Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Very Special Visitor

Stephen Scanniello is the former director of the Cranford Rose Garden at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, is currently the president of the Heritage Rose Foundation, and was honored last year as one of the Great Rosarians of the World.  He is an author of numerous rose books, a popular speaker, and a helluva nice guy.


I first met Stephen about five years ago, when he was the featured speaker at the spring garden symposium at the Lynchburg City Cemetery.  He and I hit it off, and we have seen each other from time to time at other rose events ... and we email about various things occasionally. 

Earlier in the year, I contacted him to ask if he would be interested in taking my remaining rose inventory for garden projects that he is working on in Harlem ... and he gratefully accepted my offer.  He had other business in my general area this weekend, so he combined trips and swung by here yesterday afternoon to pick up the roses.


Stephen Scanniello was here ... at my house ... and in my unholy mess of a garden.  I should have been mortified, but it was quite the opposite experience.



When the garden is as big a mess as mine is now, the roses that are doing well shine even brighter ... flaunting their flowers despite the weeds and neglect.

Stephen and I walked the garden and talked about the roses (of course).  We both have a particular fondness for found roses, and I introduced him to some of my favorites.


We also put our heads together about a project that I will be working on at Hollywood Cemetery (more on this later in a separate post). 


Though the sky was cloudy, and we had brief spells of light rain, my visit here with Stephen was absolutely lovely.  There's nothing much better than sharing roses and conversation like this.  It was a great way to spend the afternoon.


(All of the photos in this post were taken yesterday, shortly before Stephen arrived.  The overcast sky created a perfect soft light, and the roses were patient and willing subjects.)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Drapery Design Dilemma

As if I don't already have enough going on right now, with planning for our Greyhounds Rock benefit in November, sewing martingale collars for our booth at three shows over the next two weekends, and all of the other normal everyday stuff that happens ... I'm working on a plan to make drapes for our dining room and family room. 

Up until now, I have been satisfied with our undressed windows.  I'm getting the urge to cozy things up a bit, though, and I want to add some color at the same time.  (I will show you the fabric I chose later ... that's not part of my dilemma.)  I have simple panels in mind, gathered on a large rod ... floor to ceiling, pulled back beyond the window glass so we still get maximum light.  This plan falls apart when I try to figure out how to accomplish this in the family room bay.

This is a photo taken at the end of our renovation of this room in 2007 ... right after the heartpine floors were refinished.
To give you an idea of the scale of this room, the windows are 5 feet, 7 inches high, they are 3 feet from the floor, and the ceiling is 9 1/2 feet high.  Little cute curtains will not do in a space like this ... it's going to take something with presence ... Here is my inspiration photo:
The 4-sided bay windows in our house are a very distinctive Gothic Revival design feature, both inside and outside.  The previous owners of our house made very traditional, old-fashioned choices with window treatments ... attractive, but not my style.
Here is a floorplan, to give you a visual on the space I'm talking about.
There is a mere two inches between the edge of the window and the side wall.  I would love to treat the two windows as one unit and put a long panel on either side, on the same plane as the windows, but there is so little room in which to do this.  Panels hung this way would cover the window more than I want. 
I thought about putting a panel in the center, to perhaps help with the balance, but that still doesn't solve my problem. How do I design and hang panels in this space with its odd angles and close clearances?
The other three windows in my plan will be very straight-forward to deal with ... rod across the top above the molding with panels hanging on each side.  Easy peasy.
The bay window has me in fits, so I'm asking everyone for suggestions.  Any ideas you have on how to do this will be extremely appreciated.  In my mind's eye, I see this requiring a weird multi-angled rod system in the bay, but there has to be a simpler way to do this that I am overlooking.
Thanks in advance for any ideas that you have to contribute.
Now I'm off to work outside.  I have a special visitor coming this afternoon and I have to finish getting things ready.
Edited to add:  We have little need for privacy here, being out in the country the way we are, and these drapes will never, ever be closed.  They will be gathered dummy panels, for decoration only, so function is not part of the dilemma. 
11/26/12.  Edited again.  Still haven't made the drapes for the family room, but at least I know where I'm going with them now.  The ones in the dining room are finished, and they are beautiful.  Click HERE to see them.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Greyhounds Rock at the Fredericksburg Pet Expo

Ruby and Daniel and I were part of the Saturday afternoon shift at the Greyhounds Rock Fredericksburg booth at this weekend's Fredericksburg Pet Expo.  Our job was to spread the word about canine cancer and how GRF supports the work of the Greyhound Health and Wellness program at Ohio State University's vet school. 

This is Danny, a new greyhound Service Dog that was trained for support and mobility by our friends at Greyt Hearts.  We loved seeing him with his new mom.

Having Daniel at the booth provides a real life example of a dog who is undergoing successful cancer treatment.  It is a blessing that he feels so well AND can work the booth the way he does ... his grey face and bright eyes drew people in like bait.  Ruby comes with us to work on her socialization in strange situations and to show that GRF has greyhounds as the face of the organization, but the work that we support benefits all breeds of dogs ... the fact that Ruby is cute as can be doesn't hurt either.

Blurry iPhone photo in the low light of the exhibition hall, made even blurrier when I played with it using PicMonkey.  It still shows Danny's sweet face and bright eyes.

In addition to giving out information, promoting our benefit weekend in November, and trolling for donations, we were selling our martingale collars and felted wool leashes.  Folks loved the leashes (they're so soft!) and they were fascinated by the limited-slip feature of the martingale collars that is great for ANY dog whose head is smaller than their neck.

This is Sinbad, an energetic Bull Terrier, in his new martinale collar.
By the time the Expo closed yesterday, Ruby and Daniel had given up their job as booth greeters and they were sharing a dog bed, trying to get some rest.  They deserved it, because being out in public like that is really tiring. I was tired, too, after talking almost nonstop for the entire afternoon ... and we were all more than ready to get ourselves out of there and go home.
Time is ticking toward our big annual Greyhounds Rock benefit weekend ... November 3 and 4, at the Fredericksburg Hospitality House and Conference Center.  This is our seventh year, and it gets bigger and better every year, and requires more work and time on the part of our volunteers.  It's worth it, though, because we know that what we do, and the money we raise to support the program at OSU, helps real live dogs ... like Daniel!  (The vets at OSU consulted on Daniel's case and helped narrow down his confusing symptoms to get a definite diagnosis.)
For all the details and a schedule of activities for our event, click HERE to visit the Greyhounds Rock web site.  We are thrilled to have two very special programs this year ... our Saturday night speaker is Fabien Cousteau (ocean explorer, environmentalist, and dog lover), and our Sunday brunch guests are Jim Nelson and Rene Agredano (founders of the Tripawds online community).  It will be a great weekend, full of information, vendors, dogs, and FUN.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

I've Been Working in the Vineyard

Good Morning!!  Today I'm sharing with you a less-than-flattering photo of myself, doing something totally fun ... 'cause we're all about fun and sharing here in Hartwood.  (My FB friends have already seen this.)

This what I looked like for most of the day during my last two Saturdays ... dressed in work clothes, no shower, harvesting grapes in the vineyard next door at Hartwood Winery ... and thrilled to be spending beautiful sunny days working along side friends.
I have lots of photos that I took of people and grapes and butterflies ... but I like this one best.  (I played with it a bit using PicMonkey) 
Now that I think of it, I should sort through my harvest photos and share some of them with you ... sort of like a small winery, farm worker, harvest documentary.  (It may take me a few days to get to this, because this weekend is one of those where I will be running here and there and won't be home much.)
Speaking of the weekend .... I hope all of you have a really good one!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Staunton's Thornrose Cemetery Roses

With a name like Thornrose Cemetery, one would think that this place would be full of roses.  I have heard that it was like that years ago, but this is definitely not the case today.   Rose Rosette Disease made an appearance in 2002, and most of the roses that once grew here are now gone.

As I entered the cemetery's main gate, I saw three roses ... two tall white Noisettes and one pink, cluster-flowered shrub.
This is one of the Noisettes.  I didn't photograph the pink shrub.
I cruised slowly through the cemetery, and it took a while for me to find any more roses at all.  The first one I saw was probably a wild Multiflora ... perhaps planted by a seed dropped by a bird.  The next one (two, actually) were pink Rugosas.  One, pictured above and below, is probably 'Pink Grootendorst'.  It was about four feet high, and is very healthy and vigorous.
Beside 'Pink Grootendorst' was another pink rugosa.  The foliage is very similar to 'Pink Grootendorst', but the flowers were different ... much more delicate and not fringed like PG.
The final rose I found is one of my favorites ... one I can identify just about anywhere, even without flowers (which is a good thing, since it only blooms in the spring) ... Banshee.  Banshee's growth habit varies, depending on location, but her distinctive foliage gives her away every time.
This Banshee was growing in the shade of a large tree, and it appears that its leaves were beginning to shut down as fall arrives.  Banshee in my garden, planted as a sucker from a plant in growing in a cemetery in King William, Virginia, is growing in full sun and has happily reached eight feet high.  (Here's a photo of a flower from my Banshee, so you can see how lovely she is.)
I came away from Thornrose Cemetery feeling a bit lost.  I know that there were once many more roses growing there, but those are but a memory. 
Isn't that what a cemetery is, after all ... a place for memories.  In this case, we have memorials to memories of loved ones ... and memories of roses that once were.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Angels in Heaven, and in Stone

I have been racing through projects, being productive and getting things done around here for a couple of weeks now.  On Monday, I felt I deserved a day off ... so I loaded up the dogs and headed two hours west of here to Staunton, Virginia (pronounced STAN-ton, not STAWN-ton), to visit Thornrose Cemetery.  I had never been there before ... and ya'll already know how much I love exploring a good cemetery.

According to information on their web site, Thornrose Cemetery was designed in 1849, because the only other cemetery in town, at Augusta Parish Church, was full.  The first burial at Thornrose took place in 1853.  Old cemeteries like this contain a wealth of beautiful monuments with wonderful sculpture.  What I noticed most at Thornrose were the Angels.

Vickie Louise  /  daughter of
S. & E. P. Campbell
Aug. 12, 1943  /  Sept. 25, 1950
Budded on Earth  /  to bloom in Heaven
Each of the angels is unique.
Patricia Ann  /  daughter of
Jack & Beulah Peterson
Sept. 4, 1955  /  Mar. 26, 1970
(I didn't photograph the inscription on this one ... rats!)
Standing before these statues, and seeing the names and the dates, I can barely imagine the grief of the families who commissioned these angels in memory of their children.  It is strangely uplifting to see that these children are memorialized in such a beautiful way and that they will be thought of by all who see these angels.

Liggan H. Cox  /  Died Nov. 9, 1883  /  Aged 2 Mos.
Everett S. Cox  /  Died Aug. 15, 1887  /  Aged 2 Yrs. 6 Mos.
Mamie Corina Cox  /  Died Aug. 3, 1889  /  Aged 10 Mos.
Frederick  /  Feb. 8, 1907  /  July 15, 1907
Randolph  /  May 10, 1909  /  July 6, 1909
Virginia May Serrett  /  May 10, 1903  /  Oct. 21, 1918
Plot sales and burials continue at Thornrose Cemetery.  I found one relatively-modern grave with an angel statue.  The carving is just as fine as on the older angels, though the color of the marble is still white and new looking.  This lovely little angel will develop a beautiful patina with the passage of time and the effects of weather.
Brenda Lee Ayer
March 16, 1960  /  August 31, 1976
There are other statues at Thornrose besides angels.
It is common to see lambs on the memorials for children.  Never before have I seen a lamb like this one, sleeping with his head down.
The most unusual monument I saw was this one ... a statue of a dog, waiting patiently for his mistress.
I went to Thornrose Cemetery in search of the roses that I was told were once there.  Tomorrow, I will show you what I found.
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