Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Books & Magazines

Her stores may have closed, but there's still some "Shabby Chic-ness" to look forward to. Rachel Ashwell has been working on a new book that's due out this fall. I can't wait!!!

Speaking of publications, I just picked up the lastest issue of Somerset Life the other day and discovered my Parisian Bon-Bon Dish is shown in the article entitled, Martini Magic on pages 56-57. What a nice surprise! The photo in the magzine is a little out of focus, so I thought I would share some of the details with you here.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Garden Arbor

This collage shows some of the beautiful varieties of Clematis growing up and over the arbor constructed just for them.

At the other end of the arbor was this serene sitting area lined with mosaic benches created by different artists.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Garden Walk Times 3

Here are the photos of the garden walks I said we attended while on vacation. 
This rose arbor with creeping thyme meandering between the flagstone path was amazing. The homeowner told us that the thyme she used is called "Nutmeg" and it flowers later in the summer in beautiful shades of magenta. 
My favorite pink lilies.
These are the Lilliputian gardens. They were adorable! 
This one was called "Secret Garden"
This one is my favorite - the little birdbath has a tiny frog in the center!
These perennials were planted in donated shoes and purses and were being sold as a charity fund raiser. 
I adore this bistro chair planted with a variety of succulents. Chicken wire and sheet moss were used as the base for the plants.
One garden featured a bronze plant kaleidoscope created by a local artist. Unfortunately I was so amazed at what I saw through the lens that I forgot to take a picture of the kaleidoscope itself! The kaleidoscope was aimed at a bronze planter which you could rotate to create some awesome designs.
This free-form fence in the grass garden was a wonderful example of form and function. 
And what garden wouldn't be complete without a re-bar blue bottle tree. I want one!
Water features always add a serene touch to a garden.
Love the lily pads in this pond.
We discovered little surprises throughout the gardens, like this tree fern shown below.
The simple use of an antique wicker cart as a planter for this Boston fern add a nice vintage touch.  Notice the names and hand prints of the family's children as well as the paw print of their dog, Lily stamped into the concrete stoop. 
Around the corner I discovered this "rain chain" attached to the gutter. The rain gently flows down over the tiny bronze umbrellas.
A local artist created this whimsical piece of garden art using thrift store glass and china pieces.
Another neat idea that was new to me were these shadowbox frames planted with succulents. Several of the gardens had them. They simply took an old frame and attached it to shallow pine box filled with soil, moss and chicken wire to hold the plants in. 
This one is propped on a rusty metal easel.
The small blue shadow box planter leans against a fence.
And the shadowbox below sits on a bistro garden chair.
And why not paint a a pretty design on a vintage screen door for garden art?
Or attach an old window frame above a window box to dress up the dreary wall of a garage.
Even a little red wagon makes a cheery vignette filled with a planter and gingham tablecloth. (Hey, I've got a couple of those red wagons!)
Did you ever think of putting a pot of geraniums in an old metal colander?
And why not put the planted colander on top of a birdbath?
I thought this was a clever way to put an old tree stump to good use. We always cut ours down to ground level or remove them completely, but this gardener left part of the trunk in tact, screwed a planter on top of it and filled it with hanging plants.
Here's another trunk that she topped with a birdhouse. It's such a simple idea, but one I never thought of myself.
This weathered tiered cart is darling.
This homeowner on the garden walk treated us to homemade mini cupcakes and pink lemonade on her deck. What a wonderful place to relax!
Don't you just love this footed glass pitcher? I NEED one!
Thanks to all the gardeners (The Porter's, The Lhast's, The Goss's, The Waldron's, and the Master Gardeners at the UW Extension Office) who shared their scenic landscapes and gardening ideas with us. 
Next time I'll share the beautiful Clematis arbor and gazebo.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Week of R & R

Last week we went to our cottage for a long awaited getaway with our friends from Florida. We had a wonderful time and it was nice to visit our favorite local spots and discover some new ones as well.The weather was absolutely perfect which meant we got to see sunsets like this every night.

We took the ferryboat to a nearby island for a day trip and discovered this neat little coffee house called The Red Cup.
This is a still-life mural that is painted on the side of the building. You really have to look twice to make sure it wasn't real.
The inside of The Red Cup is full of funky atmosphere that makes you want to just sit and hang-out there with a cup of joe. In addition to coffee drinks and the biggest oatmeal raisin cookies ever, they sell lots of artwork, jewelry, journals, etc made by local artisans. I bought a wonderful bracelet which I'll share with you later.
Here's a view from the ferry boat.
And near the dock.
Here is one of the pristine beaches with smooth, white dolomite stones as far as you can see. We used to swim at a beach like this when we were kids. I remember how we'd walk into the water wearing our flip-flops because the pebbles are hard to walk on.
One of the more choppier parts of the water. There are caves all along the bluff here.
A favorite water front eatery.
And the sign on this restaurant just made us laugh! :)
We also went to several garden walks while we were away, so I'll share those with you next time along with some vintage finds I was able to get my hands on.
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