Thursday, January 18, 2018

The last flush of bloom ~

 In our temperate climate which grows warmer each year, although it is supposed to be winter, roses are still blooming. Because of the somewhat cooler temperatures the roses although not so abundant are even lovelier now. This however is the time to prune roses in Southern California so it must be done, but it is difficult to cut back a bush lush with flowers and buds.


I take a bucket of water into the garden and as I prune I put the cut roses into the bucket, when I am finished work I have flowers for some of the most beautiful bouquets of the year.

I love this picture, I think I will use it in a greeting card. Don't you think it would be pretty?

The majority of roses in my garden are pink, in a variety of shades. The bushes I pruned on this day were old rose varieties, mostly Tea roses. As you can see they have the multi-petaled flowers and form of many Austin roses, but seem to perform better for me. Unlike Hybrid Teas which like being severely cut back, these roses are pruned lightly, more of a gentle shaping and removal of any deadwood.

I haven't finished pruning but last week on a trip to Home Depot to pick up chicken manure I was pleased to find some really nice roses. Nothing exotic, or special, but some old standbys that I think will be successful in my garden.

So, here are some of the new girls, I can hardly wait to get them in!

 I hope you have a 'rosy' day.

Thank you for visiting.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

A big mess ~

December is the one month of the year that I put all gardening thoughts and work aside.  I just don't have the time or energy to spend time working in the garden and also enjoy the all the holiday preparations and activities.

But in January, well that's when all of my neglect becomes very obvious. The garden is a mess!

Such a mess that it almost seems impossible that I
 will ever be able to get things back in shape.

It is hard to believe that this is how this part of the garden looked just a few months ago.

But I try not to get too discouraged.

 My plan as usual, is to start in one place, clean-up, prune, lay down chicken manure, maybe plant some some seasonal annuals,and then move on to another area. With diligence and persistence this seems to work.

And then I can spend time doing something I love, picking out new


I hope that your new year is going well with lots of plans and adventures ahead.

Thank you for visiting.


Saturday, December 23, 2017

An easy Christmas table setting ~

I wasn't going to do another post before Christmas because I am really running out of time to get everything done. But I set the main table in the dining room for Christmas Eve dinner today and it turned rather pretty so I thought I would share it.

This table seats eight, with the additional leaf it can seat 12, but it gets too crowded, so I set up another table in the living room to seat six more. In recent years it has become the table my grandchildren seem to enjoy - It is a bit more casual.

One of the main reasons I wanted to share this was to show how pretty a table can look using...tacky, I know...paper plates and napkins. The Christmas crackers are a tradition at my house.

I found out that having 14+ people for dinner calls for some adjustments on my time and energy. Washing so many dishes on Christmas morning wasn't much fun. Besides its kind of enjoyable changing the dish pattern every year. This year I choose snowmen.

Whatever you use to serve it on or however you do it...buffet, formal or casual, I hope that your Christmas dinner is fabulous!

~ Merry Christmas ~

Thursday, December 21, 2017

A Christmas Elf ~

This year I once again got to play the Christmas elf. While my daughter was at work I went over and decorated her living room for the holiday.

 A Christmas surprise!

Well, it really wasn't a big surprise because we had discussed it before hand. But she certainly was pleased when she came home that evening to find her tree up, and her mantle and dining room decorated.

She had decided on a woodland themed tree this year. She had lots of ornaments already...birds, birdhouses, mushrooms, butterflies and  some wonderful feathers. I added boxwood, eucalyptus branches, a few silk flowers and a couple of my crunchy garlands.

I really like the tree, but my favorite thing in the room is the mantle.

This mantle is a bit tricky to decorate because it isn't very deep. I went simple with this adorable owl. He is far to cute.

Then a repeat of the tree decorations with boxwood, eucalyptus, more feathers, flowers and a scattering of ornaments..  I love it...and so did she!


This will be my last post until after Christmas as the time is getting close and there is still far too much to do. I want to wish you all a blessed, happy, and joyful holiday.

 ~ Merry Christmas ~

Friday, December 15, 2017

2017 holiday living room ~

This year in my newly redecorated Living room I decided to do a little something different with my holiday decorations. I wanted a softer look that reflected the room's new color pallete and formality.

Since the tree is the main focus I started there. I used pink ornaments, to compliment the pattern in the drapes, lots of fresh eucalyptus from Trader Joe's, which is almost a perfect match in color with the two bergere chairs, and finished off with a combination of  silk and dried flowers culled from my collection.

It turned out pretty much as I wanted. 

I always try to coordinate the mantle across the room with the tree, so I simply used the same materials on the mantle. In this picture you can see a close up of what I call, my 'crunchy' garland. This is one of my favorite decorations, it compliments everything and adds sparkle.

Finished! And now to be enjoyed.

Tomorrow I am going to my daughter's house to decorate while she is at work. It should be fun, this year we have decided on a woodland theme.

Thank you for visiting

~ Merry Christmas ~

Friday, December 8, 2017

Christmas past ~

Every year when it is time to decorate the house for the Christmas holidays I like to look at  the pictures I have taken over the previous years. It can give me a starting off point - sometimes, with minor changes, I repeat something I really liked, and sometimes it is fun to do a completely different look. 

I thought it would be fun to share with you some of these pictures of Christmas past.
Starting with the media/library room. I love this wreath and will use it again this year, but my little, wooden train, full of gifts, will be an addition below on the window shelf.

This was a very pretty mantle, but because I always coordinate the mantle with the living room tree  I will be doing something different this year. The magnolia leaf garland will be making an appearance at my daughter's house.

I love this picture and came very close to using it for my Christmas card this year. Although the tree will be different and this wallpaper is gone, I will once again use a lace tree skirt.

Santas!  Yes, again in the kitchen.

I love my nutcrackers but they will not be making an appearance this holiday season - maybe next year. 

Last year I was still in the midst of finishing up the redecoration of my living room so I didn't put a tree up, instead I put one in the dining room. but I will definitively repeat this again some time because it was so pretty.

 As I said before, the Santa's will back. I mean, what is Christmas without Santa's?

 I am still deciding what to do with the pastisserie stand, last year it was new.  But I think that once again, sweets and bakery items will be included. Even empty I love the way it looks on my kitchen island.

In my opinion there is nothing as much fun as decorating my house for the holiday season. I hope that you are having as much fun doing it as I am.

Thank you for visiting.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

A bit of cuteness ~

I have had this little footstool sitting out in one of the storage sheds for a very long time, I have no idea where it came from. Poor little thing was so unattractive, with ugly, dirty upholstery and badly in need of repair and refinishing. I have a thing about footstools and have quite a few scattered in different rooms throughout the house. So, I held onto it thinking that one day with some work and a little effort it could be nice. 

Well, last week that day arrived. I took it into the garage, stripped off the old fabric, sanded down and refinished the wooden base and added a top coat of polyurethane.


I came across this brocade fabric for the cushion - perfect!

Now my little footstool is residing in the living room, a far cry from the old shed. 

I am regarding it as a kind of pre-Christmas gift to myself.

I think it is so cute!

The word for footstool in french is, tabouret, so much prettier sounding, so now I have added a new word to my french vocabulary.


Today I finished all of my Christmas decorating. I hope to be sharing it with you over the next couple of weeks. It's nice to have it done early enough to enjoy all of the work and effort. Now I can concentrate on all of the other wonderful events of the holiday season.

Thank you for visiting