Saturday, March 25, 2017

Added pleasures ~

We are experiencing the most glorious weather. That coupled with the rain has resulted in the garden looking absolutely splendid. Everything seems to be bursting forth. Soon it will be hot and I will be complaining so I intend to enjoy all of it while I can.


Mrs B R Cant  antique Tea rose

one of the ways to enjoy it is to bring in flowers, herbs and greenery for bouquets, not only for fresh bouquets, but material that I can dry to use later in dried bouquets. Some flowers such as yarrow, statice and Queen Anne's Lace aren't blooming yet, but the roses, lavender and rosemary are ready for harvest.

If possible and I have the time, I like to make up nose gay bouquets, bind them with ribbon and hang them on door knobs until they dry. It has become a spring tradition for me.

After they have completely dried I will store them in a darken closet until I am ready to use them. They will last this way for a very long time.

It has been quite a while since I have made potpourri but I think I will make some this year. With the recent availability of so many essential oils, which used to be a bit difficult to source, it might be fun and I love anything that adds fragrance to my home. Just another element from the garden to enjoy.

Thank you for visiting

Happy Spring!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring has arrived ~

A few years ago, in what was my first attempt to cut back on water usage and minimize garden maintenance, I took out a very large, intensely planted 25x100 foot perennial  border running along my driveway. 
I replaced it with a meandering gravel path, pink antique roses, four flowering ornamental crabapple trees and mulch.

This, I must say, was one of my better ideas.

This area is now almost completely maintenance free and it is all on a drip system so it uses comparatively little water.

But the best part is every spring when the crabapple trees bloom - they are quite spectacular and grow more so every year as they continue to mature.

The trees are under-planted at the base with Santa Barbara daisies and a very common purple geranium. Between the two I have something blooming almost year around. Then if I am very lucky the pink roses start blooming, as they are doing this year, along with the apple trees.

It is such a delight when occasionally something turns out even better than you had hoped for.

Happy gardening!

Thank you for visiting.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The saga of Piggy wiggy ~

A while back I took a pottery class. I wasn't really interested in making pots but I did have fun making a few sculpted things, such as rabbit finials for the garden.

And, the series of roosters behind my stove. 

Then I decided why not make something I had really wanted for a long time, and that was a
plaque of a pig head - like the ones that you see outside of meat markets in European cities. I would have preferred a wonderful antique one but that simply wasn't going to happen.

Instead I made Piggy Wiggy

With all of the details...grape leaves, bows, etc. he took a long time to make and I was told that he might not make it through all of the firings. He did fine for the first firing but poor Piggy Wiggy cracked in the second firing.

But he was so cute and so much work that I brought him home and pretty much forgot about him. Then last week, while spring cleaning I came across him, took him out, and decided that I would put him up even though he wasn't perfect, that the imperfection lent him a certain patina.

So here he is now where he was intended to be. Mounted on the hood above the stove.
I added a wreath I made from apple twigs to frame him.

He might not be perfect but he does have a certain charm and now I don't even notice the crack.


Thank you for visiting.

I hope that you have a wonderful surprise in your day.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Summer favorites ~ Dahlias

Have I ever mentioned that I like dahlias? 
Well I really, really, like them.

They are gorgeous and come in so many colors and forms. I bought the ones you see blooming below last summer, at one of my favorite garden shops in Carmel, California while on a visit to my sister a few years ago. They are very generous with their charming puffs of pink and yellow flowers. The only caveat - as with all dahlias, early staking, they are very brittle and there is nothing more difficult than trying to tie back up a large dahlia that has collapsed.

Every year I plant a few more tubers, most come back every year but I usually loose a few. So this year when they were available I indulged myself.
Most of them I purchased from Home Depot but I also sent away for some rarer types, such as Cafe au lait, which is an indescribable pink/buff/white color.  

Since I favor pinks in the garden, they are pretty much all shades of pink, purple, a striking maroon and a couple of yellows.

Not only are dahlias nice in the garden but they also make splendid bouquets. In fact some of the flowers are so large that they make a bouquet in themselves.

I managed to get all of these planted last week. Now all I have to do is wait for them to sprout and  not forget to stake them early. I hope that here at Rose Arbors this will be the best summer for Dahlias ever!

Life is always better with a garden.

Thank you for visiting.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Decisions, decisions and the finished canape ~

Some of you might remember that I showed you this picture of my Mother's canape when I first posted about updating my living room It had been stored away for several years with the idea that eventually, when I got around to redecorating my living room, I would use it.

This is a very elaborate and formal piece of furniture and it has been a major effort and a a bit of a departure from what I usually do, to design the room so it would fit in stylistically. I knew from the beginning that to make it look a little more casual I would do away with the button back, add a long, soft down cushion... 

 I definitely wanted it in cream colored fabric to match the stripes in the new wallpaper.

Later, for the throw pillows I  was inspired by a picture I saw in a magazine - trimmed in pink and green brush fringe they add a slight pop of color.  I made the floral pillow in the center out of the same fabric as the drapes.

And this is the final result. 

I am very pleased with how it looks. I love the cotton Jacquard fabric. I was originally going to use cotton duck but when this fabric sample came in the mail I was smitten. down and two to go. I have picked out a lovely lattice print in a pale caramel color for the wing chair and footstool and I am hoping that the upholsterer will be able to start on it next week. But I still am undecided on which of the fabrics below to use for the remaining two bergere chairs. My favorite today, the pale celedon green sample in middle below. But I am also very tempted by the cream colored velvet on the far right.

 Whichever fabric I choose Miss Twiggle doesn't care. Her only interest is whether or not it is soft and comfy. To make sure she would be welcome on such a light colored piece of furniture I sprayed it with Scotch Guard.

Thank you for visiting.

I hope you have a glorious day. Meow.