Welcome, friends! Today we are taking a Christmas trip to see Judith Stringham at her lovely French-styled home in Mansfield, Texas…
On the first weekend in December, I drove down to visit Judith at the annual Christmas Sales Event she has hosted for 12 years. Each year I see new and inspiring ways we can use to decorate in a French Nordic style…
Her sweet calico cat greeted me as I stepped out of the car and kindly showed me the way back to the potting shed outback. Here Kitty is up on the front walkway to the family home’s front door.
A weird FYI
Notice the *Arc du Bois fruits used as Christmas ornament balls in these urns… Lovely in their limey green skins, these 2-5 lbs. fruits can and do break car windshields when they fall. Here in North Texas, these seed pods can be turned into a petroleum-type product and there was a man near the last trailer park we lived in who bought 50 gal. barrels-full for $10.
*also called horse apples
But I digress…
Down the garden path
Walking around the side and into Judith’s garden, tufts of mondo grass edge the paved walkway guiding us through the park. Old oak trees give the garden really nice structure!
Taking a peek up onto the south-east facing front porch, one can see Judith’s love of French blue, brilliant pops of color brightening up the wintertime porch… She told me she loves blue pansies this time of year!
I love all the conical topiaries she has!!! Tall ivy clamors up a trefoil topped trellis.
Back out along the pathway, an enormous butterfly bush is still blooming in December! Our weather has been so warm, much warmer than usual for North Texas, so many annuals are still going strong coming into the winter season.
The Stringhams have kept much of their acreage as Texas forest which adds a nice layer of privacy from close neighbors.
Judith’s Christmas Potting Shed
Doorways and trim painted a pretty French blue, the double doors welcome us into Judith’s world, Botanic Bleu… I personally love the contrast of textures outdoors! The potting shed’s white limestone walls, the rustic wood decking contrast nicely with the brick pathways. Fallen leaves nestle into cracks and crevices, adding their own brand of texture to the scene…
Let’s check out what’s for sale!
This pretty bowl filled with juniper greenery caught my eye. I loved the pretty gilded cage topper. Of course this came home with me along with six horse apples to decorate the inside. The pretty birdcage to the right also came home. 😉
Stepping inside, a tiny office is set up snugged underneath this hanging area. As I write this, I just noticed the silver urn with a little bird on top along the front wall shelf… Always so much to see!
Looking further right, large scrolls of sheet music lend their beautiful backdrop behind Pêre Nöels…
A lovely nativity scene decorated the middle of the room with a deeper French blue…
Judith creates this large wall hangings with her signature fleur de lis in the background.
This year she has added English boxwood hearts to her collection of boxwood for sale. Last year she had large and small round boxwood wreaths, and I bought one then. This day, I picked up one more to decorate our hallway.
Airy glass ornaments and icicles hang from the rafters, on Christmas trees and in front of some windows. Judith has candles and Old World style candleholders, mini narcissus bulbs, and more gilded wire garden cloches for sale.
Out in the Garden
Back outside, Kitty is back for another pet. She is just a beauty!
This year, this outdoor patio hosts a collection of potted plants. I love the basket weave pot! Judith’s sister helps take care of the garden, her special gift.
If you’d like to see more…
Well, friends, I hope you’ve enjoyed these Christmas visits with Judith and seeing her pretty French country home! She is very gracious and I always wish there’d be time to just sit and visit (we do, but it’s while shopping). 🙂 Hopefully soon!
Happy Christmas time,