16 October 2015

Fall: The Garden's Last Hurrah

I've always felt that the garden is a labor of love.  In the Fall, however, I feel a love/hate relationship as I pull the annuals, cut back some of the perennials, rake up the debris, and bring the garden to a place of winter rest.  Brings a lot of mixed emotions.  May I explain...

Love:

1.  the silence of the season.  As I go about the task of "breaking down" the garden for its winter slumber, there is a calm, a quietness.  reflective moments.

the leaves of the Geum "Tangerine Dream"  ... still so vibrant and full

2.  the hope of Spring.  Closing the garden brings an inherent promise that life will reappear, there will, once again, be a vibrancy of color, growth, change.  renewal.

the nasturtiums, so pretty in flower and foliage


3.  the chance to redesign, rethink.  Mistakes made, Mother Nature's challenges, new research of flower varieties, shrubs and bushes.  opportunity to revitalize, enhance.

Heuchera - endless combinations of variegated foliage; indispensable in the shade garden
4.  the beauty of winter in the garden.  The snow white against the winterberry red.  The stems of the red twig dogwood.  The birds /chattering/flittering about at the feeders.  redefined life.

Winterberry - a seasonal gift to the garden


Hate:

1.  the bleakness.  The extended winter season makes me yearn for color, activity, life.  interruption of life.

Parsley - taking on the role of ground cover in my garden

2.  the stagnancy.  I like change; the growing garden offers a constant opportunity for transformation, revision.  dormant surroundings.

Graceful Grace Weeping Douglas Fir ... pretty cones and great form

3.  the absence of convenience, wholesome.  I always so miss the sheer delight of going to the garden to choose my salad greens and herbs, knowing where they came from and what went into the soil they grew in.  lack of freshness.

Variegated sage, both attractive and tasty!

4.  the wistfulness.  As I age, the work becomes more difficult, harder on the joints.  It saddens me to think that there will come a day when I no longer can physically garden as I do now, knowing that the desire will always be in my heart and in my soul.  the downsides of aging


And yet, the realization that all facets of life brings its ups and downs, I fully take on the responsibility to see the closing of the garden as an opportunity  ...  to rest the weary bones, plan for the next growing season, and work on projects inside that have been screaming for attention!

If you have a chance, visit my Facebook page to see the garden as I've chronicled it through the seasons.  Also, "like" the page, and click "get notifications", for daily ideas and inspiration throughout the year.  My Pinterest boards may also interest you, if you're a fan of great vintage home and garden images to entice your spirit and creative mind!

So, I leave you now - we've got the first frost coming this weekend, and I have a lot to do.

I bet you do, too - right?

09 May 2015

Bird Bath with a Vintage Vibe / DIY

If you've been following my Facebook posts ( and you should, of course!) you know that we had a long, long, hard winter in our neck of the woods (southern CT) - as did many other areas.  

As soon as the first half decent day hit at the middle to end of April, I went full gear into garden mode.  (If you saw the inside of my house, you wouldn't question this.)  If there is a hint of sunshine and a smidgen of warmth, I'm out there.  I mean, out there.  And, being no spring chicken anymore, I'm one tired gal when I finally quit each day.  But, all that being said, I LOVE it - in a big way.  

I will be sharing photos of my garden on my Facebook page as soon as I get organized enough to do so.  When I moved into the house last May, there was nothing more there than a mound of dirt with a tarp thrown over it.  I'm working fast and furious on creating a sanctuary that is attractive to birds and butterflies, and a place for me to relax, unwind, entertain, and listen to the sounds of life around me.

Having created the "bones" or framework, I am now into the plantings and creating/selecting elements or accents to give it my personal touch.  You know, the fun part. One of the projects on my list was a birdbath - not the Lowes / Home Depot version, but something with a vintagey  (is that even a word??) vibe.  Now, all I needed were the components...

While on one of my weekly jaunts to a local thrift store last week, I found an old lamp that called my name.  While the tag said it was not in working order, that was of NO interest to me in the least!  I was intent on utter dismantlement anyway ... and, the price was dynamite - non-working, and no shade, worked on my behalf!


the lamp came with instant patina !
 Having instantly decided what I would use the base for, I headed to the glassware department (OK - the metal shelving unit the next aisle over).  I zeroed in on this glass  bowl, both because I thought it would be perfect for my project, AND it had a white  sticker, so  it was fifty percent off.  (don't you love it when that happens?)  I also  selected a small  glass bowl  to put in the middle of the larger bowl for a "perch" for the  birds.


  I had recently read a blog post from a gal who was making cup and saucer bird feeders.  I googled the blog to see what adhesive she had used, and headed next to Lowes to see if it was available.  It was - I was on a roll!


  The rest is history ... once home, the gluing process was a snap.  I waited 24 hours for it to cure, and into the garden it went!




  I think once the flowers and other plantings fill in, it will look right at home - do you agree???        

10 April 2015

Rit Dye as a Wood Stain - Who Knew?


Have I mentioned I'm a lifelong learner?  You CAN teach an old gal new tricks!

I was spending more than my shoulda-been-doing-something-else share of time on Pinterest earlier tonight and happened upon a rustic shelf that had been crafted from an "acquired" Home Depot pallet.  What most caught my attention was the use of Rit dye to stain the wood.  I hadn't seen that done before, but it made total sense ...  and think of the range of colors that can be achieved!  I also love the fact that it allows the wood grain to show through ...

07 April 2015

Vintage Suitcases ... The Retake


I purchased a vintage suitcase at an estate sale recently.  It was back against a wall in the attic, behind some piles of various storage boxes.  It called to me.

27 January 2015

The Mother of Invention, A Loaf of Bread


The saying goes, as I remember it,  that "Necessity is the Mother of Invention".  Well, in this case, it's the Mother of Re-Invention.

I haven't blogged for quite some time.  A long time.  It just worked out that way.  Things went awry, took precedence over tending to my blog.  I have to say I've missed it.  I enjoy writing, and putting my thoughts, ideas, musings down on paper ... or, in this case, in other written form.  

Today I posted a photo of a freshly baked loaf of bread on my Facebook page.  It was a recipe I had stumbled upon that sounded too good to be true.  Just four ingredients, and easy - the recipe said that even a four year old could make this wonderfully delicious, crusty, rustic bread.  It had been on "the list" (you know that never-ending compilation, in non-sequential form, of things you just HAVE to do), and, last night with a forecast of the possibility of up to 30 inches of snow and blizzard type winds, I decided the time is now.