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I hope you had a great week!

And Happy Father’s Day to all of the amazing dads out there.

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Random Things Happening Behind the Scenes at Bricks ‘n Blooms

What a week it was!

We were busy at home all week long hosting my 8 and 11-year-old nephews for a few days.

From hiking to swimming and farm visits, we kept the boys pretty busy almost all week long!

To stay somewhat dry in the pool while the kids played, I floated in the safe zone, aka the hot tub. LOL!

home and garden blogger stacy ling floating on a floatie in her swimming pool with ther family

To keep the boys busy, Chris started laying these round concrete stepping stones that we had on the property with them in the zen garden.

My dogs are not loving all the hardscaping so we wanted to add some pavers to help them more easily get from the porch to the backyard.

The boys helped Chris haul the stepping stones from one side of our property to the backyard.

And let me tell you, they were heavy!

We still need to dig them in but having them in there has really helped my dogs. Not sure if this is the final look yet, but it’s coming along.

view of the zen garden with round stepping stones, container gardens filled with superwave petunias bubblegum pink, garden statues, lots of hardscaping and a green garden fence with a stone wall and white railings that lead to the backyard.

After they departed we caught up on a few things and decided to head to Vermont to hike, thrift, and take the boat out for a spin on the lake.

Hiking up Haystack Mountain is one of my husband’s favorite things to do (besides playing golf) and the weather was delightful for the adventure.

It wasn’t too hot or too cold, so it was a great weekend to enjoy Vermont.

view of a small river in vermont in spring with lots of flowers on a footbridge in wilmington, vermong
mackenzie and christopher ling AIA in vermont

In the Garden

With the boys here most of the week, I didn’t get a lot done in the gardens.

But I am having the best time ever seeing all the fresh new blooms and learning what is here.

Some of the plants I know, but others I don’t.

So it’s like Christmas morning here every day for the gardener.

This week, I am in love with these evening primrose blooms. Aren’t they just gorgeous?

close up of evening primrose in the backyard garden - 15 common mistakes new gardeners should avoid

I harvested my first set of blooms in my cut flower garden to make a bouquet though!

The snapdragons are doing really well and it’s time to start cutting them.

My resident rabbits have been enjoying some of the zinnias near the front porch, but that’s ok because I have them planted all over the property and have others that took and are doing well.

I probably planted over 50 sunflowers and really, only a few survived rabbit damage.

Since I figured this could happen, I planted them in various spots figuring something would take somewhere.

So we’ll see what survives.

Next year I’ll need to invest in more cloches to help give plants a better start.

close up of zinnia 'Zinderella'

What’s Happening at Bricks ‘n Blooms

It was a fun week on the blog!

For me, the best part of the week was sharing my new outdoor living spaces with 29 of the most talented home decor bloggers around.

I love seeing all of the summer decorating and outdoor living inspiration, don’t you?

It’s fun to kick around other people’s homes to get more ideas.

I shared an outdoor space you haven’t seen before that we use all the time. If you haven’t checked out the post yet, wait until you see how cozy it is and why we love it so much.

wide angle view of the zen garden with back porch

In addition to spending time outdoors, I also shared some gardening tips and tricks.

We covered the most common mistakes new gardeners should avoid making. And let me tell you, I still make some of these mistakes from time to time!

I also answered the most asked question that I get here on the blog and on my socials…but what are the little clay pots on the green garden stakes for?

They look adorable, don’t they?

But they also serve very specific purposes.

Wait until you see why I use them!

Gorgeous cottage garden in the backyard in front of a garden shed with sedum autumn joy and wood picket fence with dahlias and zinniasin front of garden shed in backyard garden with green garden stakes topped with terra cotta clay pots - My cut flower garden in front of the shed in the backyard with a wood picket fence and sedum autumn joy - How to Save Money at the Garden Nursery
How My Cottage Garden Grew in 2021

I also shared my tip for getting more flowers from one plant.

It doesn’t work on all plants, but there’s a pretty good list that will produce more flowers if you do this regularly in the garden.

I’m also receiving lots of messages about deer damage lately. And I know it stinks when they decimate the garden.

It’s happened to me before too!

close up of yarrow in the cottage garden

Unfortunately, most of the people I heard from had plants that deer are not afraid to snack on.

And while we can spray those with repellents that work really well, it’s never a guarantee.

But there are deer resistant flowers you can grow that are easy-care and look beautiful in a flower garden.

Finally, I shared my latest quick garden tour highlight video on YouTube. Wait until you see how beautiful the front yard gardens were this week!

view of snapdragons, larkspur and superwave petunias planted in the front porch garden in my outdoor living spaces home tour

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.

With all of the summer home tours this week, I’m feeling super inspired to work a little more on my porches.

My good friend Jen from Noting Grace shared a beautiful front porch refresh that included the prettiest wreath idea.

I have so many wreath forms that need some refreshing and I love how hers turned out.

front porch steps with gray door, DIY wreath and white brick with black stair railings

My good friend Molly from Molly in Maine shared her best tips for picking out blue paint colors in her latest post.

Molly’s home is so beautifully curated with amazing attention to detail.

Wait until you see how she pulls it all together!

cozy coastal cottage living room in maine with lots of pretty blues and neutral decor with a fireplace

My good friend Kelly from the Tattered Pew shared the prettiest wreath idea using dried peony blooms.

Gah!!! I love it.

And what a great way to use what you have for free! Now is the perfect time to try these if it’s still peony week where you live.

beautiful diy wreath made with dried peony flowers against a gray house on a table

And here is some more inspiration you’ve got to see!

I am loving this DIY tropical placemat idea. It is perfect for a summer dinner party.

These tips for using galvanized buckets for flowers.

I’m also inspired by this nautical DIY project idea.

This tip for updating an old lamp.

These estate sale shopping tips.

This fun summertime wreath idea.

This window box idea.

And this cool idea for a DIY patriotic flag.

close up of koi fish in the pond with lily pads

Thank you so much for following along.

Enjoy a beautiful day! xo

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  1. Your gardens are spectacular! I can’t imagine taking care of all your property~ do you have help, other than family? After moving to Florida I sure miss my Illinois garden!

    1. Thank you so much! Yes I have someone who helps me once a month to keep up on it all. I do maintain a lot on my own but it is a lot! xo

  2. Stacy,
    Your pool looks so amazing! It sounds like a great week! Thanks so much for sharing my diy project!

  3. Stacy thank you for sharing my wreath! And thanks for the garden tips!!! Have a wonderful week my friend.

  4. Sounds like you had a busy and fun week! Can’t believe you have a pool too! Thanks so much for including me in your roundup this week! Very slowly finding my way here in the blogging world, haha!

  5. The Mom of 3 girls having a couple of boys for a few days…you most definitely needed to relax in Vermont after all that boy energy!! Great idea having them haul stuff, keep ’em busy!!!
    You have bunny damage…I have husband with a weed whacker damage!!!!

    1. That is the worst kind of damage! hahaha. Yes it was a great week but good to head up to VT! Happy Father’s Day to Chuck!

  6. Sounds like you had a fun-filled week! I love your back-covered deck area. How have I not seen that before… a gorgeous space.

  7. I want a swimming pool! It looks like you had a lot of fun this last week Stacy. Floating and thrifting are two of my favorite things. Your garden looks beautiful. Something is definitely eating my zinnias too. Thank you for sharing my galvanized bucket post.

    1. Are you able to salvage them? I have them planted in a few spots so some are doing ok vs others. The bunny ate my sunflowers down in front of porch except two by the front pillars and so far so good, they are still hanging! You are welcome Kim!

  8. Stacy, Can I just come and hang out in your Zen garden? It is just so beautiful! Love the photo of you with your nephews~what fun! Thank you for sharing my post on my brass lamp re-do. I am very pleased with how they look at our cabin. Thanks again, my friend!

  9. Stacy, I posted a comment but I am not seeing it, so I just want to make sure I try this again.
    Can I just come and stay in your Zen garden for a while? It looks so peaceful and beautiful! Also, love the photo of you with your nephews! Thanks for sharing my post about my brass lamp re-do. I am really pleased with how they look up at our cabin. Thank you again!

    1. You absolutely can Mary I would love that! Sorry I got behind on approving comments – I have to do that now with all comments because a not so savory one slipped through a few months ago! I love your lamp redo!!! xoxo