When the geese went to the sanctuary this past spring, we were left with their pen and no sweet peas in it.  I’d always planned to add boxwoods and plants to it eventually, so we just decided to slowly go ahead with that anyway.   We moved in a bunch of things we’d had around the property- a pair of random limelight hydrangea trees that have moved to 3 houses now with us- along with random things from photoshoots I’d collected, and a few plants from neighbors.  We brought in the table we found at the Lucketts Spring Market and added a pair of old chairs.  It’s sort of a hodgepodge and work-in-progress but having things living in there makes it feel less lonely… When the geese first left and I went in the goose house, I just felt so sad.  I’ve been trying to make it a happier place and it’s turned out to be pretty functional for us too.

It’s no secret that I’m inspired by pretty much everything Brooke & Steve Giannetti do, but I’m especially inspired by their beautiful way of life at their home, Patina Farm.  Patina Farm is one of my all-time favorite books and I just love looking through it for inspiration.



It turned me back onto attempting roses, which I’ve always had trouble keeping mite-free and alive.  Brooke & Steve’s climbing roses are absolutely incredible though and their photos were just too gorgeous for me not to try it again.  So out we went to get some climbing roses… I went with white and yellow varieties and popped them right into the gravel.  They bloomed away and I had no clue how to really keep them healthy (there is SOOO much info online to wade through I just wasn’t sure what was for the overachievers and what was actually needed.)…


yellow roses from the pen on our table


… so I posted a photo of my roses (above) and asked my Instagram buddies what the best solution was for keeping them healthy and I got it from a lot of trusty sources (thank you guys!!) that the easiest thing to do is to spray them weekly with an organic 3-in 1 insecticide, fungicide and fertilizer.  ( I got  a neem oil one from our garden center) …And then I think I’m also supposed to feed them with an additional fertilizer every now and then but I haven’t gotten to that part yet.


Getting those mites!!!


…Well anyway, the summer hit and we started traveling and I neglected spraying my roses and came home to little more than stems and sticks!!! THE MITES!!!!!  Most of the leaves were either gone or bitten through and the poor roses were on their last legs.  (Ugh I’m the worrrrrst!!!)  Anyway, I started spraying away religiously over the past month and it’s CRAZY how quickly they’ve started coming back!!  They’re by no means awesome again but I can see how hard they want to live!!!  (Is it weird this whole situation has made me like them more?? I’m pretty impressed by their tenacity lol.)


trying to get the roses to come back!!!


You can see in the photo below that I’m literally spraying bare stems at this point


We had some blooms last week and they’re still blooming (veeeery slowly now compared to earlier this summer when I was a good garden mom to them) so I’m just going to keep at it and hope that when they come back next spring, they’ll be strong and healed up again.  (I’ve still got to figure out that “feeding” part of the equation before then though!!)

I love hanging in the pen and the kids and pups play a lot on that little area of driveway in front of it (the garage is on the other side) and the older boys have a lacrosse bounce back right behind it so it’s a good little spot to putter around with the plants in while we all hang out.  (It’s weird but we also sometimes hang out in our garage… I’ve started dreaming about expanding out kitchen into it one day so I could have a wall with glass doors looking out onto the potting pen and do more herbs in there and maybe even add some raised beds for herbs and a fountain on the driveway portion…  I’d just want to leave enough space for the kids/ dogs to play…  Anyway, I’m a long ways from that but I’ve been simmering on it.)

And on another note… I got this pair of jeans this week and I am FLIPPING out over them.  I texted my best friends to alert them (it’s something we’ve done since college when we find something awesome) that they needed them.  They run between $55-$65 and I found them because I’ve recently started horse back riding with the kids and was looking for a pair of jeans that I could wear while riding.  I got them from a riding apparel brand and I expected to only wear them for riding but I am seriously hooked.  The price is awesome and the fit is THE BEST.  They look like normal jeans – and they don’t really look like they have much stretch or give to them as you can see in the photos- but they stretch and have a ton of give, especially around the waist for comfortable movement while riding.  (I always joked that I love maternity jeans for the stretchy waist band… well these are as comfy as that but the waist band is normal and they don’t look at all stretchy.) Anyway,  I love a good, thick jean and these are my new favorite boot cuts— which are taking the #1 spot from a couple of pairs of Express jeans I’ve had since forever ago (and still love but hey, these are definitely more comfortable.)  I’ve been bad about posting outfits lately- summer just hit and apparently I stopped doing more than spraying the roses!!- but as soon as I got these jeans I knew I had to get a post up.

I wore them to work yesterday with a black floral blouse and a pair of wedges… I got them in “long” (they recommended long for 5′-8″ and above) but they’re a little too long to wear with flats or lower riding boots so I’ll probably be getting another pair in a different color in the regular length for flats/ riding.  They’re #5 on the collage below and #8 is the jeans in a slightly darker color.  Both #9s are the same pair of jeans with a different back pocket design.  My blouse is a few years old so I’ve added a few black floral blouses I found & love for fall and same deal with the booties.  I got the pair of #11 boots to ride in and they are seriously so comfortable and know I’ll be wearing them to do more than just ride in.  The leather is beautiful and they lighten up the moment they bend which is so pretty.  Anyway, have a beautiful weekend & see you next week!! xo


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