Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Ready, set...




With our unseasonably warm weather everything is blooming earlier this year including the Bewitched tree roses that line my driveway in the front.

My preference is for vintage roses, such as China's and Tea's but I long ago fell in love with Bewitched, which is a Hybrid tea, albeit a vintage one. It blooms and blooms and blooms throughout the season covering itself with huge, clear pink flowers; it also has a wonderful fragrance.

So, as you can see, around here right now everything is coming up roses!


 I finally located Miss Twiggley's special hiding place. I knew that she had one somewhere as occasionally, and always at the most inopportune time, I couldn't find her. Eventually, after I would exhaust myself searching she would appear. 

She had somehow found a space in my workroom between the cabinets and the wall that lead to an enclose area under the built in counter. She gave the whole thing away last night when I was in the room and saw this little paw sticking out through the crevice. wanting me to play.

Naughty kitty, now I will know where you are!

Thank you for visiting

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Firsts ~

There is so much going on in the garden right now that it is a bit over-whelming and very exciting.

Each day there is something new to see.

The first Clematis bloom...

 ...the glorious tea-noisette rose Jaune Desprez, in it's premire flush of bloom nodding it's flowers in abundance over the front arbor.

 Brunfelsia pauciflora, commonly know as Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow putting on a splendid show by the front porch. 


And, the many, many Alstroemerias scattered profusely around the garden where they have generously seeded themselves. 

But a special treat this year is the leafing out of the new native Western Redbud tree which I bought bareroot several weeks ago at Home Depot. I planted it, and have been keeping my fingers crossed that it would survive. I think this is my answer. I am in love with the heart shaped leaves.

The same can be said about this Chinese Wisteria. When one of the climbing roses under the deck died last year I finally had a place big enough to plant one of these beautiful but rampant vines. It too was purchased bareroot at Home Depot and I have been monitoring it's progress hoping to see some small leaves opening. Yesterday I realized that I was looking in the wrong place...it fooled me by sending up new shoots from the bottom!

To top it all off, this morning I received my new shipment of roses from the Antique Rose Emporium. I have taken out so much thirsty grass over the past year that I decided I deserved a couple of new roses. 

I hope that you are beginning to see evidence of Springs arrival in your area also.

Thank you for visiting.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Something new ~

I been using some new products that I am very impressed with and I wanted to share them with you.

I am a fan of brow mascara, it is great for adding natural definition for those of us with skimpy or light colored eyebrows. Previously I used Lancome's, but their colors are limited and for the amount, a bit pricey. Now Mabelline has come out with a similar product, BrowDrama. They offer it in four different shades. It is easy to apply, lasts all day, easy to remove, and at a little over $5.00 a great buy. In every way I find it a superior product.

Next, Andalou Naturals Enlighten Serum.

I like using an antioxidant serum every morning and  have tried quite a few, some very expensive and some at a more reasonable price. I really prefer that serums, as this one does, to come in a enclosed pump container to keep them from oxidizing. This is a lovely light serum with faint citrus scent, and I have noticed some improvement in the clarity of my skin. It is very reasonable priced, at about $25.00, all natural and contains vitamin C and turmeric, both excellent antioxidants. I think is was well worth adding this product to my skin care arsenal.
 You can find it online and also at Whole Foods.

And lastly, Benetint, from Benefit. A classic and has been around for a while. A lip and cheek stain, it gives a lovely and very natural color. I like to use it as a base and then add a light layer of powder blush...or on a casual day use it alone. It comes in three different shades and one bottle will probably last you the rest of your life...or for several year at least!

I would love to hear of any new products you have found effective.

Thank you for visiting.

Friday, March 6, 2015

A new project ~

The back garden in looking a bit stark now, I lost my beautiful, big shade tree. I could see it was failing over the past few years but I had hoped it would somehow recover. Alas, I finally had to face the truth...there is nothing as unattractive as a very dead tree holding center court in a garden.


late this winter I sadly had it cut down. I had a great affection for this tree some of my life's happiest and saddest moments were spent sheltered by its leafy branches. I decided to keep the stump as a reminder of these times.

Now that this area has lost its shade it has aquired a whole different look and requires a completely different landscape. As the first step I am adding borders along the path to soften the design. They will be watered by drip and microsprinklers.  Further back on the left I have just planted two small trees: an Evergreen Flowering Pear and a native Western Redbud. Later I hope to add another shade tree.

After I configure the borders I plan to replace some of the grass adjacent to the existing brick eating area with gravel. If possible and the drought allows I would like to leave the rest of the grass. 

Good, or bad, gardens are a work in progress and always seem to be evolving. At least it is never, ever, boring!

Thank you for visiting.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sometimes it works ~

Although a gardener designs an area for a certain effect it often does not live up to the wonderful vision you had in your mind: plants die, don't actually bloom when you think they will, colors turn out to be faulty, or for dozens of other reasons, it just doesn't work.


this year it all came together in my street-side border...
the pink Tabebuia tree and the Chinese Fringe bush decided to cooperate.

 I am delighted! this is what I had in mind when I painted the bench red.

We are actually having rain this week, and the nearby mountains are dusted with snow, another reason to be happy!

Thank you for visiting.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Just like new ~

Last week, at a raffle to support speakers for my gardening group, I found this little basket. It had gone unnoticed and when I got a chance I snapped it up. It is so cute. The handle and the rim are silver and in okay condition but almost all of the finish had chipped off the fluted glass body.

This was the perfect opportunity to try something I have wanted to do for a long time, use Krylon Looking Glass paint to create a faux mercury glass finish.

It was so quick and easy to do, there are lots of tutorials on Pinerest. Essentially, just spray the interior with the paint, let dry, mist it with a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar, then depending on how much texture you want you daub it with a paper towel before the solution dries. The solution removes some of the paint giving you that distressed mercury glass look.


I was able to blend what was left of the original finish with the new paint.

 Before and after.

Here I have used it as a vase, but it is going to be cachepot...I never seem to have enough pretty containers for my indoor plants. 

Just think of all the holiday decorations you could make next year and it also comes in gold,

Thank you for visiting

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Orphan furniture ~

Every once in a while when I am out walking or driving, I come across a 
 piece of furniture that someone has put out at the curb with the trash. I call this, orphan furniture.
I don't always bring it home, but some times it is too good to pass up.

Such as with this chair.

It is an orphan and a very pathetic one, I came across it a few days ago. You can see the stuffing and springs falling out of the bottom and it is badly in need of refinishing. Sadly the needlepoint upholstery like the rest of the chair has been allowed to deteriorate. I think it will impossible to restore it but, depending on how hard it is to remove I just might try to have it dry cleaned and put back on.

 The construction is still solid and after
 stripping, refinishing, and reupholstering I think it will once again be a very attractive chair; it has classic lines and lovely carved details.

I really like finding furniture orphans, they seem to have more character and charm. The chair below was one... 

as so was this chair...

and this chair, which is featured in my header.

When I was a child I was always bringing home stray dogs, now I seem to be bringing home stray furniture. 

When this is completely refurbished I will share the results with you. Wish me luck because it is 
going to be a lot of work, but I definitively think it's worth it...poor little chair.

Have you rescued any furniture orphans lately?

Thank you for visiting.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Which one would you pick ~

This week my gardening group is having fund-raiser to help pay for our speakers throughout the year. I mulled over several ideas of things that I could make to bring in to raffle off


decided to make tea cozies!

One of my first blog posts was on how to make a tea cozy, so this is rather like returning to an old friend.

I wanted each one to be a little unique to appeal to different tastes and color schemes.

Roses trimmed with stripes...

a sunny yellow print...combined with hand crocheted lace...

and lastly, wisteria and roses embellished with lavender ribbon.

Which one would you pick?

As for me, I rather like them all.

Thank you for visiting.

I hope you have a cozy, charming day.