Wednesday, April 26, 2017

New Garden Stuff

I'm probably the biggest pretend gardener that you know. I love to have a garden and watch it grow. But I am too busy with other things to tend much of a garden. And I am also crazy about vintage garden stuff! In fact the very first blog I ever followed and fell in love with was Theresa Cano's blog  Garden Antqs Vintage. She is no longer blogging, and has changed her business name. But she still sells garden antiques! Here's a link to her exciting FB page.

My most exciting recent find are these French antique garden cloches that I found locally together in two sizes. They are a beautiful heavy bubbled green glass, and are in wonderful condition. Not many turn up here in New Mexico. So I am thrilled!

They can still be used in the garden, of course, but they will probably take up residence with my gardening book collection.

The burlap type table cover that I am showing here is from Jeanne D'Arc Living. I am constantly being asked about it. It is a fabulous display piece, but it's not like you can throw it in the washer or anything. It makes a great under layer with the fringe.

Another new discovery is that primitive little antique seed chest made of plywood. I wanted to show it with seed packets inside, but I don't have any handy. What I do have are a few herbs in peat pots from the nursery waiting to be planted. We keep a few pots nearby by on the patio where we use them for cooking and where we won't forget to water them anywhere else in the yard.

There are few more wonderful delights that a few herbs growing close by!

I bought three different varieties of thyme and want to mark each one with these beautiful copper garden markers so I don't forget which is German, English, or Lemon thyme.

They are corralled in a new old garden tote with "California Fruit Growers Exchange" lettered on the side too faintly to show in the photos, but you can see the beautiful old oiled wood.

A few old garden standbys round everything out. And I wanted to be sure to show you my humble little blooming snowball bush! I'll be snipping a few blooms soon to bring inside.

Sculptural iron furniture and accessories are one of my most favorite collections. Few things tickle my decorating bones more than putting together a cheery garden vignette!

Happy gardening!


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Perennials~The Toughies in the Garden

I haven't done much in the garden except to stroll through. I am strictly a patio gardener, and not much of that! But I can tell you that this bloom is centranthus, or Jupiter's Beard because a friend identified it for me. But what's in a name, anyway? eh?

What is more important is that ol' Jupiter is a survivor. It persists and endures year after year like the loyal perennial that it is.

My pot of boxwood has looked like this all winter long. (Well, it's evergreen.) It is a fuller, looser variety than the typical box. Soft and droopy.

And our snowball bush is coming into bloom! These little babies form incredibly fast.

Most of the cherry blossoms froze, but we always get enough to interest the grackles. 

The salvia greggii sage is in full bloom and loving its place in the sun. Hummers love it.

The first rose is always a celebration. Coming soon to a garden near you . . . .

A few lilac volunteers are springing up after our old bush withered, and we even got a few blooms this year!

This is the southern exposure of part of our house. I can't begin to tell you how hot it gets! But our laurel bushes manage to hold their own. 

This is vinca minor, a smaller variety of periwinkle with smaller, narrower leaves.The web says vinca "can be tenacious plants, despite their elegant appearance." Love that. 

The minor version covers the bed in partial shade.

Here are the leaves of the vinca major for comparison. (Larger, and described as heart-shaped.) Much leggier as well. It climbs as well as creeps.

But this is our most hardy perennial! The finches love it. Dandelion keeps its root over winter and blooms in spring. And keeps blooming. . . . . We dig some, but of course that is futile. They are described as "bold and brash and unrelenting, . . . the pollinator's best friend." Right now we are leaving them to the birds and the bees. 

It got green so suddenly that I am startled each time I look out the window!

So happy for spring!

Happy Easter Weekend!


Friday, April 7, 2017

Floral Inspirations

Bloggers are the best people! Write about something as un-glamorous as cleaning up your act and you still get the sweetest comments. Thanks so much for the words of support. It's going to be an endless effort. But seeing the progress keeps me going.

The quieter side of life has more of my attention these days, and I am taking pleasure in the recent rains making the periwinkle perk up. It is a subtle bloom that I never thought to use as a cut flower. Until now.

I used a creamy vase that seems to echo the vine, and a new teacup trio with the same suggestion to show them off.

I also added this lavender hued Russian Sage next to the creeping myrtle in my patio scene because I have seen its spectacular bloom around town in mid summer. And it can suffer the neglect. Some folks here confuse it with lavender.

I may do some under plantings to see how long they last before the sage blooms. The heat can get intense out here.

I have been searching Pinterest pics for dooryard gardens like those in the countryside and alley ways of Europe. Especially France. Wherever you go there is always something blooming in a pot or more at the door. And my new book is also providing loads of inspiration for that!

By now many of you have seen this gorgeous book by Georgianna Lane featured around blog town. It is one of my major inspirations this spring, and you can see more of the breathtaking photography at the website link here. It will knock your flip flops off!

One little shot from its dreamy pages . . .

It is also the perfect occasion to show you my new "Summer Glory" trio. 

Triple the inspiration!

Taking a minute to jot a birthday note on this luscious rose card from a museum shop. 

A little snippet of vintage lace elevates a simple tea break.

And it's all about the little things. . . .

Wishing you a lovely spring weekend!


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Conquering Space

Guess what color my hyacinths turned out to be? Some things you simply cannot escape. . . . I have never grown them before, and had no idea what a lovely fragrance they have! They have added so much to our celebration of spring.

Since these sunny pictures were taken, there have been blustery and rainy days blowing even more of the Chinese Elm seeds around that you see strewn on the ground everywhere here this time of year. The trees are very successful in our dry climate and grow like weeds. 

But most of my time lately has been spent reclaiming space indoors. My work space looks out onto the patio on one side, and a small dooryard on the other. It is only natural that I would have a hint of the garden on the desk in front of me as I work too.

My major task is to reclaim this office space from the years-long catch-all it has morphed into over time. It is very like living your life backwards, only with lightning speed, depending on how fast you can sort through it all. Photos, financial papers, old hobbies, travel keepsakes. I went and bought a shredder, and have donated reams and tubes of art supplies to a local art workshop, with loads more to come! Goodwill is my new best friend, along with any library and book shop willing to lighten my load.

It is not for the faint at heart. And it is a real slog, even if you are dedicated and keep up a good pace. Rewinding decades of minutiae takes time. Getting rid of good and useful objects tied to nostalgia takes nerve. The high number of decisions made in a single session is itself a demanding exercise. In only one room!!! And I found that staring at a hideous space for hours of my day was adding to the aggravation. 

What you see here, and in the photo above, is my solution to keeping my sanity while I keep to the task. I created a temporary buffer. Sort of like the cement barriers to protect traffic that you see in a highway construction zone! Haha! I covered this antique oak office cabinet with a linen curtain after I finished emptying the 45 small file drawers of their contents. While it is awaiting a delivery trip cross country to its lucky new owner, its new cover surface is giving me something more serene to look and erases one huge item off of the to-do list!

I also covered the big clunky teacher's desk, and shielded a portion of the still-in-progress book shelves nearby. If you have been sent to stand in a corner you can at least decorate it to suit yourself! Haha! With my satellite radio and good speakers going, I am really beginning to enjoy working in this room these days. 

Much more peaceful now while a work in progress.

A view to the garden.

The shelf with pots used to have a row of text books. The tin tile is lowering my heart rate while reducing the visible noise ongoing.

I recently found this fantastic Guy Wolff pot at a flea market.

. . . and rescued my forgotten pups from a dusty box. 

The covered card table holds an easel with a cork board that blocks clutter and can change art. Simple, and easy to whisk away. The shutters in back hide a tower of vintage suitcases still needing to be sorted through. More linen hides the printer. These are the buffers my brain seems to need to bolster me through, one box or drawer at a time. 

So I am carving out a good space in this too-energy filled room amid the reverberations of my own sometimes chaotic past. The happiest memories and the worst somehow thrown together within the space of four walls. 

The work goes on.

 Conquering space.

 Even if some of it is just inside my own head.

Hey. All the best to you with your own spring cleaning!

So nice that you stopped by!