A Whirlwind Month or Two

The past month or so has been a blur of back to school, sports, meetings and such.  Sophie kind of sums it up.

I am not sure she is growing.  I finally loosened her collar just a hair but I think she’s only about a pound more than her 7 lb homecoming five months ago.  Hmmmm.

These pictures are terrible even for my low standards, but if you look carefully can you see the brass gallerie shelving?  I fell in love but then started to question this devotion.  Would it be difficult getting dishes up and over the bar?  Would I hit the bar?  Would I chip the plates?  Would I be too lazy and just not use that shelving because the up and over would just be too much?

This screenshot is here because I think I am the last Instagram user on this Earth who does not know how to extract a picture from Instagram save screen-shotting it.

Last week, a friend and I took a detour from a planned excursion to stop off at an estate sale in Centerville, De.  Look at these salad plates.  I am still thankful I registered for white china all those years ago.

These plates were the least exciting thing at this estate sale though.  There was a man in the middle of the sale napping on the floor, a room filled with live birds and a woman in the basement of this house readying herself for surgery?  She was in scrubs – head to toe.  You just can’t make this stuff up.

Earlier in the week I finally made it to Longwood to see the new fountains.  I didn’t take a single picture of the fountains but I did take a picture of this simple arrangement of pots on steps.  I have been meaning to do the same on our front steps and just haven’t invested the time or money.


This fountain isn’t new but is in one of my favorite parts of the gardens.  I thought the grouping of mums en masse and in a single color was so pretty!

And pumpkins in forms.  Isn’t it wonderful to find something that looks festive and does not need watering?!

This is a setup picture of a fundraiser I help out with each year benefitting our local park.  Learned something after I accidentally tipped the vase of water over on the far upper right table.  Just throw polyester tablecloths into a high-heat dryer and no ironing necessary.


And, a look ahead to Christmas. This garland is beautiful!  And, the gas lantern is tempting me as well.  I am not a fan of our current over-the-door lighting situation.  Maybe I will figure out 2nd-story wreaths this year.


An Autumn Refresh

The cooler air has moved in at last and this past week I did a bit of outdoor refreshing.  Each year the stoop is a bit different only because I cannot remember what I have done from one year to the next.  I did a bit of shopping in Lancaster County this year and found such pretty pumpkins.  The cantaloupe and gray are my favorites.

The mums were enormous and almost too heavy to lift into the car. I probably should have chosen an orange or deep red but I couldn’t resist the pink for the back steps.

The Osage Orange tree in my neck of the woods outdid itself this year and dropped oranges galore.  Trip #1 and I came home with just enough to fill two planters.  Trip #2 tomorrow so I can fill two more planters near the side door and a couple of bowls for inside the house as well.

Stopped off at a garden shop this morning Home and Garden Culture that I have driven past for 10 years.  Not once did I ever stop in thinking it was all whirlygigs and garden flags.  Boy was I wrong.  The place is amazing.

These finial planter boxes are at the top of my list.  They would replace the get-the-job-done boxes I have presently holding the topiary.  These suckers weigh a ton as they are metal and cost a small fortune.  Too bad for me as the rest of the inventory was very reasonably priced and mostly on sale.

I thought this pair was simple and pretty. 

There was so much more but I ran out of time.  They have a great website though and I am about to dive into it as one can never have too many concrete garden pots/urns!

Two Seasons of Growth

This is a before of either side of our front door.  This is pre-porch reno, pre-door makeover and post-yew-stump removal.

We planted two boxwoods from our country house as well as a mature Limelight.  I filled in with spirea, weigela, hollies and some variegated dogwood.

And, two years later the foundation plantings have really taken off.  This is to the right of the door.  The porch windows have improved tenfold, and we planted a Ninebark tree to anchor the corner.  We also dug out stones and were able to continue the flagstone border.

And the left side of the front door.  That Limelight has grown just a little bit.

You can see the difference in this picture.  Everything has exploded!

We recently put in a double-layered hedge to start to build up some privacy in our side yard.  A row of Nellie R. Stevens hollies make up the inner layer.  These will get quite tall – 15 -20 feet and 10 feet wide.  They are fast growers like the outer layer of Limelight Hydrangeas.

I am hoping for dense Limelight hedge like this one:

Deborah Silver

Our Little Lime hedge on the porch side has grown quite a bit as well.  Here are the Little Limes last summer.  They are mixed in with Nandina (the tall shrubs) and a row of Chicagoland boxwood.

And here is the same row a year later.  It’s difficult to tease out in this picture but the Nandina have filled out considerably giving us some green and privacy during the winter as well.  In the winter you see the pretty porch detail but not so much in the summer!

The dogs enjoying some morning sunning.  This is a favorite spot.  

Garden Pots

I have been collecting cast iron and concrete garden containers for nearly a decade.  I refuse to pay retail so it’s been a treasure hunt and with a little patience, I have been able to amass a sizable collection.

These Restoration Hardware zinc window boxes were one of my first purchases.  Deeply discounted, I bought 5 for our house in Wilmington.  They worked for our next house as well.  They are starting to split and rust so I used the two better ones for under the lab windows.

The concrete pedestal and urns next to the bench in the first picture came from Gale Nurseries.  They were selling off leftovers and old stock and we were so so lucky to have been able to get their earlier in their sale.  The apple trees sit in a second pair we got from that sale.  And, of course the cast iron coffee table and fire pit urns came from Gale Nurseries as well.

The pottery vessel that sits in the center of the garden near the lab was a Pottery Barn outlet find from about 10 years ago.   

And, these small concrete pots are my most recent find.  Found at a consignment shop for less than I recently paid for smaller clay pots, these look right at home on our patio steps. 

The blue and whites were a Christmas present and they are from Ballard Designs, and the cast iron urns are from eBay from many moons ago.  The wreath is from Terrain and the brass lanterns from Country Curtains.

And, before Terrain at Styers was Terrain, it was just Styers.  Styers was a more traditional nursery with equally as beautiful treasures.  When they closed and started renovating for the transition they put all their non-Terrain garden pots on sale.  That is when I purchased this pair.

And this pair as well.

This ginormous pot was a Craigslist find and another amazing deal.  It’s hard to tell but it’s huge.  I need to unearth it as this year the garden has swallowed it up and you can barely see how pretty the pot is.

The pot is buried in there somewhere!

This is yet another pair from Gale Nurseries.  The acorn finials, too.

The sun dial was left behind with the house and we found the stand at Gale as well.  It isn’t a precise fit scale-wise but once the flowers filled in, it didn’t really matter anymore.

These concrete planters were an inheritance.  Each house we’ve been left a pair and these were from our first house in our current town.

They match the pair I just bought at the consignment shop though these are in far better condition – no chippy paint or chippy feet.

These box planters are an Amazon special and I cannot remember where the pretty wire planters (a personal favorite) came from.  I think it may have been Styers as well.

I would love two more planters for in front of our garage, so the search continues . . .