Category Archives: garden

Thar She Blows! Our Pocket Hose Is Already Leaking

Thar She Blows! Our Pocket Hose Sprang a Leak | This American House

We were hoping the Pocket Hose wasn’t too good to be true. If we could get just one summer out of the “hose that grows” we’d be happy. Sadly, just two months into use, our Pocket Hose, that suggestively named garden hose, sprang a leak.

Continue reading

How to Freeze Fresh Green Beans

How to Freeze Green Beans | This American House

In the opening scenes of the 1981 film Mommie Dearest, Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford goes through her morning routine. You see her plunging her face into a bowl of ice water and steaming herself in a hot shower. I thought of this scene yesterday as I was preparing green beans to freeze. With the blanching and the ice bath it felt like I was Joan Crawfording the beans!

Continue reading

Flower Power: Big Bundles of Hosta Flowers

A bucket full of hosta flowers | This American House

“I don’t know,” I said to my friend Joan. “If you ask me, I think hostas are just weeds that we tolerate.”

I uttered those words earlier this spring. I had just dug up and moved what seemed like the one hundredth hosta that’s planted around the house. At that time, the hostas were these small, uninteresting plants that felt more like a burden than a joy.

“Oh, just you wait,” Joan replied. “You’re going to love them.”

Continue reading

The Great Outdoors: From Polar Vortex to Summer Sundays

When we closed on the house back in November 2013, the first snow had already fallen on the Dream House. By January 2014, when the above video was shot, the polar vortex had settled on the Midwest and the snow with it. I shot this video one snowy morning after The Mister had gone back to the city. I was feeling as blue and lonely as the weather would suggest.

Considering the harsh winter that we survived, you’ll have to figure us if we’re a little giddy about summer. For only now can we truly enjoy what’s outside the house. While it was great excuse to focus on interior projects over the winter, it’s positively dreamy being able to shift our attention to the outdoors.

For months we would stand at the window and look out over a blanket of ice and snow. We would have spirited conversations about what might lie beneath all that snow. We dreamed about how the big bare trees would look once their leaves had grown back in. We planned our garden and guessed about tree species while we counted down the days until summer.

Here it is, late June, and we have been relishing every moment of the season. The big leafy trees rustle in the wind and sound like ocean waves. The green grass provides a lush carpeting across the ample lawn. I’ve even become one of those guys who enjoys mowing!

Viva summer!

Images: This American House

Test Lab: Does the Pocket Hose Really Work?

Does the Pocket Hose Actually Work? | This American House

I tittered at the name splashed across the package. “Pocket Hose. The House That Grows.” My inner thirteen-year-old boy found the sexual innuendo absolutely hilarious. I snapped a photo and put it, along with a witty caption, on Instagram months ago. Beyond the seemingly obscene name, does the expanding Pocket Hose actually work? Now that we have a house with a lawn and garden, I decided to find out!

Continue reading