Friday, March 27, 2015

In the garden and in the house

I’ve been busy busy these days... painting furniture and changing things around the garden...

painted garden furniture

Painting flower pots...

flower pots

Scattering seeds, planting more flowers and watering the entire garden back and front by hand every day…

the magical garden
spring planting

I was delightedly surprised the other when I saw that Home Depot brought some lovely tea roses this year… something other than the Knockout edition, can you believe it!  Those roses are so pretty, I just needed some... Oh I think my addiction to roses is back and our little white cottage is turning into another house in the roses… seriously!
Paradise roses

Don’t blame me if I couldn’t resist… who could?  These roses are too pretty…  I bought two Paradise lilac, mauve, very fragrant hybrid tea rose, and a Queen Elizabeth grandiflora rose in a lovely shy pink, which I’d planted by the garage door…
Paradise rose

The purple and white allium bulbs I planted this winter are blooming everywhere, and the Sedum 'Autumn Fire'… so easy to grow, so lovely in late summer and fall with their bright red to deep bronze red in color as fall turns into winter are blooming wonderfully.  I discovered that you can stick a small stem/branch in the ground and they will put out roots… that's all you have to do to multiply them.  These plants will root no matter what.  Love them!
Sedum in the garden

Last Christmas I bought a ruffle 3-tiered chair slipcover from Target for the chair in my living room.  I wanted something similar for the two center chairs in the dinning room, but I wanted a shorter length and less ruffles…

Ruffle 3-tiered chair slipcover

I found the perfect two ruffle shorter version skirt slipcovers at   

two ruffle chair slipcover
An instant makeover and seasonal change to the room!
I know, I should iron them! ;)

We’re going back to cold weather again… it was freezing cold this morning and temperatures are dropping down to the 20’s tonight… yuck!  I’ve brought in all my flower pots and the heater is on again.  Our little white cottage feels warm and cozy.  I love it that when evening falls, our bedroom is gently lighted up by fairy lights…  the last light of day streaming in through the windows makes the room an enchanting little place to be… to rest and just put our cares aside for a few hours.     

Fairy lights in bedroom

 I hope you all are keeping warm tonight.    

See you soon!


Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Is spring around the corner in your little world yet?  Oh I’m sure it must be very close now around here… why, I’m starting to hear it!  Yes ‘hear it’.   Listen!  Can you not hear it?   

I’m sure if you listen, you too would hear it—the songs, the jingles, the music of dragonfly charms and beads of ankle bracelets…  but what is it you ask?   

It’s the music Spring makes all over my little world as she trots the sun-warmed earth.

You see, right after all that rain went away, up came the sun; a glaring, tender wonderful soul-warming sun. And it had been like that for days now.  The woods around our house have come alive too with new voices and enchanting sounds—the chanting of insects and birds and all the small creatures rewarding every space with magic and music… making the world seems fuller, and kinder and in a sorts of a joyful estate. 

Nature never ceases to amaze me.  I am made of it, I am part of it, and it is so fulfilling and nurturing and rewarding just listening to this orchestration of voices and rhythms… and how wonderfully the earth’s heartbeats encompass and unify and embrace my very owns…

Oh, I’ve discovered that the wood fairies are visiting the garden at night.  It must be!  They’re building bridges with some of the smaller fallen trees so they can cross over… 

 A highway for the wee folk and 'creepy' creatures of the wild for sure! ;)

Birds are popping with color against the background of bare brown branches...

 And the buds on the trees are really beginning to swell.  

I amble through the garden oblivious of time and space, and only aware of this new vibrant surge of life all around.  And whose eyes are those observing me from the ground I ask... whose heads pushing through the womb of the earth to show why man should be in awe of their Creator?  They are the Hostas “Pocketful of Sunshine” and the Salvias “May Night” pushing up through the soil as many of the other perennials are.  The earth is indeed growing back.   

Truly, there are signs of spring everywhere.  

Have you taken the time to notice them?

Monday, March 23, 2015

A gardener's diary

It has been rain rain rain on and off for the last two week around here.  But work in the gardens and surrounding areas cannot be stopped.  We must keep going.  Thus, we have continued reseeding our yard, fertilizing, planting, mowing… and all under the "pitter patter" of raindrops.  

My husband thought this was also a good time to aerate.  He rented a mechanical plug aerator and opened thousands of holes in the soil to give existing grass room to spread its roots.  With all this rain, you can imagine the amount of mud we’re getting.  It is so aggravating working in mud.  All my gardening shoes are a mess.  Oh but you know me... I would keep working outside even if I have to go barefooted.

I spent the last couple of weeks pruning and collecting dead leaves... planting, and painting things in the garden.   

   Everything is starting to look marvelous and neat and ready for a new fresh start.   

The other day I worked on the pond.  I removed debris and dead leaves left by winter winds and then repainted the entire surface.  Once the paint is dried I will get it running again, bring in all the water plants I can find and hunt for some big rocks to add to it.

We created another flower bed on the left side of the front porch and planted a couple of Knockout roses there.   

Then, I started painting flower pots and furniture.  I really liked the Shabby Chic look I had there last year with all the blues and green and combinations of patterns, but I wanted a more sophisticated look this year.  The color scheme of my decorations needed match the overall colors of the cottage, which are the white of walls, the black of shutters and the red door.  

Two big rustic looking black clay flower pots filled with red geraniums did the trick…

I also stained a smaller clay pot I already had in black

And painted the settee back to white.

I’m also redoing the cushions in the settee in a black fabric, but I haven’t done it yet waiting to see if the cat that lives there finally decides to move on.  Thus far, he’s still coming by, and it doesn’t seem that the orange peel cat repellant I’m faithfully spraying everywhere there is working.

Early this morning I starting planting the hill that my dad and I cleared off of roots and poison ivy last summer and that sent us both to the hospital contaminated with poison.  I want to make this area a lovely little spot to honor my dad for all the hard work he did there, so I planted dozen of lilies there in a variety of colors, and although I don’t know if I’d have any luck with them, I also added a few Elephant Ears bulbs for a showy summer display. 

I’ve been planting many more roses around the garden.  And how could I have not!  Particularly when I found the other day that Wal-Mart had brought in a few Chicago Peace with their barefoot roses.  Just the name of these roses alone is enough to bring to mind lovely memories of the house in the roses and all the magical moments I spent in that garden.

Ever since we purchased our little cottage I’ve been dreaming with growing climbing roses in our front porch.  My husband discouraged me from doing so last year.  We know that this southern climate doesn’t like roses, but not even Nature itself could have prevented me from making my dream come true this year… so I have planted two climbing Americana rose at the feet of each column.  I am already envisioning a porch swathed in salmon coloring roses…

Oh I hear giggles… can you hear them too?  Indeed, the spring fairies must be partaking of some magical celebration somewhere...  I, too, I am dreaming of a flower-filled world; daydreaming in the green reverie of Nature and trees and bees and butterflies hovering over my dreams.  

“Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair...”
Susan Polis Schutz

Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring is in the air

Magic is everywhere around here.  Although, of course, only in subtle ways, and not anyone can see it either… I mean, if you come by you won’t see it right away—magic.   In fact, there is no exuberant garden to enchant your senses, no lovely roses to enthrall your spirit… it is just green green green.  Only enormous trees stretching roughly and jagged and green all the way to the edge of the blue sky… that’s all.  But ah… look closer and you’ll see what I mean…

Even beyond the garden, I see the wild flowering callery pears opening up to the magic unfurling in the wood. 

See, here’s the thing.  Magic needs to abide in you first to be able to come forth and unfold—like a thousand-petal magical rose. 

Magic it really is all within ourselves… it was put deep in our souls since the beginning of all beginnings.  But through time and years and centuries, magic has lost it power.  To regain it we have to want it.  Really want it.  Remember, you only see what you want to see, or believe what you want to believe.  So it is up to you.  

Welcome Spring!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

My days...

I'm exhausted—but it is a happy tiredness of the body, and I cannot be any happier, or gloriously radiant these days. You see, I am living my dream, and I am doing what I love and was born to do—living in the garden, working the grounds, sucking in this wholesome glorious sunshine of benevolent March.  

I’m bringing in some lovely posies from the wild garden, and I’ve planting… planting thousands of seeds and bulbs and my hands are stained and scratchy and my hair matted with spring and fairy dust. My soul is overflowing with thankfulness and sunshine.

And what’s up with the animal world?—I mean they must be crazy with spring fever too, because, I tell you, they’ve been engaging in some very estrange behavior lately.  One bird keeps jumping up and down in front of the tall mirror I keep standing against the fence on the west side of the garden, which, by the way, it really is my ‘secret door’ to the ENCHANTING WOODS and other worlds out there… Yeap!

This bird keeps fighting with himself; hitting against the mirror over and over.  I wonder if perhaps he’s trying to go through the magical door, but the wood fairies are preventing him from doing so.  But why?  Is he some kind of a malevolent creature in disguise and the fairies know?  Is he a narcissist in love with himself and is jumping up and down looking at his image on the mirror while saying “pretty pretty pretty”?   Maybe he is seeing a girlfriend through the glass standing on the other side of some unknown world and wants to go to her? What do you think this behavior means?  What what?

Ah and there’s the story of the feral cat who dwells in the settee in our front porch.  I guess he’s decided to adapt his ‘bedroom’ into a ‘bathroom’, because now I am cleaning cat’s poop instead of cat’s hair.  Yuck! 

This morning my 80 something neighbor friend Nancy down the hill stopped by to say hi.   I was outside cleaning up the porch when I saw her coming and went to meet her.  I cannot say why I adore my ‘older’ friends and it seems, as a matter of fact, that some of my very dear friends are always much older than I am.  I mean very much older.  I just love them.  

I commented with Nancy about this cat’s behavior.  Nancy opened her blue eyes almost in a horror expression and with a scorn in her voice promptly said:  “It’s the Cat Lady!” 

Can you imagine!  I almost had a heart attack right then and there!  “The Cat Lady, oh you won’t say!!”  I said petrified.  Remember the WITCH I happen to spied upon on that Halloween day last year?  And now was Nancy telling me that we also have a Cat Lady in our neighborhood?  Ay Dios mío!

Nancy laughed and explained it had to be one of the feral cats of the many many many cats owned by the cat lady at the end of the neighborhood.  She owns like 5 dozen cats or so and they’re everywhere in that house; including under the lifted floors!  

Nancy told me I should put poison out there… but oh no no I almost died again when I heard her said that… I went to my kitchen and brew up some magical cat repellant potion instead.  Something that wont hurt the cats, but will keep them away… All you need is orange peels.

There's no chemicals and nothing else you need to add. Just orange peels and water! Place your orange peels in a pot and cover them with water. Just enough water so that when you get it to a rolling boil, the peels roll with it.  Put on high and bring to a rolling boil for about 10 minutes. The boiling will release the oil in the orange peels which is the scent that the cats hate so much.  When finished, drain the juice into a spraying bottle and spray away! I actually socked up those cushions for good measure!...  got crazy spraying all over the pillows and settee.  Then went on to do something else…




Friday, March 13, 2015


What a marvelous joyful glorious thing coming home is… it always is!  It’s a happy reunion with one’s inner soul—that’s how I see is!

After what it seemed years in airports and airplanes and miles and miles of dark treacherous roads from the airport to our little cottage, finally around midnight we headed down the dear and familiar hilly road to our little white cottage—to the purest and holiest of darkness and a landscape supple with the remnants of an early rain that by then had sheltered the night in sheets of fog and mystifying reposes. 

Somewhere, someone must had been busy scattering ghostly figures all over the landscape.  White ethereal vapors stirred in a whir of whispers among darkened trees, small dimmed lights flickered here and there in the brambles and houses slept quietly under a sleeping enchantment.

I rolled down my window and stretched out my hands so I could taste the night with the palms of my hands… and hoping too, that maybe the night would understand and lend me her sacred gowns.

Then, on the bend at the top to the hill there it was—our little white cottage nestled among tall trees, illuminating the night with the gently light of the lanterns on the front porch. 

How gentle and tolerant and understanding it seemed to me… and how had I missed it.

The old familiar comfort and goodness and peacefulness inside.  And then, in the midst of shadows I heard it—the magical songs of spring peepers in the pond outside.  I do I do I have frogs living in the pond! 

All day yesterday I was serenaded by these soothing and enchanting songs of frogs.   And all day yesterday the music of the many birds, dwellers of the woods put out a special symphony just for me.  I’d never heard that many birds, so many different songs… were birds excited to see me?  I wonder. 

While I worked the grounds and cleaned and removed weeds, the woods beyond beckoned, trees bended down to offer their hellos while the little white cottage smiled in the background.  I offered my hello to every little creature in the air in the ground and in the water and sat in the middle of the garden pondering on these things. 

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