OSBP At Home: Garden Update

It’s been well over a year since we moved into our house, and while progress inside the house has been a bit slower than I would have liked, I’ve been spending a lot of time out in the garden. It’s the first time I’ve had any real gardening space since I moved to DC more than 10 years ago, and I’m really really enjoying it. Last year I shared some of my plans for our outdoor space. Time for an update!


Our house is a typical DC rowhouse: long and narrow. We don’t have a ton of space to work with, but I’ve been trying to maximize what we’ve got. We have a small garden bed in our backyard patio, which I’ve filled with lilacs, peonies, roses, and a few other perennial varieties. I save annuals for pots arranged along the fence on the other side of the patio so that I don’t have to worry too much about them once the cold weather sets in.


Our backyard garden is my happy place in mid-to-late spring when the peonies and lilacs are blooming. Everything was late this year thanks to the neverending winter, but once the warmer weather arrived in April everything just exploded – especially my lilacs. I have a total of four lilac bushes, all planted in the back of the garden bed closest to the fence, and the smell was positively intoxicating when they all bloomed. I wish they lasted forever!



The lilacs were quickly followed by peonies – I have five plants in varying colors of white and pink (pale pink Sarah Bernhardt, Coral and Gold, and a hot pink variety whose name I’ve forgotten). This was the view that greeted me when I came home from the National Stationery Show in late May:


I snapped some more photos a few weeks ago, at the very tail end of peony season, and with the exception of the peonies most of these flowers are still going pretty strong in the garden. We planted a border of pink and purple saliva in the garden bed, and my David Austin rose bushes bloom frequently as long as I deadhead regularly. I planted some impatiens under the rosebushes for a bit of added color, all of which seem to be growing quite happily. There is a small white crape myrtle in the back corner, which has been in bloom the last few weeks and I hope will grow to provide some much-needed shade over the next couple of years. Since these photos were taken, some yellow dinner plate dahlias have grown in around the peonies and are slowly taking over the garden much to my dismay – I need to do more research on (successfully) growing those big monsters!







We also have a few potted strawberry plants – Sophie LOVED picking the fresh berries when they were in season. There’s a small bed that runs along the stairs down to our unfinished basement, where I’ve planted a wisteria vine – which surprised me by blooming the tiniest little wisteria this spring! – and a few other partial-sun perennials. I’d love to eventually build a pergola over our back door and train the wisteria to grow over it. I also have a small potted viburnum; I’m waiting for it to get a bit larger before transplanting to its permanent home in the front garden.



Potted plants along the fence on the opposite side of the backyard. We recently added a few marigolds (to help deter flower-eating pests), a dark purple opal basil plant, and a couple of zinnia for some additional summer color. The clematis vine is one of my favorites in the entire garden. The flowers are so romantic! Future plans for this area include a vertical herb garden and possibly a small vertical vegetable garden – next year!



Finally, another small partial sun garden bed that runs along the path next to our garage. I planted a hellebore, some jasmine, a couple of Japanese painted ferns, some impatiens, begonias, purple coral bells, and a bleeding heart all the way in the back (which is now the size of a small hydrangea!). I love love love the combination of the painted fern and impatiens!




And that’s our garden – at least for the moment! Sadly, along with DC summer heat and humidity, the mosquitos and earwigs have arrived in force. The mosquitos in particular make it difficult to enjoy the backyard for long periods of time, so I haven’t been spending as much time outdoors as I’d normally like to. I’m trying to learn more about garden pest control in general, since I’ve also battled rose slugs and normal slugs in the backyard. We’ve also been contending with an infestation of the horrible-sounding Dead Man’s Fingers in one corner of the garden bed. It pre-dates any of the plants in the garden bed (we started fresh when we moved in last year), so I’m worried there might be some dead tree root buried deep in the soil causing the fungus. Anyone out there have any experience successfully battling Dead Man’s Fingers?? I have so much to learn about gardening!

All photos by me, via my Canon DSLR and via Instagram

Sophie Style: Toddler Bedding

We’re getting ready to make some big changes to the nursery: preparation both for a shared nursery after baby no. 2 arrives in September and for Sophie to move to a toddler bed! Sophie isn’t quite ready just yet, but we’re pretty sure she’ll be there in a couple of months so I’ve been keeping an eye on cute toddler bedding in anticipation. Today I thought I’d round up a few of my favorite finds!

Cute Toddler Girl Bedding Round Up by Oh So Beautiful Paper

1. Bonjour! pillow by Erin Jang for Land of Nod (absolutely loving this new capsule collection!); 2. Auggie Pretty with Pink Collection bedding; 3. Farmer’s Market Bedding by Erin Jang for Land of Nod; 4. Colette Bream toddler bedding; 5. + 6. Sundae Best duvet cover and ice cream pillow by Oh Joy for Land of Nod; 7. Ferm Living neon raindrop pillow; 8. Land of Nod Surprise Party Bedding; 9. Dwell Studio galaxy pillow; 10. Ko-ko-ko shop knit cloud pillow

{images via their respective sources}

Quick Pick: Lucky Luxe Illustrated Home Stationery

Even though we only moved a few blocks when we moved into our new house last year, I never ended up sending out moving announcements – oops! But these illustrated home notecards from Erin at Lucky Luxe? Genius! Each set includes a custom watercolor house portrait print along with a set of folded cards. The custom house portrait is such a wonderful keepsake, and the printed cards are a perfect low-key way to make sure friends and family have your new address.


From Erin: When we bought our 1925 craftsman cottage, I did this little portrait of our house inspired by the illustration work of Rebekka Seale and printed the painting on notecards. Since then, friends have asked me to do house notecards for them as well, and I suggested Rebekka but I found that she retired from illustration to pursue the Camellia Fiber Company. With Rebekka’s blessing I’m picking up where she left off and offering whimsical custom watercolor house portraits on folded notecards.




You can see lots more from Erin right here!

Photo Credits: Lucky Luxe Couture Correspondence

Baby Essentials: Growth Charts

This feels like a big milestone: but now that Sophie is fully mobile, we’re finally ready to get a growth chart! I always knew that I wanted something that we’d be able to take with us if we move, so I’m leaning towards a wooden growth chart that we can hang on the wall. Here are a few options that I currently have my eye on!


1. Rob Ryan; 2. Land of Nod; 3. Petit Collage; 4. I Make Stuff at Home; 5. Land of Nod; 6. Wee Gallery

{images via their respective sources}