Spring is Here!

I’m pretty sure that the universe really wants me to post some photos of flowers today.  Why, you ask?  Three reasons, primarily.  First, Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge is FLOWERS.  Second, the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is SPRING.  And third (and most importantly of all), my yard is in full bloom!!!  Look at the beautiful spectacle I was greeted with upon arriving home from work today.  Spring is really here!!!

Cherry Blossom-lined street

In addition to the blossoming pink cherry trees that line the street in front of our house we also have weeping cherry, pear, and crabapple trees that are all blooming.  Combine those with my daffodils, viburnum, vinca, and potted dahlias and that makes for a pretty amazing Spring scene!

Unfortunately the deer have also realized that Spring has arrived and they are doing their best to gobble up the tasty tulips and azaleas as quickly as they can grow.  This was never a problem in the past because Bailey patrolled the yard like it was her job, but it has now become clear that the deer have learned that their german shorthaired nemesis is no longer around to harass them.

Here’s an example of deer destruction in my tulip bed.  Photo 1 is from last summer, 2 is what the baby tulips looked like in late March before we went to California, and 3 is what they look like now.  Ack!!  I have since pushed several pointy sticks into the flower bed (photo 4) to try to prevent the deer from wedging their heads in to snack… it’s not pretty but so far it has worked!

All deer issues aside, after the long, cold winter we had it is really wonderful to finally experience Spring.  I’m going to try to spend as much time as possible outside enjoying the weather this weekend, starting off with a 5K trail race tomorrow morning.  Wish me luck!

Springtime at our house

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: WHITE

White Crabapple Tree

I don’t usually participate in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, but I follow a few bloggers who do and I was inspired by how Pami from Pa-BLAM! handled this week’s topic, the color white.  Here in Southeastern PA snow has been covering the ground for 6+ weeks so you might think that ‘snow’ would be the first thing that comes to mind for a white photo challenge, but Pami defied old man winter and focused on spring instead.  It’s so much nicer to think about crocuses, daffodils and cherry blossoms, don’t you think?

So, without further ado, here are my cheerful, non-wintery entries for this week’s Foto Challenge:
White Crocuses... they'll be blooming in just a few weeks!!!!

White Shasta Daisy

And remember, despite this cold winter weather, Spring really isn’t that far away.  Here are the dates that the above photos were taken.  I wonder if this year will be an early Spring like 2012 (trees in full bloom by mid-April) or a later Spring like we had in 2013 (same trees blooming in early May).  I vote early Spring!!  🙂

Wedding Flowers!

It’s time for another wedding-related post and this week I’d like to share some photos of the gorgeous flower arrangements that our florist, Toni Ogborn, put together for our wedding a few months ago.  Aren’t the pinks, oranges, greens and succulents beautiful together?

Wedding Bouquet - bright pink dahlias, pale garden roses and peach roses with a blue ribbon

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may remember that back in April I posted about painting my own blue mason jars for our wedding.  That’s one of my jars in the photo above… it looks pretty real, right?  🙂  If you take a look at that older post you’ll also see my wedding flower inspiration photo.  I knew that I wanted my wedding flowers to look just like the bouquet in that photo so I gave a copy of the photo to Toni and asked her to make something similar.  I think she did a perfect job!!

I loved my bouquet!

I liked my bouquet so much that I brought it home the day after the wedding and used it as the centerpiece on our kitchen table until we left for our honeymoon.  Here’s a closer look at the flowers and colors in my bouquet:

Wedding Bouquet Flowers_2

My bridesmaids each had bouquets that were wrapped in blue ribbon to match their dresses.  I love how bright and bold the flowers were!

Wedding Bouquets - pinks, peaches, succulents with aqua dresses

Our reception was in a barn so we opted for long tables with burlap runners and lots of small floral arrangements in blue mason jars and quilted jelly jars.  These arrangements were simpler, more rustic versions of our bouquets and featured soft garden roses, crazy snap dragons, peach-colored roses and hot pink dahlias.

Wedding Flower Centerpiece - Colorful Flowers in Blue Mason JarWedding Flower Arrangements in Mason Jars on Long Tables

If you’re getting married in the western Philadelphia suburbs and you are interested in talking to Toni Ogborn about doing your wedding flowers please feel free to send me an e-mail at anne.elizabeth.mcmanus (at) gmail.com and I will be happy to put you in touch with her.  I loved the flowers that Toni put together for my wedding and I highly recommend her work!  🙂

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Please note:  All photos in the post with the exception of the “closer look” at my bouquet were taken by Melissa Hassey of Melissa Hassey Photography.  The closer look photo was taken by me with my iPhone the morning after the wedding.

Related Posts:
Wedding Photo of the Week #2 – the Perks of a Winery Wedding
Wedding Photo of the Week #1
We’re Married!

Happy Spring!

Happy Spring!  Our yard has made a beautiful transformation from Winter to Spring in just two short weeks.  Our trees are blooming, the tulips are coming up, and the garlic that I planted last Fall is looking great.  Here are some photos from April 19th:

That beautiful spinach patch is actually leftover from spinach that I planted in October.  It never really took off at the time (probably because I planted it too late) but as soon as the weather warmed up in April it started growing like crazy.  I harvested it today and I can’t wait to enjoy with some cucumber, feta, and toasted almonds tonight!

If you’re interested to see how this year’s growth compares to the same time last year, check out my Garden Update from April 17, 2012.  Thanks for stopping by!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Color

I haven’t been very good about doing the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenges every week, but I like this week’s topic so I thought I would jump back in and participate! Here’s my red-hued take on Color:

Looking at all of those beautiful red veggies and flowers is really making me want to plant my vegetable garden! 🙂 Just a few weeks to go…

August Cheer for a Rainy Day

As predicted, Hurricane Sandy is slowly turning into the New Jersey coast and we have already experienced 40 mph wind gusts, almost 2 inches of rain, and a short power outage.  We’ve also found a leaky spot in our roof by the chimney… eek!  Other than that everything is fine so I thought I’d share something completely unrelated to the storm: photos from my garden in August!

This pink zinnia plant was at its peak in early August but, believe it or not, it STILL has a few blooms on it today! We’ll see how they look after the storm…

These Gladioli bloomed in August and did a nice job of covering up the big propane tank that powers a little stove in our living room. That stove might come in handy if the power goes out tonight!

Vine-ripening tomatoes in early August… yum!

These “Dinnerplate” Dahlias bloomed outside of our front door for most of the summer.

I picked all of these vegetables during my lunch break one day in August. Pretty good harvest, right?

And, last but not least, an isolated Orange Cosmo. You might recognize this plant from my August post “The Bee’s Knees.” I’m definitely planting more of these flowers next year!

Thanks for stopping by my blog and good luck to everyone in the storm’s path!

Pink Zinnia!

We grew this lovely pink zinnia from seed and it now resides outside our front door amidst a volunteer squash patch.  Isn’t it pretty?

Also… don’t forget to leave a comment in my Slimkicker Giveaway post to be eligible to win a digital kitchen scale!  🙂