found mine in gardening, and I think the most fun thing of all is to grow herbs and berries in the garden, as it gives so much in return. You can bring them up from seeds into growing plants, and eventually harvest the result; delicious and nutritious berries and herbs, that can be used for baking, cooking or just as a treat every now and then.

Do you enjoy gardening, and do you grow your own herbs and berries? I’ve composed a list of berries and herbs that I think is great to grow at home. Maybe you’ve already got some of them in your backyard, or maybe you’ve got more favorites to add to the list? I’d gladly add them, so just let me know!

  • Fragaria x vescana – Do you like strawberries? Then you’ll love this delicious little berry, which is a mix between strawberries and wild strawberries. They are smaller than a strawberry, and just as sweet as wild strawberries. They are usually ready to harvest in July and August, and when you plant them you should place the plant in a sunny, yet protected place.
  • Orange Balsam – This is a type of Thymus which is easy to grow. You don’t have to water it daily, as it can stand dry surroundings without problems. Place it in a sunny spot. It’s beautiful with its leaves which are coloured in a mix of grey and green, and its flowers which are purple-pink. You can have it as a beautiful addition in the garden, but you can also use it for cooking purpose, and it’ll taste just perfect when used in meat dishes and stews.
  • Yellow Raspberries – Raspberries are always delicious, but if you want something slightly different, but still very delicious, you should search for yellow raspberries, or Rubus Golden Queen, as they’re also called. The berries are ready to harvest in July and August, and these plants are quite easy to grow, which is a great bonus.
  • Eruca Sativa – Perfect to grow as it’s easy to grow from seed, and you’ll be able to harvest all summer. Tasty to put in the salad, or along with pizza. You can grow this inside as well as outside, so it’s not necessary to have a garden of your own.
  • Sweet Cherry – Prunus Avium, as it’s called in Latin, is a delicious berry that can be grown in large pots on the balcony, as well as in the garden. The tree should be placed in a sunny spot, and you may have to protect the berries from birds when they are ready to harvest. The berries are really sweet, as the name suggests, and you can eat them as they are, or use in pies, etc.

Did you find any of your favorites in the list? Or maybe some new ideas for your garden? Remember that it doesn’t have to be expensive to grow your own herbs and berries. Maybe you can exchange seeds or plants with friends or relatives? Maybe they’d like a strawberry plant from you, in exchange for some Thyme to plant in your garden? It’s often possible to keep the costs down to a minimum, if you’re openminded and willing to share what you have with others.

Gravel gardening – the beautiful and convenient alternative

Gardening is fun, no doubt about it, but not everyone has the time and patience, or even the climate needed to arrange a garden with soil, lawn, etc. Fortunately there are plenty of alternatives for everyone who wants a low maintenance garden with many beautiful and hardy plants as well.

So, what is the solution you may wonder? It’s actually gravel gardening. It’s such a fascinating solution, and it’s a great solution if you want to create a cosy garden with a touch of the Mediterranean. The great thing with this kind of gardening is that you can arrange a gravel garden wherever you live. You can make it on any soil type, but if you have the possibility to choose, it’s definitely better to do it on sandy or gravelly soil.

How to make a gravel garden

There are several types of gravel to choose between when you’ve decided to create your own gravel garden. Medium-grade gravels can be a wise choice as they are more pleasant to walk on than the small-sized gravels, but if you want to keep cats away, large-sized gravel can be a good alternative too.

Look for local gravel and get it delivered with truck, it’s a convenient way to get it where you want it, and local alternatives will usually be a cheaper choice.

Self-seeding plants will make your garden look more natural and wild, which is perfect if you want a real beautiful and cosy place, where you and your friends can walk about and discover new flowers and plants from day to day. You’ll soon notice that the market is filled with suitable plants to use for gravel gardening. Lavandula, salvia and rosmarinus are all perfect for this purpose, and you can also plant yucca, cistus and juniperus with successful result.

If you’re looking for suitable perennials you should try osteospermum, sedum, euphorbia or phlomis, just to mention a few, but you should also consider to add a few climbers, like campsis, to get an even more fascinating garden.

Low maintenance but still as beautiful

The great thing with a gravel garden is that you won’t have to remind yourself to water your plants daily, as they will keep growing anyway, and the rainfalls will provide the water they need. Another thing you don’t have to do is to add fertilizer on a regular basis. These plants are hardy and will grow without such help.

What you need to do is to keep an eye on the gravel level and add more when needed. You should also remove spent flower stalks in the autumn, but in case you forget to do it then, you can also do it after winter, early spring that is.

Do you think this would be a solution that would be suitable for you? I think it would be a wonderful idea to try, and I would definitely consider doing it if my garden was bigger. Have a look at the photo from Beechwell… It looks so totally natural, and it’s obviously a great choice if you want an amazing garden without investing several hours each day cutting the lawn, watering plants, etc.

How to create the perfect garden

As summer is approaching it gets more and more important to start spending time in the garden, and gardening becomes a daily activity, at least for me. I love gardening, and I love to spend time in the garden during summer, but the garden can also be a source of frustration unless it looks like it’s supposed to do. I don’t know about you, but I personally don’t like plain lawns without any drama… I want a garden full of small, arranged rooms built up by stones and flowers as well as bushes and trees. I want the garden to be cozy, not perfect.

What does the perfect garden look like according to you? Do you prefer the minimalistic style with a lawn and a few bushes, or do you like a more wild-grown style, with flowers, stones and bushes arranged in a natural looking way?

Natural stones can help you create a beautiful garden

I really like the idea to use natural stones for landscaping purpose. It can be used to create walls in the garden, as well as layers, and it can also surround flowers in a very nice way. Landscaping with stones doesn’t have to be hard, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. You can accomplish a great result quite quickly, just by following a few steps.

  • Find the stones that you need. You can dig it up in the landscape, if you have a good place to harvest stones. You can also buy it from various shops.
  • Start creating focal points in the garden by placing bigger stones where it fits. You should combine these big stones with smaller ones, to create interesting groups of stones.
  • Create lines of stones or rocks in the garden where you want to build natural borders. You can build walkways by doing this, and you can create natural stairs in the garden as well.
  • Make it look natural by adding mulch, leaves, and grass between the stones and rocks, as it might look too arranged with just plain stones.
  • Use your imagination to get the result you’d like to get. It’s your garden, and it’s supposed to look like you want it to.

Do you like the idea of using natural stones and rocks in your garden? Maybe you’ve already got some natural stones out there? I’m eager to see photos, hear your comments and of course, read blog posts if you’ve written some on the topic 🙂

How to create the perfect garden

I promised you two things in my last post, namely to tell you who the winner of the give-away is, and how you can get a beautiful garden, with help from enamel signs and other things. I’ve decided to make two posts, two make it easier to find the right information. Let’s start with the gardening post, ok?

There are many things you can do to make the garden more beautiful and inspiring, and it doesn’t matter too much if you live in a house with a small garden or a real big one, there are plenty of things to do anyhow, and I’ve decided to make a list for you.

 

  • There are hundreds of ways to create a cozy place in the garden, but I really like the idea of making rooms in the garden, and you can have a ”room” even if you’ve got a small garden. Plant the flowers in a square, with room for a bench to sit on in the middle. Want to make it even cosier? Place a tree beside the bench so that you can relax there when the sun gets to hot in the summer.
  • The best way to continue is to kill the grass in the area where you plan to plant flowers. Use herbicide, and when this is done, you can cover the ground for approx. 5 weeks to make sure all grass roots are dead.
  • Start making a list of flowers that you’d like to plant. You should consider the climate zone when choosing plants, as some flowers won’t make it where you live, while others are perfectly suitable for that specific climate. Make sure to put the flowers in an area where they’ll get at least 5-7 hours of sunlight every day.
  • Arrange the flowers according to height, colour and water need. Put the tallest plants in the back row, and the smallest in the front row. Also use matching colours.
  • When all flowers and bushes are planted it’s time to plant the tree where you want it to be, and to put the bench in the right place.
  • Place a pergola or another type of entrance where you enter the garden room. Put an enamel sign on the pergola or the entrance, with a text that you like. It could be a simple text like Welcome, but it can also be something garden related, or just a quote that you like. Ramsign has various designs, so whatever colour scheme you’ve chosen for the garden room, you’ll be able to find a sign which suits the purpose. I would love to have a black Engelhardt sign, with a short text, such as ”My Garden Room” or something like that, and with a red heart at the bottom. Wouldn’t that look nice? What type of sign would you choose? And what text?

 

Did you like the idea? I think it would be amazing to have a spot like this in the garden, and I will definitely consider doing something similar to this later this year.

I’ll write a new post later on, with info about the winner.