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I hope you had a great week!

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Random Things Happening Behind the Scenes at Bricks ‘n Blooms

What a week it was!

The pool is open! Yay!

I shed a few tears last year when it was closed up for the season in fall, so opening it up again makes me feel very happy.

Some people enjoy the beach. Others enjoy a lake.

I am all about the pool. Not that I don’t love my time on the beach or at the lake too, because I do. But, give me a pool and I can hang there all day long.

Back in the day, I’d bake in the sun all day long. But not anymore.

Now, I love to sit under my umbrella, and sip on some iced decaf coffee, green juice, or water, and that’s a pretty good day for me.

So the fact that it is open again…I am super psyched.

pool with cozy lounge chairs and white umbrella with ruffles on patio in lush new jersey gardening zone 6a backyard
black lab by the pool with reflections of the woods

But now that my summer distraction is open, I need to haul to get these plantings done over the next few weeks!

So we are doing double time now.

This week, I sowed seeds outdoors that included calendula, borage, aromatto basil, sunflowers, cosmos, and tithonia.

And I started hardening off most of the seedlings I started indoors that include zinnias, amaranth, and strawflowers.

I sprayed deer repellent on all of susceptible plants and used this systemic repellent on those that are susceptible to rabbits and deer. Cause this year, my plants are not succumbing to rabbit damage too.

Cue the groundhog that wasn’t here last year. It’s his time to shine. LOL!

Tulip Aveyron by the stone wall
Tulip ‘Aveyron’

Last week, I told you about my epic seed starting fail: lisianthus.

They are hanging in there, but not by much. I have about 10 plants left. And if I’m being totally honest here, I am done with them. So I just moved them outside and will see if they do any better or worse out there.

Because they are not fun to grow. The seedlings have not grown in several weeks. They are still green but look puny.

I mean, I knew they’d take a while but it’s like they aren’t doing anything. So…Stacy is done. It is what it is at this point.

My daughter Shana is home for the summer from school and all of my kids are back under one roof. Although they all run in different directions, it is really nice to have them all at home again.

home and garden blogger stacy ling and her family spending time together around the firepit

We started refreshing the front pond outdoor living space.

I ordered 3 sets of two chairs and surprisingly, only two chairs arrived damaged, so they need to go back.

But we assembled four of the chairs I bought for it and enjoyed our first fires by the pond. It was lovely!

Speaking of the pond, they are fully open and cleaned out now. We still had the netting covering them, and the waterfalls and fountains were not on until this weekend.

So now, I’m feeling like it is almost summer.


new set up by the front yard pond with adirondack chairs and a firepit in new jersey
close up of new firepit by the front pond with bridge

And we had a recent calamity in the backyard that needs some repair. Calling Chris stat for this one.

While I was upstairs, I noticed the top part of one of the fencing fell down. There are parts of this fence that are rotting and need repair so this is going on the project list.

But hopefully, he can address and fix this one sooner than later.

view of the broken green fence in the backyard garden

What I’m Shopping For This Week

I did quite a bit of shopping this week.

Since I sort of neglected this garden last year, I shopped for seating and a fire pit for the front yard pond. And I am super excited about what I bought!

It just arrived so Chris has been assembling the chairs this weekend but it is coming along and I love it!

With the garden filling in out there, this garden room is starting to come alive. Here’s what I bought for this space.

  • I bought six of these Adirondack chairs (so three sets because they come 2 in a pack). The quality is really nice. However, we are going to apply an additional exterior topcoat on them to help protect them from weathering.
  • I also bought this firepit that was on serious sale this week! I wouldn’t use this around small kids or my dogs because it sits very low, but I love the vibe and think it looks great so far in the space.
  • We needed some more outdoor string lights, so I bought another set to string up here.
  • And I snagged a few more of those solar lanterns too because they are a must-have in any outdoor garden space.
bridge over the pond garden in early spring

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas I Love (and Have)

Since Mother’s Day is coming up, I curated some Mother’s Day gift ideas here but there are a few things that I have that I LOVE that you might want to consider giving (or asking for!) because they are totally awesome.

  • This temperature-controlled heated mug is THE BEST. It keeps my coffee warm and I can carry it with me while I walk through the gardens and drink hot coffee. If you or someone you know puts their tea or coffee back in the microwave to warm it back up, trust me, they need this in their life!
  • I’m also a huge fan of my electric tea kettle. It is a time saver and so much easier to use than heating up water on the stove. Another must-have in my opinion.
  • I can’t say enough good things about this garden kneeler footstool. I’ve had one for most of my gardening career and when my first one finally broke, I bought this one. It’s a must-have to save your knees, back, and tushy from the wet ground while you are working.
close up of spanish bluebells
Spanish Bluebells

Aside from Mother’s Day and the front pond garden room, this is what I bought or am shopping for this week.

hostas growing in the pool garden

What’s Happening at Bricks ‘n Blooms

It was a fun week on the blog!

This week, I shared my favorite not-so-easy-care flower. And I’m not saying it is not doable, because it is, but this plant is a little more work than some other plants I typically recommend.

We also chatted about how to choose annuals vs perennials for your garden. It’s a good idea to think this through with how YOU want to garden.

Dahlia 'Jowey Winnie' flowers close up
Dahlia ‘Jowey Winnie’

I also shared 27 water feature ideas that will accommodate any garden size or budget so you can create a backyard oasis.

I had no idea how much I needed a water feature until I had one.

So if you don’t already have one in your backyard, you’ve got to check this one out.

zen garden koi pond in spring with pink azalea flowers, japanese maple and rhododendron and elderberry shrubs

And finally, I shared this week’s early may flowers garden tour in my latest YouTube Video. First, we’ll stroll through my porch garden and front yard beds with lots of daffodils and tulips.

Next, we’ll head over to the potager garden, where I’m growing a variety of veggies and herbs. After that, we’ll check out my zen garden, which is a peaceful oasis of calm amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life.

And then, we’ll wrap up our tour with a visit to my formal garden, where you’ll see a stunning display of tree sculptures, garden statues, and lush greenery.

So grab a cup of coffee, tea, or whatever you’d like, and join me for a virtual stroll through my garden.

Wait until you see how pretty it all looks!

close up of tulips in the cottage garden

Amazing Inspiration from Around the Web

I love finding cool inspiration from around the web and wanted to share some of what I’m loving right now.

These are the 10 best herbs to grow and why.

Get the New England Style coastal look with these simple tips.

These tips for hanging curtains in a bay window.

This botanical art DIY.

This recipe for classic taco salad.

These coastal blue and white ideas for a hutch.

This recipe for overnight nights with raspberries looks so good!

The zen garden at night with koi fish swimming in the pond with japanese maple and staddle stone

If you enjoy these posts, you can find past Bricks ‘n Blooms Weekly posts here.

And… If you’re catching up on blog posts you may have missed, be sure to sign-up to get my newest posts via email to stay up to date with everything that’s happening here on the blog and more.

A vibrant garden bordered by a green picket fence features blooming pink roses, tall foxgloves, and various colorful flowers. Green foliage and decorative garden ornaments add charm to the lush, wooded backdrop. Shows the perfect example of using a good compost recipe in your garden.

How to Make the Best Compost Recipe: A Step-By-Step Guide for Beginners

Learn how to make the best compost recipe with this step-by-step guide for beginners. Discover essential tips and the perfect recipe for rich, organic compost. Composting is a simple and effective way to recycle organic waste and enrich your garden soil. Not only does composting reduce landfill waste, but it also provides essential nutrients that…
Read More How to Make the Best Compost Recipe: A Step-By-Step Guide for Beginners
Home and Garden Blogger Stacy Ling cutting zinnia flowers in her cottage garden with wood picket fence in front of garden shed

Thank you so much for following along.

Enjoy a beautiful day! xo

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  1. Stacy
    Your water features are just stunning and we opened our pool this weekend also. Summertime!!! Thanks for sharing my Herb post.

  2. Wow! Your outdoor spaces are gorgeous Stacy! And I am also a pool girl. I have to admit that I’m jealous of your pool. How fun to have everyone at home.