Friday, October 31, 2014

Flowers on Friday ... Perle d'Or

I caught this view of 'Perle d'Or' glowing in the sunshine, as seen through the window of our basement game/storage room.  

You know me ... I just HAD to share.

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Morning Walk in the Garden, and the Making of Hellebore Hill

Early yesterday morning, I put on my red rubber garden shoes, slipped a hoodie over my pajamas, grabbed my camera, and I headed out to see what there was to see in the garden.

The sun was bright, and the shadows were long.  I love early morning in the garden.

The English Garden has recovered really well from last winter's damage.

Many of my David Austin roses in the English Garden are flowering, though few of the flowers are picture perfect.  That's just how it is in late fall ... doesn't make them any less beautiful to me.

The little baby Noisette roses in the English Garden have settled in and grown a lot since I planted them in August. 

Mystery Noisette #1 that lost its tag.

Mystery Noisette #1 that lost its tag.

Mystery Noisette #2, with a faded tag.

Mystery Noisette #2, with a faded tag.

In another part of the garden, 'Belle Vichyssoise' has opened a beautiful spray of fragrant flowers and 'Pink Perpetue' was showing off a perfect flower that looks almost like a camellia.

Today, I worked in the shade garden for most of the day ... hoping to get the area prepped and lot of new plants into the ground.  I am calling this garden Hellebore Hill, because it's catchy and it will have mostly Hellebores in it.  Before I could plant anything, I had to clear the area of hundreds of fallen black walnuts.  I made two trips with the tractor, with the bucket full of nuts, and dumped them in the tree line at the back of our property.

I don't use the tractor a lot, so I don't get to see this view very often.

Once the nuts were gone and the weeds were pulled, it was time to plant.  This 8 x 8 foot space is thickly planted, because I want it to fill in and the plants to grow together.  It contains mostly free plants, a few bargain plants, and some great specimen plants from my garden club plant exchange last weekend ... thirteen two-year-old seedling Hellebores, two fall-flowering Japanese Anemones, two Black Arums (Arum pictum), one Heuchera villosa, and one Aureomaculata Leopard Plant.  It also has ten Colchicums (which are finished for the season) and three clumps of daffodil bulbs.

Even though I was tired after all the prep work, digging all those holes and planting the plants, I continued to work ... putting down a good layer of newspaper on the bare soil and covering it with mulch.  

I'm glad I stuck with it and finished this part of the job completely, because it felt so good to step back and see what I had accomplished.

Soon, I hope to continue the progress down this bed, weeding and planting as I can, to connect this new part of the garden to the existing part that contains mostly mature Hellebores and Hostas.  If I can do this, it means that I will have fewer plants in pots, more plants in the ground, and an awesome new garden to enjoy ... instead of the weed patch that had been there.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bunk Room Details and Sources

Thank you, thank you for all of your lovely compliments about my efforts to tidy up and decorate our spare bedroom.  It was so much fun to put it all together with things that I had on hand, though the sifting and organizing part of the job was NOT fun ... necessary, but definitely not fun.

In this post, I offer to you as many details and sources as I remember for the items in the room ... in case anyone wants to try to duplicate part of the look or is just curious.  (Remember, the only new things in the room are the comforters and the bed skirts.  Everything else has been around the house for at least two years ... most things have been here for much longer.)  Highlighted text links to previous blog posts about those items.

Comforters:  Tommy Hilfiger down-alternative full-queen with microfiber cover, at T. J. Maxx
Red and White Quilts:  Plow and Hearth Outlet
Bed skirts:  18" long, bought at Bed Bath & Beyond
Antique Rope bed:  Lucketts Store, bought at least ten years ago.
Quilt on cedar chest:  Antique feed sack quilt, shown in THIS post
Rag rug beside the bed:  Rewoven antique RUG from Crazy as a Loom Weaving Studio.
Storage cabinet and white curtain panels:  Ikea
Bamboo Blinds:  Lowes, and I will show you how I installed these in another post soon.

Swing Arm Lamp:  Walmart
Shade:  Lowes
Wall color:  Benjamin Moore "Denim Wash" #838
Trim Color:  Farrow and Ball "Wimborne White"

Greyhound Sign:  eBay
Quilted pillow shams:  Salvation Army Store
Vintage school desk:  Class and Trash, Glen Allen, Virginia
Table lamp:  Goodwill lamp and shade, painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint
Framed Print:  Souvenir from Tater Red's in Memphis, Tennessee

Here is the lesson that I want to pass along by sharing this ... items don't have to match or even appear to coordinate in order for them to work together and create a welcoming space.  If you buy and collect only things that you love, any space you use them in will be a perfect reflection of your own taste and personality.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Bunk Room

The biggest part of preparing for our daughter's visit this week was clearing out and setting up a proper guest room.  We had the basic ingredients in place, but the remaining space had devolved into something that looked like an out-take from an episode of "Hoarders" on TV.  I worked on and off on it for three days ... no gorey 'before' images were captured, only tidy, organized 'after shots to show you.  This is the result:

This room is a textbook example of how we can make a beautiful space using mostly items that we have on hand.  In this space, the only things I bought were the red comforters (cheap at T. J. Maxx) and the white bedskirts.  Everything else was either already in the room (beds, trunk, cabinet with drawers from Ikea) or was pulled from storage and other places in the house (antique rope bed was stored in the garage, quilts in the linen closet, etc.).

I bought the bed years and years ago, scrubbed its original finish clean, and have had it on hand waiting for a chance to use it.  As far as I can tell, it is completely intact and unmolested, and I wanted to keep it that way.  But, the original rails for it are too short for modern bedding, so I ordered bolt-on rails for it.  The bedskirt hides the modern rails, and the original rails (with their rope pegs intact) are safely stored underneath the bed.

There is no place for a bedside table for this bed because of the radiator.  The deep windowsill can hold a tissue box or clock, and whatever else is necessary to have close at hand, and I mounted this swing-arm lamp for bedside light.

The bed on the other side of the room is placed in front of the room's fireplace.  I decided that I wanted more sleeping space for guests and grandkids instead of decorating around a fireplace that we can't use.  The headboard perfectly covers the firebox (which is blocked by styrofoam insulation to keep out drafts).

The door you see leads to our attic.

I have had the Greyhound sign forever ... bought it on eBay and have had it on hand, waiting for the perfect spot to show it off.  The oak headboard was a yard sale find from at least twenty years ago.  The bedside table is a vintage metal school desk in an awesome shade of smoky salmon, perfect for holding some bedside reading ... rose books, of course.

The little mama piggy doll has been one of my favorite things since I bought her at a craft fair back in the 1980s.  She is made using scraps of worn quilt and primitive fabrics, and she is cradling her three little piglets ... representing me and MY three babies (who aren't actually babies anymore)

Our daughter arrived late on Sunday night.  (this visit was a birthday present for my husband and me, arranged by our youngest daughter as a wonderful surprise.)  I intend to savor every moment of the time we all have together this week. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Persimmons and Possums

Last week, I showed you the huge amount of fruit on the wild Persimmon tree in the back corner of our pasture.

Each of these fruits is about two inches in diameter.

There are thousands of them weighing down the branches of the tree.

With a bounty like this, I imagined that my game camera would capture photos of all kinds of wild critters feasting on the fallen fruit.  That's not been the case so far ... all I have to show is one lone Opossum.

October 11, 11:27pm

October 13, 10:51PM

October 13, 2:07am

Not many photos and only one 'possum is pretty disappointing for two weeks of waiting, I'm sorry to say.  Since most of the fruit is still on the tree, I'm going to leave the camera in this spot for a little while longer.  We'll hope that more critters show up when more of the fruit falls to the ground.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Flowers on Friday ... A Day at Tufton

I closed the retail portion of Hartwood Roses in 2012 in order to could focus more on rose preservation and education.  Yesterday was one of those "preservation" days ... I spent the afternoon at Monticello's Tufton Farm, taking cuttings of some of the rarest roses in the Leonie Bell Noisette Garden.

Leonie Bell was a superstar in the rose world, a champion of old roses, and a rose hunter in a time when roses in cemeteries and abandoned places were disappearing at an alarming rate.  The garden at Tufton Farm is dedicated to her memory, and it has some of the rare and wonderful roses that she and other rose hunters have found.  The collection contains many examples of Noisette roses, and there are also roses that are more commonly available, like 'Old Blush' and other China roses, which factored into the development of the Noisettes and most of our modern repeat-flowering roses.

My goal yesterday was to take cuttings of each rose in the Bell Garden that I don't have or isn't easily available in commerce.  (For example, "Cato's Cluster" used to be available from Vintage Gardens ... but now there is not a US source.)

"Lingo Musk" (Noisette)

I did not need to take cuttings of the true Musk roses in the garden, because all of these are safely held in the collection at Florida Southern College.

"Bremo Musk"

After two and a half hours of work, I had three gallon-sized zipper bags that contained cuttings of fourteen roses.  These bags are in my refrigerator right now, and I will process and plant all of the cuttings later today.  If everything goes as planned and the cuttings root like they're supposed to, I hope to have baby plants of each rose later in the year ... to pass along to other rose preservationists and to provide back-up copies for Tufton.

unknown white Noisette

I really enjoyed my afternoon at Tufton.  The weather was beautiful and the air in the garden was heavy with the scent of the roses, especially the wonderful, wafting fragrance of the Musk roses.  

(To learn more about the Leonie Bell Noisette Garden, and about Leonie Bell herself, click HERE to go to a post on the Monticello blog written by Ben Whitacre.)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

M. I. A.

I've been absent from here for almost two weeks.  It's all been good ... working on stuff and getting things done. 

Grab a beverage of your choice and settle in, while I tell you about some of the things that have happened here in Hartwood during the past two weeks.

1.  Early fall is time to harvest the grapes in the vineyard next door at Hartwood Winery.  Friends of the winery gathered when the time is right, and we spent two days laughing and picking grapes ... Chambourcin red grapes on Saturday two weeks ago and Seyval white grapes last Saturday.

Morning sun shining through the Seyval grapes.

The Chambourcin vines were loaded with fruit!

2.  On the suggestion of a friend, I downloaded the Purina Cat Fishing app to my iPad ... it's a video game for cats.  Dorothy loves it to the point of obsession, and she will sometimes go over to the iPad and stare at it to let me know that she wants to play.  Her high score so far is 580.

3.  I tried a new flower in my garden ... fall-blooming giant Colchicum.  They are blooming right now in a part of a new garden by the driveway that I'm working on.  Colchicum produces foliage in the spring that dies down in the summer, and sends up flowers without leaves in the fall.

4.  After a lull during the summer, Greyhounds Rock Fredericksburg is back to working our booth selling dog-related wares at events and raising money for canine cancer research.  My main responsibility in this is MAKING a lot of the merchandise that we sell.  I restocked our inventory of martingale collars, added a new design to our hand-painted leather wine glass lanyards, and made some new Tiny Dog Totes,  I am pleased to say that sales have been brisk!

Martingale collars.

Hand-painted leather wine glass lanyards.

Tiny Dog Totes ... like the one that I use to carry Winnie when we are out and about.

As I started making the totes last week, my sewing machine's pedal died ... it's probably a broken wire.  Thank goodness I have a vintage machine on hand, which worked flawlessly!

You can see how I found this beautiful White machine in THIS post from 2012.

4.  We have a large wild Persimmon tree in the back corner of our pasture.  It's not the kind of Persimmon that is good for cooking or eating.  The fruit is too small and full of huge seeds, and it never really gets sweet enough for humans to enjoy.  The tree is loaded with fruit this year ... more than I have ever seen on it before.

I set up my game camera in this spot last week, to see what kind of critters come to feast on fruit as it falls.  With this bounty available as bait, I hope to get some good images.  So far, there has only been one opossum show up in the photos.

Persimmon-eating 'Possum.

5.  We have a new vehicle parked in front of our house ... our Deputy Daughter's patrol car.  She graduated from the Academy in May, and finished her field training last month.  We are so proud of her!

6.  With the digging and destruction of replacing our water main behind us, I have begun to lay out the new shade garden in our backyard by the deck.  It's going to be a simple affair, with Hellebores, Hostas, and other easy-care shade-loving plants ... it is designed to cut down on mowing and give something nice to look at in this area.  

7.  What I have mostly been doing is enjoying the lovely fall weather, getting out often with the dogs.  We walk the property to give Ruby and Winnie some exercise and a taste of life in the country, and to try to keep Winnie's weight in check.  (Now that she's healthy, she's starting to get a little heavier than she should be.)

Ruby loves to roll in the grass.

Winnie found a small pile of wild animal poop to sniff ... eewwww.

Winnie has had enough and is trying to head for the house.

8.  My birthday was last week, and husband's birthday is at the end of the month.  Our daughter came up with the most wonderful idea for a combo birthday gift for us.  Inside of a beautiful rhinestone gift box (that she made), underneath a handful of silver jewels, was a slip of paper that detailed flight arrangements for our middle daughter to fly from Montana to spend a week with us!

This was my reaction ... I still get teary just thinking about it.  Happy tears.

Finishing up ... here are some gratuitous Winnie images for you, because she's so darned cute!

As you see, stuff here was normal.  I kept to my usual pace of making and doing things.  In addition to all of this, I took time to watch football, visit with friends, go on a garden tour ... I just didn't take time to come here and share stuff as it was happening. 

I hope all of you are doing well and enjoying whatever happens in your neck of the woods in fall.  (Tell me about it in the comments, if you are so inclined.)

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