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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

Can you believe it is almost July 4th?

Like summer is flying by and it just got started!

We had a rainy week here in New Jersey but I was able to get a few things accomplished in the gardens.

Like cutting back all of those daffodils already!

Remember how many there were?

It took a while, but I got them all cut back and the front gardens look so much neater now don’t they?

view of 1850 farmhouse with patriotic decorating ideas on the front porch and stone wall with gardens
Before cutting back daffodils

It’s really important to wait until the foliage yellows and starts to die back before cutting them to ground.

Daffodils and other spring-flowering bulbs store their energy for next year’s flower production that way.

View of the driveway gardens after cutting back daffodil foliage with view of tree sculptures, nepeta walkers low and moonbeam coreopsis with black lab dog in driveway
After cutting back daffodils

So while it may look unsightly, leave them alone.

And yes you can tie them back with a rubber band, but I wasn’t about to do that with thousands of them.

So I waited it out instead.

front driveway gardens in summer with moonbeam coreopsis and nepeta walkers low in gardening zone 6a new jersey garden

Although it was a mostly cloudy and rainy week here, this weekend was beautiful!

So the dogs and I spent some time by the pool.

And Chris and I enjoyed some quiet time here in the gardens.

2 black labs sitting by pool in front pool with gardens

A New Resident in the Front Yard Pond

Well, we have a new resident in the front pond that I’m not a fan of.

It’s a watersnake.

I saw him a few times slithering around the outside of the pond but didn’t think two things of him because we have a bunch of mice and voles around.

And I saw him one time IN the pond and thought, hmmm. That’s interesting.

But the other day, I went out to clean the pond filter and went to remove the cover and HE STUCK HIS OUT ABOUT A FOOT AWAY FROM MY FEET before I got there!

watersnake on rocks

I was not thrilled to see that.

Before that happened, I was confident to walk over, remove the cover, and stick my hand in pond to pull out the filters.

But now…not so much!

We’ve noticed a decline in the frog population out there too.

Not sure how I’m going to get out there and change the filters on my own anymore because that was a little too close for comfort.

There are a few things Stacy does not do.

I don’t do mice. They are not my jam.

I don’t do big cave crickets (except back in the day I used to spray them with my can of aqua net to freeze them so I could suck them up with the vacuum).

Although they surprise me when I’m working, in general, I’m ok with garter snakes in the garden because they take care of the mice, voles and moles.

But this?

I’m now officially not doing! LOL

close up of pond garden with footbridge in park like setting in New Jersey

What’s Happening at Bricks ‘n Blooms

It was a fun and SUPER BUSY week on the blog!

You know how you schedule yourself for things and get the dates messed up? Well, that was me this week.

So I was double booked on some posts but managed to get it all done!

Wait until you see this week’s inspiration because this week might be my favorite one yet.

close up of hawaiian party theme dinner table with pinapples, lenox fine china, candles and flowers in the potager garden
Bricks ‘n Blooms

It was my favorite time of the month where my supper club and I get together with a dinner party theme and coordinating menu.

This month, we kicked off summer with a Hawaiian party theme sharing gorgeous table decor and centerpiece ideas.

The cool thing is we each had a different take on a tropical dinner party so be sure to check it out!

To see this table in real time, you can see it in my latest highlight video on YouTube.

And we made the most fun menu with 6 ridiculously delicious food for luau ideas that used a similar ingredient.

Can you guess what the ingredient is?

close up of table setting idea for Hawaiian party theme with lenox dinnerware, pink fuschia linen napkin, pineapple top, vintage amber wine glass and flowers in background on a light green bohemian tablecloth

For this month’s supper club, I was in charge of this insanely delicious dessert that is super simple to make.

And let me tell you, it’s like heaven in a bowl.

Wait until you try it!

close up of jugs and crocks with a vintage aesthetic from the antique flea market in vermont

I also shared some finds with a vintage aesthetic while I was bargain hunting for my garden and home at the antique flea market Vermont and thrift store here in New Jersey.

When I was at the flea market, I found the coolest item that I’m flipping into a planter.

You’ve got to check it out.

I also got together with some friends to share some easy patriotic decorating and celebration ideas.

Come hang out with me on the front porch and see how I changed it from pinks and purples, to red, white, and blue!

front porch with patriotic decorating ideas and front yard gardens with superwave petunias, hostas, and scaevola in hanging baskets.

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.

My good friend Jen from Midwest Life and Style made a festive 5 minute centerpiece and it looks so pretty!

I love the vintage crate she used and the geraniums are the perfect accent!

vintage crate with red geraniums and american flags for an easy patriotic decorating idea

Speaking of patriotic decorating ideas, my good friend Rachel from the Ponds Farmhouse made the easiest wreath from a can!

It looks so good doesn’t it?

And it is simple to make too!

easy diy star wreath as a patriotic decorating idea

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

This coastal table decorating idea.

These vintage guest bedroom ideas.

This summer garden tour.

This DIY garden wreath idea.

This tablescape idea that is perfect for book club!

I’m loving this DIY handscrub recipe that works!

And this mirror update looks pretty amazing!

This red beans and rice recipe.

And these summer decorating ideas for small front porch.

view of the front yard gardens from the pond bridge at sunset looking at potager garden with arbor and lonicera, tree sculptures and 1850 vintage farmhouse.
zen garden koi pond with garden statue, lily pads, elderberry and japanese maple with koi fish

Thank you so much for following along.

Enjoy a beautiful day! xo

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The bricks \'n Blooms guide to a beautiful and easy-care flower garden book by stacy ling
The Bricks ‘n Blooms Guide to a Beautiful and Easy Care Flower Garden
  • Have you never met a plant you couldn’t kill?
  • Have you dug around in the dirt with nothing to show for it except a sunburn and a sore back?
  • Do you currently enjoy growing flowers, but are looking for more tips and ideas to level up your gardening game?

Then the Bricks ‘n Blooms Guide is for YOU

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  1. Stacy,
    What an amazing week. I’m not a fan of snakes either and mice absolutely not!!! We occasionally pull a mouse from our pool drain. yikes. Thanks for sharing my recycled wreath. I hope your weekend is relaxing.

    1. That has happened here too plus we’ve found a few frogs. Not pleasant – also something I defer to Chris. LOL! YOu are welcome!

  2. Eek! The snake is so creepy! Good luck with that! Thanks for linking to my blog post! You are the best! 😘

  3. Thanks for sharing Stacy. And nope to the snake. I’ll have to tell you about the black snake in CT in our garden shed sometime. 4x this size🫣

    1. OMG I would have freaked! I see them in the gardens and am generally ok with them although they surprise me but this one was a little too close for my comfort! You are welcome Ann I love your guest room!

  4. I get lost in your gorgeous gardens, Stacy. I don’t blame you with the snake, I can’t handle them even if they’re not poisonous. Amazing tablescape, too!

  5. Stacy, thank you so much for sharing my centerpiece. And I don’t blame you one bit for being hesitant to change the pond filters now. Generally, snakes don’t bother me too much, but I think that might have sent me over the edge. Yuck!! I hope he moves along and finds a new home ASAP!

    1. You are welcome! I see them all the time in the garden and am ok with them, but seeing him peek his head out while I was about to take the lid off the filter was a little too close for my comfort!

  6. Stacy, oh my goodness! That snake! I’m not sure what I would have done other than scream! Yikes. I love seeing your home and property change with the seasons. Just so gorgeous. Thanks for featuring my Dinner in the Library post. It was one of my favorite tables yet. Happy Sunday!

    1. Aren’t they awful? He was a little too close for my comfort! And you are welcome what a fun table idea!

  7. Thank you so much for the shout out and feature Stacy! Always love reading about what you’ve been up to (and I don’t do mice either).

    1. You are welcome! Ugh they are gross – I can do without them but they are a part of living in the country. You are welcome!

  8. Oh my gosh, I knew it was coming and I still gasped when I got to the picture of your slithery pond resident. UGH! I wouldn’t be going to the filter again either. LOL Your gardens are all looking amazing, Stacy! And those sunsets are like nothing I’ve ever seen. So gorgeous! Here’s to a great week with no more surprise guests.

  9. Sounds like it was a fun and busy week! I hope the snake stays away from you! I hate snakes! HUGS! Chloe

  10. Nope, hard pass from me too!! Snakes on the water are terrifying…
    I love Jen’s crate too! Thanks for sharing me this week too.

  11. I knew it was going to be a snake and I still came here to take a look anyway lol! I can’t tell you how much I hate those things, brrrr! Seeing your gorgeous garden made up for it though, Stacy! Good luck with the filter!

  12. I would have freaked seeing a snake in my garden! Definitely NOT a fan. Thank you for featuring my patriotic blog post, Stacy. I really appreciate the support.

  13. Goodness! I about lost it when I saw that snake…Nope! Nope! Nope! One of us would have to move! Thanks for sharing my recipe.