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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!

Chris and I got a lot of random stuff accomplished last weekend while the kids were away on trips. We set up string lights around the firepit, cleaned out a few things, and harvested SO MANY vegetables. Which is why I love growing a vegetable garden!

We’ve had some rain this week, so I didn’t work as much in the gardens as I would have liked. So instead, we took a quick trip to the Jersey Shore in Long Beach Island for a few days with my sister-in-law and her family.

Chris went golfing but I hit the beach, had some great food, and it was so much fun catching up with the family.

We are heading back today to get a few things done in the beds and soak up some time by the pool before we get back to the grind tomorrow.

Oh and speaking of the gardens, the panicle hydrangeas and hardy hibiscus have hit their stride this week! They are both in full bloom and the property looks incredible right now.

I mean look at this hydrangea! A few weeks ago, the flowers were more white with a tiny bit of pink. I’m pretty sure the variety is ‘Ruby Snow’.

Ruby Snow panicle hydrangea
black butterfly on a butterfly bush on a sunny day

The butterflies have been out in droves too. There are several hanging around each garden and it’s really fun to see them fluttering about grabbing nectar from my garden flowers.

I have some sad news to share…something is eating our fish in the front yard pond. We’ve noticed a few go missing here and there but I was hopeful they were hanging low because the pond fish are still relatively new and we’ve had some massive storms lately.

But I think I’ve accepted the fact that something is getting to them. We had this beautiful white koi fish that was growing pretty fast and it was always around since adding them to the pond.

But now? It’s nowhere to be found. And we are pretty upset about it.

shubunkin and koi fish in the pond

We aren’t sure if it’s a raccoon or maybe a blue heron. The pond isn’t easy for the heron to hunt in but I’m sure it’s still possible.

There are some watersnakes in the pond that could also be dining on them. We caught two watersnakes eating the same frog and I’ve read they can be a problem for fish. So maybe?

And the former homeowners discovered a mink ate all their fish years ago so it could be that too.

So we may set up a trail cam to figure out who the culprit is.

My poor fish! We love them!

If you have any suggestions or good tips for figuring out whodunit I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

hardy hibiscus border in new jersey zone 6a

What I’m Shopping For This Week

As we head into late summer and my black-eyed susans are already falling over near the porch again. I said I would stay on top of it this year after watching it do it last year and well….I didn’t.

So I snagged some things to help me prop them up and a few other garden goodies. Here’s what I bought this week!

front porch swing in summer on a sunny day with houseplants and fresh cut flowers

I also started shopping for my home for fall. Although I love to thrift around for stuff, I also wanted to pick up a new piece for the family room. Here are some items I bought this week.

And I needed to stock up on a few beauty items and fall clothes that I love. Here’s what I bought this week.

harvested vegetables in the potager garden in a basket on the table

What’s Happening at Bricks ‘n Blooms

It was a fun week on the blog!

If you are looking for easy ways to decorate your home this fall, I shared some easy fall diy projects that you can make in a day.

And if you are looking for a way to make pretty fall decor, wait until you see how easy it is to make a simple hydrangea wreath.

I also shared some tips for growing and decorating with chrysanthemums this fall. Learn how to keep your garden mums alive with these practical tips.

And finally, I shared my all-time favorite container garden idea for fall. This post is filled with fall garden plants and flowers to include. Plus I shared the recipe for this gorgeous fall planting idea.

Zinnia Uproar Rose with coneflowers and achillea

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.

This gorgeous summer garden tour in the Pacific Northwest.

These tips for how to use damaged thrift store finds in your home.

These DIY fall wreaths.

This shortcake recipe sounds divine!

These beautiful fall home DIY decorations.

These cute and affordable ways to decorate a girl’s dorm room.

And this recipe for the ultimate dill pickle cheeseball.

Achillea coneflowers and zinnia in the front porch cottage garden

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

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Thank you so much for following along.

Enjoy a beautiful day! xo

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Home and Garden Blogger Stacy Ling cutting zinnia flowers in her cottage garden with wood picket fence in front of garden shed

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  1. I’m suspecting Heron. In Kinnelon we left a net over the pond all the time.

    It’s not the prettiest solution but works. Our pond was huge, extra deep but Heron were still an issue.

    I saw one steal one and it was named Nemo. I cried.

    We had black bears in our yard everyday too.

    So we took extra precautions. I always say it was like Jungle Habitat in our yard.

    One of the reasons after 20 years we moved. I had enough of the wildlife.

    Where we are now we have had nothing but bunnies until this year.

    Dear ate the lower level of my Limelights. I’m so mad. Never had issues in 8 years.

    UGH, they found us

    1. It stinks when they find your flowers! You can try using repellent if you haven’t already. Ugh – they are a pain.

  2. Hey Stacy, Loved all of this gorgeous inspiration in your post. Thank you for sharing my shortcake recipe. It always is gone way too fast. haha

  3. Your hydrangeas are absolutely gorgeous! Mine did not do well this year, and now are barely surviving the heat we are having here in Texas. I’m not asking anything to perform, just survive!
    Any kind of pond and fish around here is just inviting the critters. We try to keep small goldfish in our horse troughs to help keep them clean. When no one is watching the raccoons have a feast. We have several tanks on the property, two of them are spring-fed. One of those is stocked, a few of the boys that fish it have seen several critters going fishing at the same time. I sound like a downer, don’t I?? It’s all really just part of living in Texas and living rural. But I have to admit sometimes I long for the seasons y’all have up in the northeast.

  4. Stacy, I always love to hear what you are up to…glad you were able to spend time with family; sorry about your fish; and I love all your flower photos. Have a great week.

  5. I am so sorry something is getting your fish, i hope you fix it soon. 🙏 your gardens are just beautiful! You work so hard and take wonderful pictures. Thanks for sharing everything

  6. Someone I knew, who had issues with Heron’s, used a ‘ decorative’, or fake Heron near their pond, she said, a heron will move on if the territory is occupied. Raccoons are repelled by ammonia, soak sponges or old towels in ammonia, and place near where the raccoons are entering the yard, or accessing an area, do not put ammonia near or in the water though. You will have to refesh after the rain, but, it works. As for mink, they are probably thankful for the very expensive buffet.
    I tried ‘ Bobbex’ repellent you mentioned, so far it doesn’t clog, works well, but, whew, what a stink. Thanks for the suggestion.
    Your blog is a favourite, can we look forward to more house improvements, in addition to the best gardening articles out there.


    1. Thanks for the tips Kimberly! And yes – I’ll be doing a bit more – there are a bunch of projects in the docket after gardening season! xo