By Julie Harrison
Julie Harrison is a garden expert and homemaker extraordinaire from Connecticut. You can watch her on WFSB’s show Better Connecticut every Monday and all the time at www.juliesharrison.com. Follow Julie on Twitter @JulieSHarrison and on her blog Natural Elegance Design to keep up with her latest home and garden projects.
“Are you all set?” is a question I ask my four year old daughter many times throughout the day. Whether we are getting ready to go outside, off to school, or sitting down for dinner, I’m always checking in with her. What I don’t do nearly enough is ask myself the same question. Spring is the fresh start for our gardens, our homes and ourselves. Spring is also a chance for all of us Moms to ask ourselves, “am I all set?”
Garden: Spring is a really busy time in the garden. There is a lot of prep work for the active growing season that’s creeping (rather quickly it seems this year) up on us. There are lots of perennials like Sedums, Ornamental Grasses and Coneflowers that have great winter interest so I don’t cut them back in the fall. But as soon as the snow has melted away all of these perennials get cut to the ground. Despite the best raking, there are always leaves to be found tucked under shrubs and nestled into corners of the garden. By getting rid of these lingering reminders of last year you set the stage for a fabulous new growing season. While it’s too early for summer annuals, it is time to plant window boxes and planters with the first flowers of spring! I like to use an assortment of pansies, perennials, and forced bulbs for long lasting containers. Perennial bulbs need to be planted in the fall for spring blooming.
These Blue Squill I planted two years ago get better and better each year. They are deer and rodent resistant, making them a refreshing change from Daffodils. Not that these double Daffodils are too shabby.
I buy all of my bulbs from www.colorblends.com. These give that terrific pop of color that we have been missing all winter.
Home: The first big change around the home is putting the down and wool away and bringing out the light cotton. Obviously we do this with clothes, but don’t forget to apply this rule to pillows, throws and window treatments. Our master bedroom has a set of heavy damask drapes and matching bed set, but with the arrival of spring they are put away. In their place the white sheer curtains go on the windows and the bed is graced with all white too. A white bed skirt and white duvet cover instantly make the room look larger, lighter and set for spring.
During my spring cleaning I will also rearrange smaller items from room to room. Perhaps the antique soap dish in the powder room could serve as a coaster on the night stand. The end table from the living room looked great moved into my daughter’s room with cut tulips and Peter Rabbit. Making these small changes and using items you already have in a different way will be refreshing for you and your house guests.
Yourself: If you were to describe my style in one word it would be classic before trendy without a doubt. I prefer to stick to the classics rather than rushing out for the hot clothing trend of the minute. That being said, I still try to look fashionable and for me that means finding one or two things…. Ok, THREE!!! that will keep me looking polished. Here are the three things I’m totally digging for myself this spring.
1. My Gizeh Birkenstocks. https://www.birkenstockusa.com/products/women/sandals/Gizeh My feet are loving the comfort of Birks and the trendy t-strap is hip and not in a hippy way. You can make them even more chic with a metallic finish. There should be at least one pair of these in every girl’s closet, Mom or not.
2. Essie nail polish. I want to buy every single color they make.
This nail polish is the best because it dries fast making it great for busy Moms and for little girls who want painted nails but can’t sit still for paint to dry. The Essie colors are awesome and don’t need a top coat. I mean who has time for that?
3. 360 Earrings. Google them if you don’t know what I’m talking about. These earrings are like a classic ball stud but with a larger ball on the back side of the ear where the push piece back of the earring usually is.
I don’t have a pair of these yet- but Mother’s day is coming up soon. These in the photo are from Saks Off 5th. If I could own a pair of 360 earrings I would totally be set for spring!