rearranging the living room

as you may or may not know, we recently had a leak in our living room that damaged the floors. this necessitated a move, plumbers, hvac technicians, and finally, new maple planks. after weeks (unbearably long when you are already very pregnant and wanting to hang nursery prints rather than deal with stripped concrete floors), we are finally moving everything back this week. hhh and i contemplated a new arrangement for the living room, but i'm not totally sold on it. here are some photos: 

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just as a reminder, this is what it used to look like: 

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living-room

what do you think? should we stick with the tried-and-true or embrace the change? 

reviving the garden

its finally warm enough to take my indoor-wintering plants outside again. they made the move this weekend...right in time for a windy rainstorm. but they seem to have survived! all the dead grass and leaves also got cleared over a productive afternoon. here's a quick look at the progress so far:

those lovely pink and orange ranunculus (ranunculi?) are actually newcomers this season. the spring colors make me instantly happier. the rubber plant was sheltered from the freeze in our guest room and looks happy to be back outside. the leaves of the climbing hydrangea come back each year without fail, but i'm keeping my fingers crossed for blooms this year.  

those lovely pink and orange ranunculus (ranunculi?) are actually newcomers this season. the spring colors make me instantly happier. the rubber plant was sheltered from the freeze in our guest room and looks happy to be back outside. the leaves of the climbing hydrangea come back each year without fail, but i'm keeping my fingers crossed for blooms this year.  

no idea what this lush thing is, but it looked tropical so it went indoors too. it's grown some since the fall too! i've returned it to its shady spot on the table right outside the door. 

no idea what this lush thing is, but it looked tropical so it went indoors too. it's grown some since the fall too! i've returned it to its shady spot on the table right outside the door. 

these grasses are coming right back! I'm soo pleased.  

these grasses are coming right back! I'm soo pleased.  

the ones next to it aren't doing as well though. I've been anxiously examining it daily for new shoots.  

the ones next to it aren't doing as well though. I've been anxiously examining it daily for new shoots.  

the cherry tree always looks so good in the spring and early summer, only to succumb to mildew in august. hope i can avoid it this year!

the cherry tree always looks so good in the spring and early summer, only to succumb to mildew in august. hope i can avoid it this year!

I loove these mini "blooms"...the stonecrop turns purple later on but they are a nice green now. so glad to see they survived this year's crazy temps. 

I loove these mini "blooms"...the stonecrop turns purple later on but they are a nice green now. so glad to see they survived this year's crazy temps. 

willa lounges in a sun patch while i work... 

willa lounges in a sun patch while i work... 

what else should I plant this year? I need to put in my herbs soon...i'm thinking rosemary, thyme, parsley, and basil. the mint is of course coming back by itself (weed that it is) and so have the garlic chives (super excited about that since i didn't expect it). I also picked up a little pot of oregano at the farmer's market. man do I love spring. 

snow day

i was going totally stir crazy today indoors. it snowed last night, but it's quickly turning into that special brand of yellow-ish brown new york city slush that you want to avoid at all costs. everything is dead and sad (by everything i just mean my outdoor plants, not people or anything). and on monday, the semester starts and i have to (i mean...get to) teach, so i can't just sit around watching my paperwhites grow anymore.  i've been propagating some jade plant cuttings too, but recently realized that i was doing it all wrong. this seems to be a theme with my gardening...i really should research then cut, rather than the other way around. anyway, we'll see if i was able to save them...stay tuned. 

my sad dead yard.

my sad dead yard.

how i wished my yard looked. (this is actually a garden near the river cafe and brooklyn bridge park in the summer of 2014.)

how i wished my yard looked. (this is actually a garden near the river cafe and brooklyn bridge park in the summer of 2014.)

so instead, for some insta-plant gratification,  i went up fifth avenue to zuzu's petals. zuzu's is the neighborhood florist (it's weirdly also the name of the ramen shop in the neighborhood, but there's no relation that i can see), and i'm always tempted to submit a job application when i go in there so i can be surrounded by beautiful flowers all day long. everyone in there is living the dream, if you ask me. 

so i trudged through the said slush and got myself some snow day plants. this is what i came home with: 

the green leafy thing with purple undersides is a calathea, and the pinky-green plant is a chinese evergreen.

the green leafy thing with purple undersides is a calathea, and the pinky-green plant is a chinese evergreen.

a close-up of the bright pink edges of the chinese evergreen. it went perfectly into the crinkle planter from  cb2 . 

a close-up of the bright pink edges of the chinese evergreen. it went perfectly into the crinkle planter from cb2

i instantly felt 1,000 times better. aren't those lovely? the google gods say that they are both low-light plants, and the calathea is from the tropics. the "siam aurora" chinese evergreen is apparently a new hybrid - they don't all have the variegated pink coloring. anyway, now that i have these plants, i suppose i can go on living until spring comes. but i may need another new houseplant or two if this miserable weather keeps up. (hhh, don't say i didn't warn you.)