Saturday, May 12, 2007

Give it away, give it away, give it away, give it away, now...

My first giveaway ever, and very overdue! Kim at One Woman's Cottage Life has set May 26th as "Cottage Charm Giveaway Day" and each participating blog will be giving away a wonderful prize on that day.

This dovetails quite nicely with the second anniversary of my blog, and since I was thinking about doing a giveaway to celebrate, I decided to hop in on this and have fun with all the bloggers who are playing along!

In honor of anniversary #2, I'll be giving away two prizes. The first prize is a general fun cottagey selection, photographed on my lovely taupe carpeted floor for extra appeal:

Included in this prize are: six cards handstamped by me in shades of pink, green, and purple (envelopes included); a small notebook altered into a garden journal, again by yours truly; a packet of forget-me-not seeds (my very favorite flower to grow); Yardley Aloe and Cucumber soap (smells fresh and springtimey); about two feet of pink gingham wired ribbon; and two cute matching floral saucers from a friendly neighborhood garage sale.

Prize number two is for scrappers, paper crafters, or just lovers of ephemera.

Tucked into a small portfolio hand stamped by me are: six handmade cards in vintage colors (envelopes included); assorted pages from a vintage cookbook, an old spelling book, and an old French grammar book (these babies are OLD!); five vintage bingo cards; two pages of vintagey-looking labels; two faux antique advertising stickers; and a collage page of typewriter keys. Oh, and a paper clip with a tiny butterfly on top.

So what do you have to do to win a wonderful prize?

Simply comment on this post! Please provide your e-mail address if you don't have a blog, or if you don't have e-mail access through your blog--and specify whether you want your name entered in the drawing for one set or the other, or both. That way if you're not a scrapper, you don't have to worry about winning the paper prize, for instance. I'll be happy to enter you in the drawings for both prizes, though, if you like them both.

But wait! There's more!

For each comment you leave on this blog on any post I write between today (Saturday, May 12th) and Friday, May 25th, I will put another entry for you into the pile. So if you leave three comments on three future posts, you will have your name put into the drawing three times. On May 26th, I'll draw the names and notify the winners via e-mail.

I think that covers it, but if you have any questions, post them in the comments. I'm excited--I hope you are, too!

Be sure to check Kim's blog at the above links for the full list of bloggers participating--there are some wonderful blogs to discover, and some great prizes to win.

How does your garden grow?

Finally, some garden pictures!

So we planted five bushes last spring, that were castoffs from some friends of ours who were trying to "de-bush" while we were trying to "re-bush." Three boxwoods went across the front, what I believe is a pyracantha (?) went by the mailbox, and then we had this bush left over that I had Todd and my brother stick in the small square bed between the front steps and the driveway.

The bush is a menace--not knowing what it actually is, I just named it the "sticker bush," because each of its innocent looking oval leaves has a vicious barb on the tip. Since I couldn't really get in around it, the whole bed just became overgrown with weeds.

So I had Todd yank it out last week. Then I had to decide what to do with the little bed. Todd had brought home a bunch of oddly-shaped brick pavers from a garage sale a few weeks ago to make a pad for the garbage and recycling bins to sit on, and he had a bunch left over. Not enough to brick over the whole bed, but--and this is why I love having my mother-in-law around with her brilliant ideas--enough to make a little pad in the middle of the bed to hold some potted plants, with room around the edges to plant some little odds and ends that would grow up over the bricks and maybe make them look like they'd always been there.

Since I love it before-and-after shots, here's the "before" of the corner bed, right after we planted the bush there last March. Just picture the bush bigger and the bed weedier to get an idea of what it was like last week!:

And here's the "after":

You can incidentally see what we've wrought in front of the house too, where there was once a pile of dirt and grass. Makes me feel proud!

A better view of the brick pad itself:

Here's the birdbath Todd bought me for an anniversary present a few years ago. There was a huge bunch of ugly blue bachelor's buttons obscuring the view, and Viv very nicely yanked them out and divided them up and put them elsewhere, so I could plant smaller things in front. (I was surprised last year at how...BIG...some of the perennials got. And I don't think I've learned my lesson this year, either!):

Any hopes I may have had that my stone bunnies would scare away the real bunnies were dashed when I saw what they've been doing to my purple basil the past few nights. I like bunnies, but I LOVE my purple basil--time to do battle!

Most everything is growing along very happily, apart from bunny damage. A few items are out of the path of the sprinkler hose, so I have to keep an eye on those and make sure they don't keel over, but the babies from last year are growing up nicely, and this year's babies will be taking over before I know it. It's fun to imagine what the bed will look like by the end of the summer.

The happy little garden gnome thanks you for visiting his garden!