Friday, June 23, 2017

June Garden: Pretty in Pink

Summer officially arrived June 21 and my garden is awash in pink. 
Some flowers are showstoppers, others blend quietly with purples and yellows.
I've always been drawn to purple flowers so this year
I intentionally tried to incorporate more pinks into my garden. 
Pink speaks of romance and a delicate gentle touch.

This deep pink Knautia macedonia adds movement to the garden
as its long stems sway in the breeze.


The gardens seem to blush in the pink innocence of this Zebrina malva. 


TIP:  If you're like me, you can't always remember the names of your plants.
So I keep the plastic tags that identify my posies in a large baggie
where I can always find them as a reference source . . .
unless they accidentally find their way into the trash.


Case in point -- the name of this rosy plant escapes me and I can't find the tag.
Anyone recognize it?
Some kind of veronica perhaps?


Pink petunias and purple lavender
complement the galvanized tub I found at an estate sale for $1!


Wow! This pink Dianthus "Pink Kisses" really pops.


Other pinks are soft and quiet.
These "Cashmere Sage" Phlomis are the gentile ladies of the garden. 


TIP:  To keep your blooms blooming, snip the dead stems out regularly (deadheading).


I am not usually a big fan of petunias but these two-toned beauties really caught my eye
and are non-stop bloomers, adding a happy note to these urns. 


Hot pink Poppy Mallow winecups add a splash of color to this lavender just starting to bloom.


TIP: When the temps hit the 90s you may need to water every day.
Water in the early morning hours when it's cool and you won't lose water through evaporation.
I enjoy watering my plants; I can tell they appreciate it!



This pink clematis is a feminine addition to the garden,
all dressed up for a garden party.


One pot of New Guinea impatiens is nice
but three is better!
Note: these do not like hot afternoon sun but a few early morning hours are fine.
I had to move these to the front porch to avoid a sunburn.


Pink Bonica rose against my white picket fence.
Perfection.


I think Roxy likes pink flowers too!


I hope you enjoyed my "Pink Ladies."
Come back soon to see what's blooming in my garden.
Happy gardening!

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Friday, June 16, 2017

An All American Front Porch

When I was a little girl, we moved from the country to the big city of Brilliant, Ohio,
population about 1,000 when the street fair was in town.
Of course, when you're little everything seems so much bigger.
On a recent trip back to my old home town, I was surprised at how small everything was.

Today, I can't think of our house on Market Street without remembering its huge front porch. 
Well, it seemed huge to me.
Too bad I don't have any photos of it. This is our front porch now. 


The welcome mat is out. Come on in and let's chat.


We spent countless lazy hours on my childhood porch watching the world go by,
gossiping with neighbors, sipping lemonade,
and strapping on our clamp-on roller skates to zoom back and forth on the uneven sidewalk.

The front porch was where I watched parades march by and wished for a pony
(which I never got, thank you very much!)
and a few years later where Mom kept an eye on me and my sister
parked at the curb with our boyfriends. 
Ah, the wonders of the big city.


Now that I live in an actual big city, population nearing 700,000, I still love my front porch. 
I may not know all of my neighbors like I did back home, but saying good morning to passersby
with their dogs, makes me feel part of the neighborhood. 


Our little dog, Roxy, loves the porch too. 
She must feel like queen of the block from her elevated perch. 
If Ron is on the porch she feels it's her duty to protect him (but not me??)
by barking at passing dogs unless they're neighbor dogs whom she knows.


I love our American flag whether it's floating loose or snapping in the wind. 
Ron purchased it for me when he visited Mt. Vernon. 
This special flag flew over George Washington's home and I'm proud to display it.


It reminds me of a fond childhood memory. 
Growing up, my sister and I always thought everyone was celebrating our mother's birthday 
on June 14 by hanging out their flags. It took us a while to figure out it was actually Flag Day.


I probably have too much stuff on my front porch but my collecting habit has spilled over there. 
This primitive bench found a home after I discovered it in the mud at an estate sale, too shabby to sell. The red pump came from my parents' pump house and the chair from Dad's garden.
Maybe these objects from home make this front porch feel, well, more like home.


I do love alley shopping and was thrilled when we found these two rocking chairs thrown
in the alley for trash pick up. After a lot of scraping, sanding and painting,
they're the perfect chairs for sittin' a while with a cup of coffee in the morning sun.


A blogger from Europe once mentioned how much she loved our American front porches
because they didn't have them in Europe. I hadn't realized that until she pointed it out. 
I guess we had more room to spread out when building houses
in our wide-open spaces in America. 


So glad someone thought of adding a front porch to their house.
It wouldn't be home without one.

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French Country Cottage

Friday, June 9, 2017

French Country Patio Reveal!

It seems like I've been waiting for months to show you my French Country patio.
And, even though Colorado skies are still leaden and drippy, I say enough already!
I can't wait another minute. It is June after all. 

Please come on in!


Although the patio is small, it's inviting and comfortable,
a place we spend a lot of time in warm weather.
I'm embracing a black and white palette this year, a classic French look.





This rusty arch came over from the front yard garden to the flagstone patio 
to transform the patio's appearance. 
Now the patio has a more defined boundary and a more formal entry point into the garden. 

Two big ceramic pots planted with boxwood and white alyssum flank the arch.


Here's how it looked before moving the arch.


We purchased these copper solar string lights this year from Home Depot to wrap around the arch after squirrels devoured out heavy-duty lights last year. 
We've since learned that those thick strings contain soy and 
apparently are quite delicious to hungry squirrels. So far, they have left the copper strings alone.


The delicate lights have a blue cast and look magical in the evening.


Since I moved the bistro table and chairs to another location in the garden, 
I brought my old black patio set back to the main patio. 
Ron says these chairs are more comfortable and the table holds more food and drinks.
Love that these cushions from WalMart are reversible. 
I'm looking for a small black or off-white patio umbrella but they're all too big for this small space. 


Patio accessories include black lanterns, concrete urns, and lots of pink and white flowers 
in terracotta pots. (The plants are still small; please check back to see them grow.) 
The wooden trellises give the patio a French flavor with plants winding through them. 


A few touches of rusty metal objects add a sense of age.






These Bonne Maman preserve jars are just right for votive candles on the fence.




A baker's rack alley find provides a perfect stage for my growing collection
of galvanized watering cans and buckets.




A tall fence ensures privacy with a peek at the garden in a curvy mirror.
It almost looks like there's a hole in the fence.


A trickling recirculating fountain next to the patio provides a soothing natural sound, 
masking traffic noises and creating a calm setting in the city.


The patio has a quiet ambience of being connected to nature
where I almost feel I should whisper.


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Friday, June 2, 2017

No Matchy-Matchy -- Live With What You Love

When I was a young woman just starting out,
I dreamed of buying a matching living room suit, 
matching bedroom furniture and matching dishes and flatware. 
I think the curtains, pillows, and rugs were probably matching sets too!
How things have changed, huh?

Today, we don't want that "matchy-matchy" look.
Instead we live with what we love.

It doesn't have to match as long as it "goes."
I'm using two mismatched chairs at my farm table.
Their wood tones and farm style go together nicely.



My couch and chair don't match but their textures and colors complement each other. 
Accessories are one-of-a-kind finds and my coffee table is an old farm table 
with the legs trimmed down to the right height.


I think mixing things up is more interesting than if everything matches
and it feels more like it's been collected over time.
French Country and Farmhouse styles lend themselves easily to this look
as things are often passed down in the family.


Be brave! Mix it up!
You can put together a blended look by repeating design elements such as
color, finishes, themes, shapes or architectural details.
Keep your room from becoming too busy by painting the walls a neutral color.


In my kitchen, I have several different patterns of dishes (all from Goodwill).
My faves are the big red rooster plates, the simple white scalloped plates 
and the buffalo china bowls. 
I like to mix and match them for a casual feel. 


The unifying element of my dishware is white with a touch of red.


My cups are a mix of white Pottery Barn and Chris Madden mugs that look pretty together.


And my flatware is vintage Grosvenor Community design . . .


with a mix of other styles thrown in as needed
(bakelite forks, battered old ladles, family hand-me-down spoons.)


Do they match? Nope. Do they go together? Yep.
Do they make me happy? Definitely.

In the dining room, my ironstone collection and my mother's "good" china
blend nicely and make me smile.


The mirrors are all different and add charm and impact to the space
and the white accents pull it all together.
The natural wood furniture helps to ground the lighter colors in the room.


My point is: if it makes you smile when you come into the room, if it holds a special memory, 
or if it causes you to dream about the future, it's the right choice for you.


It may not match but it goes.
So, live with what you love!

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