Spring Things!

This weekend is the second leg of the Triple Crown – the Preakness – from Baltimore, MD. It’s been 37 years since Affirmed won the Triple Crown in 1978, so we will be rooting for Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah to take the race.

Gardening time is here! We bought a bunch of plants on Mother’s Day and are in the midst of getting our garden together. We got our plants at Lowe’s and a local store, Ann and Hope, which has a great gardening section. For flowers this year, we bought petunias, snap dragons and lobelia. We also picked up tomato and pepper plants, as well as soil and other necessities.


Our seedlings continue to thrive and we look forward to incorporating them into the garden. This year we planted marigolds, pansies and basil. Salsa, pesto and potpourri anyone?

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Pictured: Wooden desk in 2014 garden                                                                             

Over the last few years, we’ve used old indoor furniture (tables, desks, etc.) in the patio garden. They become great, functional outdoor pieces. It’s fun to do this and the formerly unwanted furniture looks really attractive in the garden. The desk pictured above was nice but sadly missing a drawer. We turned the front of the desk to the fence and ended up with a great garden table! The shelves underneath are perfect for pots and other gardening accessories. Over time, the furniture takes on a distressed, weathered look. Of course, these items are not made to withstand outdoor conditions and eventually may need to be replaced. You could make the furniture last longer by storing it during the winter months.


A new addition to 2015’s garden is this shelf, which was handcrafted by Roy’s father. This piece has been in storage for 15 years and we had no place for it in our apartment. We are excited to re-purpose the shelf and we are sure that Roy’s father, Bill, who loved to grow flowers, would approve.

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A few years ago, we got the idea of using an old toolbox as a planter. It worked great, and we decided to do another one this year. We found this old toolbox, cleaned it well, lined the bottom with gravel for drainage, and added potting soil and flowers. The final result is the featured image for this blog. We think it makes a clever and interesting planter. Not into the rustic look? Paint the planter in your favorite color using a rust resistant spray paint. Almost anything can be used as a planter. We’ve seen everything from dishes to rubber boots! It’s fun to experiment with this idea, and we’d love to see pics showing your creative planters!

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The Preakness is Saturday, May 16th. We enjoy watching the Triple Crown races and picking our horses. Just like on Kentucky Derby Day, we check the entries and mark our choices on these simple forms. For fun, and to increase our odds, we include a second group of picks.

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For more information on the Preakness, check here:



Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay is known for seafood – most notably crab. Here, we salute Maryland with a recipe for Crab Cakes from Rachael Ray.


Not a fan of crab? Try this horseradish bacon chip dip! Get it? Horseradish dip!


Every race in the triple crown has a traditional cocktail. The Kentucky Derby has the Mint Julip. For the Preakness, it’s the Black-Eyed Susan. Check out this link for the recipe for this cocktail and other pre-race drinks.



Each race also has its own song. Here is some information about the song that kicks off the Preakness – “Maryland, My Maryland”. (Careful . . . listening to this song might make you want to buy a Christmas tree!)



Roy and Kevin



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