Sunday, June 26, 2011

Garden Walkthrough

At the far end of our pool a bed of perennials blooms in three colors.  Knockout roses and crepe myrtles are on the bank in front of the fence with other perennials not yet in bloom.  The fence is the boundary from the pool landscape to the horse pasture.  We enjoy watching the horses from the pool and patio.  Next to the fence I have a long narrow raised bed vegetable garden.  It has proven to be a good location for tending and watering, but this year I am having trouble with something eating the tops off of everything.  I put up a hot fence around the bed, and it is better, but not a sure fix. 

 Still, much has survived and I am sure to get my zucchinis, tomatoes, and green beans.

 Back down to pool level is a view of the patio at the far end.  Nothing staged here; several things out and need to be put away, umbrella closed because of a storm, vacume is out on pools edge, but you get the picture.
 A poolside waterfeature with lilies, waterplants and gold fish keeps the sound of water always in the background, and another place for special plants always available. 

 This is Depo, our little JackRat.  He passed away at 10 years old this week.  He was a sweetie and our mimi athlete, and a constant companion.  We will always miss him. 
 A distant view of the water pond from the patio with Rascal looking on.
 My pots are finaly filling out.  I got a late start on gardening while we were finishing our remodel.  But my motto, "better late than never" is paying off.
 This vintage table really needed a new coat of paint.  It's former owner painted it school bus yellow, and I had had enough.  This year it is vintage green and I am satisfied.
 More pots line the steps from 2 levels.  A white pergola is in the plans for the lower level....some day.
Toby waits at the pool gate, an antique find we configued into our fence plan years ago.

Last year I planted some heirloom seeds.  This is the cleome family, but all the seeds last year produced white blooms as seen in the following pictures.  This year I got these pretty mixed colors, of which I will have to save seeds for hopefully future crops.    

A waterlogged lily after the hard rains (much needed to break the drought) we received this week.

Cleome in the original white commonly known as "Spider Plant."  It grows to about 3' tall, but seems to still do well when cut back a little.   It graces my kitchen garden, but I have now transplanted seedlings to 4 other locations to test how well it will do in different light.

Cleomes, iris, knockout roses, lilies, oregano, purlple salvia, and rosemary are some members of my kitchen garden.

The kitchen garden is also graced by my grandmother's feverfew.

I lost my Japanese Maple this year that shaded our coy pond in the side yard.  When we  bought our house in 2000, the pond and tree were here, but no landscape.  We added all the white fences on the property, as well as the hostas along the fence rows, and plants around the pond.
I was trying to get the reflection of the flowers in the water, but they did not show up well in the photo. I love sedum.  This is some in the foreground that came from my mother.  I use it alot, in many rocky places and pots.  It is a jewel to grow.

Our last remaining coy surfaced to feed. I got several as fingerlings about 7 years ago.  Yellow is the only one left after "attacks" from the gray heron and even our jack russells.  Yellow is about 10" now, and has big gold fish as companions.  If a fish can be friendly, he is. 

Our eco filter creates a little water feature with the coy pond and keeps the airation for the fish.

I never had any knockout roses until last year.  They are a great constant in several beds because of their nearly continuous blooming.  I am glad to have them, but they don't replace my hybrid roses which still outshine them in their gorgeous large sizes and colors. 

The birdbath is another add, and love planting around it.

We did a huge trimback job on our Nandina bushes.  It engulfs the porch so rapidly.  I am tired of having to butcher it back to keep it at bay.  I am ready to yank it out and replace it with something more managable.  I have some Nandinas in other foundation plantings, but this group must be another variety.  We inheirited it with the house, so who knows.  When we bought our place it was so overgrown you couldn't get on the porches!
 Feverfew along the driveway (which needs weeding).

Lavendar I started from seed.  Love it.  Need to start some more.
I started this echinacea from seed a couple of years ago, and it really likes this spot.  I did not know it came in white!  The seeds I purchased were for pink, but as you can see, I have this spot of white every year. 

Last year I tore out the non-landscaped front of our house (2 bushes and some phlox), and set out to replace it with a cottage garden entry.  I will take some pictures soon (as soon as I mulch) and show you what the second years looks like.  It is beginning to fill in, so pictures will come soon.  Have a great week!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Chandelier Makeover

When we bought our home 10 years ago, there were many light fixtures that had been replaced by the former owners that were just not in keeping with the old 1847 home.  We replaced many of them over the years, but this Williamsburg brass chandelier in the dining room was one we never got around to doing anything with.  It did throw alot of light in an otherwise dark room, so it managed to "hang in there" until now.  When I started looking for another dining room light for my "new" dining room, my budget was getting thin, and my desire for a multi-armed antique kept me searching high and low.  I finally decided to do what I had threatened to for the past couple of years; take the existing one down and paint it black.

I didn't realize it had so many pieces until I started taking it apart.  Each candle style bulb had 4 pieces to it.

After dissassembling the candle arms, I cleaned all the metal well so the new paint would stick.

Many places the brass had just worn off, and others were shiney.  My husband finally agreed with me that it needed a face lift and was NOT the fixture he had thought it was.  I had tried to tell him they are a dime a dozen. 

I took a piece of wire and hung it on a branch of a tree after I had used painting tape to mask off the candle sockets and stems.

Before painting it black, I gave it one coat of metal primer.  I didn't take a picture of the primer, but it was gray.  Sort of liked it gray, but had already decided on the black.

Using the best quality black satin spray paint, I gave it about 4 even coats, and more in some places.  The worst part of this job was fighting the cacadis that had hatched out, and kept latching onto my shirt and hair.  The next day after it was completely dry, I reassembled it, and my husband put it up in the new dining room.

It may not be the best, but it will serve it's purpose for now, it's black, looks new to me, it's recycled, and still throws alot of light to another one of my dark rooms.  (old houses often don't have many windows, and with high ceilings you need more light).  Chandelier makeover complete.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Wayside Treasures Giveaway X 2

Wayside treasures is having a giveaway of some really neat French items.  Visit Sandi's blog for the details!Wayside Treasures Giveaway X2

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Few New Jewels

Now that our remodeling is complete in our home, I am finally getting back to work and the enjoyment of my antiques and jewelry.  However, last week I wrenched my knee (bummer), and was really off my feet for a good part of the week.  This was difficult for me; I am used to jumping and running at the spur of the moment.  The good side:  I had time to sit down and work on some jewelry again.  I've posted a few pieces for your viewing, but you can see more at My Esty shop.

Long necklaces are in, and this one fills the bill.  With a large mother of pearl pendant, some sea-worn shells I found in Maui while visiting my son, and small double-stranded MOP squares, semi-precious stones, and sterling findings, this piece will hang midriff.

One of my favorite stones is turquoise, and I can hardly resist making a piece when I get to sit down to it.  This piece has turquoise button beads with a jasper pendant that matches.  The pendant is joined with sterling silver wire, and the accent beads are garnets, pink rhodochrosite, black pearls, and more Maui shells.  Clasp is beaded and buttons on a shell.  Perfect piece for summer t-tops/tanks.

I really enjoyed making this pendant cluster necklace.  This stones are all semi-precious faceted drop-beads all wrapped in sterling, and a piece of Maui sea glass.  While in Maui, my son took me on some sea glass hunts, and we hit it hard for a couple of days.  I found some nice pieces, but soon found that drilling it for jewelry is another bird.  It takes patience, water on the drill bit, and the right bit, and that is still no guarantee the piece won't break.  I broke several of my best pieces.  FYI...sea glass is antique bottles and ship wreck treasures broken by the sea, and rolled by the sand and waves.  Some pieces are well over 100 years old, and can be identified today with the colors of antique bottles and glassware.  I found pieces of vaseline glass, cobalt, aqua (a favorite), amber, clear, and shades of greens.  Fun to find antiques in the sea!

Another sea glass treasure.  Here I used two pieces of clear glass sandwiched with blue brazillian agate.  Wrapped in sterling wire and dangled from sterling hoops and wires, these little gems are a light and airy summer dainty. 

This stone pendant is petrified snail jasper druzy.  I wrapped it in sterling wire and mounted it on a strand using semiprescious stones and amber glass drop beads.  Pink and black freshwater pearls with natural agates are fastened with a sterling silver clasp.  strand is 18" and 2" added length with pendant.

These earring match the prior necklace, but are nuetral enough to go with many others.  Amber glass drop beads are sterling wrapped and dangle from pink freshwater pearls and sterling wires.

Another long necklace, this natural tones agate is banded in silver plate and hangs from a 32" strand of brazillian agate, kyanite (silvery blue rectangular stones), two pieces of amber sea glass, kiwi jasper (white with natural specks and hints of blue rectangular stones), and mahogany obsidian round stones.  Hangs below midriff.

I have these pieces and more listed at my etsy shop