Finding Ladybugs while at an English Spring Tea in the Garden

Welcome friends to a little Spring Tea in the new garden area! Part of this month’s $10 on the 10th…I can’t quite say that this new area cost $10 (every 16 bricks costs about $10, bought over time), but many of the plants were under $10 each! 😉 Mr. Ladybug was free!

No photo description available.

A big thank you to Tammy from Patina and Paint as well as Terrie of Decorate and More with Tip for organizing our monthly hop! Everyone on today’s tour are bringing you their Spring best this month with Ladybugs galore.

I had totally forgotten that I had this little ladybug! I can’t quite remember if a friend gave it to me or if I found it up in Sanger, Texas, when we were still living in our big RV fifth wheel. I really think a friend gave it to me as a gift.

I just know it has a sweet sound when the wind blows and is perfect for gracing the garden at our afternoon tea…

Here is another ladybug ~ from a post when my husband and I were installing this French fence here during the winter ~ Adding French Fencing to the Sideyard Garden. I love ladybugs and have been seeing several outside on Mr. Yoda’s and my daily walks. Aphids are out and ladybugs are busily taking them out. 🙂

The French lavender has been blooming continuously since January. The two potted lavenders were wheeled into the garage when the Arctic storms came to keep them alive.

Welcome to our side garden! It is still a work in progress with more weeding to be done, paver set to finish (had to put this off for a bit), and a lot of the middle of the yard to level out, but it is coming along. Plants are still recovering, too. The boxwood were hit really hard with 7 deg. temps (-12 wind chill).

The large leaf pile has been turned once in mid-January and is breaking down. The main compost pile has sweet pumpkin vines growing in it already (way too early, really!) and as I’d find earthworms, I bury them into the composting leaves, straw and kitchen scraps, to help everything break down.

I am sharing our new garden beds along the southern side of our North Texas home. Throughout the winter and after the Arctic storms, I was able to finish laying all 87 bricks. As time and money allows, more plants will be added and others will be shifted around to fill in the right-hand part of the bed (the newer section).

My favorite photograph from this tea!

So let’s have some tea!

Years ago now, for Mother’s Day, my husband bought me this Wedgwood tea set. It consists of two teacups and saucers, teapot, creamer and sugar. Part of the Duchess of York collection (the 1st Duchess), each piece features pretty blue butterflies and green limes on a smooth-as-silk bone china blank. I shared meeting Sarah, Duchess of York, at Macy’s in Costa Mesa, California in this post.

She was lovely and very gracious, giving a talk about Wedgwood’s china and how she travels with a tea set (she doesn’t like the feel of styrofoam cups to drink out of!). She shook hands with every attendee and chatted with each of us briefly. I think my friend Cheryl and I were there for four hours in all.

So today’s tea invites all of you to stop by for a little tête à tête… We will enjoy the shade provided by the red oak tree and our old green umbrella. Gentle breezes blow by also keeping us cool on this 85+ degree day…

Yoda came out to wander and enjoy the yard, too!

Mr. Squirrel was racing around up in the other oak tree.

And mama and papa dove take turns sitting on their impromptu nest…

Come sit a spell and tell me how you are? Friendship and a good chinwag = $0. Totally free! Sweet pink bacopa just plopped into this ceramic pot found at Hobby Lobby add spring style to our tea table.

This Duncan Phyfe table is one I hand-carried back on the plane from England in 2005. It comes totally apart and was a thrift shop find. The table top fit nicely into a large Land’s End bag my sister-in-law loaned me for the trip home. Usually it is acts as a side table in our Office/Spare Bedroom.

Tea for two ~ always a delight!

Thank you so much for visiting today! I hope you’ve enjoyed this Spring Tea in the Garden and our little Ladybug friend… I hear his little bell’s sweet tinkle!

Pour yourself another cup of tea and stop by for a visit with the other ladies on today’s tour:

Allyson ~ Southern Sunflowers

Patti ~ Pandora’s Box

Terrie ~ Decorate and More with Tip

Tammy ~ Patina and Paint

Barbara ~ French Ethereal

Spring hugs to you all,

Barb 🙂


Share Your Style #298

Welcome, friends, to this week’s Share Your Style #298!!! Happy Wednesday to you all!

This link party is for home decor, DIY, crafts, recipes and the like, but you are more than welcome to share any of your family-friendly posts with us all. Please feel free to share this post too and join my small but loyal band of friends. I appreciate you!
 As always, I am glad that you are here…

Woowee! I am so sorry about last Wednesday… I should have called off the week before as I knew I was getting my second Covid-19 vaccine last Wednesday morning, but then thought I’d be back in time (and feel well enough to run SYS). Well, at 6:00p.m. I was still in Oklahoma and by 8:00p.m., the time I got home, I was beginning to “freeze.” I had the usual reaction (again) with fever and chills, body aches, head ache and just sleeping hours…

This week, I am good, except during the time between the first and second shots, I was tripped backwards by a student at school, so… I have a broken tailbone (looked like a spiral fracture, but I could be wrong). Now I am out on Worker’s Comp leave! Crazy year…

Anyway, I hope you all had a wonderful Easter!!! He is risen!!! I got no Easter posts out, really. I’ve been in the winter funk for a while and with so many changes at work (plus getting the virus in the fall, and now this injury…), I have been feeling overwhelmed. With this leave, I should have plenty of time to get myself back to “normal.” 😉

Enjoy this week’s features, friends! It’s good to be back… 🙂

I am Barbara Chapman and I’d love it if you’d follow me here on my blog and on any of my other social media sites, too.  Thank you!💜 

Here’s what I shared this past week at French Ethereal…

No posts this past week but I do want to share our Miss Kim lilac in bloom! Last year it bloomed in a lovely light purple, but I think I didn’t feed it enough so the blooms are a pretty white!

I will be sharing more from the garden soon! Lots to still plant from the Oklahoma trip last week, plus an update coming on the brick mow strip around the new planter beds…

And here are this week’s featured posts…

Debra from Common Ground shared her lovely Easter vignette in this post ~ Pretty Pastels and Forcing Tulip Tree Branches. Adorably cute! Love the velveteen rabbit…
Debbee from Debbee’s Buzz shared her adorable furry friends in this Easter time post ~ Darling Vintage Style Stuffed Easter Bunny Collection. So cute, don’t you think??! Debbee also shared this lovely post ~ Peter Rabbit and Friends Beatrix Potter Figurine Collection.
How to antique mirror6
MaryJo at Master”Pieces” of My Life shared her trick for gilding in this DIY post ~
How to Antique a Gold Gilded Mirror ~ Love the results!!!
Roasted Asparagus Wrapped potsandpots.com
Mary over at Pots and Planes shared her delicious recipe for Roasted Asparagas Spears Wrapped in Prosciutto. Can you say YUM?!!
Rachelle of My Hubbard Home brings us a fresh spring post ~ Spring Decorating in the Bedroom (Simple Home Ideas). Love it!!!
And because I missed last week’s post completely and we didn’t get to see enough fun Easter ideas, here is another for springtime decorating idea and to make for next year… from Lisa of Fresh Vintage by Lisa ~ Recycled Jars for Spring.
Europe Cakes, Shelbee on the Edge, Radical Ralph
Looking for a cute birthday cake idea? Look no further than Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge‘s post featuring her son Ralphie ~ In the Blink of an Eye. Time goes so fast, doesn’t it??
Please welcome newcomer Renae of Peacock Ridge Farm shared the making of this exquisite dining building in her post ~ Outdoor Dining Pavillion. Heavenly!!!…
Penny of Penny’s Vintage Treasures shared a completely fresh idea on updating our old Battenburg lace tablecloths in this post ~ Spring Battenburg Lace Table Runner. Totally in-love with this idea!!! Perfect for cloths with damaged bits.

And that’s it for this week, dear friends!

A big Thank You to everyone who linked up this past week. A special thank you to y’all for always promoting Share Your Style on your blog and on your social media channels! I do see it when I stop by and I appreciate the love. 💜

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Happy linking, everyone!

Barb 🙂


An Easter Spring Garden Hello!

Happy spring to you all, dear friends! Just a month ago we were in the throws of snow and ice, but after cutting back plants and hoping for the best, adding fertilizer and no small amount of prayers… Then thinking that even a favorite rose bush was dead and gone, life has sprung anew!…

Grab a cup of tea or coffee and come sit a spell! I was going to break this up into two posts but may just put it all together…

Right there in amongst the crusty old stump of this rose bush, a small branch of hope emerges…

Taken just a week apart, our South Dakota Miss Kim is readying its lilac blooms and leafing out spectacularly! When leafing it happens each year, on any plant that I have been watching, it brings me such joy ~ a rebirth, renewal!! Much like as Easter comes around every year and we give thanks to our Great Creator for the gift of his Son and the cross…

I haven’t planted all of the plants I picked up in Oklahoma yet. These geraniums will be going either into one of the hanging baskets (since they can take the heat and like to be dry, anyway) or into a shallow wide pot and enjoying the backyard this summer.

The Forest Pansy redbud is beginning to bloom and I think it just needed more water to get the blooms going, so I gave it a good soak this evening after school. Now that daylight is longer, I can water in the afternoon and every plant has time to dry before dark. 🙂

A week ago the tulips were blooming like crazy! These are the mid and late blooming tulips. I’ll have to order more tulips for this next year.

I sprinkled them often with rabbit and squirrel repellant so the wildlife would leave the tulips alone. Happily, our feather and furry friends have only been digging for nuts buried in the fall. 🙂

Out front late last week the late, darker almost red tulips were blooming as the early pale pink ones faded away… So pretty!

This was my first experience, really, planting tulips and most of the 200 came up. Some I planted in terra cotta and I don’t think I will do that again. They grew much better out in the garden beds in native soil.

I used the wrong potting mix in the two big pots I set and those tulips either rotted from over watering and just didn’t do well, or the squirrels got them. The best pot of tulips I gave to a friend and she loved them!!!

Here are the first flush of tulips from early March… This group of Pink Squared and Pink Cubed were from Color Blends. I highly recommend their tulips! They come packaged well and each group of 100 was bagged and contained instructions for chilling the bulbs before planting.

The Plum Pudding Coral Bells heuchera have come back with renewed vigor after the winter storms. They are rated to -30 to -40 degrees (zone 3), so they should do well here with morning sun. Last year was my first experience with a heuchera and it fried on the back porch.

After watching a zillion YouTube garden videos all fall and winter (we got rid of Direct TV), I’ve learned A LOT about many plants including these guys! They like morning sun and to get out of the heat in the afternoon. I’ll transplant them to the front yard if need be, but the large oak tree should give them good afternoon shade all summer, as it is just beginning to do as it leafs out this week.

The Limelight panicle hydrangea is loving its home here in the new garden bed and should enjoy the same Southern exposure with afternoon shade.

One of three Cats Pajamas Nepeta coming back strong after a haircut to the ground.

It’s sooo exciting to see all of these plants growing! I have a bit of weeding to do, as you will see throughout, but even that is a pleasure after all the worry about what made it and what didn’t this winter. The nepeta is supposed to get to 24″ tall, I think, which will really fill in the back of the flower border.

The Spanish lavender that was buried in hay and wrapped under a frost tarp made it just fine! A healthy feeding a few weeks ago and two of three lavenders are blooming madly!

This guy has been blooming since early January and hasn’t stopped. I want to cut off some blooms but I hate to strip it of its beauty!

It is getting leggy, though so I guess it must be done. I’ll feed it again and see if I can get a second crop of lavender wands…

Both Dwarf Alberta Spruce are putting out new growth. They loved the cold as did the lilac and the redbud!!

Out in the compost pile, I think a few pumpkins are growing, or possibly cantaloupe since we ate one this winter! I was hoping something would grow out there. It’s really way too early for pumpkins but they might be fun to harvest in early summer! Be good for early fall filming. 😉

The Girls are wearing their crowns still. I think I’ll move the angel around to the new garden area as summer comes along.

I finally got plans to the City asking about adding a new fence and moving the fence out by five feet, adding in a new garden shed and hooking up electrical for it. We should hear back sometime this week.

Prayers for the City favoring us would be appreciated! <3 Thank you! <3 If we can move the fence out, it would open up the yard quite a bit and give room for a bigger potager garden on the Eastern side of the

And Mr. Rabbit enjoys a visit among the patio plants and another new heuchera heading outfront soon…

And last but not least, here is the new mandarin orange tree and a regular (to me) mophead hydrangea that I picked up at Marcum’s Nursery when I went up to Oklahoma for my first Covid shot.

I finally figured out how to arrange all the bricks to make a large square for a little plant patio! They aren’t cemented in, but I may do that later this summer.

Happy Easter week, my friends!

Barb 🙂

home decor, Share Your Style

Share Your Style #297

Welcome, friends, to this week’s Share Your Style #297!!! Happy Wednesday to you all!

This link party is for home decor, DIY, crafts, recipes and the like, but you are more than welcome to share any of your family-friendly posts with us all. Please feel free to share this post too and join my small but loyal band of friends. I appreciate you!
 As always, I am glad that you are here…

As we finish up with a little St. Patrick’s Day fun, we now move totally into Spring and all things Easter time this week!!! I love all the features everyone has shared and I appreciate your coming back, even when I don’t get time to get back by to say Thank you! for linking up and that your post has been featured (or fall asleep ridiculously early each night because of the craziness of school and students with challenging behaviors!).

Enjoy all the features for this week…

I am Barbara Chapman and I’d love it if you’d follow me here on my blog and on any of my other social media sites, too.  Thank you!💜 

Here’s what I shared this past week at French Ethereal…

And here are this week’s featured posts…

Lisa over at Fresh Vintage by Lisa shared her sweet Easter basket in this post ~ Thrifty Find: Vintage German Paper Maché Easter Eggs. Lovely!!
Mr. McGregor’s Mailbox is the fun post shared by Penny at Penny’s Vintage Home. Totally adorable!!! Love the large cabbages and the checked bow!
Carol at Bluesky at Home brings us her sweet Rustic Easter Tablescape in this colorful and egg-quisitely beautiful table setting. Love the tulips and rabbits!!
Debbie of Debbie-Dabble Blog shared her post all about An Easter Bunny Tea and More. Beautiful vintage style… <3
Nylse from Life Notes shares a wealth of encouragment in this post ~ Prayers to Get You Through the Day. Especially here at Easter time, and with Covid still causing trouble throughout our world, we need this!!!
Tiffany over at Tee Diddly Dee shares her Irish dancing shoes (aren’t they sweet with the moss inside them??!) in this holdover St. Patrick’s Day post ~ Tis a Wee Bit Irish Vignette. Love the antique/vintage cards, too!
Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge and friends share their Trail “Blazers” of Pre-Loved Fashion in her monthly blog hop with updated trendy thriftshop style! Love ’em all!!!
Rachelle at My Hubbard Home shared her love of English roses in her romantic post ~ David Austin, A Life Devoted to Roses. Be still my heart!!!

***P.S. If you haven’t any English roses in your garden, look up David Austin Roses on the internet and have them send you a copy of this year’s catalogue to drool over (and to buy, of course!).

For all of us who are rose addicts, these are the crème de la crème of roses… Do check them out! My babies are putting out massive leaves right now. Making up for lost time!!! Post soon…

Thank you to everyone who linked up this past week and to you here today! I love what you all share with us each week, thank you! Be sure to share this button on your featured posts and/or in your sidebars. I appreciate it!!! 


Have a great week,

Barb 🙂

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A Birdhouse Vignette on the Spring Potting Bench

Happy spring, friends! Welcome to another Pinterest Challenge hosted by my good friend Cindy of County Road 407, who even though we haven’t seen each other in over a year (drat that Covid!), actually only lives about 15 minutes away (her city house, that is, not the country one!). Thank you, Cindy, for another wonderful blog hop!!! Our springtime theme this month is to create a pretty birdhouse vignette…

If you are just coming over from Kim from Shiplap and Shells and are here for the first time, welcome! I am so glad you’ve come!! Please consider subscribing if you enjoy your visit today, thank you!!

Love the sweet robin’s egg blue color scheme of Doreen’s vignette!

Our inspiration

Cindy found today’s Pinterest Challenge piece over at Doreen‘s blog, Hymn’s and Verses… I love the soft blue colors and all the natural elements of grasses, flowers and the bird theme! Doreen has a nice easy-going eclectic style which I like a lot! where she brilliantly puts together antiques, mid-century and even very modern furniture pieces in a fun farmhouse style. I think you will like her blog! 🙂

My takeaways from Doreen’s birdhouse vignette

  • repeated colors
  • natural woven grasses and caning
  • bird theme
  • flowers
  • a fun birdhouse
  • small tin painted bucket
  • a small plate with a bird representation for her “bird”

I had just used forced branches in last month’s spring mantel and they are faded away, so I thought I’d use some pink flame geraniums in my spring birdhouse vignette for my blooms! To the right are some soft pink freesia (just out of the picture) behind the small birdhouse I made in 2007 for myself and the ladies in my last tea group.

To make this birdhouse:

  • a pre-made birdhouse
  • pieces of broken china
  • sanded grout mix
  • small wooden ormulu to glue on the front
  • a small knob for a perch
  • paint of your choice
  • small utensils/ wooden sticks for grouting
  • clear sealer in spray or liquid form (do outdoors as it can really stink!)

Begin by painting your birdhouse all over its outside and let dry. Smash up broken bits of china plates, teacups and so on by placing them into a heavy Ziplock-type bag with a hammer. Trial these pieces on the birdhouse roof beforehand to create a pleasing look.

Using an old butter knife or paint stick, “butter on” sanded grout mix along the roofline of the birdhouse. Put it on fairly thickly (as thick as your thickest pieces of china). Squish in the broken china pieces. Fill in any areas that need more grout as needed with small toothpicks, wooden skewers. Spray on clear sealer to seal the grout to give your roof a good look!

That’s it!!!

Aren’t these lavender freesias beautiful with their soft yellow throats?!

Going pink!

I don’t really have much vintage china in soft blues but I do have lots of pink, so I went with deeper pinks and greens in my vignette (plus a few other soft colors)!

I started with a natural woven basket and a small Longaberger basket as my “tin pail.” My smaller basket holds all the seed packets I have save these past few years. I love the handles on both the inspiration piece and on mine!

I added in a small blue and white vase plus a small cement capital as a lift for the little birdhouse. The addition of the plants and some gardening gloves and Corona clippers are just part and parcel around here in the garden!

And of course a sweet pink birdie came to the party!…

As you can see this potting bench is really getting used! The two covers which helped save a bunch of plants from the week-long arctic freeze and subsequent ice storms of last month are stuffed down below, waiting for me to lay them out and fold them properly.

Thank you for stopping by today as you visit all of my friends on today’s Pinterest Challenge tour! Next up is Niky from The House on Silverado and I know you will love her birdhouse vignette!!

Enjoy your spring gardens, friends,

Barb 🙂

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When You Just Have to Have a French-Style Château de Versailles Planter Box…

When you’ve got to have a French-Style Château de Versailles tree box for a tree just bought…

You start by looking at them online and find out the originals are a small fortune to buy. But, you inquire anyway…

The «Château de Versailles®» tree-box is available in 12 colours and 8 sizes.

courtesy Jardins du Roi Soleil

These quintessential Tree Boxes are made exclusively by Jardins du Roi Soleil in France out of cast iron and oak for the Palace at Versailles. Each displays the castle’s beautiful orange trees which are wheeled in and out of the Orangerie each spring and rolled back in late fall, just as they always have been…

The company makes their…

patented garden boxes adapted from models created by landscape designer André le Nôtre in the 17th century.”

Jardins de Roi Soleil

Image result for a little chaos
The movie of the same title

You’ll remember that I watched the movie based somewhat loosely on the life of le Nôtre, adding in Kate Winslet’s character as Sabine de Barre, a landscape designer of the Ballroom Garden and water fountain there at Versailles in this post ~ Garden Shows to Watch and My Own Petite Jardin.

My rose Sceptre d’Isle from the same post.

So then, after drooling over these French-style tree boxes for several years and now needing one, you write to said company inquiring if the cast iron parts can be purchased separately (knowing full well the answer is NO).

“WELL, then how much would one box cost?” Each is exclusive to the buyer with the owner’s name and number engraved on an iron plate on the side of each box. I have yet to hear back, but…

It’s going to be about $5,000 US, my guess…

It’s like buying diamonds. When the price for them gets to be close to what you’d pay for a car, then it’s not in the cards!

*Note: when I was newly married and out visiting my parents, I once tried on an incredible 3 carat marquis-shaped diamond ring worth $18,000 at the mall in Danbury, Connecticut, near my parents’ last home.

DIY Versailles Planter.jpg
Jill at The Rozy Home created these awesome planter boxes for about $20 each…

Next you begin thinking deviously about how you can just “charge it” to a credit card, but then remember that you’ve sworn off cc’s a number of years ago, thereby working on getting out of debt…

Old World Planter Box Versailles Orangeries Planter Box. image 0
courtesy of Fifties Dad at Mid-Century Woodshop

So you turn to plans and Etsy! and find the Fifties Dad and his awesome planter boxes for about $1800 at MidCenturyWoodShop. Better! Plus he works out of Nevada City, California, where my best friend from high school’s sister lives. I could have gone there in September when I was back for Sara’s wedding (Janet’s daughter).

That’s Janet waaaayyy out there on the bridge!

I shared years ago about a long hike we all took around their town when I was up visiting for Thanksgiving.

I also found a good YouTube video by Peter Millard on How to Make a Versailles Planter. I like his instruction and I’ve put it here as much for you all as for myself.

And you find this pretty close Versailles Planter created by Forever Redwood out of sustainable forest redwood for about $2000, depending upon size (above). Liking the style!

The original oak planters made by Jardins de Roi Soleil come apart on all four sides for easy care of your tree’s roots. This planter box by Forever Redwood also comes apart.

a small wood planter I found a couple of years ago

I found various other planter boxes available on Amazon, Wayfair and Overstock but these were all resin self-watering containers. Not really what I wanted for the redbud tree we have.

The new redbud tree which is really too short yet to plant and still have its canopy above the fence line. Hence why I am looking at tree boxes to plant it in. We are looking into moving the fence out about 5 feet, if the city will allow.

Why do you want the sides to come apart?

Any tree or plant living inside a box, planter, or pot, as we all learn as we garden, uses up its soil and nutrients every couple of years and needs new soil for better health. Trees planted permanently in boxes need their roots trimmed and new soil added to their planter boxes in the same way. Having four “doors” to get into your tree gives you access to each side, in case it appears that one side needs special attention.

So this is where I am at with regards to finding a French-style Château de Versailles tree box… We have cedar pallet wood available for reuse but I’d probably go buy fresh and look for redwood. Both are bug resistant but redwood is better!

I am still looking for plans but need to get going soon for this tree to begin rooting in before it flowers here this spring. I’d really like a pre-built model but building it myself will be the best option. 🙂

Our redbud just getting ready to bloom!

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”

Margaret Atwood

Time to get busy creating,

Hugs, Barb 🙂


Share Your Style #296

Welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #296, friends!!! Happy Wednesday to you all!

This link party is for home decor, DIY, crafts, recipes and the like, but you are more than welcome to share any of your family-friendly posts with us all. Please feel free to share this post too and join my small but loyal band of friends. I appreciate you!
 As always, I am glad that you are here…

I am Barbara Chapman and I’d love it if you’d follow me here and/or on my other social media sites, thank you! 🙂

And here are this week’s featured posts..

Carol from Bluesky at Home brings us this cheerful spring post ~ Celebrate Spring with a Blue and White Entry. Love all the blue and white!!!
Layering In a Green Tablescape
Rachelle at My Hubbard Home shares her post ~ Layering a Green Tablescape. Love this time of year for all the different greens, don’t you?
Debra over at Common Ground brings us her Springtime Holiday Cupboard with a Wee Bit O’ Irish. Love all the Irish pottery!
DIY for Easter
Elsa and Inge at Elsa R. Blog shared this cute Easter time post ~ Make Iron-On Bead Decorations for Easter – a DIY.
DIY upholstered wingback headboard tutorial with pictures
Hannah from Handmade Weekly shares her incredible DIY post ~ DIY Upholstered Wingback Headboard. Great job!!!
Vintage Steampunk Hat Reminds Me Of Alice In Wonderland:
Totally love this!!! From Claire Justine who shares her cool post ~ Vintage Steampunk Hat Reminds Me of Alice in Wonderland…

Okay, friends! For all of us who were Brownies and Girl Scouts… Newcomer Julie from Julie’s Creative Lifestyle shares her recipe for using up those leftover GS thin mints in Girl Scout Thin Mint Brownies…(what?? you have leftovers?!!). ;)’
Spring-Home-Tour-and-Blog-Hop-The-Crowned-Goat-13 Spring Home Tour & Hop into Easter Blog Hop Decorating Holidays Spring
CoCo over at The Crowned Goat shares her post as part of a much larger spring hop ~ Spring Home Tour Hop into Easter Blog Hop. Really fun and I love this bunny vignette… <3

Debbee of Debbee’s Buzz shares this fun napkin in this quick DIY post ~ Lucky 3 Leaf Clover Napkin Fold Tutorial. I am definitely going to learn and earmark this one! Debbee also shared her St. Patrick’s Day tablescape, too!

Thank you to everyone who linked up this past week and to you here today! I love what you all share with us each week, thank you! Be sure to share this on your featured posts and/or in your sidebars, thank you! I appreciate it!!! 🙂

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you all!

Barb 🙂


A Bit O’ Silliness for St. Paddy’s Day!

“Top of the morning to ya! Will ye be having corned beef and cabbage for supper, deary? And how about a green shake to go with it from the Golden Arches place??”

“My goat friend and I are enjoying a ramble about yer roses and Old Ophelia bleats her pleasure of your fields of grass, we thank ye!”

Hello there! Just A little bit of decorating fun here for St. Paddy’s Day. 😉 I found this happy little leprechaun ornament at Hobby Lobby (I think) at Christmas time. He jumped right into my cart, he did! (Bless your heart for putting up with my Tom Foolery.)

I thought I’d pull out a few of my decorations and make us a little St. Paddy’s Day vignette. The Valentine’s napkin I made while we were living in the RV was still on the table has fun hearts on it, which seem just right since this little wee gentleman sends his love! So it is our base then I added the tall birdhouse (part of another vignette beginning), a sparkly candle in a favorite Limoge berry bowl for somewhere for Mr. L to sit upon.

The shamrock sign in back is something I found at a dollar store while on a school field walking-trip along with another similar one out in California, the last year we were in our Big House. It is perfect as a mini backdrop! The pewter creamer is part of a small set of creamer, sugar, and oval tray my mother gave us for a wedding present back 34 years ago. It is from Woodbury Pewter in Woodbury, Connecticut, where my parents lived, in their last home into retirement.

And here’s a poem I found for the occasion…

The Faeries by William Allingham

Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen,
We daren’t go a-hunting
For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And white owl’s feather!

Down along the rocky shore
Some make their home,
They live on crispy pancakes
Of yellow tide-foam;
Some in the reeds
Of the black mountain-lake,
With frogs for their watchdogs,
All night awake.

High on the hill-top
The old King sits;
He is now so old and grey
He’s nigh lost his wits.

With a bridge of white mist
Columbkill he crosses,
On his stately journeys
From Slieveleague to Rosses;
Or going up with the music
On cold starry nights,
To sup with the Queen
Of the gay Northern Lights.

They stole little Bridget
For seven years long;
When she came down again
Her friends were all gone.
They took her lightly back,
Between the night and morrow,
They thought that she was fast asleep,
But she was dead with sorrow.
They have kept her ever since
Deep within the lake,
On a bed of fig-leaves,
Watching till she wake.

By the craggy hillside,
Through the mosses bare,
They have planted thorn trees
For my pleasure, here and there.
Is any man so daring
As dig them up in spite,
He shall find their sharpest thorns
In his bed at night.

Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen,
We daren’t go a-hunting
For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And white owl’s feather!

Nana’s Corner had a fun list of Leprechaun poems, too!

Okay, technically The Faeries is a Scottish poem by William Allingham, but the “wee folks” part seemed apropos for our little leprechaun. ;)’

A Wee Bit of the Irish…

Well, how many of us have Irish ancestry?? I just looked mine up again on Ancestry.com and I am at 34% roughly (32-39% range) and another 53% Scots, and the rest (13%) is from the “Anglish” with some Swiss and Brittany/French showing up on the map nowadays! How about you?

I have a silly story to tell about when my Grandmother Helen came out to visit us in our last family home in Shingle Springs, California back in 1975 or so. Grammy and my mom would do this schtick, as if they were at a family member’s wake…

“Oh, look at him lyin’ there, so peaceful like,” said Grammy.

“Yes, don’t he just?” Mom responded.

I would just totally laugh at them! I can’t remember anymore than that, but they were funny together. I wish I could remember more of what they said but it’s just been too many years. They were rolling that day!

I do wish I could have known my grandmother more. She was funny! She was 5′ 2″ tall.

Not the best photograph, but not too bad considering I shot it off the refrigerator! Grammy and me riding the swan boats at Easter time, 1973-74, before we moved to Hawaii.

During the same visit, Mom and Grammy were staring up our fireplace mantel and making jokes when Grammy said “Just put me up on the mantel and talk to me sometimes,” still in her Irish brogue.

Our family has strange humor…

Oh! Back then, do you remember when we all said, when something was yucky, “Oooh, gross!” Grammy didn’t like that because her maiden name was Gross (like floss). That was a favorite phrase of mine then. 🙂

Well, while researching, I found out that Helen’s maiden name of Gross leads back to a couple named Le Gross, so they must have changed their name as they emigrated to something less French. Maybe they were hiding?? Who knows!…

Maybe that’s where the Brittany comes in… Lesser royals?? They did emigrate just after the American Revolutionary and into the French Revolutionary time periods (I knew it!!!) Okay, now I’m dreaming!!!

Must be the faery dust… (Silly Leprechaun!!!)

Well, enough silliness for the day! 😉



Places to Visit ~ Marcum’s Nursery, Oklahoma

Happy springtime, dear friends! It is wonderful to see early budding trees here in North Texas blossoming after the super cold of this winter ~ the fruitless pears are just putting on their magnificent canopies of white, the redbuds are beginning their blooms, too…

And today I’m sharing a nursery visit to a place I KNOW I will go back to… As I went up for my first Covid-19 vaccination, I chose the Chickasaw Nation’s healthcare site in Ardmore, Oklahoma as much for the vaccine but also for a little road trip (because I need to get out!) and to see if I could find some interesting garden centers. 🙂

Mr. Ethereal went with me taking the day off and after an hour+ getting the vaccine and waiting to see if I had any reaction (I didn’t then but did end up with all the usual things the emails said you will get: headaches, body aches, tired and sleeping a lot, sore arm, some swelling there, and after three days I feel pretty well back to normal. Well after a lunch at the local Carl’s Jr. (to get a burger which feels like “home” in California), we went on “an adventure!”

Marcum’s Nursery, 25 N. Rockford Road, Ardmore, OK 73401

We found Marcum’s Nursery in Ardmore, Oklahoma…

Their website is cute and even has a fun jingle at the bottom of the home page, if you head over to check it out. I highly recommend the Ardmore location! It reminds me of California even with the dry grasses, pine trees and just wide open prairie spaces (more in Northern California in the foothills of my teenage years).

There hasn’t been as much rain this winter so the grasses aren’t as green as I’d seen last year in late spring, but the plants at the garden center more than made up for the lack of green along the freeway! I liked that the plants available at Marcum’s are different than what I have found at our local garden centers here in Denton County, Texas. 🙂

And that’s exactly what I was looking for!

“You got gum-gum?”

As you come up to park, this Easter Island character was the first thing I spied and he made me laugh! Ever seen Night at the Museum? Watch it if you haven’t.

I won’t spoil the fun!

Just as you turn left from the main roadway into the property, there is a stand of set-in fruit and other trees. They are “set in,” if you’ve never seen this before (which I haven’t but it makes sense) to protect the tree roots from freezing to death during the negative temperatures Oklahoma prairies can experience ~ like this crazy year with the Arctic winds we had brought Oklahoma’s temps down to -16 or so.

So nurseries obviously want to protect their investments and then they are easy to dig up when it’s time to sell the trees to customers. Works for summer watering, too, as I think I spy irrigation drip hoses. 🙂

I loved seeing all the crocks and pots right out front! There were soooo many to look at and I could have spent a fortune… I did bring one home which had two prices on it: $20 and $39.95. It was only $20!

I forgot to ask the price of the long rectangular terracotta trough with the swags on the sides, but no matter. I go back in less than 21 days for Round 2 of the vaccine! Maybe I can stop back by… 😉

Seriously, though, Marcum’s has a nice selection which is different than what is available here in Texas. I am missing what we had available in California and my thought was to look somewhere different for better pottery. Nice place and good finds! I’d think you’d enjoy stopping by on a roadtrip up HW 35 North (eventually HW 29 further north) on your way to or from the Dakotas, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, or up from Texas.

Marcum’s had a few cement tables and benches with separate feet for the garden. They also had iron trellises and plant stands…

I stayed within my $200 budget (the plant stand was $55, I think, and the Otsuma orange tree was $65), and have a good selection of plants to put out to replace some that didn’t make it with the extreme snows, the cold and ice storms.

Can you guess the two tall plants? They are wonderfully scented when brushed up against! I think the squirrels will be lovingly sporting a new scent this spring… citronella. These are cintronella and should self-seed.

I also brought home another sweet heuchera, that can just be seen at the very back behind the plant stand. I picked up a couple of other bulb plants and I’ll share them later.

Little oranges are just beginning to form where flowers have been pollinated…

Well that’s it for today’s visit! I hope you’ve enjoyed this delightful garden center tour at the Ardmore location of Marcum’s Nursery. They have four locations including one up in Oklahoma City (another 1 1/2 hours north).

I’m sorry I didn’t get any pictures inside the store or the greenhouse (it was HOT inside!) but that’s where all these plants were found. I was too busy looking around. 😉 You can see inside the greenhouse on their website here.

Happy gardening, friends!



Share Your Style #295

Welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #295, friends!!! Happy Wednesday to you all!

This link party is for home decor, DIY, crafts, recipes and the like, but you are more than welcome to share any of your family-friendly posts with us all. Please feel free to share this post too and join my small but loyal band of friends. I appreciate you!
 As always, I am glad that you are here…

I am Barbara Chapman and I’d love it if you’d follow me here and/or on my other social media sites, thank you! 🙂

Here’s what I shared this past week at French Ethereal…

Well, sorta not much, except a little on Instagram. 🙂

I have been in the winter blues in the worst way this year! With the arctic cold and then the ice, trying to keep warm and still get Yoda out every few days for a very short walk.

My favorite triple ball topiary just couldn’t make it, and I failed to wrap it enough against the 7 degree temps plus wind (-12 deg. F) it endured…

Then the loss of a number of plants… I am getting there and it looks like the boxwoods will all make it but there leaves are mostly striped and white. Ugh! They will take a long time recovering. 🙂

There is no great loss without some small gain.”

Laura Ingalls Wilder

On the upside, though, our new Miss Kim lilac picked up early last summer in South Dakota LOVED the ice and cold!!! It will bloom heavenly this spring!

But we have a bunch of wonderful spring posts and some upcoming St. Patrick’s Day posts. So let’s take a look at this week’s features, shall we?

And here are this week’s featured posts…

Army retirement, Shelbee on the Edge
And a BIG CONGRATULATIONS to Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge and her husband,
SSG Jeffrey M. Herling on their retirement from the United States Army!!!
Please head over and extend your well-wishes, won’t you?

Debra at Common Ground brings out the green in her sweet post ~ Sharin’ of the Green. Love this!!!
Moss topiary tree with ribbon tie
Kippi at Home shared her sweet DIY Topiary Balls in her linked post this week. Don’t you just love topiaries??!
Through The Looking Glass How To Refurbish An Old Mirror
Rachelle from My Hubbard Home shares this refurbishment project she worked on in her post ~ Through the Looking Glass – How to Refurbish and Old Mirror. Wonderful job and I liked the beautiful wood underneath, too!
Debbie of Debbie-Dabble Blog shared her major photograph organization project in this post (a must-see!) ~ A Huge Photo Organization Project, Part II. Yeah… I think we ALL need this! ;)’
Instant Pot chicken + Lime Soup with Rice potsandplanes.com
Mary over at Pots and Planes warms us up with this wonderful recipe ~ Instant Pot with Chicken and Lime Soup with Rice! (Okay… Are we all drooling yet??!)
St. patricks stylish tablescape
MaryJo of Master”Pieces” of My Life shared her lovely Stylish St. Patrick’s Day Tablescape here in this post. Wowza!!! Love the crystal!
And because these guys are just tooo adorable!!! Debbee of Debbee’s Buzz shares all about Preparing for a Puppy: Favorite Dog Supplies and Toys.
Upcycled-Country-House-Birdhouse-The-Crowned-Goat-2 Upcycled Country House Birdhouse Holidays Spring
CoCo of the Crowned Goat shares her sweet rabbit in this post ~ Upcycled Country House Birdhouse. Perfect for spring!!!
DIY St. Patrick's Day Gnomes Tomte Cute spring gnomes Leprechaun gnomes
Our final fun St. Patty’s Day post is from Amber of Follow the Yellow Brick Home with her ZZ Top-look-a-likes: Lucky DIY St. Patrick’s Day Gnomes!

And that’s it for this week, friends!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Enjoy the party, friends!

Barb 🙂