Gardening, Home Decor

Share Your Style #387

Welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #387, friends! I hope you are all enjoying springtime in your neck of the woods. Spring has been really long here in North Texas ~ I think you’ll enjoy my garden post featuring some early spring into full-on springtime blooms!

However, the HEAT is coming this Friday!!! (ugh!) I am NOT ready for 90 degree days… How about you? I am grateful for a beautiful spring and everything I covered or overwintered indoors survived the winter, yeah!!!

Here’s to a cooler summer than last year! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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!๐Ÿ’œ 

French Ethereal: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest

***

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

What’s Blooming: My Spring Garden 2023 in North Texas ~ a look around our backyard garden’s blooms.

***

And here are this week’s featured posts…

First up this week, we have Debbie from Debbie-Dabble Blog who brings us her Early Spring Patio & Fairy Garden in Pennsylvania. Love all of the color and pavers!!
Our friend Penny from Penny’s Treasures shares her beautiful yard in New Mexico in this post ~
2023 Spring Back Porch. Soooo airy and cheerful!
Debra from Common Ground highlights spring’s beauty with a change-up in her home’s decor ~ Spring Themed Prints in the Hearth Room. Lovely!!!
faux hydrangeas for french country floral basket arrangement
Niky from The House on Silverado shared a lovely styling she did for this month’s Pinterest Challenge ~ French Country Floral Basket Arrangement. So lovely!!
Lynne! Esme from Thrifting Wonderland shared her adventures in Italy ~
The Delightful Vico Equense. Please enjoy!!
*My mistake! I KNEW Lynne wrote Thrifting Wonderland, but saw Esme’s comment or something and I blew it. I do apologize, Lynne. A gorgeous destination… <3
urban-rooftop-garden-cabbage-plant
Our final feature for this week comes from Debbee from Debbee’s Buzz. Debbee shared her son’s Philadelphia Rowhouse Urban Rooftop Garden. Fun!!!

Thank You so much to everyone who linked up this past week. A special thank you to everyone for always promotingย Share Your Styleย on your blog and on your social media channels! I do see it when I stop by and I appreciate the love.ย ๐Ÿ’œ

If you’d like to follow myย Share Your Style boardย on Pinterest I’d appreciate it,ย thank you!ย I do post all of the featured posts from each week’s SYS there plus usually other photos from those posts to my boards. ๐Ÿ’œย  Thanks so much!!! If you are new to French Ethereal, I hope you will think about subscribing to my blog.

Happy Spring linking,

Barb ๐Ÿ™‚

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Gardening

What’s Blooming: My Spring Garden 2023 in North Texas

Welcome to spring in North Texas, friends!! I am so excited to share what’s growing outside, the process of adding mulch into the flower beds and a progression of blooms… Come see!

At this point now, it’s not really “early spring,” but I liked the title so there’s that! These photos were taken about a month ago now ~ March 15th. It’s interesting to see how just a few short weeks into the season, so much changes.

I planted no tulips in the fall but in the back flowerbed behind our bedroom, these beauties came back all on their own!

Yoda is hanging in there and has really enjoyed the long spring. He enjoys warm afternoons outside while I pull weeds and baby oak trees (definitely weeds here in our yard). He is having more and more bathroom issues, so lots of laundry washing his many blankets, carpet cleaning, mopping the kitchen.

I need to invest in doggie diapers, lol! ๐Ÿ˜‰ He’s a good boy, though, and he enjoys his cuddles…

In the greenhouse shed

At my favorite grocery store, Winco, I found bibb lettuce heads with their roots still attached, so…

I planted them! I tried cutting them off and letting them re-leaf. I had mild success. I tried the same trick with a celery stalk, but the local squirrels or rats knocked off my wire cloche and ate the three.

Not sponsored: I ordered three chicken wire garden cloches last year from Gardener’s Supply. I really like them!

Linda Vater has some new ones available on QVC, if you need some, too. She has one which is taller (the 22″ one), which I think would be good for protecting tomatoes. They were on sale but I didn’t get one then. Next time!

The baby bibb lettuces I sprouted worked really well, but it turned into more of an experiment for this year. I had issues with fungus gnats… Definitely a learning process! ๐Ÿ™‚

I am able to get sprouts growing, now I just need actual planting beds and a small cold frame.

Mr. Ethereal has mentioned we ought to build a wooden garden bed. Hopefully this summer.

I might need to totally rearrange the garden with more garden beds for veg! XD

ranunculus ~ trying them this season!

You know how the grocery stores carry some plant bulbs and corms? I am trying ranunculus but found out late that they like really gritty soil with lots of drainage. I need to invest in gravel for planting here in North Texas!

Here is a pot of ranunculus which I purchased at a local garden center in California ~ probably Lowe’s, Home Depot or Armstrong Nursery in Temecula. I didn’t know that you could save the corms and repot them the next winter, so I tossed them out… Live and learn! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Even if my experiment doesn’t quite work out, I’ll dig up the corms and save them for next year.

***

Pelargoniums

Yesterday (4/29/23) I created a really gritty, well draining mix for some geraniums from my sister-in-law Jodi’s garden in Rancho Cordova, California. These guys are really used to super draining soils, super dry air compared to Texas’ humid summer air, so I need to be especially vigilant about NOT overwatering, even when it is hot here in the summertime.

Last year, I killed the bunch my mother-in-law had brought the winter before when she moved to Texas by overwatering and not having super well-draining soil. We had a sprinkler issue, too, which contributed to their demise. Those geraniums’ parents were originally from my old gardens in Southern California.

I am getting the hang of growing plants here in Texas, but I am still learning.

These should be hardy geraniums but in the temps here getting down to the single-digits, I’m not sure. I will put these guys in the shed overwinter. ๐Ÿ™‚

***

The citrus trees

Would you believe that a rat, or several, gnawed on the bark of this poor mandarin orange tree’s branches?? Yes! I had to immediately put bird netting all over it and pin it to the dirt to keep them out. I also pruned it back, fed it heavily to give it strength to recover from this devastation.

The sweet Japanese maple I bought half-price last year was girdled the same way and I was NOT going to let this happen to this sweet tree. I also moved it out to a sunnier location in the yard. It’s leaves are growing back nicely and it has finally put out blossoms and little dark green orange buds are just forming!

The two lemon and the new lime trees are also doing well. They are all tented for now. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Happily, pollinators are still able to get to the blooms. Hoping for more fruits!

The garden now

Two weekends ago, we drove down to pick up our car which had been in for repairs, and on the way back we stopped for groceries at Costco.

Costco had delphiniums for $16.99!!! If I had had unlimited money, I would have bought at least three plants. I am happy with the one beauty I was able to purchase…

Our roses have had a beautiful first series of blooms. They are all really still babies (second season in the ground), so I expect next year to be their magical year to shine!

Here is a David Austin rose Gentle Hermione.

A really pretty soft pink rose fading to cream. I just went out to look at it and all the blooms have faded. I’ve been feeding regularly with hopes of getting them to go for it with continuous blooms. ๐Ÿ™‚

Along the south wall, the Generous Gardener is stretching its legs with longer canes this spring. Here are a few buds on it.

At the front of this south-facing bed a couple of the lamb’s ears are shooting up their spring blooms! With a few oak babies mixing in… Always weeding this year! ;)’

And the smaller Spanish lavender is just finishing up its first blooms while the larger lavender is just coming in (left).

The tiny white with yellow center wildflowers are done for the season but if the grass gets long later on, they will pop up now and again. You can see the two lavenders in the background.

And I think I’ll sign off here with a shot of David Austin’s Tranquility, a rambling rose. It is just stunning…

Thanks for stopping by today and I hope your garden is blooming extra beautiful this season!

Spring hugs,

Barb ๐Ÿ™‚

crafts, Fashion, Gardening, Home Decor, Tablescapes

Share Your Style #385

Welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #385, dear friends! I am so glad you are here as we have a really nice bunch of features to share with you…

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!๐Ÿ’œ 

French Ethereal: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest

No features from me this week! Last weekend was all about cleaning up the yard, clearing piles of leftover oak leaves and nuts (which have been in big piles for a couple of weeks), and laundry… ugh! Hubby was up in the attic looking to block where the evil rats had been getting into over winter. He vacuumed (while wearing protective gear) in the attic cleaning up “that yucky stuff.” Looking better! ๐Ÿ™‚

So let’s get to this week’s features…

And here are this week’s featured posts…

First up this week is this DIY project lovingly redone by Debra from Common Ground. Such a nice job painting!! Favorite Antique Furniture: Sideboard Dressed for Spring.
Debra also scores in this double-header post ~ Peter Rabbit and Friends in the Cupboard. Just a little leftover fun from Easter… <3
Esme from Esme Salon shared this wonderful dessert ~ South African Microwave Milk Tart (Melktert) ~ love custard desserts!!!
dulce de leche brownies and a cup of tea in a white cup.
Elizabeth from Pinecones & Acorns shared this wonderful recipe for Dulce de Leche Brownies… I love recipes with dulce de leche and this looks just delicious!!!
Decorate Your Master Suite
Kathryn from The Dedicated House shared 7 Ways to Decorate Your Master Suite. Love how it turned out!!! So classy!
Niky from The House on Silverado shared this post which is sooo timely for summer’s coming heat ~ Setting Up an Automatic Watering System for an Outdoor Plants & Hanging Baskets.
Love this table from Debbie at Debbie-Dabble ~ Easter Tablescapes & Easter Wrap-Up. Love the rabbits and the Easter tree!!!
Oh my goodness! I LOVE this post as part of Style Imitating Art… Sally from Within a World of My Own created an outfit and her amazing DIY beaded jewelry ~ you need to go check out the beads she makes!
Styling a Tonal Column of Color for SIA: Redoutรฉ Roses + DIY Paper Bead Page to Bead Examples. Lovely inspiration!!!
10 images of spring front porch decor ideas
Wendy from WM Design House shared this great post ~
35 Simple & Easy Spring Front Porch Ideas. Great round-up!

Thank You so much to everyone who linked up this past week. A special thank you to everyone for always promotingย Share Your Styleย on your blog and on your social media channels! I do see it when I stop by and I appreciate the love.ย ๐Ÿ’œ

If you’d like to follow myย Share Your Style boardย on Pinterest I’d appreciate it,ย thank you!ย I do post all of the featured posts from each week’s SYS there plus usually other photos from those posts to my boards. ๐Ÿ’œย  Thanks so much!!! If you are new to French Ethereal, I hope you will think about subscribing to my blog.

Happy linking!

Barb ๐Ÿ™‚

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Click here to enter
Gardening, Tablescapes

Evening Tea in the Garden

Good evening, friends! I used some comp time today and left work an hour early heading to my mother-in-law’s home to check on it while she is away. As I came out into the backyard to water, immediately I caught the scent of two large roses perfuming the entire garden …

After I finished watering all of her backyard plants (and seeing that I need to help her with a ton of prickly weed removal), I came back out with her heavy duty scissors and snipped as many stems of these soft blush roses as I could.

Previous owners planted this heavenly scented rose and its twin on the opposite side of the garden. Funny, Gramma “plays ball” with a 2-year-old boy who lives on the other side of the fence when she is home. I found a good 12 balls of many sizes and types in amongst the roses and crepe myrtle along this shared back fence!

I tossed them all back over. ๐Ÿ˜‰

After a quick run through the grocery store, I came home and promptly recut all the rose stems and created this lovely arrangement. Creamy white Iceberg roses from my garden filled in the gaps…

Then it was time for tea!

I brewed a cup of Constant Comment and set two lemon Girl Scout cookies on a plate. Nothing fancy! Just a paper napkin, the tea and those cookies.

I love that the cookies have upbeat sayings on them to boost girls’ self esteem nowadays!! They made me smile. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Two of our newer rose bushes in their pots, getting ready for their first blooms…

As I cleared away the dishes, I took a few shots just with my iPhone 12 Pro. It takes quality photographs and I didn’t have to mess with the lighting, which my Canon was being finicky this evening (the overblown whites in some photos, lol!).

But it was a lovely 72 degree evening, perfect for a few minutes enjoying the back gardens as the sun was going down…

A few early iris are blooming, too! Just noticed this beauty as I was snapping away… I gave them all a good feeding yesterday.

Here’s hoping for lots of blooms to come!

Thanks for visiting & sharing a cup with me,

Barb ๐Ÿ™‚

Gardening, Home Decor

Share Your Style #382

Welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #382 ~ a bit late this week (I haven’t been sleeping well; taking care of our very old dog takes its toll…), so… I thought I’d get the party up here on Saturday! I am soooo looking forward to your beautiful Easter and springtime posts!

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!๐Ÿ’œ 

French Ethereal: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest

Last weekend I was outside working on getting a few plants in the ground plus spreading mulch to protect all the plants’ roots from summer’s coming heat. I was BEAT but it is looking good so far! I will share that post soon. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Just one post from me this week, and I was busy recovering from the weekend (plus, just going to work everyday at school as you know!) so I apologize for not getting SYS on time this Wednesday! I fell asleep by 7:00/7:30pm every night this week until Friday evening. I had a hard time visiting all of the folks on the Pinterest tour, too!

I don’t know if you all know, but I get up with our Yoda every night during the night to take care of his restroom needs, save him from whatever he has got himself stuck underneath (i.e. our bed, my dresser, behind the toilet, etc. — he has Dog Alzheimers), and get his bedding laundry going. We love him and it’s just what we do for our fur babies! ๐Ÿ’œ 

So, let’s get this party started!!!

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

Two Spring Chair (Decorating) Ideas to Inspire ~ part of this month’s Pinterest Challenge hosted by Cindy of County Road 407. So fun!!!

And here are this week’s featured posts…

A Spring / Easter table setting including a nest of (candy) eggs sitting in a basket of raffia. www.redshuttercottage.com
First up this week is this fun post from newcomer Kristine from Red Shutter Cottage ~
A Whimsical Spring Tablescape ~ just adorable!!! (I’ll probably use this phrase a lot today!) Welcome, Kristine to the French Ethereal family! <3
I learned a new word today and here it is in Sandra from Dinner at Eight‘s cutest post for spring ~ A Fluffle of Bunnies! Just precious!!!
Pinterest container gardening ideas & inspo
MaryJo over at Master”Pieces” of My Life shared this lovely garden post ~
Container Gardening Ideas & Inspiration. Can’t wait for all the blooms!
Lori from Dining Delight created this beautiful post ~ Inspiration for Decorating an Easter Brunch Buffet. Simply beautiful!!!

Stephanie from Steph Creates shared this sweet DIY Dollar Tree Birdhouse Decoration post. Love little birdhouses for decorating around the home!

Lynne from Thrifting Wonderland shared a sunny tableau here in her post Cheerful Tablescape. Love how Lynne uses thrifted items in her home!
And a huge CONGRATULATIONS to DeeDee from Our Clover House on a sweet bedding line affiliation ~ My New Bedding is Named After Me! Really pretty!!

Thank You so much to everyone who linked up this past week. A special thank you to everyone for always promotingย Share Your Styleย on your blog and on your social media channels! I do see it when I stop by and I appreciate the love.ย ๐Ÿ’œ

If you’d like to follow myย Share Your Style boardย on Pinterest I’d appreciate it,ย thank you!ย I do post all of the featured posts from each week’s SYS there plus usually other photos from those posts to my boards. ๐Ÿ’œย  Thanks so much!!! If you are new to French Ethereal, I hope you will think about subscribing to my blog.

Happy spring, y’all,

Barb ๐Ÿ™‚

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
Gardening, Holidays, Home Decor, Pinterest Challenge

Two Spring Chair Ideas to Inspire!

Welcome, dear friends!! This month’s Pinterest Challenge has us creating a fun Easter-time Spring Chair. Yes, a chair ~ totally fun and unexpected! Our host and friend Cindy from County Road 407 has found a really fun idea from Jamie at Anderson + Grant!

Our inspiration ~ what I see

Welcome to everyone coming over from Michelle at Thistle Key Lane for the first time! Isn’t this beautiful antique chair so pretty with this gorgeous woven harvest basket filled with tulips, a sweet rabbit scouting the scene, and a soft white afghan cascading out of the basket and over the chair Lovely!

I loved it so much that I thought It’d be fun to create a couple of spring chair ideas to inspire you in your springtime decorating.

Love Cindy’s springtime Pinterest Challenge graphic!

I shot these photos with my cell phone so they are a bit fuzzy and I apologize for that. Since then, I’ve shot only with my Canon. ๐Ÿ™‚

My first Spring Chair & Basket

I began this sweet vignette with a Longaberger cake-carrying basket set onto a chair I bought from my longtime friend Kathy. I recovered it with fabric from a dress I wore back in the late 1980’s to one of my brother’s weddings. I filled this basket with a small glass cake plate used as a riser for Momma & Baby rabbit.

Nestled in with our rabbits, I’ve scattered some soft green shredded paper used as Easter grass, glossy bright plastic Easter eggs, and a spring bouquet of mums and other flowers my husband just bought me! He’s a keeper… ๐Ÿ™‚

The last thing I added was a lace curtain I hang up in our bedroom every year for summertime. I love its softness plus it added dappled light. Here this curtain adds its softness and texture to the scene!

Now let’s check out our second Spring Chair out in the Garden!

Our garden

Over the past four seasons, I have worked really hard creating small planting beds around one of our backyard oak trees, under the primary bedroom window and out here along the edging of the western and southern fencing.

This spot is against our new garden shed/greenhouse (how I am using it) and faces south.

Let’s check out Chair #2!!

Since my roses aren’t in bloom yet, I brought out some dried roses and set them inside our flower girl’s basket.

This outdoor spring basket vignette has lots of texture

This chair came as a set with a small end table we picked up at last summer’s end-of-summer sales. I call it my Titanic chair…

All of the dried florals add their own special fluffiness and refinement…

The sun was rapidly going down when I came out to film after school last week. It had rained the day before so everything was fresh and clean! And here is our second chair.

One of our cement rabbits came out to play, too. A little nod to Jamie’s sweet cement rabbit! In the background, one of our David Austin climbing roses is being trained upwards on jute twine. Fingers crossed it grows more canes on the other side!

The vintage tablecloth takes the place of the white afghan in the inspiration photograph. Sorry the whites are blown out. I had some trouble getting the light balance correct while photographing.

And those are my two second chairs for today’s challenge. ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you’ve enjoyed both of these chair stylings! If you like what you see, please consider subscribing to my blog and following French Ethereal on my other platforms. Thank you for stopping by! <3

Up next is Niky from The House on Silverado and her green vintage chair looks absolutely adorable with its floral bouquet and sweet rabbit! Please see below for links to visit everyone on today’s tour.

Happy spring, friends!

Barb ๐Ÿ™‚

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crafts, DIY Projects, Fashion, Gardening, Home Decor, Recipes

Share Your Style #380

Welcome back, friends! This week’s Share Your Style #380 is back after a two week hiatus. The first week I can’t even remember why I missed (exhaustion?), and last Wednesday I was recovering from eye surgery in the morning. So, instead of my usual photo I am sharing “Pirate Barb” with the eye patch I had to wear the first day ~ all day and night. Then I only had to wear it at nighttime. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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!๐Ÿ’œ 

French Ethereal: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest

I apologize for not letting you all know I’d be off last week. I thought I’d feel good and be able to post that evening. I was home early enough from the surgery center, but I didn’t think about the effects of anesthesia on the body. I was sleeping pretty much all afternoon and evening as soon as I got home.

So, again, I apologize for not having SYS these past two weeks, but sometimes I just need some time off. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And this evening, I was out planting veg in the garden and then critter-proofing the bin with lots of hardware cloth, chickenwire until 8:00p.m.

Better late than never! Let’s get this party started!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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

Let’s Sew! Making a Balloon Curtain for the Kitchen ~ I’m back sewing for a bit! Feels good to get back to my roots. I’ll be back painting in the family and living rooms soon.

And here are this week’s featured posts…

First up this week is this beautiful tray post from Debra of Common Ground ~
Early Spring Garden Tray with Paperwhites. Love it!!!
leprechaun-centerpiece-supplies
Can you believe it’s already St. Patrick’s Day? OH! And Happy Ides of March today… ๐Ÿ˜‰ Wasn’t a good day for Caesar, though… Debbee from Debbee’s Buzz shared this fun post ~
Quick and Easy Lucky Leprechaun Centerpiece. Soooo cute!
Ann from Apple Street Cottage brings us this pretty vignette of
Birdcages and Candles.Lovely…
Jennifer from Curated by Jennifer wears this fun outfit proudly in this post
It’s My Birthday!!!
IKEA shelving hack black and white dishes
Karin from Karin’s Cottage created this great shelf in her post ~ Ikea Shelving Hack. Great job!!!
Meagan from Decorative Inspirations shared this springtime post ~
The Best Spring Cleaning Practices for the Gardens, Yards and Patios. Great tips!!
MaryJo from Master”Pieces” of My Life shared this gorgeous tablescape in this post ~
Forced Spring Bulbs Tablescape. Love the green and pewter coloring!!!
DeeDee from Clover House shared Simple Spring Vignettes. Adorable!!
A DIY Dutch tulip crate filled with assorted Spring decor. A large bunny, wood beads, a wooden Easter egg in a clay pot, and a large vintage jug holding greenery.
Lastly for this week, we welcome Leanna from Pretty DIY Home who shared this sweet post ~
How to Make a Dutch Tulip Crate for Spring. Adorable bunny and look at those large plaid carrots!
So glad you made it over, Leanna. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thank You so much to everyone who linked up this past week. A special thank you to everyone for always promotingย Share Your Styleย on your blog and on your social media channels! I do see it when I stop by and I appreciate the love.ย ๐Ÿ’œ

If you’d like to follow myย Share Your Style boardย on Pinterest I’d appreciate it,ย thank you!ย I do post all of the featured posts from each week’s SYS there plus usually other photos from those posts to my boards. ๐Ÿ’œย  Thanks so much!!! If you are new to French Ethereal, I hope you will think about subscribing to my blog.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day and Ides of March, everyone!

Barb ๐Ÿ™‚

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Thank You so much to everyone who linked up this past week. A special thank you to everyone for always promotingย Share Your Styleย on your blog and on your social media channels! I do see it when I stop by and I appreciate the love.ย ๐Ÿ’œ

If you’d like to follow myย Share Your Style boardย on Pinterest I’d appreciate it,ย thank you!ย I do post all of the featured posts from each week’s SYS there plus usually other photos from those posts to my boards. ๐Ÿ’œย  Thanks so much!!! If you are new to French Ethereal, I hope you will think about subscribing to my blog.

Happy spring, y’all! Enjoy the party,

Barb ๐Ÿ™‚

Gardening, Home Decor, Pinterest Challenge, Tablescapes

A Spring Garden Lantern + A Little Story…

Hoppy 4th Tuesday, dear friends! Our friend Cindy of County Road 407 has challenged us to create a Spring Lantern for this month’s Pinterest Challenge, and boy do we have cuteness inspiration ideas on overload for you…

Welcome, everyone! If you are coming over from Carol at Bluesky at Home for the first time, an extra big welcome!! For anyone who has never been to one of our Pinterest Challenges, Cindy finds a photograph for us to recreate in our own way, and we run with the idea.

Ann from On Sutton Place has created our inspiration tablescape this time. She has used a couple of white lanterns filled with coconut fiber bunnies, some easter grass, and a sweet pitcher of pussywillows. I personally love all the white!

How did I begin my Spring Lantern?

I began by sorting through my box of spring decor, of course! I looked at everything and pulled some things out and put others back.

I went to Hobby Lobby looking for an new lantern but they weren’t on sale, and I just didn’t want to spend a lot. So, I pulled out the lantern I used in a previous Pinterest Challenge to use again. ๐Ÿ™‚

I didn’t come home with a new lantern from the store; however, I DID come home with these cute flower-strewn Easter eggs, some fun paper carrots, and a new vintage-looking sign!

Love ’em!!!

So, I set down this grey tobacco basket and began tucking in shredded green grass, then I added a tree cut as a base for my lantern, and picked a bunny and the whole lot of Easter Eggs to put inside the lantern…

That’s when a story popped into my head:

The Story ~ BunBun’s Jam

BunBun, our sweet little girl, busied herself bringing in Easter eggs to fill her glass lantern garden greenhouse. She worked diligently and swiftly prepping for the year’s early morning Easter delivery of eggs to good little girls and boys of the town.

She was so busy bringing in all of these freshly painted eggs, tucking them here and there inside that lantern greenhouse, she didn’t think about how she was going to get herself back out the door again once those eggs were all indoors…

All of a sudden, BunBun realized that she was stuck! Poor little bunny…

What was she going to do? She’d really gotten herself in a pickle this time.

Meanwhile, her friends were busy outside…

Ducky and Princess Chicky-Poo were busy with spring gardening. They were planting more carrot seeds, seeing that the fall-planted ones had grown so well (and they were still picking those delicious carrots to eat!).

The rabbits were busy setting out spinach starts, a few chive seeds, as well as some daisy and Texas bluebonnet seeds for future picking! The rabbits especially love purple flowers for their dining table bouquets!!!

Looking up and hearing BunBun’s muffled voice and seeing her tap-tapping on the glass, they quickly realized her predicament. The group thought swiftly and hatched a plan. They would lift one corner of the glass lantern so their friend could slip underneath without disturbing the carefully placed eggs.

“Okay, on three!” shouted Ducky to the others. “One, two, three!!!” Everyone grunted a bit while paws and palmate feet slowly lifted the lantern side skyward.

As the glass house was tilted up, BunBun slid down and underneath. She was free! Cheers arose from this gaggle of friends! Everyone hugged BunBun, and she hugged and thanked each friend in turn.

They celebrated BunBun’s release with a cream tea and, of course,…

a slice of carrot cake. :)’

*****

Thanks for stopping by, friends! If you haven’t subscribed to FE, I’d love it if you do. We swing back up to Cindy at County Road 407 next and I know you will love her lantern idea!! And please stop by all of our friends and check out what everyone has created for you.

Big spring hugs from North Texas,

Barb ๐Ÿ™‚

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Gardening

Arctic Blast & Indoor Plant Overwintering, Production & Shed Insulating

Here’s an update on how our shed/greenhouse is coming along, a year-and-a-half into the project…

Installing ceiling insulation

Early during Christmas week, Mr. Ethereal finally was ready to work some more on finishing the roof insulation project which he had begun during the summer. I had picked up big purple foam core insulation from Lowe’s or Home Depot (I forget which) and had the employee there cut them in half lengthwise for me.

After watching several YouTube videos on how to install this type of insulation, a couple of those contractors shared that we would need to add a baffle layer underneath to allow for air circulation and moving moisture up to the roof crest where it could escape. (lead photo)

So we began the project in early summer. Hubby was about a third of the way done when his work got really busy and he spent a lot of his weekends cleaning up our yards and his mother’s front and back yards.

When the cooler weather came along in fall, the purple insulation began falling down.

This wasn’t good… ๐Ÿ™

What to do about falling insulation?

Hubby figured out a simple way to get the insulation to stay in place with the expansion/contraction of fluctuating temperatures: just install small pieces of wood shims, cut to length, and held in place with a wood screw.

Easy peasy fix! ๐Ÿ™‚

Bringing in plants from outdoors came next for me! For those six days of extreme low temps, these guys were grateful to be indoors. Happily, the weather has warmed up again and they are back outside the shed enjoying sunshine and warmth!

As I finish this post, the roses are already pushing leaves! We had an 80 degree day on Wednesday then temps plummeted to 32 overnight. Yesterday was in the very high 50’s/low 60’s. I forget since my brain is a big foggy with another round of Covid… (Can you believe it?!)

But back to our shed story… ๐Ÿ™‚

I took cuttings in early October of the tradescancha (purple trailing vine) and they rooted well, as did the angel wing begonia (rounded leaves in back). They are producing new babies and will be ready to put outside in pots in early spring.

I didn’t have good luck with the pentas or lantana. Rats! I put the blue lobelia in the ground and we shall see if it comes back after the freeze. Originally I had tossed it into the compost pile but I just didn’t have the heart to kill it outright. I hope the roots stayed alive and it’s worth the experiment to see if this root stock produces some blue lobelia for me! I would LOVE IT if I could get it to self-seed and propogate itself in the flower beds! It is soooo pretty…

The mondo grass is loving its life, as you can see (above). I will wait until mid-March and get them outdoors permanently. They do overwinter well here in North Texas.

Here are what our temperatures were doing on the 21st or 22nd of December as the cold front was coming in. The app almost never says “high” then “low.” It’s usually the reverse.

We dropped 23 degrees in like an hour-and-a-half. Did you experience the same where you live? It was the craziest thing! I was glad for layers of jackets, a windbreaker, and gloves!

Putting the garden to bed

I worked on stripping leaves off the roses and finished 10 rose bushes in one day, but less than a month later, they are already pushing new growth. Some have new leaves!

They’ve never really gone dormant this year, except for the Arctic storm.

February might bring in another Artic storm and that would kill of all of this new growth, so I will really have to wrap things well if another big storm rolls in again.

That’s what happened all of my panicle hydrangea blooms last year. I had to buy new hydrangea plants to have anything blooming.

The day the Christmas Arctic storm began, when temperatures dropped so rapidly in just a couple of hours, I raked tons of leaves over all of the plants after spreading the three bags of black mulch underneath most of the plants.

Some plants I also covered with plastic plant pots, and that really helped insulate them! I will be doing that again if need be in February.

And here’s how the yard looked with everything bedded down for Christmas Week Arctic Storm. Until we can afford to have an electrician come and run a heavy duty line to the back of the shed (it’s plumbed for it already), we run a heavy duty extension cord inside the window and swap out whatever we have plugged in.

Lately, I plug in the new heater for night, then plug in the new set of UV lights in the morning before the day begins. I am growing on the bibb lettuce, tomatoes and something else from seeds.

Here is the new little folding shelf unit I found during the Black Friday sales at Lowe’s. It’s lightweight for easy moving around, and perfect for starting seedlings (it’s intended purpose). It is a little Better Homes & Garden plant shelf. (None of this is sponsored,; just like the product.)

I started these seedlings right after Christmas and… You can see the light tube standing above these little seedlings.

Next I need to pot up the tomatoes.

I am giving everything here a very light liquid feed mixed in water every week and that is making them happy.

I repotted some of the baby Bibb lettuce here on MLK Jr.’s birthday Monday here in 2023! I still have three 3″ containers to pot up, but think I might just let them grow on and eat them as micro greens in a salad soon.

I learned on Garden Answer (YouTube) that you can sheer them back and they will grow again. At least I think that is correct. ๐Ÿ˜‰

New heater & lighting

All of the plants are doing well. About mid to late February, I’ll begin giving the orange and lemon trees citrus fertilizer to get them producing flowers. I’ll hand-pollenate, like I did last year, to ensure good fruit production.

I just repotted the orange tree ~ it’s shocking a bit but should recover. One of the lemon trees could use a bigger pot, but otherwise, all are doing well.

Waiting for a good rain! The bougainvillea in the terracotta pot in front is pushing new leaves. ๐Ÿ™‚

Rain is forecast for Wednesday this week and we could use it! California is inundated with rain this year (biggest in two decades). Now Texas is in drought conditions… Go figure. (Seems to follow us…)

Three baby begonias ~ will be ready for spring!

Well, friends, that’s about all that’s going on out in the garden and with the shed. I am really happy with how the plants are doing and I hope to report back on the little lettuce and tomatoes as they grown.

I may have lost the parent angel wing begonia, which was in the long Italian ceramic trough in the outdoor photograph above, but three of the four cuttings made it and rooted. One has quite a few new baby leaves! This is the first time in years that I’ve started cuttings.

My mom and I used to start spider plants and trailing ivy and other things when I lived at home, but I don’t think I have really rooted anything since. I did try with my mother-in-law’s plants last year, but almost all of those tries died…. If we’d have had this dry winter last year, we would have had a lot of success! Rats…

“Scumpy” in the winter leaves!

Yoda enjoyed being outside the past several days as we even had highs up to 80 degrees (Wednesday last week, 1/11/23, the day I came down with Covid). Highs in the upper 60’s and low 70’s since and he so enjoys the warmth!

Crossing my fingers and saying a little prayer that I can get the veggies planted out in March in new raised beds (yet to be built) for a real crop this year! <3

Happy January, y’all!

Barb ๐Ÿ™‚

Gardening, Holidays

Planting Up Pretty Paperwhites

Hello friends!! Here is a super quick planting project to brighten your holiday tables and wintertime decor…

I was shopping at Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club a week ago or so, and I found these paperwhites for a good price. I have never bought any before but always saw them on friend’s blog sites ~ both real and faux ~ and I thought I’d give them a try!

How to Plant Pretty Paperwhites

  • First, choose a container/pot to hold your bulbs
  • Line your pot with small pebbles or rocks
  • Mix up very fine soil – I used half regular garden soil and half seed starting soil
  • Moisten your soil and mix thoroughly in a separate container (above photo, top right)
  • Scoop in 1″-2″ of the pre-moisened soil over the pebbles
  • Add in paperwhite bulbs, tucking them close together, shoulders touching
  • Add more soil as needed to cover up to their necks

Clean up the edges of your container and find a nice place to display your potted pretties!!!

Water sparingly as needed throughout winter, then, after the flowers die back in spring, plant outside after all danger of frost has passed.

The packages say that these paperwhites will naturalize in the landscape, so I am thinking I will find a nice place to plant them for next season. ๐Ÿ™‚

After Christmas, I will create a nice display here on the library/tea table using these paperwhites. I’ve rarely used this soup tureen for actual soup, but always for decorating, so I am excited to share it here with you!

I am hoping these blooms will stand up straight as they were lying down in their bags for a week or so, and now they look like they are sprouting sideways, ugh!

Do you think they will right themselves?? I appreciate the heads up! (sorry, pun unintended…)

The planting part is easy and it’ll be fun to see how they bloom. Hope you try some in your home, too, this winter!

Happy holiday season to you,

Barb ๐Ÿ™‚