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A Christmas Visit with Judith and Botanic Bleu

For over ten years now, Judith Stringham, who writes the blog Botanic Bleu, has hosted a Christmas sales event at her home…

Upon arriving to her home about an hour away from where we live, Judith has a couple of teuteurs set up with lights and signs. This year with the COVID virus floating around, she has signs reminding everyone to wear a mask and also that this sale is not open to the public. Visitors had to sign up for the time they wanted and then confirm that you would be coming. Love her family’s acreage!

Totally love how Judith laid sprays of greenery around the base of each teuteur then placed green Arc de Bois (Horse Apple) seed pods like holly and its leaves! Btw, those “apples” are HEAVY and I can attest that they weigh about 2-5 lbs., EACH. Several people at the campground we lived at last had their windshields broken on their cars plus their RV’s dented. Happily, you can buy just “male” Arc de Bois trees; they are the ones in the springtime which lose their “ball blossoms.” Look for those in your garden center ~ awesome shade trees!
A quick look at the front of the Stringham’s home. Her sweet kitty is just in front of the garage door on the right.

Judith, her husband and sister have built all of the pathways surrounding their home and garden over the past 20+ years. The garden shed you will see was originally just a wooden structure but evolved to become a permanent solid rock beautiful building…

Isn’t this just the cutest??! Her home is part of my inspiration in my own garden, especially the pathways. On this day early in December, Judith’s sister was staying and was helping planting out in the upper garden. Let’s go check out inside!

I really wanted the large reindeer but just couldn’t afford it… Of course, I want everything inside! πŸ˜‰

The sun was peeping in and out this day so I am sorry if some of these photos are a little dark. My appointment time was in the afternoon as I was working when the sign up time opened, so there aren’t nearly as many goodies as there were still available, as can be seen at last year’s event.

One of Judith’s big sellers are her boxwood wreaths and this year she has heart-shaped wreaths as well as her signature round ones. I bought one of her small wreath last year and it is still nice and green and dried perfectly. This year I brought home little “Noel” laser-cut signs to use in my Christmas decorating and to give as gifts:

from this year’s Advent week #3 post

I also remembered that Judith found these wonderful white-handled silverware sets and since I love all white place settings, this was my big splurge this year. Mr. Ethereal and I don’t buy each other Christmas gifts anymore so we usually just say, “Go get what you want and enjoy from me!” This is his gift to me this year. πŸ™‚

They are stainless steel and can go into the dishwasher but I will probably wash them by hand just to keep them nice. I like the ceramic Shabby Chic look of the handles…

As I am writing this post, I just noticed the cute bee skeps… I’ll have to look for those next year… I did buy a White Christmas potholder to go with the kitchen towel I found last year. I also bought a softly scented candle which came in its own pretty box; it can just be seen up on the second upper shelf to the far right.

Last year I found a couple of sweet Belsnickel Santas and Judith had a few this year available. My “pile” of goodies is right there on the bureau: the potholder, a Christmas soap, a Noel sign to hang and the little Noels, plus a large heart (reminds me of those French cemetery hearts I would see in some blogs and in former Romantic Homes magazine editor, Fifi O’Neill‘s books ~ never could find any! ~ this is a good substitute).

I loved this birdcage, too, but unlimited space and funds… Maybe next year! Hubby wants us to clear stuff out, which I agree needs to be done.

Okay, enough about what I found and loved! Isn’t this such an adorable garden shed? She has another studio towards the rear of this potting shed (you can find it in this second linked post from last year… It has three sets of French doors and chandeliers…). The studio is larger and it is where she stores many things and also where she creates her treasures.

Judith had a post earlier this fall about making new shelves inside this smaller potting shed and I believe this is one of them (upper right with fleur de lis hangers). Love how she decorates!…

If you don’t already subscribe to Botanic Bleu you should check out Judith’s blog. She is a retired teacher and administrator now saleswoman and design influencer. You’ll enjoy her beautiful home and blog posts!

Her acreage reminds me of my last family home before I was married in the town of Shingle Springs, in the Northern California foothills. Part of the Gold Country area around Highway 49, and appropriately named for the gold miners who really mapped out California from 1849 onward, Judith’s two acres with its tall oaks really remind me of my old home…

A visual treat taking the eye “beyond”…

Even piles of downed tree trunks just look “right” in this setting… I miss being surrounded by trees but that’s also why we purchased our current home. I need tall trees; they are comforting.

Funny, this post isn’t going where I thought it would?… Does this happen to you when you write?? Now you know why I have the “pen pal” part in my bio! I write generally what I think. ;)’

I am going to try and build some French Teuteurs this next year and found a pattern on another blogger’s site. I forgot to ask Judith if she built hers or purchased them. They are quite expensive to buy so I am pretty sure Judith and her husband built theirs.

Don’t you just love her French garden?!! She has been to France a number of times and has such style…

Up on the deck

Inspiration…

A real French park bench… Ahhhhh….

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at Judith’s beautiful home and her potting shed and annual shop! If you are ever in the North Texas area, Judith has her shop open the first week in December and shares more about it on her blog and on her Facebook web page. Do come and visit!!!

Christmas hugs,

Barb

7 thoughts on “A Christmas Visit with Judith and Botanic Bleu”

  1. Hi Barbara,

    What a fabulous time and place to visit. I follow Judith and I could truly live in her garden shed.. She made everything so beautiful during a tough time.

    Love the moss stocking I saw hanging. If you wouldn’t mind can you share where you found the instructions the Teuteurs? I’d love to see if hubby will build one.

    Merry Christmas!

    Cindy

    1. Merry Christmas, Naush!
      Actually, this is the home of a blogger friend, Judith Stringham. Doesn’t she have a lovely place and so many trees!!!

      Enjoy your home this holiday season,
      Hugs,
      Barb πŸ™‚

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