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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 spent some time in Vermont for the July 4th weekend while the girls hung back at home working and hitting the beach.

We had such a good time on the lake, at the antique flea market, hiking, and dining out.

I found some cool stuff thrifting at the market.

Every year, we experience some mini-calamity on the boat.

christopher ling driving a boat on harriman reservoir in wilmington, vermont

This weekend, one of the boat plugs got loose and allowed some water into the hull. It slowed us down a bit while we were out on the lake.

But all is good, the boat is fine, and we still enjoyed the weekend.

This happens like once a summer and this weekend, was the weekend.

Does that happen to you too?

A few years back, my husband and I came up early on a Thursday and he had to take a work call so we knew we had limited time on the lake and we were rushing to get out there.

We brought the boat to the launch, got it in the water, he parked the truck, came back to rev it up and what do you know?

The boat keys were not with us. So he ran to the truck while I stayed with the boat, went back to the house, grabbed the keys, and came back.

I’m telling you…every summer there is always that one time. LOL!

Stacy Ling on boat

In the Garden

Since we are starting to add fish to the larger pond, we invited some new residents to help keep the predators at bay.

While I know they are not foolproof, every little bit helps right?

You’ve met Bob the blue heron decoy before. But today, I’d like for you to meet Fred!

alligator and blue heron decoy in pond with fountain

Fred is our floating alligator decoy who moves around on the pond surface and will hopefully scare predators away.

We also plan to net the pond, but have not gotten around to doing it just yet.

For now, Fred floats around and seems to be enjoying pond life while protecting the fish.

And he’s better company than the snake I met last week, am I right???

blue heron and alligator decoy in pond garden with foot bridge and fountain

What’s Happening at Bricks ‘n Blooms

It was a fun week on the blog!

We kicked the week off with my easy-to-make pesto recipe. I’ve made a few batches so far this summer and put it on almost everything!

I also brought you around all of the gardens to show you all the plants that are coming up and blooming. Some of which, I’ve never grown before.

It’s like Christmas morning for the gardener here. Wait until you see my early summer garden tour.

view of green garden fence in zen garden that leads to side yard formal garden with hardscaping and plants

If you started a vegetable garden this year, I shared a post about growing, caring for, and harvesting cucumbers, as well as some of my favorite summertime cucumber recipes.

In the spirit of making easy summer meals, I shared a real crowd-pleaser that is easy to make without the mess. My family loves this dish and it’s SO GOOD.

Wait until you try this easy summer dinner idea.

cottage garden with snapdragons by front porch with view of valley

If you are heading out on vacation this summer, keep your plants alive with my tips and tricks to keep your garden and houseplants happy and healthy while you get some rest and relaxation.

With summer in full swing, it’s not too late to add some cottage charm to your flower gardens. Follow these tips to create a cozy cottage garden.

And finally, I shared a backyard garden tour in my latest YouTube video where I shared what’s blooming in the zen garden.

Gah! It looks so pretty back there!

Wait until you see how pretty it looks.

backyard zen garden with round stepping stones, garden pond, garden statues, and a green garden fence in the zen 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 amazing zucchini recipes.

This coastal Maine patriotic decor.

These geranium flowers.

This New England garden tour.

These DIY summer party lights.

I’m loving these July 4th table decorations.

This triple berry crisp recipe.

This keto-friendly fruit pizza mixed with berries.

I love what she did with this trash to treasure.

This easy to make decadent dessert.

And these furniture painting tips.

close up of gardener's supply self-watering raised garden beds filled with herbs and vegetables in the potager garden in my early summer garden tour
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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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. Thank you so much, Stacy for sharing the link to my berry crisp. It’s soooo good and a new summer favorite. I’m making more tomorrow to have with our 4th of July BBQ.

    Sounds like you had fun time on the lake (despite your little mishap). I hope you have a wonderful 4th!

  2. So glad that you got some time on the lake. When we got to the lake on Friday. We were taking the covers off the boat. My husband noticed that there was water in the floor. When he opened the waterski storage box in the floor of the boat, he saw that it was full to the top wit water. Earlier this spring, we took it out of the barn for 10 days and it sat outside during some rainstorms. It apparently took on the water then. There was so much water in the boat that it took 45 minutes for it to drain. I’m so glad that he noticed it before we got on the lake.

    1. Oh no! there’s always something with a boat right? Usually small calamities that are fixable but still! LOL! I hope you have an amazing 4th!!!

  3. I remember the days of the decoy for our pond in the old house.

    Honestly netting works best.

    Kinnelon was Heron heaven not to mention black bear.

    Everyday bear were in our yard and driveway. Not just one at a time either.

    Thanks for featuring my decadent ice cream cake

    So easy and DELICIOUS!

    Happy 4th

    1. Yeah – I know – we will add the netting! It’s on the list. We know that is really the best method. OH I know kinnelon well – a lot of bears! We have mink here – it got the former owner’s koi a few winters ago. We’ll need to add a dye to the pond too. Happy 4th!

  4. Your heron is such a pretty addition! And love you have a floating alligator 😆😆 I always learn so much from you, Stacy! Thanks so much for sharing our recipe ♥️

    1. Thank you! We read about them and thought we’d give the alligator a whirl. I thought it was funny having an alligator floating around up here since we don’t really see them in Jersey! Worth a shot! Have fun at the beach!

  5. Stacy, I love to see any and all pictures of your garden. I am in love with that green fence…just stunning. Thanks for sharing my July 4th tables! And Fred is just hysterical!

  6. Oh those darn boats! We have been there. Always seemed to be something.
    Hope you are having a wonderful Fourth of July weekend. Thank you do much for sharing my post.

  7. Ok, I have to tell you I am in love with Fred! What a great addition to the family! Thank you for sharing my dahlia post this week. I can’t wait until they start blooming out here. Have a great week ahead my friend.

  8. Looks like you have a productive and fun week, even with the boat situation!
    The alligator and heron decoys are so fun. I thought that blue heron was real at first glance!

    I love your lattice fencing! I have been wanting to install that very same kind of fence here, even had planned on painting it green, a little “sage-ier” color. Yours is making me want to get to it! After the shed… and the new driveway…and the master bathroom…

    Always a project!

    1. He is very entertaining – when we were looking at options for pond protection I thought he would be a good asset. He moves around and looks like something you don’t want to mess with. I think we still need to net the pond though…