A Snow Day in the Garden…

We awoke  Saturday morning to snow gently falling outside and for the next three hours we had soft flurries. Here is just a short look around our home and our neighborhood…

I love  the way snow highlights everything around it adding drama and quiet excitement to everything it dusts. Every winter since moving to Texas we have had snow, usually just after Christmas. So fun to be at our new Texas home this year to experience snow!

I posted just a few pics and a video out on Instagram and here. This was a perfect way to begin the weekend! With no where to be and just working on a baby shower gift in the craft room, this was a perfect day to stay inside and enjoy watching snowflakes fall…

I tossed out some seed for the doves who are too big for the new bird feeders we picked up
during Black Friday sales at Lowe’s and Walmart.

After a quick run out at 5:30am to cover plants ~ the temps had been 56 degrees F. at 12:30pm the last time I was up but dropped to 32 degrees sometime after that ~ the sky really opened up shaking sugar snow everywhere in Denton County.

A view from the kitchen window.

This snowy day brought out a day of cooking with scrambled eggs, bacon and bagels for breakfast. 

Soup and cornbread, yum!

Later the house filled with the scent of a pot of beans simmering on the stove.

Meanwhile snow continued falling…

At the peak of this little snowstorm… 1-2″ of fresh fallen snow…

A couple of views from the front windows.

For just a few hours we had a world transformed… 
Just lovely!

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Places to Shop ~ Victorian Sample Florist, Corsicana

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of a day off and an afternoon free to explore in Old Town Corsicana, Texas. That day I visited three shops: a thriftstore, the shop next door named Emporium 1905 (an upcoming post!), and this incredible florist shop named Victorian Sample Florist. Let’s step inside…

Victorian Sample Florist
325 N. Beaton St.
Corsicana, Texas 75110

Very southern, elegant, classic and French, this jewel of a shop was such a find which I am totally happy to share with you! The inviting exterior with its potted plants are what drew me indoors and once inside… 

Eye candy in the form of rentable chandeliers for events, incredibly beautiful handmade jewelry created by shop owner Tom Adams himself, plus ethereal urns, glassware for creating stunning floral arrangements, small statues, candles and some antiques gobsmacked me as soon as I stepped inside!

Gorgeous pieces all one of a kind… Very upper left pink necklace is made
from pink coral. The two lowest necklaces on the table and to the right
are made of tiger eye.
Mr. Adams’ necklaces, earrings and bracelets are made from semi-precious stones, metal bits and bobs, and only the finest Swarovski crystals. Created for a clientele looking for something as unique as they are, Mr. Adams’ pieces are one-of-a-kind. I found several pink jade and pink coral pieces which reminded me of the necklace my grandmother Helen bought me when we went to Maui as a child with my mother.
Recently I shared the gardens Mr. Adams began putting in alongside his shop since Victorian Sample opened in 1986. A destination visit to this florist shop/jewelry store/antiques shop and gardens is worth a drive through Corsicana.

Mr. Adams has “done events for” both Presidents Bush as well as President Clinton, according to the bio on the Victorian Sample Florist website, and it shows. I was blown away at how beautifully curated this store is decorated and the florals in the back being put together for an upcoming wedding were simply stunning. I am sorry I didn’t get a photograph of them for you!

This stuffed peacock caught my eye with its bird’s nest light positioned just above it and that’s when I asked if it would be alright to take some photographs. Unfortunately this peacock was the reason why I didn’t capture any of the bouquets… 

Our summer mantel with its peacock feathers.

This is just one photograph from the post I wrote
called Tom’s Secret Garden in Corsicana.
I love peacocks and their feathers and somehow I got busy talking with the store manager (who was a lovely southern gentleman who didn’t wish to have his photograph taken, a shame!) and he told me about Mr. Adams creating the gardens when the shop was quiet over the years.

Between just admiring all the jewelry (the tiger eye and baroque pearl necklaces captured my attention!), the chandies, the hand-painted floor with its green and yellow pinwheel design and the French style furniture… Well, I was on sensory overload… But in a good way!

Rich dark moody jewel tones played splendidly with the chandeliers’ light bouncing around the room. Music played softly in the background as I recall and the whole atmosphere left one feeling relaxed and comfortable ~ perfect for anyone stopping by to choose and arrangement or a lovely necklace for an upcoming event. 

Brides-to-be would instantly be put at ease to choose from Victorian Sample Florist’s selection of faux or real blooms.

Just look at this gorgeous tiger eye and wooden shell piece!

I did find a pretty bauble to bring home with me… Mr. Adams calls his jewelry “lost treasures” and I’d have to agree. Chunky necklaces have been calling my name and I haven’t any before this piece… Plus you know I love pearls! 

(I am justifying, I know!)

The Fair Maiden will be happy…


Love love love the Renaissance and Steam Punk style of
this chunky necklace which is why it came home with me.

My friend Laura whom many of you know from her blog Decor to Adore invited me to the DFW Costumers Guild’s next get-together and it is to be a Marie Antoinette-themed event. 

I think this will fit the bill if I hurry up and finish the green dress…

When you come to the DFW area sometime, do make the hour+ detour south of Dallas to Corsicana on your way to Houston or Galveston to visit The Victorian Sample Florist and the other shops of Old Town Corsicana. The area is up and coming and I know you’ll enjoy the hospitality of the people here and find something unique to take home for yourself!

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Tom’s Secret Garden in Corsicana

Temps passé dans le jardin*  is by far my favorite way to spend the day, and on this day I found a secret garden. It really isn’t so secret to the people who live in Corsicana, Texas but it was for me!! Let’s venture into the garden, shall we?…

*Time spent in the garden

I took  these photographs with my iPhone and they are a bit dark as last Friday was overcast and cool but the weather was absolutely perfect for stepping into this lovely secret garden! 


Situated just outside the shop Victorian Sample Florist owned by Tom Adams in historic Old Town Corsicana (est. 1848), this lovely garden was created when the shop was quiet over the years in memory of his late parents, Derrell and Kathryn Adams.

Love the foliage creeping up the red brick wall!
Also shot from my cell phone while I was taping.

Two ladies who own the shop (Emporium 1905) right next door to Mr. Adams’ shop told me the story of how the garden came to be.

Screen shot from the IG video I posted. 🙂

As a person, I know I don’t know Tom Adams at all but as a gardener I feel that I do. Gardens are such personal expressions and extensions of ourselves that they share a person’s soul, don’t you agree? 

His shop and the ladies’ shop next door I’ll share in a separate post coming soon but for now know that when you happen to stop over in Corsicana for a rest, do head through the historic district and say hello!

Tom’s blending of plants is stunning ~ from low variegated ivy and creeping vines, which shelter the ground and creep up the brick wall, to the palm-like frond here in the front and the perennial bush to its left. I love the textures! As a florist he knows his plants ~ something I’d like to become more adept at, bad grammar aside.

Another “moving photo” from the phone. 🙂

I am sure the City of Corsicana was more than enthusiastic that Tom would share his gardening talents with the public here in this little pathway! 

I’ve shot a number of pictures sharing the brick pathway as I love brick walkways and would like to make one at our new little home.  As you can see this pathway isn’t finished… It takes hundreds upon hundreds of bricks to create the soldiers and path itself. Maybe Tom receives donations of used brick from customers, or from the City as they tear up an older section, or from when a building is torn down, then he incorporates those into his design?

This is down at the end of the block. See that lovely ivy hanging as a “spiller” in the three potted trees? This is what I’d like to do with the ivy in the plant I received for our anniversary. 

(Oh, you may not know about this yet! Check out my Instagram post to read the story about this delivery…)

Back to the garden… Tom has hung sweet hat lights between the trees as well as high hanging baskets filled with soft asparagus ferns, my mother’s favorite.

Such a beautiful way to hide a wall of crumbling bricks or an unsightly water drain coming off a roof!

Love the spiky with the hanging pearls in this cement urn!
I did ask the man behind the counter inside the Victorian Sample florist shop (a lovely gentleman in his 60’s or so with a soft southern accent who didn’t want me to take his picture, sadly!) where all the planters and pots were found. Turns out Mr. Adams gets them on buying trips to Dallas and the design district/flower market when he travels up there.

I need to go down there! I haven’t found many good pots or urns to replace those I took over to my friend Sandy’s home when we had to move out of our Big House.

All in all a lovely way to spend an afternoon tucked up nice and cozy in an ethereal garden!

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Share Your Style ~ French Ethereal
Thursday Favorite Things ~ Follow the Yellow Brick Home

 Joyeax automne!

A Downton Abbey Inspired Fall Table ~ Pinterest Challenge

Welcome to  September’s Pinterest Challenge hosted by my friend Cindy of County Road 407  and if you are new to my blog French Ethereal, a hearty welcome to you! For all of my friends and for everyone stopping by from Carol at Bluesky at Home 
I am glad you are here! 

With the release of Downton Abbey in theatres this month I was inspired to share an outdoor table befitting the king and queen! Come, let’s go in (or out!), shall we?…

Lord and Lady Ethereal looking dapper this weekend.
This lady forgot her gloves at home… 🙁

My Downton Abbey table setting  grew quickly with the coming of the movie and it’s lovely trailer…

All month long I have been working on getting ready for a Downton Abbey-themed weekend meeting that I became the chairperson for a year ago. With this I have been sewing a 1920’s style dress and then thinking about how I wanted to set an outdoor table for this month’s challenge.

Our Pinterest Challenge this month is a lovely fall outdoor table and patio set for a party by Beth of Home Stories A to Z entitled Affordable Fall Decor: 6 Tips for Southern Outdoor Patio Decorating and Entertaining. Beth is new to me as a blogger however Cindy has been friends with her for a while.

Beth’s style is sleek and elegant…

Elements used in this table setting

Thin log cuts were used as chargers along with woven golden grass ones on her blond pine picnic table. Wide striped napkins were used as placemats to bring another element of texture to this table setting. 

A stunning autumnal flower arrangement set off this table setting beautifully! Copper mugs, pale Baby Boos and other lightly striped pumpkins complete this table’s quiet fall look. A tin washtub used as a tray gather all of these elements nicely together ~ similar to last month’s coffee table Pinterest Challenge.

My table’s style elements

For our lord and lady’s alfresco luncheon this table is laid with a fall picnic blanket tablecloth. White ironstone plates act as chargers beneath smaller pumpkin dessert plates. 

This table setting called for a smaller bouquet than the inspiration piece and I went with a decidedly fall theme of orange chrysanthemums mixed with purple-lavender thistles.

I do not have any copper pieces so I continued my ironstone look with a white pitcher used as a vase and this coffee set of Villeroy and Boch Botanica china. Earlier this year the patio was set with a patriotic theme.

Pumpkin spice cake and the fall colors in the tablecloth lend their coppery color to this autumn vignette. Baby boo pumpkins and a small white ramekin of freshly collected acorns off the backyard oak trees lend their bit of nature to this scene.

The sun was peeking in and out as I took these photographs for you!
The calendar says it is fall however the Texas heat is still on for a while and our plants are a bit worn from the summer. Decidedly not Downton Abbey-worthy but coming cool weather and a gentle clipping will make them worthy of Cousin Violet’s garden show again!

Couldn’t you see the Dowager Countess Violet Crawley and Cousin Isobel Crawley coming outside to partake in this alfresco scene? The picnic blanket’s plaid is a nod to the family’s Scottish heritage (and mine).
Thank you for stopping by today! I hope you’ve enjoyed this alfresco fall table and if you are following the tour Cindy is up next from County Road 407 sharing her lovely outdoor table setting. I know you will enjoy her post!! I encourage you to visit all of my friends on today’s tour and feel free to stop back by to continue the tour as needed. 

Enjoy the tour!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


Build Yourself a Small Rock Wall

This past month  I have been working hard on getting the first project done in our new garden so I can share it with you! After not having a big garden for several years I am so not in shape to “rock and dig,” as my father used to say. If this were a One Room Challenge I would say that 6 weeks to get it done is pretty much perfect, Lol!

However, I am not letting being out of shape keep me from creating this first rock wall project and frankly after the first day of five hours and finishing at 9:00pm, a really good stretching session before bed, and a hot shower, I felt stronger and my back felt better.

I am really excited to share this big project with you…

These are the inspiration photos I shared earlier this spring in this post here. Today’s tutorial will help you make a dry stacked rock wall for your very own garden.

In these inspiration photographs is the color of limestone I wanted ~ a white or cream chopped stone. 

How to begin your rock wall

First you’ll want to visit a rock yard and decide on what type of stone you would like. I drove up to BnB Stone in Sanger, Texas to visit my friend Chris who is the manager there. I’ve known Chris ever since I moved to Texas as he and his wife live at Wagon Master RV Park and Alpaca Farm from which we just moved. 

*Be sure to tell them I sent you when you go up there, thanks! This post isn’t sponsored but I would love to be!!! {hint hint} 

Better yet, send them an email at: bnbstone@gmail.com and let them know you love their stone and that I featured them here at French Ethereal! {Huge thank-you! :D}

Here’s the man himself! He was a great help showing me all the
different stone types BnB has to offer the public. They sell these
wonderful metal repurposed sparkplug butterflies, too, along
with other metal sculptures ~ really adorable!

Chris suggested I go with a “sawn chopped stone.” Sawn stone has had the top and bottom edges cut flat making them much easier to stack and to stay stacked.

Great idea! 😉

In the inspiration photographs above is the color of limestone I wanted ~ a white or cream chopped stone. 

Lay out your wall

I began by measuring from the center of the window to each outside wall (94″) and laid out our garden hose for a rough estimate of how I want this garden wall to look. 
When you lay out yours, play around with the “height” or distance from the wall in the center of your arc, if you make an arched wall like this one. Mine ended up being about 65″ from the house wall itself creating a nice big garden space for these roses and future plants.

Next I used a can of orange spray paint and drew my arc. This is your digging line and really helps to keep things even.

Don’t worry if you have to change the curve or lines a bit as you go or have to repaint due to rain. I worked on this rock wall over 20 hours and a two-week period so I had to spray a couple of times. The paint dries up and becomes inert so it won’t harm the environment ~ something I looked at beforehand. But it will permanently paint small rocks.   

Level the ground

This is the toughest part of making any rock wall ~ leveling the ground under each stone in both horizontal and “vertical” directions, for each stone and from stone-to-stone all along your bottom row. Just keep a trowel handy to shovel dirt under any low corners as you go with each stone. You’ll be burying your stone a couple of inches, too, with that first layer. 

The beauty of getting it right the first time, even though it is really time consuming, is that your wall will stay level unless tree roots grow under it. I chopped off all the big roots and feeder roots which would grow into this bed in the weeks before I began digging. This is a good way to while clean up the yard of storm debris, too. 

Keep a bucket handy for any stray acorns (I had zillions!) and grubs you’ll not want growing in your garden bed. 

French Country Peach Tuteur Trellises capture your attention as soon as enter the walkway

Judith at Botanic Bleu shared her Peach French Tuteur Garden Trellis recently and this is one of the ideas I really like for a garden pathway. Doesn’t it remind you of cobbles and she used the exact same stone as I did but the uncut version. J’aime cela! {Love this!}

 Clean up your stone

When you need to chip off some stone to make your stones closer together, use a stone mason’s chisel and a hammer. Place the chisel’s beveled edge against the stone facing outward and whack it hard. Refine the edge as needed to clean off leftover pieces of stone. This is the tough part and it will make you really tired! 

Since I like my stone to be fairly symmetrical from the centered out, I had to rearrange some early stones after I passed the center of my wall. You can begin your wall from the center outward but fairly soon you will see that it doesn’t really work since you have to level from the beginning, so it’s best to start left-to-right or right-to-left.

Trying a third layer of stone…

Here I went back and chipped off the second layer of stones to make them sit close together since they would be the top stones. The gaps in the first layer are for easy drainage and also because there was no way I was going back to try and fix the spacing more ~ it was tough enough just getting everything level! Lol!!! 🙂

A side view of the planter with just the corner of the playhouse
visible on the very left.

Totals for everything

All in all I am happy with how this planter wall turned out. I won’t kid you and say this isn’t a lot of hard physical labor because it is, but you’ll feel really good physically when you are all done, your shoulders and arms will look better, and your back will be aligned. Cheaper than any gym or spa session!  

Total time: This was about 20-22 hours of digging the trench, leveling the ground and between each stone on the bottom layer as each brick was laid. The first layer takes so long because of this but the second layer puts up in half the time. I worked on this project over two weeks with 5 1/2 hours the first day, and shorter times for the rest of the days.

Total costs: $68.00 for the cream chopped stone ~ $44.00 for 1/4 ton (250 lbs. of 4″w x 6″deep, in various lengths). $24.00 for a 1/3 ton (350 lbs. of 4″ x 4″, in various lengths). The second batch of stones were lighter over all so they cost less, woo hoo!

Exhaustion and pride in good work? Yes, lots!!! I have to say I slept really well after each day of working on this wall. A good hot shower or bath, stretching all major muscle groups and especially the forearms and hands really helps, too. 🙂

A picture to pin, thank you!
I hoped to have a final “planted photograph” for you but this will have to do for now. My friend Joe just dropped off a yard of stones just this past weekend and it’ll be another two weeks of turning the dirt, putting in stones at the bottom where the clay layer is and digging in compost to help with drainage.

*Here’s where the cute playhouse photo ought to be however I never shot photos towards the fence due to the “ugly” around the shed ~ a bunch of cement blocks, piles of wood, the iron railing in back, and our white plastic storage. Now there’s torn down fencing there… No wonder I don’t have a cute picture for you!  🙁

On a fun note! *Joe’s young daughters came over to help and you know that little playhouse we adopted when we bought the house?  (See the smidgen of the playhouse in two photos up…)

Well, good trade! The little house went home with them in their truck! No final photo for you but I have a really cute memory of the playhouse sitting in sideways in the truck as Joe was driving away and two girls couldn’t be happier…

More soon…


Garden Shows to Watch and My Own Petite Jardin

This week as I have been thinking much about our new gardens what I’d like to plant and how to do all this, I have been drawn to gardens old and new…

                      Watch Rome. Episode 1 of Season 1.

Netflix has given me a wealth of programs to study and recently this one was recommended for me: Monty Don’s Italian Gardens. Monty begins his tour of Italian gardens in Rome with a study of classical Renaissance gardens. The series moves through the ages since the 15th century with gardens originally created by different Catholic cardinals all competing hopefully to be chosen as the future pope ~ their gardens created to impress and show their wealth and ability to rule the Catholic church.

As the series goes on, Monty shares how styles of gardens have changed and I am up to the Romantic garden style ending in episode 3.

Monty Don's French Gardens

He tours around a few properties on a Marconi bicycle which I found charming and the gardens are absolutely stunning! Do look up this series and afterwards check out Monty Don’s French Gardens (which is where I will head next!).

Image result for a little chaos
A Little Chaos ~ Also seen this week twice as I absolutely fell in-love with this story about a widow who is bestowed with the gift of gardening. This film from 2014 stars Kate Winslet and Alan Rickman plus features the every funny Stanley Tucci as the brother of France’s Sun King Louis Dieudonné, Louis XIV. 

As Sabine De Barra, Winslet is wonderfully understated and humble working in a time when very few women held jobs let alone one as out in the public as a landscape artist. Very good film and I highly recommend it!

Sceptre d’Isle blooming in all its glory.
Then of course I have been over to the David Austin Roses website as I wanted to study which roses would work as climbers on our south wall which is all brick but would look fantastic with an enormous rose climbing its walls! 

Sceptre d’Isle is a rose I had back at our last home in California and I am so glad I bought another here for our Texas garden! It is loving its new home and looks stunning in its pot.

These pictures don’t do it justice and I need to find a better spot for it where it can really shine but this year is its second or third year planted and it is blooming madly and I shared a couple of pics on my Instagram.

It is absolutely loving its normal 5 hours of sunlight but being shaded from the really hot afternoon sun.  This area where I was thinking of planting it and the other roses is just under our bedroom window and two very large oak trees provide lovely afternoon shade.

The iris having been blooming too and all seem to be a yellow with some brown bits ~ pretty and soft with their pale yellow blooms.

We need some defined pathways and this past weekend Mr. Ethereal and I went to a friend’s open house party ~ check out his lovely backyard walkway and the sweet Texas paver!

Love love love brick pathways!
And I am thinking about a semi-circular stacked stone small planter wall for the roses and a matching one around the first oak tree, which will then be underplanted with some of these iris and some vining plants. Love these that Yoda and I found out locally on our weekend walkabout.
*Here’s a link to a cement pathway I laid out at our last house (this was the redo after fixing the pool equipment).

But right now it’s all about removing baby oak trees… They are everywhere in back and outfront! 

Planted either by the local squirrels (whom I love anyway!) or buried by the massive water gushing off the roof eaves during storms (hence the mud splatters here and there) we are working on drainage and gutter fixing next.

So I leave this post as it is ~ a bit mud spattered but real life.

Coming up next is Share Your Style so stop back over to link up and to find some inspiration!

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A bientôt,

5 Minute Spring Basket Door Hanger ~ Pinterest Challenge

County Road 407
Welcome to this month’s Pinterest Challenge hosted by Cindy of County Road 407. She has decided to challenge us all and make this a fun monthly event we can all look forward to and…

Here is our new logo also created by our very talented host, Miss Cindy!!!

We have an exciting number of spring door decor ideas ready for you to copy for your front door. This is mine at the very top!

If you are coming over from Terrie at Decorate and More With Tip or are new to French Ethereal, welcome! I’m so glad you are here. Please enjoy this post, everyone!

As you finish here, be sure to check out the list of participants in this month’s Pinterest Challenge at the bottom of my post. I know you are going to enjoy each and every one of their sweet door hangers!

Let’s jump right in and take a look…

Our challenge this month was to create some kind of fun spring door decor starting by using this photo:

Cindy found this month’s Pinterest Challenge photo over at 
Tracy’s Trinkets Treasures.  Tracy shares this sweet hanging basket filled with ethereal white hydrangea blooms combined with puffs and vines of greenery. I love this basket’s simplicity and all the different textures!
So pretty and fresh for transitioning from spring into summer!
Although Tracy hasn’t blogged in a while, this photo keeps making the rounds and remains current ~ what’s not to love with a sweet tin basket blooming with blooms?!

Here’s what I started with

As I have been unboxing all the goodies coming out of storage, I realized I didn’t need to go visit any of the local craft stores for any supplies needed for this month’s door decor Pinterest Challenge (although I love going to them!).

Since I was thinking about Tracy’s metal basket, I looked around my craft room and found an old Longaberger basket purse I used back in the day. Perfect! I’d found a basket that could hang from our front door with just a little tweaking…*

Supplies you’ll need and what to do

Once I had gathered my basket, florals and the block of florist foam, this project really did take 5 minutes!*

*(Minus having to attach an opened-up coat hanger hidden under and around the front of the basket, woven through the left and right front corners of the basket and back up behind the handle attachments, then twisted and hung with the basket’s leather loop to the door knocker ~ this was to keep the basket upright.)

Grab your favorite spring or summer florals, cut them off apart and stick into a block of florist foam. I began from the left with realistic looking lavender wands then added in some baby Queen Anne’s lace followed by small pink flowers mixed in with white roses and pale blush faux roses.*

*Affiliate links are listed for your convenience. I will receive a very small commission if you purchase something through these links but you don’t pay a penny more. This will help me to continue providing you with great ideas, thank you. 🙂

That’s all you need ~ easy peasy! 

Head outside and hang your casual spring decor basket hanger! With Easter just passed I liked the Easter-basket touch this Longaberger basket gave our front door. You could also add some hanging ribbons if you so like ~ I didn’t have anything that really went with this sweet basket so I kept mine plain.

This door basket also has a bit of a fishing creel look to it, too… Might be fun to add in some fishing lures later during the summer, huh? 

Here is my front entryway so you can see how this basket looks…

And this sweet little dog statue I found earlier this spring at Lowe’s fits perfectly out front with everything. 

Thanks so much for pinning any of my photos!
Thank you for stopping by and I hope you will take some time to check out all the lovely door decorations everyone participating this month has created!

Next up is Katie at Let’s Add Sprinkles and she has the cutest watering tin in her door basket ~ I know you’re going to love her post! 

If you missed our previous creations, here are the links to my past Pinterest Challenges with everyone’s links.

Enjoy the tour!
Happy decorating and crafting,

Spring Garden Planning… 10 on the 10th

Spring is  just beginning around the country and here in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area local nurseries are selling spring annuals already. These beautiful vermillion-red ruffled tulips are just a part of my 
spring planting plans..
Welcome to this month’s 10 on the 10th which is all about spring! Hosting this month is my friend Benita of Chasing Quaintness. Thank you, Benita!!! If you are coming over from Ann at Apple Street Cottage or are here at French Ethereal for the first time ~ welcome! I am so glad you are here. 

Let’s go check out the new house’s backyard…

Here is our new backyard… 

Pretty much a clean slate with two oak trees to shade our house from the summer’s western afternoon sun.
I am very grateful for all the shade these big guys will give us however Mr. Ethereal and I see a need to thin these guys just a bit (and their friends out front) so we can grow some grass. 

Our inspector showed us a few branches to cut back completely to help prevent oak leaves and acorns from filling the gutters on the south and east sides of the house. There is a little dry rot along the eaves but this is an easy fix with a few new boards ~ part of the fixes we will be doing later this year and into next fall and winter. 

This is the first time we will actually have big shade trees
already established in our yard!

Moving the shed over to the left side of the yard is one of the things we’d like to do this spring as this is the current view one sees from our master bedroom ~ not really the prettiest focal point. 

Definitely keeping the shed though as we need the storage for garden tools and lawn equipment.

We are already looking at much bigger sheds to house our shop equipment too as we hope to actually park cars in our garage here ~ Denton does receive some pretty big hail once in a while.

Here is a shed I found recently while shopping down at Costco in Lewisville. This is the Aberdeen model at 12’w x 8’long (deep). Other sizes are available and we may end up going with one of these ~ Hubby is looking at all kinds of sheds online.

He is thinking we will need one of the biggest models carried at 16’w x 10-12′ deep. This will house our Shopsmith, a 1960’s-1970’s drill press, our router and scroll saw which are bolted to their own stands plus a couple of other tables and tool chests. It’ll be a proper workshop and not a “she-shed.”

Oh, and Hubby thinks the weight bench might have to go in here, too…

There won’t be room. Ha!

One of my first posts back in 2014 ~ Fall Furniture Redo.

Basically this will take the place of the third car garage section we had back at our last house. We will need it! You can see our Shopsmith in the background with another saw sitting on top.

A look inside and at the flooring and roofing finishes available.
Part of making this shed fit into the garden will be to add evergreens around it and plant little gardens in front and beside the double doors. I know Charles would like to have this near the garage for ease of moving all the tools into it, so it may end up replacing the current shed in its location.

At least it would be cuter and I can make it prettier with paint!

Mr. Yoda will certainly be excited to have his own yard again! He hasn’t seen the yard yet as I write this but will soon. He will be happy checking out the local squirrels and smells from the previous owner’s small Yorkie. I did take Yoda over the first day we had the keys so he could see why we’ve been pulling our belongings out of the trailer ~ he wandered throughout the rooms checking them out. Finally he settled in the new living room and took a nap on the soft carpet. Ahhhhhh!
I will be planting a few rose bushes and making a small garden area right under our bedroom window. The roses blooming outside will make for a pretty view and will grow quickly. The David Austin roses I already have in pots will move into the backyard to be joined later by more roses.

Our last home’s backyard garden ~ full of Japanese Wintergreen boxwood, climbing New Dawn rose on the arbor and rose standards. This garden was put
in in 2006 when we built the pool and this photo was shot when the garden was
eight or nine years old, 2014 or 2015.

I am thinking of creating another English garden with a lot of greenery including boxwoods and topiaries ~ they do well in this climate of hot and humid summers then cold and dry winters

My little evergreen juniper topiary which I found last fall at our local Calloway’s.

Linda Vater who lives and writes The Potager Blog from her 1935 Tudor home in Oklahoma City, just a couple of hours north of us, shares all about caring for boxwoods plus creating topiaries from them.

I hope to glean some much needed inspiration from her posts and others since our Texas soil is sooo different from the drier clay soil I knew in So Cal.

And those tulips?

They will be an ongoing part of beautifying the front yard around the oak trees ~ I’ve seen trees with spring bulbs planted around them and I love how the bulbs spread over time!


Happy Valentine’s Spot of Tea Alfresco

Happy Valentine’s Day to you!  Today I thought I’d share our newest acquisition in a special tea party set alfresco in my little Prairie Home garden!…

In my last post  I shared how I found this beautiful oak and walnut tea table/library table on Craigslist. I was just browsing our local Craigslist looking at possible furniture pieces which would be smaller than some of our case goods in storage. For the new home of course. 😉

Well, I sent a text to Mr. Ethereal at work and asked him what he thought. He was okay with the purchase if I paid cash.

Picking up this French Provincial table in the steady rain.
We have been working the Dave Ramsey plan and paying cash for everything over the past year, plus paying down old debt beginning with the lowest balance first, then snowballing payments into the next credit card/debt to pay them off.

A very good program btw if you are looking to get out of debt in an orderly fashion but not leave yourself strapped for cash every month, like some debt repayment plans will do to you. Trust me on this one!

I am inlove with this table! Love the carved details and the
shell atop the middle of the bottom stretcher… delicious!
So on Sunday I pulled money out of savings but with the weather so crazy windy that day and Siri taking me to a different teller location, I called and spoke with the seller and we rescheduled for Monday.

This little table made the trip home with me!

After our morning Bible study at friend Peggy’s home in Denton on Tuesday, I came back home and lifted this beauty out of our SUV and set her on our pallet porch. If you didn’t know it was a pallet the wood almost looks like hardwood flooring… 

I am totally in-love with this French style table and I am excited to share this first tea on it with you! I’ve used the little Valentine’s checked napkins and set the table with the J. Broadhurst teapot and sugar bowl and various teacups and little vintage plates.

I had baked and frozen some muffins a couple of weeks ago so it was easy peasy to pull a few out and they thawed beautifully while I snapped away…

I didn’t think to borrow the sugar bowl’s lid until after I was mostly done shooting pics, so… The teapot is naked in most of my photos. Oh, well! 

Keep calm and soldier on… 😉

Still love our angel with these garden roses and low
boxwood hedge in the background.
Just because… From last year and from California. 😉

Eventually I did sit down and really have some tea and polish off one of those banana chocolate chip muffins. I posted my view from the bench in highlights on Instagram.  🙂

Tea time was wonderful!

This time of year is especially nice to be outdoors as there are no bugs to bother, the breezes are light and the sun is warm without burning… This was my day
al fresco; I need to do this more often. We all should, weather permitting. 😉

Mr. Yoda kept me company and would sit under the bench or move out to the grass to watch for passersby. He has enjoyed being here at Wagon Master RV Park and Alpaca Farm and has really learned to love visiting people and has one good dog friend, Rusty.

Evening as the sun was going down…
Through the looking glass… i.e. our trailer’s little window.

This has been a good home… We close on our new Texas house tomorrow and will officially be handed the keys in two weeks. March will be crazy busy going to California to pick up our household goods but things will settle down after that.

Let the March madness begin!
Sharing with
Happy Valentine’s Day!

Winter Gardening Plus Tips

Winter gardening is sometimes tough in that as a gardener one can’t really get outside and do much in many parts of the country. This winter has been fairly mild as winters go in North Texas, so…

I have been outside quite a bit ~ tidying up here and there after the ice melts and cleaning the yard plus feeding our feathered friends.  Let’s go check out our little yard and see what’s up! 🙂

One sweet bright red Cardinal and a sparrow friend.  Their mates are around but just didn’t get in the photograph this time.

Here is one of our feathered friends now ~ we have several pairs of cardinals visit our scattered birdseed and eat out of the angel feeder each winter and into late spring since we have moved to Texas.

With our coming house, I do hope there will still be cardinals visiting down in Denton but they are field birds… so we will have to wait and see. 

I found this sweet juniper ball around Thanksgiving at our local Calloway’s Nursery and brought it home to replace some of the annuals which had succumbed to last summer’s heat.
The tiny narcissus I found at Walmart, I think. They are so sweet and really brighten up the wintertime garden, don’t you think?  Such a happy flower!
Shot through the door screen.
I have been talking about digging up a few daffodils or gladiolus for two years outfront of a friend’s place. So finally I did!
Sorry to be so vague about these tubers ~ what type they are ~ but it’s because I don’t have a photo of them blooming over the past two years, but I did remember that I wanted to help thin them out and to pot some up.  🙂

Some winter gardening tips

Since temps will still get below freezing just be sure to wrap up tender plants or move them inside. The lead photo shows the two plants I keep bringing indoors at night when I know it will get below 32 degrees.

I actually started doing this because I wanted to see if the little pinks would re-bloom from last spring ~ and they have!

Another tip: get some gardening cloth at your garden center to wrap big groups of pots. That’s what I do with this cluster of pots out front of our Prairie Home.
Yoda has enjoyed this winter sitting outside and he is interested in being with me when I am outdoors. He loves checking out what I am doing ~ he’s quite interested in whatever I am doing, really. And he loves just sitting outside and enjoying the warm sunshine!
Here you can see more of these gladiolus, I believe. There were two types, one white and the other yellow, and I tried to separate the two.  It’ll be fun to see what blooms where!  
The roses are already putting out tiny branch buds with this mild winter.  The one on the left replaces the one David Austin rose which died also last summer. 🙁
I am happy that this one is doing well so far.
Our winter is running along the lines of a Southern California winter this year, of which I am really happy! I love being out in the garden playing in the dirt and repotting plants.  It was a favorite thing for me back in Murrieta and it is nice to have a bit of this here in North Texas.  Oh, our new house will be in a slightly warmer area just south of here ~ less of the direct influence of midwest cold winds ~ so I’ll try planting hydrangeas again and see how they do.
One lady here at the park has a camellia and it is blooming fiercely!  Will try to get a photo for you and put up on Instagram.  🙂
Just a couple of last photos for today…
An incredible sunset last week…
And it is early for these guys ~ Scottish thistles ~ but they were on my camera card and I thought you’d like to see them. They will be out blooming late March or April.
Gorgeous puffy blooms which always look so soft but aren’t at all. Prickles for days!
There’s Mr. Cardinal’s again and some other
feathered friends…
😉 {chirp!}
Happy gardening,