New Spring Garden Additions

This past weekend I feel like I visited every garden center within a 20 mile radius. Okay, it certainly wasn’t every one, but we went to at least 7. I wouldn’t say I have a green thumb. I’m actually not that great at keeping plants alive, which is maybe why I’ve come to adore succulents and cacti so much. They don’t die as easily. I’ve been trying to learn more about gardening in hopes of keeping our new landscaping efforts alive and well. We’ve been doing tons of yard work, and have made some pretty big changes.

I could kick myself for not taking a before picture to show how big the change has been, but let me set the scene. The front of the house used to have 8 Emerald Green Arborvitae. Three were behind the bushes you see in the photo. Two of those bushes used to be near the tree and we moved them back to be in a row of four. There was also a large unidentified bush in the back on the right. The other 5 arborvitae were in a row right behind the tree. Basically there were so many bushes you could barely see the house. We dug up and moved all of the arborvitae to the back yard. The large unidentifiable bush wasn’t in great shape, so we cut it down and dug out the root ball.

Update! I did find an old picture after posting this! Here it is:

Picture 2

As you can see in the photo, all that work left us with a blank slate this past weekend, hence the many garden center trips.

Starting with a Blank Slate

We put in a lot of new small plants around the tree including Elijah Blue Fescue, Silvermound Artemesia, marigolds, coleus, and candytuft.

New Flowers

Blue Fescue, Marigolds, Silvermound Artemesia, Candytuft, Coleus

We also potted a few plants for the steps and the porch including Gerbera daisies, ranunculus, and some more coleus and Candytuft.

Gerbera Daisies

Red Ranunculus

Yellow Ranunculus

I couldn’t resist adding a few new little succulents to my growing window garden. I’ve been eying up various types of stonecrop, and had to buy this cute little light green one when I saw it. I got a couple other little succulents to add to the pot.


I also fell for this tiny little fern. It’s hard to get the scale from this photo, but the fern is only about 3 inches tall and I potted it in a little bonsai pot.


And here’s another shot of the whole window succulent garden.


It got really cold out the past couple nights, so I’m hoping that the outdoor plants survive. They seem to be doing okay so far. Hopefully we are past the point of frost! Anyway, all of this gardening has kept me from cooking as much, but I do have a few new recipes in the works for upcoming posts. I just wanted to share what I’ve been up to these past couple weeks. I’m glad to have most of the gardening finished. Turns out it’s also a good way to meet neighbors! Everyone who walked by said hi and commented on the gardening. It helped keep up the momentum to continue working even though it was pretty exhausting at times. I have to say, despite the hard work, it was also fun and I’m happy with the results of my first time landscaping efforts!


Pasadena Day Trip: Green Earth Vegan and Huntington Botanical Gardens

It’s been a while since I posted last…busy week! But I have more to share from my trip to California a couple weeks ago. I ended up taking a day trip to Pasadena for work, so I decided to check out a vegan restaurant while I was there. Pasadena seems to have a decent number of vegan options. This one was called Green Earth Vegan.

It was a cute place with a nice ambiance, and the food was good. I had a really hard time choosing what to order, so I asked the waitress what her favorite thing on the menu was. She said the Classic Burger so I choose that to end my indecisiveness. I normally wouldn’t order a veggie burger at a vegan restaurant, but since it came with a recommendation I went for it. It was actually pretty good! I didn’t get a photo though…guess I was too hungry! I did get photos of the other things we ordered though… Spring Rolls, Chow Mein and Crispy Chow Mein.

Overall, I liked this place and I would go back if I found myself in Pasadena again. They have an eclectic menu and a lot of other dishes that look pretty yummy.

While we were in Pasadena, we also took a trip to the Huntington Botanical Gardens. We only had a couple hours there, so we focused on the Japanese Garden and the Cactus/Desert Garden. It was a good excuse to try out my new Lens Baby.

They also have a variety of other gardens such as Australian, Chinese, Herb, Jungle, Shakespeare, etc. It’s a pretty big place! I would like to go back someday and explore some of the other gardens that I missed.

The Desert Garden fed my growing obsession with succulents and cacti. I’m slowly gathering a small collection on my kitchen windowsill. They’re just so cute and the only plant I can seem to keep alive! The two little pots with jade plants are cuttings from my sister’s backyard.