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Prepping for the New Shed

Welcome back, friends! I have been away working with my sweet Mr. Ethereal getting our backyard ready for the new shed’s arrival. It may come as early as this Friday but probably next week sometime. Weather is wrecking havoc on shed deliveries but that has given us time…

Old Shed, the Before

This is how the backyard looked up until this past weekend. I forget when I took this here in the springtime but it was after one of the monster rainstorms!

How it looks now

We are still getting rain about every three or four days or so, but the yard has dried out, which has made the lavenders and the Mediterranean-type plants (rosemary and basil) are much happier with the drier weather. (They sure don’t like wet feet!)

Before taking the shed apart, all of the bicycles, chairs, garden supplies, tools and such were placed all over the patio and yard.

Yoda is excited that he can walk where the old shed was. Here is the new panicle hydrangea beginning its bloom!! It is a lovely hydrangea…

When we began around 8:30am, it was in the low 80’s but quickly jumped to mid-90’s. It was hot out… Mr. E did a lot of work; he is a good sport about these things!

It’s plywood base is leaning up against the back fence now.

Here is when we had most of the shed taken apart. My job was to mark all the inside panels so we can put them back together in right order again, and to hold up the sides as each panel was unscrewed.

I went this weekend and picked up 8′ pressure treated cedar to replace the boards underneath for the old shed. Since it is only 8′ x 8′, we will put it along the side fence to hold the lawn mower, weed eater, edger and the tools which would “leak.” I also picked up two new 4″ x 4″ Around it I’ll put in flowers and make it cute. 🙂

The City did not approve us putting the new shed closer to the side yard (surprise!) but we did get our money back from the application. I have been so upset over this that I still need to resubmit plans for the new shed to go where the old is was. I just haven’t felt like taking up the discussion with the City again. Their rules are ridiculous…

We literally have 25′ of yard that: either “isn’t our own” (10′ easement) yet we take care of it, water it, mow and edge it; and another 15′ that we can’t put a permanent structure on. Apparently that is so they don’t have to pay someone to have something taken down if they decide to take away our side yard when building a wider road.

Honestly, I hate city planners at the moment…

Using my pole vault pole-tying skills with these timbers…

Charles worked really hard moving most of the tools and things out of the shed. I could only do a little at a time because I was still pretty ill with this Post-Covid Syndrome (PCS) virus… However…

Today I am finally feeling better!

Turns out it I am negative for: Covid, strep, flu and Mono. I had a mammogram yesterday and a few lung x-rays last week, so we shall see… Hopefully it is nothing and I’ll just get better over time. This new PCS can occur even as late as 9 months after the illness and it feels like you have Covid again (at least I did). I wondered if it isn’t the body learning to “over-react” to any illness, like a cold.

Most of the shed panels…
Hubby taking a much-needed rest…

Well, that’s where we are with the tear-down of the old shed and the new shed still coming! Now we wait. 🙂

Happy summer, friends,

Barb 🙂

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Backyard Garden + Shed Plans…

We are coming into the home stretch with getting our Garden Shed and Fence plans approved, friends! This coming week I go in to visit with the City Planning Department and see if we can nail this thing down before summer break begins…

City Ordinances

Most of this spring, I have been sending emails back and forth about the fence and shed plans. Part of what the City needed to see was something I didn’t expect… Anyway, I will get to that in a minute, but here is a photograph of our Proposed Shed plan marked out and a 15′ line behind it (all in yellow measuring tapes).

Most of us know that in cities there are easements of land which we all take care of but we don’t actually “own.” We don’t pay taxes on that part in case the city decides to widen the roadway, dig up utility lines or put in water drainage systems underneath. For ours, that is a BIG 10′ section of land.

Whenever you wish to build or place a shed that is larger than 120 sq. ft., then a permit needs to be applied for and the city planners need to approve your plans. It’s all for safety reasons and in our case there have been concerned about wind ratings for the structure and its tie-downs since there can be Cat. 1 tornadoes and straight winds whipping through the area!

We just need 54″…

What I didn’t know is that the City also has a “No Build” area another 15′ from the property line… That’s 25′ from the main road that we aren’t supposed to build anything major on. To me, that is just silly and a waste of valuable property. I see sheds in homeowners’ sideyards all over the city so we are asking for a Variance.

In my many emails, I’ve found the City Codes for adding structures, and have addressed why we should be allowed to allowed to put the proposed shed here along the back fence but close to the side fence (which will be moving out 3′).

Our original proposal was to move the fence out five feet but the closest stake to the fence is 3′ away, hence we can only move the fence out three feet.

Here are the surveyor stakes laid out and you can see the narrowing which follows the curve of the main street, more or less. We have left all of the surveyor stakes until we begin putting in posts for the new fence.

Our Proposed Shed ~

Our Garden Shed will look very similar to this shed with the dormer windows but in a medium grey with white trim. I have gone back and forth between a white roof and charcoal. What do you think?

Here are a couple of other sheds Wolf Valley Buildings makes which have the charcoal roofs. Ours will be metal.

What we are having made is called a Cabin Shell, like the top photo. It will have upper storage inside and I am really excited about it! I’ll move the potting bench inside and we are planning on having electrical run to it. Wolf Valley is building it with electrical outlets, overhead ceiling boxes and an outside electrical box built with it.

Now if the City will approve our plans and allow us to put the shed where we would like it!

Can’t you just see the new shed down there? This would be one of the nice views towards it. It will angle towards the house and our dining room a little so it can be seen from the patio and dining room.

Be prepared to wait

When asking for a Variance, all paperwork has to go infront of the Planning Commission for approval and this can take some time. The paperwork on the city website says 1-2 months as the commission only meets once per month.

So when I go to meet with the Planning Technicians this week, I’ll be bringing all of the paperwork I have so far and hopefully they will use the emails I have forwarded with all of the photographs, so the Planning Commission will be able to see what we are trying to do. 🙂

Prayers are much appreciated,

Barb 🙂

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Our Fall Garden and Potting Bench

 

Welcome to  our autumn garden! Fall’s cooler days have brought about a renaissance of blooms on the roses and all of the plants have perked up. My joy this weekend has been photographing the season’s changes and a bit of decorating on the potting bench…
 
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Friday after work, I stopped by Lowe’s garden center and picked up more cement pavers for the pathway to match the ones put in by previous owners. I also picked up more bricks to use around and under potted plants here in the back garden.

 
 
Hubby and I went out to lunch on Saturday and he found some much needed sneakers at our local sporting goods store. We then stopped by First United Methodist Church’s annual pumpkin patch, of which I totally forgot to put any pumpkins in the above display… 🎃
After two more trips to Lowe’s on Sunday, I was finally ready to decorate our potting bench for fall! Charles had seen some mini bales of hay (identical to these) last weekend so I looked for some to bring home. These are perfect for fall displays and will be useful for packing around plants as protection as the nights really begin to dip into the 30’s and below. 
 
The Generous Gardener is just beginning its fall blooming… It is a soft
pink normally but is showing off as almost totally white. It is also the
lead photo of this post. In the middle of fighting white flies and
spider mites…
Seventy five degrees was the high on Sunday with Saturday’s high coming in at just over 80 degrees. It was an absolutely perfect weekend to be out of doors working in the yard! 
 
Remember in the olden days when we called this Indian Summer? That cooler time between the heat of summer but not quite the cold of later fall? 
 
It is still my absolute favorite time to garden… Not politically correct anymore to call it that anymore, but I still think of it this way.
 
I moved Sceptre d’Isle back to its usual spot near the brick wall and close to our Garden Maiden. I need to look for new plants to try here in this area since the two camellias, which did sooo well last year, croaked either from over-watering or just from the stress of summer’s savage heat and high humidity.
 
I lost one small rose, one of the new ones I had bought this past spring, also due to the summer heat. Thankfully, the older mature roses all made it just fine, other than spider mites (which I didn’t catch early enough).
 

 

We have been back building out in the garden as we move around the corner of the house out into the side garden. There is an area at the far back corner, which since the addition of the water softener unit last year, seems to me to be a perfect place for utilitarian uses. 
 
I’ll share more of that area later this week as we finish up this newest project but here’s how the pathway is coming along. You can see how “new” the pavers I just purchased look in contrast to the other older ones which were sunk into the ground. Time and rain’s muddiness should even that up, though.
 
We moved the potting bench on Saturday to protect it from the coming rainstorms. Eventually it will go inside the new larger shed, when we finally decide which one we want.
 
As summer sales happened in August, I found a couple of chair cushions I liked so although they don’t exactly fit the bench, they are very comfortable and add a nice navy and white to the area. The colors repeat the colors in the weave of the bistro chairs, which looks smart.
 
It was fun to look around for items to place out on the potting bench to dress it up! I found the larger French pot at Hobby Lobby early in the summer and it matches another smaller white one I found several years ago.
 
So that’s how things are going in our neck of the woods. How is your fall gardening going? Anything new growing? Have you begun decorating for fall and/or Halloween?  Let me know what you’ve been up to in the comments below. 💝

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Happy gardening,
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Our Late Summer Front Entry

Summer is still going strong here in Texas and my plants are hanging in there so I thought I’d share a little of our front entry with you today…

Yesterday I shared our front door hanging basket for 10 on the 10th and now I can share the rest of the patio! I am excited for fall so this is a happy late summer post with just a hint of transitioning.

I have been consistently watering every two to three days so our roses are doing much better this year here in the heat of summer than last year. This rose in the large green urn is named after Miranda Lambert. It is really pretty when it blooms well! Right now it is just fighting the heat.

Late this spring I brought the new plant stand around from the backyard and put in some impatients in the top tier and our small fern behind it. The boxwood growing in the French style pot is just getting large enough and to the size I want that I can begin clipping it. I am not sure whether I want to form it into a ball or into a conical Christmas tree shape. Conical is all the rage right now.

I had herbs in the cute rectangular pot but the heat (and my overwatering…) killed them. C’est la vie! It happens. I’ll try again when it cools off because I really like having fresh oregano. 

Maybe you have a trick for getting your herbs to grow well? They were burning up in the backyard so I brought them around front thinking that would help. The two flowering plants in plastic pots will go into that other planter to replace what croaked. 🐸

Next year I think I’ll get more impatiens and Super-tunias/Superbells to plant in bigger pots that would like being outfront. What does well in your gardens this time of year?



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Keep cool!
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Gramma Kate’s Vintage Tricycle…

Going home  is always a little bittersweet, isn’t it… We love to revisit memories of family times together and places we have lived. We enjoy seeing how places have stayed the same and how they have been updated, how neighborhoods have changed. Coming home this time involved a lot of remembrances of times with my father-in-love, a whole bunch of cleaning and organizing, as well as trashing out things which needed to go. 

One of my favorite things from this trip, after spending my first morning there sweeping cobwebs off the house and its eves ~ here in the Sacramento area ~ was playing with Great-Gramma Kate’s vintage tricycle…

Overblown lighting but still fun!
Will have to pull into Lightroom and edit… 😉

Mr. Ethereal was busy cutting back several oleander bushes hanging over from the neighbors’ yard. Vintage wood ready for projects, cut out pattern pieces for a rocking horse and two donkey carts, antique woodworking tools and steamer trunks were part of the detritus dragged out from the large backyard shed. Many of the tools in that shed ~ the wood staves for shaving logs and different size hand-drills and planers ~ were over 100 years old and belonged originally to Raymond Fudge, Pete’s father-in-law.

The oleander cuttings had been dragged out onto the lawn to prep for the garden recycle bins and that’s where I found them… 



And this amazing vintage tricycle was among those treasures

found near that big metal shed! 



Thinking of other friends who have photographed bicycles
popped into my mind and the fun began! 

I love the sweetness of this old tricycle and I remember Kate and how kind she was. She was a track runner in her high school days and the girls on her track team competed against other local school girls during a short season of track and field during the 1920’s.  There were no state meets during those days.
Kate was a long-jumper and triple-jumper and I think she also played basketball. She had long legs and was tall at 5’10”. I am sorry I can’t download a photograph of Kate but my computer is being finicky. 

Gramma Gini’s roses bloom in the background and the old cherry tree stands to the left.
I can imagine Kate tooling around town with this tricycle along Rancho Cordova’s city sidewalks heading to the library or the grocery store or out to rides with friends along the American River back in the 1980’s. Kate could get there by the old tressle bridge which spans the river in Fair Oaks, which she lived right near. 


A favorite!
I think she would have enjoyed seeing her bicycle basket 
filled with bright pink and white flowers!!!


A bit of silliness made all the cleaning worthwhile…



All edited… Hope this post was fun for you, too! 💝





Thanks for visiting today,

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Refresh Your Porch or Patio in Just One Week

Welcome to this month’s Pinterest Challenge and this month is all about getting ready for summer celebrations, cookouts and getting together with family and friends. This month’s challenge is to share our Porches and Patios with a clean inspired refresh… 

This month’s Pinterest Challenge patio inspiration comes from Bria of Bria Hammel Interiors. I love Bria’s coastal style with easy-style bamboo and outdoor wicker furnishings, a fresh blue and white color scheme, and a celebration of potted plants on the porch, in a teacart and hanging from the wall. 

I love her potted trees in those what I’d say are large square French-style planters! Gorgeous chalky blue color!! Bria used touches of black, too, and that’s what jumped out at me.

PC graphic
As we get into my post I’d like to thank Cindy of County Road 407 for once again hosting this challenge, thank you Cindy! 💝 And if you are coming over from Lora from Lora B Create and Ponder, welcome! Lora’s colorful vintage porch style is pure fun!! 
Last summer’s A Small Summer Home Tour.
This is how our back patio has looked since last summer. It was a bunch of mismatched furniture, a couple of potted plants and one of our “Girls” bringing in the French country style I love. 


Here is how our patio has changed since last summer. I worked on creating a little French café earlier this spring. Now it is a pleasant place for Mr. Ethereal and I to come outside and sit, and to enjoy cool mornings while the mourning doves, sparrows, the seasonal cardinals and other wildlife visit…


  
Simple, clean, and French inspired!

How the patio has changed

Even before I knew what this month’s Pinterest Challenge was to be I had already planned to repaint our park benches so this challenge was perfect timing! The green Wayfair bench I’ve only had for four years has rusted really fast because of North Texas’ hot and humid summertime climate. 



The white cast iron bench I’ve had for years and it came with us to Texas last year with our movers. In California, the lower humidity kept the iron pristine (except for paint peeling off the wooden slats). I think this bench is 15 years old?? I bought it when our last home was new to us.

My former rose garden parterres…

Inspiration

I sat down with some of my favorite French style design books and looked at what makes authentic French style so appealing. I realized right away what I wanted…



Our benches needed to look like those gorgeous park benches one sees at large public parks in France and even here in the United States (think Central Park, NYC). They needed to be able to move effortlessly from porch to yard on a whim. 

They needed to be black…

Over the course of a week I was able to repaint both benches, the new plant stand and also another hanging basket. Working with spray paint is easy ~ just as pie is a natural dessert for a summer picnic!

Our backyard patio porch now has the cohesiveness it lacked  and looks very close to our inspiration photo:


With wicker chairs and benches for relaxing, hanging baskets adding their lovely southern green touches, and lavender plants bringing in that French country style that is me. I am in-love with the curves and diamond patterns ~ how they repeat from piece to piece! Now to find the perfect seat cushions! (Always something, lol!)


Thank you for stopping by my patio refresh today and next up is my friend Michelle of Thistle Key Lane whose porch looks amazing! I love how elegant Michelle’s patio looks with all the blue and white, and her teacart is a favorite in my book!! 


Please pin, thank you! 💜



We have a big group of friends in today’s porch and patio tour for you. Please come back and restart here, or from any of today’s participants, if need be. 
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Wonderful Wednesday ~ Stilettos and Shiplap
Tuesday Turnabout ~ My Wee Abode

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Enjoy the tour,

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Add French Style with Spray Paint

French style additions  are something I am focusing on 
a lot around the house while I am home and have the time this spring. With Texas’ wonderful 70 – 80 degree spring weather I decided to add a new look outback on the back patio with a little spray paint…



It all began with this little hanging basket I found when I exchanged the first plant stand I had bought at Meador’s Nursery. 


The first plant stand ~ as seen as part of Our Spring Garden Pinterest Challenge.

Since I ended up with a pretty big credit, I was able to buy a smaller plant stand which suited our backyard porch better, this rusty brown hanging basket and some plant food and potting soil. A good exchange!


A few windy days and five cans of matte black spray paint later the rusty and worn benches were fixed up and look great with their French park look…



Here is the new plant stand and it is just perfect for our needs. I realized with the larger 3-tiered stand that it eliminated the seating area I had created and that bugged me. The other problem it had was that none of the larger pots fit in its bottom and middle sections ~ that was absolutely necessary. So, this one is much better.


Now this area is pretty much how I’d like it except for a few minor touches and a really big project involving a lot more paint and sawing ~ but that’s for another day!!!


I’ll share the whole patio with you next week when this month’s Pinterest Challenge goes live but for now enjoy the view…




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Bisous and blessings to you,
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My Little French Café

Bienvenue au café  out in our garden! On this day the sun was peeking in and out as the garden was coming alive and greening up so I had to get outside and enjoy it. Staying home has been a blessing for me with more time to work in the garden and to create a little café at home…



In early February I found these bistro chairs on clearance sale at HomeGoods (not sponsored) for $79 and $72 by Ralph Lauren. Made of outdoor resistant webbing, they are perfect for a small sitting area! One has broken webbing on one leg but I am okay with it.  

For a month I debated about returning them. Did we really need new chairs? Our outdoor patio set is fine and just needs new cushions. We did bring them from California in order to save money and not purchase a new set for some time. I could and still may repaint them to give them a refresh. 


Love, love the open look of the patio now! Less clutter and there is space for an umbrella when the sun gets hot later in summer (hence the umbrella stand in the corner).

Mr. Ethereal and I talked about them at length. It is nice to have something new and he really likes them, too. The pandemic was just starting to affect the United States when I found these chairs and travel anywhere outside the US was now off the table for 2020. 

This year of all years I was hoping he and I could take a trip to Italy and/or France for our anniversary next fall, so… 




This little café is partly my alternative to going away to Europe and part of this spring’s virtual travel series. 🔐 So today we have tea in the garden including a loaf of cranberry orange bread from Market Street  grocery in Highland Village making for a lovely al fresco afternoon tea for two…


I found many wonderful street cafés and restaurants from all over Europe online just be doing a Google search and I have fallen in love with this style of chair. I love their size and they come in amazing colors! 

Janet over at ShabbyFufu shared a manufacturer over in Paris in a recent post ~ Maison Louis Drucker ~ which may be the originator of this style of bistro chair. The company has been around since 1885, after all. 

outdoor dining room french style pea gravel
Outdoor Dining Room ~ French Style Patio Design

This is Janet’s beautiful garden setting in the Miami, Florida area… I looked up those chairs since Janet had a link. Hers are from Birch Lane


Finding these two chairs for such an great price is pretty hard to beat! The Drucker style chairs Janet has cost over $200 each (and may have been sponsored), so it wasn’t too hard to see that these were an amazing deal.

Most of what we own has been found that way ~ either on clearance or for $200 or less for whatever piece of furniture I was thinking to buy. Most of our sofas, living room furniture and French style dining chairs are thrift store finds or came from garage sales.

The bistro table above was on sale from Lowe’s found at the end of summer a couple of years ago for $29! I wrote this Parisian post sharing it for the first time.



More changes are happening out here and plants have been moved about but that’s pretty normal for me! Probably with you, too. 
😉

Here’s the latest incarnation of this little corner off the patio. You may have seen this area when I shared the latest Pinterest challenge post.

And here’s our outdoor maiden in her spot that I shared when I worked on redoing these French style terracotta pots as part of a spring DIY and craft round-up…


The patio area now is pretty perfect and I am just doing some painting to update everything. I’ll share more of that later this week (I hope!). 

I did pick up a new plant stand and shared that last week in the Pinterest Challenge…

See how the Spanish lavender in the white plastic bucket doesn’t fit…
As pretty as it was the geometry of it was off… I couldn’t put any large pots in the lowest and middle tiers, so I called Meador’s Nursery. They were able to exchange it and the new stand is just right!

A view  out into the garden…
I am happier with the garden bench back where it has been for a year now and you’ll see the new plant stand in this next post. 

🌸

Thanks for visiting outdoors with me today! We have had really pretty nice weather this spring although now the humidity and heat are rolling in from the Gulf. (I like the cooler south-westerly breezes and breezes from Canada and the Dakotas much better!!)

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Blessings et bisous, mes amis, 
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Our Spring Garden DIY & Update ~ A Pinterest Challenge

Welcome to  this month’s Pinterest Challenge where a group of friends gets together and finds inspiration from a given Pinterest pin with which to create something beautiful. Cindy of County Road 407 is our host and this month we were given an idea to create a garden fountain. Let’s tour my garden, mes amies…

Like on our inspiration piece, a little butterfly has come to visit le jardin… A corner off our patio.

Patience

Our garden is very much a work in progress and is barely a year old. New plants go in the ground and into pots as money comes available. I recently finished a small patio area for our trash bins and am noodling ideas for keeping dirt down under the oaks here in the backyard. 


Thinking about bricking the whole thing although laying faux grass would be cheaper ~ and what Mr. Ethereal would like to do.

If you are coming over from Laura of Everyday Edits for the first time, welcome to my home and garden! Laura’s flower pots out front look beautiful, don’t they? She made me laugh with her post on The Five Dog Items to Clean More Often. Humor and style, the best!!!  Welcome back to all my other friends, too, as I am always happy when you come and visit me.
😊

Our Pinterest Challenge garden fountain comes to us from Jane of Cottage at the Crossroads, a new blog to me. Jane and her husband Leo write from their 100 year old home and they have created a totally adorable cascading waterfall of Topsy Turvy Galvanized Buckets overflowing with plants. So adorable!

Tumbling flower pots


Jane and Leo used a plastic insert kit to create this waterfall of four galvanized metal buckets, a galvanized tub, plus a variety of coral flowers ~ totally love their cheerfulness! I have a bunch of clay pots but I thought there’s no way I could recreate this look with them. Too fragile.

However…

I have had an idea for awhile to create a real water fountain from a galvanized horse trough, and you’ll see that in this next series of photographs. 

Water fountain ideas


My inspiration piece… The owner of The Victorian Sample Florist created this water fountain from a large oval galvanized trough surrounded by stacked paving rocks and a hidden piping system going up into the building’s wall.

This is the  Secret Garden in Corsicana, Texas that I wrote about last fall.
We have a similar brick wall in our backyard along our garage and this is where I’d like to have our water fountain. This whole month I have wracked my brain every since knowing of this particular Pinterest Challenge on how to create this fountain. Not everything is available online and many companies without online presence are just getting their websites up and running to meet demand. That was the challenge I found trying to create what I wanted to do for you! 

Watering troughs are easy to find locally and they run about $50-$70 depending upon the size needed. I am also looking for the perfect piece to have water spill from, so no horse trough water fountain right now.


*On a side note: While I was working on this post, I came across a company which sells galvanized chicken feeders and other poultry supplies ~ Premier 1 Supplies ~ in case you’d like some feeders for your brood. Chickens are also something I think about having in our garden. They are perfect bug removers!

🐓


My other thought was creating a fountain out of clay troughs and/or actual water fountain tiers but no luck there. My favorite stores for buying unusual size planters and pots are not open at present and these pieces I would need to create my fountain’s layers (if I go this route instead of the horse trough idea). I am also looking for the perfect piece to have water spill from, so…yeah.

I have come up with another type of waterfall, if you will, based off of our inspiration piece and it begins here…

Nursery inspiration

They have statuary and concrete bird baths, full-size trees and
old roses set in garden rooms… It’s an ethereal place!
I just found Meador’s Nursery this past week and it has been under my nose for a year now! It is still open because contractors need supplies for landscaping, hence the public can also shop ~ which gives me an open place to visit and shop for garden supplies.

Everyone wore face masks and the staff wore hats with face shields in addition to their own face masks ~ it is the first time I’ve felt free to wander since early March. What a delight!

For this fountain, part of me is thinking of using a medium-size watering trough or very large half round clay squat pot which will fit my space better as a recycling water fountain (like that in the Secret Garden). 


Garden plans

This is what I have come up with instead for you ~ a three-tiered plant stand. I saw this cute stand earlier this week at Meador’s and thought it was perfect. I have been looking for a plant stand to create a little herb garden in now I just need to find the right pots. Cindy’s post gave me an idea to look for small galvanized metal trays and pots to decorate this plant stand with ~ so now you know where this is going! 🙂


🌸


After finishing doing some volunteer work for school last Friday I headed back to Meador’s to pick up this stand.



This new rose bush is appropriately named “Iceberg.”
A white rose bush might have come home with me, too… 
😉

“Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes.”
Author Unknown
In addition to finding a rose bush and then this plant stand coming home to the garden, I have been watching period films again. Last year I wrote about some garden shows to watch and one in particular is a movie: A Little Chaos which stars Kate Winslet and Alan Rickman. 

Madame Sabine de Barra (Kate Winslet) and famed French garden designer
André le Nôtre (Matthias Shoenaerts) 
It is a fictional story of the real André le Nôtre (1613-1700) and Kate Winslet’s fictional character, Madame Sabine de Barra, together creating one spectacular garden, tiered fountain and outdoor ballroom, part of the massive gardens in the countryside which would become King Louis XIV’s gardens at Versailles.

Madame de Barra experiencing a healing wish garden where people would come to remember loved ones.

“In every gardener there is a child who believes in 

The Seed Fairy.” 

Robert Breault

Talk about inspiration! The whole movie is a magical fairyland and then had me thinking our garden could be Un Petit Versailles… in the future. Just now it is still a garden in process…


I love my new little tiered plant stand and as time goes on it’ll
be styled prettily!


I hope you’ve enjoyed this petit tour of our garden and my garden inspiration today. 


Up next is Julie of My Wee Abode whose garden project is really cool! I love everything Julie creates for her home out by the beaches in Southern California. 💝 I know you will love seeing all the amazing creations these ladies have dreamed up for you! 

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Happy gardening, friends,
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Simple and Easy Ways to Create Dried Flowers

Every spring when the roses begin to bloom I start thinking about decorating with a bouquet or two. Sometimes they are popped into various vases and other times into teapots to enjoy their rosy blossoms around the house. But when they are past their prime, I hate to just throw away those faded roses as well as other spent beautiful blooms.

Today I am sharing a couple of easy ways to dry flowers…

Our former fireplace with roses drying underneath the mantel ~
Simple Saturdays: Rain and Candlelight.

Easiest way to dry flowers

By far the easiest way to dry flowers is to pull them out of a vase, rinse off any stickiness from stems which were underwater, then place a rubberband near the bottom of the stems and hang them. Hanging from a cuphook off your fireplace mantel, a china hutch in your kitchen, or even hanging from a pretty doorknob of a bedroom door looks beautiful while they are drying, too…

Garden press

Another way to dry flowers is by pressing them. Pressing flowers has been around for ages, and the garden press I have was found while my children and I were visiting family over in England during the spring of 2005. I bought it for £1.00! 

I never took the little thriftshop tag off of this little garden press!

The Victorians enjoyed nature so much that pressing flowers to fill their scrapbooks and photo albums as they added-in tintype and daguerreotype photographs was de rigueur. They also created still-life vignettes inside picture frames and under glass cloches with pressed ferns, grasses and florals, often adding in taxidermy birds and animals to their scenes.



A week ago I shared this post and a mini bouquet of pear flowers were picked at their loveliest peak. 


I almost hated to pick them but I knew that this was the only way to preserve their beauty. Pear trees flower for such a short time!

Here is one of those mini pear bouquets freshly pressed!

When I was a little girl I actually found an anomaly ~ an actual four-leaf clover! I kept that little faded dried clover inside the cap of a Heinz ketchup bottle for years… At some point I tossed them both away (probably when I was heading off to college ~ I had done a bunch of packing up of childhood things then) and in a way I wish I had kept it

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Before I had a flower press, I used to place white napkins or paper towels around whatever flowers I wanted to press and then I would place the flower bundle inside an old telephone book. After closing the pages of the phone book, I’d place a heavy dictionary or a small stack of books on top for a couple of weeks until the telephone book pulled all of the moisture out of each flower, leaf and stem!

Tiny roses dried from a small bouquet…

What flowers dry well?

Roses dry by far the best out of all blooms that I have tried though once in a great while I have been able to dry a pretty bouquet of hydrangeas. Most flowers you pick can be dried but a press is the way to go for most of them.

Dried hydrangeas I saved from our former home in California which have lost most of their color… This was taken in our first trailer home.

The humidity has to be fairly low for hydrangeas to dry well. Here in Texas, spring and late fall are the best times to dry flowers as the humidity is much lower than during the summertime. In California because our “high humidity” was a low 40% (our low was about 10% and really made your skin look like that of a mummy!), flowers could be dried all year long.


This same bouquet-filled basket when it was a bit fresher!

One of three hydrangea bushes we had in pots at the Big House (looking a bit ratty at the end of summer). This photograph was taken in late August or early September 2014. 

*On another note, if you heard about the big gas explosion in Murrieta, California in July of 2019… That was up the street about four houses from our home! Kinda glad we sold that house now… Many of the houses around that corner house had their windows blown out from the explosion and a gas worker was killed, sadly.

What to do with freshly flattened dried flowers?

Take some of your dried florals and gently glue them onto cardstock to frame. Another idea is to make beautiful notecards to send out to friends and family just to say hello as we all self-isolate during this time. Those are just a couple of ideas so you can share your garden with others.
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Enjoy your gardens and flowers this spring and try your hand at drying flowers to share and to enjoy their beauty all year long! Let me know what you will do with your dried flowers, won’t you?


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Happy spring,