Places to Visit ~ Marcum’s Nursery, Oklahoma

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

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

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

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

We found Marcum’s Nursery in Ardmore, Oklahoma…

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

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

And that’s exactly what I was looking for!

“You got gum-gum?”

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

I won’t spoil the fun!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy gardening, friends!



Share Your Style #277

Happy fall, y’all! Welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #277This link party is for home decor, DIY, crafts, recipes and the like, but you are more than welcome to share your family-friendly posts with us all. Please feel free to share this post too and join my small but loyal band of friends. 

I appreciate you! As always, I am glad that you are here… 💜 This fall post is a bit of a mish-mash as there are soooo many interesting posts!!! I’ve picked some autumn post for you, some DIY, and more. Hope you enjoy visiting all of this week’s featured friends! 

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

Here’s what I shared this past week at

French Ethereal…

A Fall Roses and Pumpkin Tablescape Redux… You know how for our monthly Pinterest Challenge we take inspiration from a photograph and recreate a scene in our own style? Well, this time I am taking insp. from one of my own…

And here are this week’s
featured posts…

Rita from Panopoly shares a really fun colorful fall tablescape with a view out at their cityline… October Skyline Table for TwoThere is a part of me that wants to live in a city for a bit! How about you? Sooo beautiful…

Fabulous Fall DecoratingInterior Decor and Styling

Fall Plaids Plaid Fall Decor

Amber of Follow the Yellow Brick Home is back with a wooly warm tablescape in this fun post ~ Happy Plaidurday! Plaid Fall Decor Inspiration. Love the plaid!!!

Smith Mountain Lake, VA home with shoreline in need of new riprap

Paula of Sweet Pea discusses how to add rocks to your home on the water with this post ~ Smith Mountain Lake Riprap for Shoreline Protection. Good to know!

Newcomer LG Bernhard of Der Amateur Photograph (The Amateur Photographer; his byline says his blog is all about optics and photography ~ Water Lily Pond in WilhelmaMy kinda place and I’m sure yours, too! Since we all need good photography tips! LG shares his amazing garden photos from Stuttgart, Germany… Eine hertzlich Willkommen auf Herr Bernhard!!!

Looking for a cute fall craft idea and a great recipe? Look now further than Lisa of Fresh Vintage by Lisa’s post Easy Pumpkin Apple Butter and Pumpkin Spoon. Adorable and totally worth making!!!

Apple Pie Scones from potsandplanes.com
Our second newcomer to SYS, Mary of Pots and Planes: A Collection of Recipes and Adventures brings us this delicious recipe for Apples Pie Scones… Welcome Mary and serious YUM!!!

Miss Havisham Regrets Tablescape

Rachelle of My Hubbard Home brings us a little bit of spooky in this fun Who Dun It? post ~ Miss Habersham Regrets… Do stop by to see what happens next!!!

If you have been featured here at Share Your Style… 
Here is a button to copy to your site and to share.

If you’d like to follow my Share Your Style board on Pinterest I’d appreciate it, thank you! I do post all of the featured posts from each week’s SYS there.

***Please excuse where my name ended up… Has something to do where I entered the party and I don’t want to mess that up. 😉  Will work on fixing next time! Thx!!!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Enjoy the party!


Share Your Style #262

Welcome to Share Your Style #262!  This link party is for home decor, DIY, crafts, recipes and the like, but you are more than welcome to share your family-friendly posts with us all. Please feel free to share this post and join my small but loyal band of followers. I appreciate you! As always, I am glad that you are here… 💜

Happy 4th of July to you all this week!!! 

Almost forgot to say… 💥🎉

I am Barbara Chapman your host 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! 

I don’t know if you’ve been wandering around the internet or have YouTube on your t.v., but I’ve found some wonderful programs to watch… 

1. Garden Answer with a young woman, Laura, (whose parents must own an awesome nursery) has all kinds of gardening tips and gives tours of her garden and her parents immense 30+ year old garden… sigh! 

2. Potager Blog with Linda Vater who also has a 30+ year old garden in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, shares her topiaries (her specialty) and incredible gardens.

Just some fun things for you to check out since I didn’t get much written this past week. Computer is having issues again or I’d have shared my mantel restyling with you. Brought back a cool clockface from my inlaws and it’s up there now! Looks awesome!! Hope to share with you later this week… 

Here’s what I shared this past week at

French Ethereal…

The title pretty much says it all… 10 Ideas for Organizing the GarageHope you’ll check out my inlaws now-very-clean garage and all that went on to get it that way!

And here are this week’s featured posts…

Ann of Apple Street Cottage shared this wonderful Gossip Bench Makeover she found online… Rather, it found her!  
Picassiette Mosaic Bowling Ball
You simply must go over and visit Jeanne at Selep Imaging and find out how she made this gazing ball for her garden! I’m not going to give it away… 😆

Debra at Common Ground shared her Patriotic Holiday Cupboard and this is just a little teaser! Love little hearts and this is a cutie!!!


Debbee over at Debbee’s Buzz shared her totally patriotic tablescape in this post (with apologies to Patrick Henry…) ~ Give Me Liberty Blue Tablescape Celebrates July 4th. Beautiful!!!

Patriotic Vignete with vintage Mason jars, vintage clear glass jug holding flags, and white milk glass compote with a faux plant and an American flag pillow in the background

Paula of Virginia Sweet Pea brings us her Americana in this fun Pinterest Challenge post (same one I join with each month!) ~ Patriotic Centerpiece with Vintage.

Easy Apple Cobbler Recipe @ treatntrick.blogspot.com
Trick’n’Treat brings us this delicious Easy Apple Cobbler Recipe! Gotta have something yummy to bake for the 4th, yes? Yes!!! 😋

Lori over at Dining Delight reminded me that today, July 1st, is Canada Day!!! (their day of Independence!) so please help us celebrate our countries’ days of Independence with a visit to Lori’s blog! 💕

If you have been featured here at Share Your Style… 

Here is a button to copy to your site and to share…

If you’d like to follow my Share Your Style board on Pinterest I’d sure appreciate it, thank you! I do post the featured posts from each week there.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Let’s party, friends!!!


Travels Out West ~ A Photo Essay from Last Year’s Cali Trip

Before spring gets away… I have held these photographs for over a year now just waiting to share them with you. By the time I was ready to share them last year, it was summertime. So,  they waited for this year to share that 3800 mile round-trip out west as we moved all our household good to Texas from California. 

Let’s enjoy some glorious wildflowers and garden beauties!…

By the time I was ready to share them last year, it was summertime and the timing was gone. This year however it is the perfect time to share these wildflower beauties! With staying home we all need our armchair travels so please do! download these photos to your heart’s content and put them on your computer’s slideshow and as save screens. I want you to enjoy them…

Texas’ state flower is the blue lupine or bluebonnet but these lupine are in the high desert of Arizona.

The lead photo is of some fiery orange and yellow lantana in flowerbed at Costco or at the hotel I stayed at last March, if memory serves. Always pretty, lantana blooms from early spring through summer and on into fall. It’s a lovely perennial and comes in white, this orange and also some lovely purple hues. It is perfect tucked into a pot (or a flowerbed) where it can drape itself over the side and cascade downward. Here is a variety seen standing tall.

This photograph and the second one above share these yellow daisies (Coreopsis) growing alongside a freeway exit ramp to a rest area in New Mexico or Arizona. The wildflowers along Highway 10 were just perfect as I was traveling to California over the March 2nd-4th, 2019 weekend into Monday.

On that Saturday I made it to El Paso about 12 hours from our home. That Sunday it was about 2 o’clock in the afternoon and I was on Highway 20 heading down out of New Mexico into Arizona and I gasped at the drifts of bluebonnets and yellow Coreopsis…


They were dotted here and there on these low hillsides ~ very pretty! I remember wishing I had a really long lens for my Canon so I could shoot differently but get close-ups along the hills.

Pullouts dot the one lane roadsides so it is easy to just pull off the highway into these wide areas to safely get out and snap photos galore!

These are a bit jumbled and jump back and forth from the pullout and the one rest stop exit, but they are always beautiful!!! 💛

These saguaro and other tall cacti are part of a cactus garden right off the highway (probably HW 10 heading to Arizona when I was driving back from California). 

Western deserts are garden zones 11 and 12 (really hot and dry). Because there was a lot of rain last winter and very early spring (late January and February), this  made for spectacular greenery out in the desert in March. 

Another rest area found me following a group of cyclists out on a spring ride. Some had panniers on their bicycles (front and/or rear bags carrying gear for camping, usually) so they may have been riding cross-country over spring break.

Definitely New Mexico!

This large sculpture of a roadrunner sits up on a rock at a rest stop looking down on Las Cruces, New Mexico. I just looked this up and did you know this sculpture is made of trash??! Yes! Here is a cool little ditty from Trip Advisor about the Roadrunner of Las Cruces.

I didn’t get that close and personal with Mr. Roadrunner as I wanted to get on the road and be home by dark that Saturday evening a week after I had started. It was 5 or 6am when I shot these photographs. The little hare was startled by my presence but soon went back to nibbling when he found out I just wanted to visit with him, not harm him. 

Untouched photo and the light as it was…
Here I was on my way into the restrooms to wash up before driving onward. 

Here is when I came out looking out over the city of Las Cruces. The Organ mountain range is here in the Las Cruces area of NM and these may be the West Potrillo Mountains. I googled this… 😉

Heading home… 

One quick shot of the car in the early morning sunlight, full to the brim with portraits, paintings, engine oil, paints, cleaning fluids and the like. Oh, and my suitcase, blanket and a couple of coats. It was 30 degrees F. that morning and I was sooo glad I brought those coats and blanket to wrap around me! I also had a beanie and wool socks, longtime winter Boy Scout camper that I am!!!

Enjoy your springtime,

About France, A Little More Virtual Travel, and French Inspiration

Welcome to  a post I’ve longed to write… Today is the day to share a little of my travels when I was younger and a few posts from some blogging friends who write about their travels to France and decorating in our favorite French style…

The North Sea ~ Left to right: My German sister through the Bayer-AGFA exchange program, summer of 1981, Katja, myself and her brother Jan.

Missed opportunity

I long to visit France and when I was 19 years old I had the opportunity as an exchange student to go to France one weekend.  I had studied one year of French in high school and had fallen in-love with everything French! Partly because my German exchange sister didn’t want to go, I stayed home. She had been before and it just wasn’t her thing. At the time I thought I should stay back with Katja, in Leverkusen… I thought it was the right thing to do, not abandon her.

I should have gone for the weekend with her sister Dagmar and friends to Paris… But that missed opportunity will make getting to France all the sweeter when I do get there!

The lead photo is of myself and the family up along the Rhein River (Rhine) visiting several castles with my German mother Ute and her daughter, Katja. Sometimes Ute and I would tour cities along the Rhein during the day while Katja was finishing her junior year of high school.

My host mother Ute.

Ute and I went to Koblenz, Köln (Cologne) and other medieval towns up and down the Rhein.  Along the way Ute took me to a seconds shop so I could buy a few pieces of a beautiful set of china. 

Dinner with my inlaws last summer and Mr. Yoda hoping for
a nibble or two (or three!). These plates have pretty yellow daisies
on them. Each type of plate, platter or dish has a different flower.

French tableware

The Gerlach family had a breakfast set of china which I fell in-love with ~ so beautiful with pinks and yellows, Wedgwood blue forget-me-nots, and bright white daisies with cheery yellow centers!!! 
To me then, this tableware embodied everything European, everything which was tasteful and French style.

My first pieces of Villeroy & Boch’s tableware Botanica came from that store ~ a cream and sugar as well as a pair of candlesticks. Before coming back to the States, Ute gifted me with a mustard jar and a trivet. 

The rest of the china pieces I found shortly after Mr. Ethereal and I moved to Southern California at an Ethan Allen store. Later my mother sent us a pound butter dish with snapdragons on it that she ordered through a catalog as well as the heavy Botanica tray (below). 
Part of the Botanica china is used here to hold jam, Devonshire cream, and milk for tea sitting on a Botanica serving tray in the middle of the table. This was a tea I had for a friend from my first tea group, her granddaughter and our son.

We also visited Amsterdam and Alkmaar, Holland when the Gerlach family went on holiday in late June or early July 1981. We had the best time touring by glass boat on the waterways in Amsterdam and swimming in the Nord See (North Sea) during our trip. 

A Visit to France

So with my trip from long ago as inspiration, let’s finish our vicarious visit to France today with  a visit with others. Their travels bring a little French style home to our abodes and to our lives…

Top 10 Things to See & Do Your First Time in Paris/Eiffel tower - So Much Better With Age

Jamie of  So Much Better With Age shared a huge list of Places to visit when you go to Paris, France in this post. I know I appreciate everyone’s travel trips because we all know when we go somewhere new we want to see it all, but often we need to pick and choose since time is usually short. Great post!

Courtney of French Country Cottage went on a mini Grand Tour to Paris last summer and then onto London with her husband. A little work and a little holiday filled with incredible buildings, balconies, flower gardens and the Eiffel Tower she shared with all of her readers! She also hopped over to Italy and you can find more on her blog.  😉

French lavender, wood carved cane-backed chairs, and ruffled linen pillows create a French Country home of your dreams

Closer to home, Judith of Botanic Bleu shared a lovely post with her new French market basket filled with French lavender. She  often shares tips on French styling and early last year she shared a trip to see her sister and the French garden and all her lavender plants at her California home. And then in winter her Spanish lavender decided to bloom!

Winter wishes for French garden vegetables

Garden thoughts and ideas

Judith also shared a list of French vegetables she found available for sale for wintertime planting ~ a little long term thinking for sure with summer just getting here but good to plan for!

And our final French-European style visit today is to Lidy Baars who owns the wonderful business FrenchGardenHouse and is originally from the Netherlands. I met her at Vintage Bliss several years ago in San Diego. She has become a friend and this past summer she traveled to France on a buying trip. This post about making French Country Herb Butter is absolutely heavenly!

I do hope you have enjoyed this little virtual trip to The Continent and to France! Here’s to wonderful memories and future ones…

Bisous, mes amis!


Traveling by Blog ~ An International Dining Festival

Wie gehts meinen freunden? Just a quick trip today and let’s start this post off with a favorite song: “Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold…” 

That Girl Scout song is internationally known and is a perfect opening for today’s trip around the world. Since travel is limited to short trips to gather groceries and a quick walk with the dog,  I thought I’d share some unique blogs with you which perhaps you aren’t familiar with.

Not long ago I updated my profile to read that I often think of blogging like when we all sent letters all the time, like we are pen pals. Inspired by an unused airline ticket just making my fingers itch to go somewhere fun… Let’s go armchair traveling from the comfort of our living rooms, shall we?…


First up is a visit to Mariette who writes from and lives in Alabama. Originally from the Netherlands, she writes about her  and her husband Pieter’s work (and their travels) as  mushroom experts! By far the most unique job I’ve ever encountered, Mariette shares so many wonderful stories, postcards and more from her late husband’s trips around the world as a mushroom grower. ~ The Living Mushroom Cave in Le Puy Notre Dame, Loire, France.

Next on today’s armchair flight around the world, you may know Fabiana of Fabby’s Living from all the times I have shared her lovely table settings. She collects all kinds of tableware (as so many of us do) and has family over quite often for tea or for dinner (when we aren’t in a pandemic situation). 

Here is a recent Quarantine Tea she shared with her husband (extra slices were props for photos only). I picked this post as I love how she describes her family here… You can really feel the love. Fabby lives in Ecuador and would welcome your visit!

Now let’s travel to Michigan to see Jeanie at The Marmelade Gypsy who shares her travels, working in public television during its early days, and the beauty of Michigan from their lake house. In 2018 she travelled with her husband to France and wrote this wonderful post about Paris: Bread & Wine Shopping!

Our last visit today takes us north to Quebec, Canada to the home of Thelma who writes Thel’s Days and Thel’s Kitchen from Thelmaday.blogspot.com. 

Here Thelma shares her quick and easy recipe for Beef Pot Pie – Day 15 of Quarantine. Normally Thelma is busy out and about with family members visiting lighthouses all over Canada and the Quebeçois coastline. Do look for her travel posts when you visit!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little trip to visit a few of our French Ethereal friends! I’ll be bringing more travel ideas to you as spring rolls on, and also more of our backyard outdoor space, too. 

Guten tag!


A Bleu Christmas…

Hello there! Welcome back for part 2 of my visit to the lovely French country style home and gardens (and THE cutest gardenhouse ~ shown above ~ and she shed!) of my friend
Judith Stringham who writes the blog Botanic Bleu

A couple of days ago I shared Part 1 of my visit with Cindy of County Road 407 and Laura of Decor to Adore to visit another of our friends whom I met that first Christmas here in 2016 ~ Judith Stringham. 

I had never been to Judith’s French Country Christmas Event at her home in Mansfield, Texas before but I knew she held one each December for all of her friends. Judith is a retired teacher and administrator in her local school district, and this holiday sales event brings all of her friends together for a visit and some fun French country shopping!

Me and Cindy outside Judith’s adorable French country blue and limestone brick/stone garden shed transformed into her shop twice a year. Oh! There are those super big pinecones peeking out from behind Cindy on that little garden étagere. 

Judith is all about French country style (my absolute favorite style, as you know!) so I thought I’d share the rest of the fun photographs today that I took last weekend. 

I seriously wanted this urn… And those large round marble cheese platters…
And those glittery Christmas trees…

These pics were taken inside the garden she shed I shared in the last post (Judith’s wintertime photo of her garden from a number of years ago), and since then she and her husband built a gorgeous large greenhouse (of which I have serious greenhouse envy…) which sits just to the left and stepped back from the shed.

I will share that in a moment… 😉

So here we are inside!

Laura is checking out all the wonderful little French christmas and non-Christmas soaps and goodies decorated with foxes, bears and “les lapins.”

A better picture of Laura with Cindy… 🙂

Judith lovingly curated blue and white crockery, blue and white napkins, bespoke linen Christmas tea towels and also ones for everyday use, custom silverware, French country angels, small etchings and prints straight from France for us gardeners and decorators to use in our homes alike. 

Three of Judith’s friends from her former school district were there at the same time as we were and were squabbling (just a bit) over two large Christmas angels. (I think they worked it out!)   *<;)

Large angels were for sale and some furniture pieces(alas, no room!), as well as birdcages, holiday tins, gift bags and greenery and huge pinecones (Laura’s favorites!).

I am sure Judith made this dried boxwood Christmas tree. I bought a small dried
boxwood wreath to hang at home while here (shown above hanging on the mirror).

I found several things to bring back to our French country home and I will share them over the next week or so. One is this little Santa Belsnickel glinting in the sunlight here… And the small boxwood wreath…

Judith cleverly hung her tea towels on this copper railing below this tin garden sink. Her regular curtains hide soil and pottery the rest of the year. The butcher block counters are wonderful and cost effective (we used one $40 piece from Home Depot back in California to make our tv stand/storage unit in our master bedroom) and this gives me wonderful ideas for a future garden shed at our Texas home!

The white painted pieces across the top of the television and underneath it were butcher block pieces we cut to fit and painted. Very solid and sturdy, they make excellent non-warping shelving to hold a lot of weight around the home. Plus butcher block is beautiful in the kitchen! You can see more of our last home in this post here.

I would love to have shown you more but other people were shopping and I didn’t want to intrude. Here is Judith looking lovely in a custom-made scarf she won from another blogger she knows in France who curates and sells boxes to people who are Francophiles…

Seriously, from baskets to metal birdcages of varying shapes, to Santas and more… I could have dropped several hundred dollars without a thought. 

Laura, Cindy and I oggled over these French blue doors Judith made from
four French iron gate closures, decorative buttons, and sheets of thick plywood.

Let’s check out the greenhouse!

 The greenhouse is lovely with its French blue doors leading inside a bright and airy area to store tender plants during Texas’ super cold winters. This winter so far is pretty mild which is wonderful for gardening but not so good for next summer’s crop of nasty  biting no-see-um mites (Texas needs the super cold ~ around 0 degrees Fahrenheit ~ to kill the biting bugs off).

This is the reverse view looking back towards the house from the greenhouse. The interlocking brick pathways had me at hello!

Here is a close up of one of the lovely French doors…

And a couple of peeks inside… Nice thick mats to stand on for foot comfort and wraps for tender plants. Love it!

You know me and chandeliers!!! Here you can just see this beauty peeping out in the sunlight above the back double French doors…

ooh la la!!!

Another lovely view… I hope Judith will share sometime where she found all these French doors. What a lovely place to come and pot plants or to just sit…

A few looks more from the Stringhams’ veranda which wraps around their home looking back towards the garden shed and acreage.

I love this old French garden bench crafted from a gate or iron headboard with its watering can and planted evergreens… 

Etherealness at its finest!

Sharing with
Thursday Favorite Things ~ Follow the Yellow Brick Home
Friday at the Fire Station ~ A Fireman’s Wife

Holiday hugs,

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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Out and About ~ The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Good day to y’all, Two weeks ago my daughter and I took a trip over to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center near her apartment home in Austin, Texas.

This is a bit long with many wonderful garden photographs for you… Grab a cup of coffee or tea and let’s tour the early summertime gardens and see what’s growing!

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is now located in western Austin, Texas off the Mopac Parkway on 500+ acres of property which the late President and Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson donated to the University of Texas at Austin. Originally located in east Austin, the center was moved to its current location in 1995.  

When President Johnson and the former First Lady served in the White House, Mrs. Johnson saw developers scooping up land and destroying much of the indigenous habitat available to Austin’s dwindling wildlife.

Alarmed, she felt called to action.

Among the many bills President Johnson presented to and were passed by Congress during his time in office were those to protect America’s wildlife and the creation of a number of new national parks. President Johnson also signed the Highway Beautification Act into law, and Lady Bird helped by lobbying Texas officials promoting seeding Texas’ highways with native wildflowers. 

Inside the LBJ Wildflower Center’s main entrance courtyard. Mrs. Johnson asked that native plants be used as well as some way of promoting the history of the peoples who lived or moved into the area. Stonework on each building represents the Mexican, French, Spanish and German settlers who came to South Texas and the type of stone each favored when building their offices and homes.
An aqueduct runs along the top of the entry archway carrying
rainwater to one of fourteen cisterns (the grey round tower
at the far end) collecting this precious resource. Limestone and
sandstone feature.
Later, Mrs. Johnson talked with her husband about donating some land they owned to develop a wildflower center. 

A view of water stair-stepping down from the overhead aqueduct
and into the front garden pond below, just to the left.
This wildflower center would help raise awareness about the need to preserve Texas’ unique habitats and to promote Texas’ beautiful natural flora and wildlife as a place to come and visit.

A painting of Lady Bird Johnson by Norman Rockwell with a
video playing (reflection) about Mrs. Johnson’s conservation
work and life.

Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” (Taylor) Johnson along with friend and fellow conservationist, actress Helen Hayes, championed this cause and founded The National Wildflower Research Center in 1982. 

Research gardens ~ divided into native plants using soils specific to each plant’s needs. These areas are designed as teaching gardens for the avid home gardener and for local school children. Most of the plants around are “to be touched.”   🙂

“My hope for what lies ahead in the field of landscape design … is not a revolution against the use of non-natives, but a resolution to educate ourselves about what has worked for Mother Nature through the ebb and flow of time and to put that knowledge to work in the planned landscapes that are everywhere a part of our lives.”

Lady Bird Johnson

Late spring blue salvia (foreground), pink coneflowers, past their
prime tall coneflowers (those tall black-tipped stalks) with the
area’s natural savannah in the background.

“The University of Texas at Austin Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is the State Botanic Garden and Arboretum of Texas.” It’s mission is to “inspire the conservation of native plants through its internationally recognized sustainable gardens, education and outreach programs, research projects, and consulting work.” 

                                           ~ Overview, http://www.wildflower.org

A grove of Lebanon cedars which grow all over Texas but especially
in the hill country.
Amy and I arrived around 10am to the wildflower center and found that a guided tour was about to begin. Peter was our small group ‘s guide and we enjoyed a nice hour-plus walk through the inner gardens of the wildflower center.

Bright orange lantana grows just off to the left.
This first section of the inner garden is planted with all local native species bursting with blooms in each season. Each species stars during its normal bloom season with some plants flowering as spring bloomers, some later in summer and others through the late summer heat and into fall.

My forefinger got in this shot but I wanted to share the variety of species planted together ~ the spiky with the more feathery. Really pretty!

Of course I was there to gather ideas for my yard and I love the structures! One could make this large barn type structure with posts and pallet wood…

This lovely shade flower’s leaves look very similar to a couple of vines growing in our back garden. I am hopeful that this is what is growing!

Adorable small blooms on this white daisy-like fleabane!
Further along our guide shared that Mrs. Johnson wanted this area below to be a teaching garden for children. She felt strongly that everyone should have the opportunity to come and learn about Texas’ beautiful wildflowers.

Children get to learn about dirt and rock’s natural water filtration
process plus touch every plant and play in and around the water.
Naturally forming limestone rocks are fun to climb on and jump off.

Lady Bird spent a lot of time promoting better education for America’s youth and this was also true for the wildflower center. Here in the Children’s Garden everything is “hands-on” and kid friendly! 

Behind me (as I took this photograph) is a meadow with a small air conditioned outbuilding which is set up as a children’s library. 
Mrs. Johnson was adamant about having a special place where children could study and learn about the local wildlife and plants living and growing up around them.

Here in the adult’s section is the University of Texas’ research center (not open to the public) with garden beds sharing plants which do well in certain soils. These are test gardens and adult visitors (and children, of course) can see and touch these plants. One smelled like chocolate!

A quietly snapped photograph of my daughter Amy laughing at something funny our guide Peter told us ~ love this young lady!!!

Further along on another trail I tried to capture this industrious bumble bee…

Several monarch butterflies… also very fast in their pollen gathering!

One of my favorite shots… Love the deep pink of these coneflowers with their orangey centers!

Pink and yellow coreopsis (coneflowers)…

Beautiful pond back near the Children’s Garden…

The last section I have to share today is really one of the first. It is the water lily garden at the entrance to the LBJ Wildflower Center as you come inside the archway.

My daughter saw the little striped water snake which lives in the pond as we came around the front. I think our guide said its name is Archie or Harry. For a snake, it was pretty cute and you can just see his little eyes looking out from his head in this next photo…

Can you spy him in the middle left?? He was curious about us as much as we wanted to see him.

The right hand side of the pond boasts white-blooming water lilies whereas the yellow-bloomers float on the left side. 

Did you know that when water lilies are planted they are put in little baskets and then placed into their shallow ledges in a pond?? I saw that recently when I was watching some Monty Don and other British garden shows.
And the pond brings us back to the beginning of our guided tour and a graphic featuring this golden beauty to share…

Thank you for coming along on this garden tour with me! I hope you’ve enjoyed it and will share with your friends.

I’ve traveled to other places this year but haven’t quite got around to sharing them with you so I will be sharing those soon.  A few of the neat places I visited are in New Mexico and Arizona plus a local garden here where I live in Denton, Texas. 

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Blessings to you and happy gardening,