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!

Mid-Winter Green

Greenwich, Connecticut real estate listings are some of my favorite as the gardens are always fantastically beautiful.  This English Manor house was built in 1929 and the gardens designed by Madison Cox.  Cox has done some pretty impressive work around the globe, and I love that I accidentally stumbled upon one of his gardens. Very different from most of his contemporaries, Cox does not slather his work on social media, in magazines or really anywhere.  Even his website consists of one photograph and his contact information.  Make sure to read the Wall Street Journal article about him linked above. Cox is an interesting man and you will realize how special it is to be able to peek into one of his gardens.

This allee is just perfect.

Look at that center hall table arrangement!  The listing doesn’t take us inside the house.  Such a tease.

These begonias are on steroids!

Another view into the center hall.  Those floors looks beautiful.

The property is 5.1 flat acres with wide expanses of lawn.

The perennial borders are so pretty.  And, here is a some structure.  Hedgerows with what looks like Pee Gee hydrangeas in the center.

The English manor has to have a cottage garden.  This looks like a later summer shot.  Beautiful clematis climbers and lots of Echinacea.

Sweet potato vines after a season’s growth – always a pretty pop of green.

The drive up to the house.  I think these are hornbeams underplanted with some simple impatients to dramatic effect!

The brick patio overlooking an allee.

A pool tucked away from the house.


A beautiful pergola with climbers in pots.  Wisteria has largely taken over but it doesn’t look like there are blooms yet.  Sometimes it can take years.

A small but pretty brick patio off probably a living room or dining room.

And, more of that beautiful structure.  A garden wall always helps things along.  Neatly clipped box with loads of roses.

A tree house tucked into a pretty corner of the garden.

Sweeping views.

All photos courtesy of Houlihan Lawrence.  The listing can be found here.

And the mid-winter green in our house courtesy of the dog:


Wreaths + Command hooks are the easiest way to add a little Christmas spirit.  Here are some of the wreaths around our house.  I tend to decorate a little bit each day so things aren’t exactly finished in our house but most of the wreaths are up.

This one is by far the prettiest of the bunch.  I found this at a local florist who also had quite a collection of myrtle topiaries.  I may have to find my way back there after Christmas.

A simple boxwood wreath dressed up with a bow.  I added some fresh limes and lemons to the mantel this past weekend.  Every grocery shop results in a fuller mantel!

This is our tiny entry off the back door.  The floors are a hideous linoleum and the lighting is currently a bare bulb, but this dark corner of the house is every so slowly receiving some attention.  I painted the walls Farrow and Ball’s Clunch just before Thanksgiving and found some treasures at a barn sale that seem just right.  The  mirror may or may not get a coat of high gloss paint and the empty vessel there will be filled with lime green ornaments to match the velvet ribbon.

A topic for another post but I recently read about a designer who painted his linoleum while waiting for a bigger renovation project to commence.  This may be just the fix I need as if you look closely at the below picture, you will understand why.

The sunroom windows each received its own wreath.  I ran out of ribbon and will be finishing that up this week.   I love the peek of Nandina berries out of the porch windows this time of year.

Also on the porch is one of my favorite finds from last year’s post-Christmas sales.  I found a gilt metal wreath that is so pretty and can stay up all year.  It’s tough to see as these pictures are not the best but I found a concrete Medusa medallion at a vintage shop that sits above our porch door.  

And, the boxwood wreath on my dining room mirror with another vintage sale find above it.  I was so excited to find this gilt wood carving.  It reminds me of so much of the treasures I used to find at a store in Nyack, NY called Christopher’s.  Read about the business here.  Christopher’s was a multi-level shop packed to the brim with everything special for your house – china, art, collectibles, mirrors, floral pieces, door knockers, urns and plants.