Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Garden Bloggers Death Day

Kate over at Gardening Without Skills is hosting a Garden Bloggers Death Day. Below is a picture of my Pansies about a month ago. So sweet and snuggled in their pot with little smiling faces.As I walked out my front door this morning I noticed that my Pansies were drooping out of the pot trying to escape our hot mid-west sun. I have watered them faithfully but alas I think they may have seen their last sunrise. How sad to be replaced by a sun loving Geranium.

Thanks Kate for letting us share the oops 's (is that a word) in our gardens.

I also have some exciting news Rachel over at A Romantic Porch is going to feature my back porch on her blog. Why don't you go over and check it out and say Hi to Rachel.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sweet Vinegar

When the temperature hits the high 90's my flower are slow to produce so I don't always have enough flowers to pick to make a huge bouquet. So I get out my stash of vinegar cruets. I purchase the cruets at thrifts stores and antiques for very little as I choose those that no longer have their stoppers.
I gather just a small handful of blooms and it doesn't matter if the flowers have longs stems because the necks of cruets will hold a very short stem. So I have more options for making my arrangement.

Just one lone lily will make a lovely addition

A single blushing rose stands out in the crowd.

Several flowers in the same color family meld nicely in another bottle.

Sometimes a bit of greenery, a few buds that haven't opened and a small begonia blossom are just the thing to add to the bouquet.

Grouped together on a piece in the front hall they smell so sweet and are a treat for the eye.
I love to group them on a table in my front hall to greet visitors to our home. With very little time and just a few flowers I have created a display that showcases small blooms. Give it a try in any small containers you have they don't even have to match.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Yes, It's Red

When guests see our master bedroom for the first time they usually comment " It's really red how do you sleep in here". I say, "Its simple, I just close my eyes." I do love my gypsy red bedroom with gold and green accents but in the summer time when it is 100 I often wish for a cooler oasis. So on my list of things to do is find a small budget (cheap) way to bring a lighter look to this room My curtains are a striped silk with red, gold, and green and are so soft they waft nicely even with the breeze from the fan. But they also are a little dark for summer. I have white wooden blinds so taking them down for the
summer is an option.
By the dresser hangs a picture I found at an estate sale of a little gypsy girl wearing a red dress. I just had to have her to go with my gypsy red walls. I think she can stay. I thought maybe some white accessory pieces might look nice with the white woodwork in the room.
I'm off to a new Savers Store that just opened in the neighborhood. I will let you know if I find any treasures

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What's A Dog To DO!

This is Little Orphan Annie (aka Annie). She came to our house to stay to keep the squirrels away. About two years ago our vet called and told my husband he had our dog. My husband replied, "No, you don't he is right here". The vet says "I am sure she belongs to you she looks just like you." So we went to see Annie and she had a new home. Annie is a Border Collie with two blue eyes. One side of her face is white (this side has white eye lashes) and the other side is black (this side as black eye lashes). She is an extremely gentle dog but because she was abandoned as a puppy she is very shy with anyone she doesn't know. Her goal in life is to keep the squirrels out of her yard. As you can see she waits patiently at the foot of the tree hoping to spot her quarry.

When we adopted Annie we had a 16 year old Aussie named Speck. It was love at first sight for both of them and Annie gave Speck a new lease on life. Speck was blind and would get lost in the backyard. Annie would with great care herd in the direction of the back door and wait for us to let him in. When Speck went to doggie heaven Anne was grief stricken and would not come out of her kennel or eat. After three months with no improvement we decided Annie needed a puppy.
So we went on line and searched the Aussie Rescue Site. We found only one full blooded Aussie. Meet Mac, he came to our house to stay to make Annie happy again. And He Did! Annie takes care of him. She washed his ears and tells him when he is being bad. They play hide-and-go-seek and you can't catch me. Mac is a clown and when he knows he is in trouble that's when he will grin with just one side of his mouth. Because he was also abandoned he wants to be with someone all the time and lays with his head touching you. I call him Velcro Dog. I hope someday he will be confident enough of our love and place in our home he will no longer need this reassurance.

See Mom, I'm helping Annie. But I wish she would come play.

As I was vacuuming up all the hair on my carpet today I was trying to remember why I had two dogs. Now, I remember, it's because they are both so gentle and kind and love each other and they love us.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Green Is Good

After reading my blog you must know I love green living things. In my home though I am more drawn to reds and yellows.
But as all of you know when you go thrifting you have to go with expectation and an open mind. Every Tuesday is "old people's day" at our local thrift store and as I qualify, I of course, must see what bargains are waiting for me. Yesterday it was a green day. I found the three pieces above in different parts of the store and all drew my eye. The lady at the register said "I see you have a plan. No, I don't have a plan, so what am I going to do with these?I dug through the boxes I have in storage from closing my antique booth and found this lovely fruit I use to stage with. This works! I can move it from the kitchen, to the dining room, or even on the back porch. Good I have an excuse for this pretty green bowl. You can always use a bowl.

I loved this cabbage it looks so summery. I could just sit it on a shelf with a bunny to keep it company. But surely it has more potential that that. Ladies I need some ideas.

Doesn't this bell pepper look real. This also needs a home and a purpose in life. Looking for any suggestions. Unique sugar bowl. Somehow I wasn't excited about sugar in a green pepper.
Here's hoping you find some treasures in your life today.

Friday, June 19, 2009

It's An Annual Thing

I'm not the kind of gardener that starts out with a written plan or a color scheme in mind for either my annuals or my perennials. I do pay attention to a plants need for shade, sun and water. Other than that, I just wander through the nursery and choose plants because I love them. So sometimes I amaze even myself when a color combination just seems to come together like the lily's and the dragon wing begonias in the pot above.

I buy old basket at garage sales or thrift stores, fill them with moss, and plant with annuals which I tuck among the perennial flowers to provide color. This way if I have bare spots I can move the baskets.

Because I would rather spend my money on flowers than containers to put them in I look for creative things to use as containers. I found the box above when I was curb shopping ( you know when you stop and pick someone else's trash up at the curb and call it a treasure) painted it yellow and allowed it to weather. I always try to plant something yellow in it and although you may not be able to see them there are yellow coreopsis Moonbeam (which I will plant in the flower border in the fall) among the pink geranium along with a variegated filler plant .
Because annuals become pretty pricey when you are trying to fill many pots I decided to try something different this year. I had an over abundance of hostas that needed dividing so I decided to use them as a filler for some of my pots. Along with the hosta I tucked in some begonias and inpatients using about half as many as I normally would have needed. In the fall I will just transplant the hosta back into the garden or share with a friend.

I love how these bright red impatiens shine from between the Lily turf and make little miniature gardens for the birdhouses. Just a little bit of color can make your heart beat faster.

Thanks for strolling through the garden with me. I enjoyed your company.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

About this time every year I start checking the blueberry bushes in my garden hoping I will beat the birds to the first ripe berries. Not that I begrudge the birds a tasty meal but I love fresh blueberry pancakes.
Look! I think there are enough berries that are ripe to make some pancakes.

Aren't these lovely. So big and plump. We have had lots of rain this spring so all my berries are growing so well.

OK. I think I have everything I need to whip up a nice batch of tasty pancakes.

Don't they look yummy bubbling away on the grill. Can't wait to flip them over and see the nice crisp side. It's making my mouth water.

I think we will have a nice big piece of ham to go along with our blueberry pancakes. Sweet and salty together is one of my favorite tastes. Do any of you also enjoy this taste sensation?

OOOH! Lots of butter and hot maple syrup. Can't wait to dig in.
Won't you join me for breakfast.

Friday, June 12, 2009

I sent you a Bouquet

I wish I could pick you a bouquet of real flowers as a way to say thank you to all of you who have stopped by and left a sweet comment. I want to send an especially big bunch to Kim @Dear Daisy Cottage and Rachel @ A Romantic Porch they both have been so sweet and helpful to me answering all my questions and encouraging me. If you haven't visited these two ladies get right over there. They are both so talented and fun. What a great bunch of new friends you blogger are. First stop and pick a few Purple and Pink Astilbe
Some yellow Stell de Oro lillies will look lovely with the purple. Pick some leaves as well they look nice filling in the vase.

How about some pink roses and then a little wild Geranium with tiny blue flowers.
The Geraniums have such a lacy look they will add the finishing touch to your arrangement.

Yes, that the perfect vase and you have such a talent for arranging flowers. Enjoy you flowers.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

It's Picnic Time

I was going to invite you over for a picnic today. But it has decided to rain. I looked out the window and saw the dimples the raindrops were making on the pond.

But come on over anyway because I am looking forward to a chat. I have some friends that would like to see you too.

I am baking oatmeal cookies with lots of nuts and they should be waiting on the buffet by the time you arrive.

The table is all set. I thought we would have a big chefs salad and raspberry tea.

We will use the strawberry pitcher and glasses as they just seemed to be perfect for our indoor picnic.

I have put on one of my favorite tablecloths with the red cross stitch my friend Marty gave me. She knows how I love red.

But please do hurry the ants have already arrived. I know they don't like salad but it is rumored they love cookies and tea.

I hope every day of your life is a picnic.


Monday, June 8, 2009

We Might As Well

Four years ago I drove down a street and saw the house I wanted to live in. It wasn't anything special just a 1950's ranch and after a tour I could see it would need a lot of tender loving care. It hadn't been updated since the 1950's . It was only about a mile from my present home where my husband and I had lived for 38 years. My husband asked why would we move now that the kids are all grown and the house was paid for. I didn't have the answer but I had a dream. Bless my husband he let me follow that dream against his better judgement. Perhaps, the best statement about it was made by my youngest daughter after she toured the house before we move in. She said,"Well, Mom it does have good bones." I heaved a sigh of relief at least someone else could see it had potential. I just hoped she wasn't being kind.

Work on the house has gone slowly as we both still work full time. I have painted every room, we have laid hardwood floors in the kitchen and dining room and almost finished the basement into living space. In fact, I had been on a big push to finish the basement. It was on top of my honey-do-list. Then along came the "WE MIGHT AS WELL BATHROOM."

The bathroom saga began one morning when I dropped a small bottle of makeup into the sink. Really it was a small bottle but it broke a hole completely through the sink. This being the bathroom we used for guests I felt we needed to replace the sink as soon as possible. So approaching the subject with caution and I said to my husband, "As long as we our doing the sink don't you think we might as well replace the vanity too. It is so outdated.
I am sure you will agree when you look at the picture above. Well this bath also had some serviceable but very UGLY linoleum on the floor. So I kind of mentioned while we had the vanity pulled perhaps we should put ceramic tile on the floor it would would be so much easier while the vanity was out. So now I have a new floor that looks like this. Please just ignore all the tools you must remember this is a work in progress. Please note the new black vanity as well
Well, as long as we have gone this far we might as well take off all the ugly pink tile that goes 3/4 th of the way up the wall all the way around the room.

New tile in the shower and lovely new white bead board on the rest of the walls seem like a good idea.

Notice the design on the walls in the shower mimics the floor tile.

But oh what to do with that pink tub. It was still in wonderful shape and so nice and deep perfect for a bubble bath after a hard day of remodeling.

Well, we might as well have it resurfaced. So we did and I love how it looks. I just hope it holds up to use as well as the contractor claims. I did get a five year guarantee on the surface. Has anyone else had a tub resurfaced I would like to know what you think.

So we might as well continue working on this bathroom and it should be done soon and I can show pictures when it all decked out with new towels, pictures, and other pretties. So if you have your remodeling project on the drawing board go head you might as well the results are well worth the time and effort.


Everything is Coming Up Roses

Here in the mid-west June is the month our roses shine. All of my climbing roses and shrub roses have burst into bloom and are such a delight to behold. What a wonderful God we have that he has created all the different shapes and colors of flowers for us.

This is one of my Graham Thomas old English Roses it is a pale blushing pink.

This is one of the new shrub roses and I have had great success growing them here in the Midwest. They seem to flourish even in our hot dry summer unlike the hybrid teas and floribunda

This New Dawn is a spectacular rose and has covered most of my fence in just two years. I planted it against my white lattice fence so it doesn't show off as prettily as it could if was against a contrasting background.

Everyone who loves roses should plant at least one Knock-out rose. They are such showgirls. They bloom all season and require almost no care. I only have one but hope to put in a few more this year. My biggest problem is I have a very shady backyard which is not conducive to rose gardening. But somehow I have managed to find space for one of my favorite flowers.

I hope you have enjoyed a tour of my roses and will come back and visit again.

My wish for you today is that everything in your life will come up roses.