Monday, January 13, 2020

Bringing in winter ~

Everything always looks so bare when all of the holiday decorations have been put away.I like a clean slate for my decorations so I put most of my usual decor items in storage for the season. January offers a chance to bring things out again but also change it up a bit for the rest of the winter months.

In the living room on the library table behind the couch I put my rabbits back but added some books, a flower arrangement and a new little brass candlestick. the open book is One Year in Art. Every day offers a new painting with a quote to go with it, I love this kind of thing, it's fun to turn the page each day and see what wonders it brings. The bouquet is mostly succulents with some flowers added for additional color.

On the little french credenza nothing seems to work but a floral arrangement. For this I used fresh eucalyptus leaves and evergreens from Trader Joe's, these will dry and last for quite a while. I included some other dried material and silk peonies for interest.

It is pretty monotone but I think it has a winter feel.

And finally, in the entry, an arrangement of dried material along with porcelain birds, books, a Moroccan covered container, a pair of brass candlesticks and framed welcome to my house in french graphic I made a few years back. These candlesticks and the one on the library table were Christmas gifts from my brother.

Now I definitely feel winterized!

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Christmas greetings ~

I hope your holidays are full of joy, love, and happiness.


Sunday, December 22, 2019

Last little tree and Miss Twiggley ~

This year I came very close to putting nothing but twinkle lights on this little tree in the entry hall, but instead I went with white and sparkly.

 I love the way that the lights reflect in the clear glass balls and inhances the glitter of the other ornaments.

A miniature sled filled with gifts rounds the out the vignette.

And, to end this post - Miss Twiggley gave me quite a fright last week, she was very ill. After numerous trips, first to the emergency clinic and then to her regular doctor, lots of tests and finally the proper medication, she is finally feeling better and ready to pose for her Christmas picture.

Having her well is the best Christmas present I could hope for.

~ Merry Christmas ~


Tuesday, December 10, 2019

A rainy day Christmas craft ~

What do you do on a rainy weekend in December when you are pretty well caught up on your Christmas to-do list.

Make your Christmas cards of course.

I started making my Christmas cards a couple of years ago, I thought it would be fun. I use photos I take of my decorations, usually my tree, as shown below, but this year I chose a close-up of the wreath I made a couple of years ago for the window in the family room.

 I personally love getting cards that are a bit more personalized. Throughout the year I also occasionally make cards for thank you notes and other occasions, for these I usually use garden or flower pictures.

I have the photos printed up at my local UPS store, they are great to work with and very helpful in getting them just the way I want. The blank cards I purchase at Michael's or on-line, they come in different colors and sizes. I use a paper cutter to cut out the matting. then affix it all with a glue stick. Easy. 

Below are the cards for Christmas 2019, ready to be slipped in the mail.

It is really too bad that the Christmas season passes so quickly because there are so many fun things to do and it is hard to fit it all in.

Thank you for visiting 

~ Merry Christmas ~


Saturday, December 7, 2019

The finishing touch ~

I finished my Christmas decorating the day before Thanksgiving and I am pleased with how festive it looks but a little something more was needed - I wanted a touch of Christmas in the dining room. I gave some thought to adding greenery to the chandelier but decided instead to hang a wreath on the mirror. 

I used young, pliable branches from my crabapple trees to make the base for the wreath, it's rather fun to weave them together and and they give a nice lasting, but naturalistic effect.

Then I found a very delicate and sparkly garland at Michaels, I simply wound it around the base and added a ribbon. Easy, pretty and something I can use over again. I store all of my wreaths in large plastic bags in the basement.

With the decorating finished I must now give some thought to making my cards, and buying gifts of course.

I hope all of your holiday plans are going well.

Thank you for stopping by.

~ Merry Christmas ~


Sunday, December 1, 2019

A favorite time ~

In many ways winter has become my favorite time in the garden. Strange, because there is little blooming, most of the trees are bare and color subdued. But the clear skies, bright atmospheric conditions and occasional rain lends a brilliance and sharpness to the landscape.

So it was that after a day of rain on Thanksgiving the next morning when I came back from walking I simply had to take some pictures.

In the back garden beside the pond one of the crepe myrtle trees is slowly loosing its leaves, but in such a beautiful way.

The view from my back deck, with the brick pathway still wet, no flowers, just the color of green against the blue sky.

Out in the front along the driveway a little sitting area, in the warmer months an umbrella shelters the spot but it has been put away for the cooler seasons. A talented friend made me the containers on the table. The Hopseed bushes in the background are glistening with raindrops

Here are some of the Paperwhites I spoke about in a previous post, bravely blooming although a little battered by the rain. The Honeyburst locust tree is almost completely denuded but will explode next spring with lovely chartreuse foliage.

And lastly, a view of the bridge and beyond.

I have always read that the bones of a garden are very, very important and it is now is this season that they can be seen and accessed without distraction. Maybe it is this simplicity that so appeals to me, 

Like always this time in the garden will slowly end and once again the roses will bloom and it will be time to think of spring and summer color. I for one am looking forward to seeing the results of all of the wildflower seeds I have sown. The ever changing ways of a garden are one of the most magical things in the life of a gardener.

Now I must get back to Christmas plans.

Thank you for visiting.


Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving full of love and joy...and maybe a bit of turkey.


Thursday, November 21, 2019

Flowers, flowers, flowers ~

A couple of days ago with the help of Chris, who helps me in the garden, I brought the containers of my Christmas decorations up from the basement. They are now sitting on the back deck covered with plastic to protect them from the rain (yes, we had a rain storm - hooray, I can turn off the sprinklers for a while). Next week I will slowly start bringing Christmas into the house, right now I am mulling over what I want to do this year.

 I am still enjoying the autumnal decor. The arrangement of pumpkins in my entry hall below is one of my favorites.

But this post wasn't really going to be about holiday decorations but about flowers. First, flowers that because of their ordinariness are easy to disregard, in my garden Paperwhite narcissist fall into this category. In the past I have almost regarded them as weeds, pulling them out of the beds with abandon. This year I am looking at these dependable bulbs with new regard. With our change in climate many things I use to grow with ease have become difficult giving me a new appreciation for these bulbs that flourish without care, return with great vigor, look pretty, smell wonderful, flower at a time when there is not much else blooming and are good cut flowers - I mean really, what more could you ask for. 

They will still need to be divided on a regular basis as they tend to form large clumps, but my new plan is to plant the extra bulbs in the far back more casual reaches of the garden where they can adapt, do their thing...and await the results.

Now, wildflowers.

 I have a friend with a beautiful garden that has the most wonderful display of wildflowers every year. I have never done this but decided that it might be fun to try. I bought lots of packages of wildflower seeds, mixed them all together with some sand and have been sowing them in several areas. It will be interesting to see what happens; I have dreams of lots wildflowers this late winter and spring.


 a flower arrangement adding color and life to the living room, the very, very last of the hydrangeas, mixed in with privet and smoke bush foliage. 

Thank you for visiting.

I hope all of your holiday preparations are going well.