Friday, July 27, 2012

Trendy . . . or not?

Have you seen this new trend of organizing books by spine color?  Well, I tried it the other night and got totally frustrated.  Now there are books all over the living room.

So, tell me.  Are you on board with this trend, or is it all washed up?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I Miss Cottage Living

Cottage Living magazine's first issue was September/October 2004.  It featured mostly casual, vintage-y types of smallish homes and gardens.  The last issue was November/December 2008, a victim of this horrendous depression.

Heather Chadduck worked for that magazine.  From what I gathered she was a single gal who DIY'd a rundown cottage in Texas.  Cottage Living spotted her place and did a photo shoot.  Here's some of it.
Country living room

Heather's kitchen looking into living room

Then they hired her and she moved to Alabama and renovated a Mediterranean cottage, below.

I like her style because she mixes the old with the new.  I like the greens, blues and creams that she uses, and that the colors flow throughout the spaces.  She fixes up crummy-looking houses and breathes new life into them.  What could be better than that?

These images are from the photo shoots in Cottage Living.

The full article on her Texas cottage is here, plus an additional picture of the front of the house.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What's the Big Deal About Container Gardening?

I never really understood the hoopla over container gardening.  I thought it was for those city folk who have no land on which to garden.  But this year I went crazy for containers.  It's easy to fertilize them.  I use a three-month slow-release fertilizer, Osmocote, recommended by my local garden center.  I have hoses in the front and back yards so they're easy to water.  There are few weeds to fight.  I think I'm now sold on container gardening!  I might even grow vegetables in pots someday.  The one time I grew veggies I had to share my goodies with the woodchuck.

At a lecture presented at the local garden club, we learned how to design pots.  It consists of a
  • thriller (big, splashy show-stopper)
  • filler (something that spreads)
  • spiller (plants that drape over the side) 
I really love trailing petunias and calibrachoa.  This year the woodchuck was kind and let them live.  I also found a beautiful lobelia (Snow Princess) that I hadn't tried before.  I was impressed by my gardening mentor's (my mother) angelonia so I got one.  I hadn't had success before but this year it's doing great.

I thought I'd do a blog on these before this killer heat and humidity gets the best of them.  This has been going strong since May.  It's Superbells Yellow Chiffon, Rhythm & Blues petunia (LOVE), Mannequin Bright Blue salvia, and Riviera Marine Blue lobelia.

This is my favorite:  Snow Princess lobelia, Superbells Plum, Lavender Skies Supertunia and Royal Velvet Supertunia (it's a gorgeous dark purple which my camera can't capture; probably an operator error).

I can't find some of these tags but I think they're basically an orangey calibrachoa, Nautica Deep Navy lobelia and a white lobelia whose tag I can't find.

This is the most recent:  Dreamsicle Superbells, Snow Princess lobelia, Hot Pink New Guinea impatiens and Patriot Classic Cherry lantana.  I stressed a little about the color combo.

As far as colors go, I pick those on opposite sides of the color wheel.  E.g., yellow and purple, or orange and blue.
Image from

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Is This Garden at its Peak?

I'm never quite sure when that is.  The daylilies are going strong but the butterfly bush, phlox and beebalm is just getting started.  The roses are on their second flush.


Yeah, this just may be it.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

A Great Mini-Vacation

Last August a friend asked me at the last minute if I wanted to go to the Martha's Vineyard Campground Cottage Tour.  Um, that would be a YES!  These gingerbread cottages are in a town called Oaks Bluff.  In the 1800's Methodists would hold revivals in tents, and eventually built cottages.  We took the high-speed ferry from Rhode Island and dragged our luggage many blocks from the port to this lovely bed and breakfast, the Narragansett House.  It's only the second bed and breakfast I ever stayed at, being an extreme introvert and all.

 The cottages and gardens are truly lovely.

 I took the picture above for Kathy because she loves all things purple, is usually adorned all in purple, apartment is furnished in mostly purple and used to drive a purple car.  My anecdotal research shows that purple lovers are kind, generous, giving and thoughtful.

We took a shuttle all over the island and visited the Polly Hill Arboretum.  Breathtaking houses and gardens all over this island!  Such unbelievable wealth.