Out and About ~ Neighboring Gardens + Upcoming Visits

Just a  little out and about today and a mini tour of our neighbor’s side garden…

Planted  where we can easily see the garden beds from our kitchen window, this garden sits between our two houses and is lovely to look at throughout the day.  Two long flower beds have changed flowers like the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace ~ with fanfare and applause!

Earlier at Easter time several types of lilies were in bloom. Now just the summer yellow lily is still flowering but it has some companions who have since sprung up! These feathery fronds with blue-topped tips co-mingle in this front flowerbed. 

Since I am still learning about plants which bloom in Texas and perhaps this is a “nepeta?” 

Not sure but if it is then it takes the summer heat and humidity! Would be good in our yard…


Aren’t these blue beauties pretty as they bob in the
windy late afternoon sunshine?
I haven’t been to any big gardens this year unlike when I visited
the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens a couple of years ago with former neighbors from Wagon Master RV Park.



Or the Japanese garden, also there.

Or the incredible rose garden of the Biltmore Estate…

And I need to remedy this soon! I have been spending way too much time at home but next week I’ll be heading down to visit our daughter for a belated birthday visit (her birthday is today, actually). 

More of our neighbor’s front bed in the late twilight…


I should be able to persuade her to come with me to visit a couple if only for short visits…

Like the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center  or this public garden called the Sunshine Community Gardens.

Until then… A short visit to the neighbor’s will have to do.
😉






Happy gardening,

California Move + Update

March roared in like a lion for me with a whirlwind drive to California as you know to meet our movers, pack everything up, then beat feet back to Texas…

Packing the last things out of our right-hand storage unit.

California Leaving…

Six big guys came with Ron and Kari Hanson, our movers with Oakley Relocation out of San Diego and Riverside Counties. I am really impressed with all of their resourcefulness, professionalism and care with our household goods! I highly recommend Oakley Relocation as Jerilyn and Alex who run the call center were helpful in every aspect of our move. 

BTW, did you know it is cheaper to move in the winter than in the summer? Peak season costs more. 


Turns out my husband is a major pack-rat ~ we have more Ryobi drills and other tool things that were hidden away! And we were over budget by 4500 lbs. at 22,100 lbs. total weight.  It is all getting moved and then Mr. Ethereal can figure out where he wants to place everything and what we need to sell or donate.
🙂

The beginnings of the donation pile.
The next day I worked on donations… Here are part of the items we donated plus a lot of furniture went into this Salvation Army pile, too. SA ended up taking all the furniture and some boxes of household goods they knew they could sell. After they pulled out I went and rented a U-Haul and loaded the rest heading to Habitat for Humanity late in the day.

Thankfully even though HFH had just closed (4:30p.m.) they ladies working the donation area that day opened since I was moving out of state the next day. 

One of the fun things about moving (not!) is that anything chemical related and considered as hazardous waste cannot be transported on big moving vans. I tried to drop off things I had no room for in my Sequoia but the location was closed.

Pulling out of a rest stop along the California-Arizona border
somewhere.  The weather was perfect all the way home!

Heading to Texas

The young man who checked in the small U-Haul truck I rented took those things, yeah! He said he needed the motor oil and could use the other things in his apartment and on his car. Two plastic jugs of 10W-30 were in my car already so I was more than happy to give him the other; it feels good to help others.  🙂

Saw this trucker bringing home this cutie for a special child.
Isn’t this adorable? Love it!!!
Heading back to Texas

I stopped at some nice rest stops along the way and one in Las Cruces, New Mexico just above the city was very nice! And had the most spectacular view from the top of the mountain… I shared a video and photo or two on my Instagram of that rest area.
Photo actually taken by Mr. Ethereal. 🙂
Mr. Ethereal worked really hard while I was gone moving things out of our trailer and then cleaned out the new garage. He staged some of our things plus a shelving unit left by the previous owners here in the garage.

He also moved and put many things away in our spare bedrooms ~ such a sweetheart!

Mr. Ethereal also organized the built in cabinet ~ a new beginning for us!

Tomorrow our household goods will be delivered and then we will be able to take our time putting things away. 

Until then I’ll be in and out. We are still in our Prairie Home trailer for a few more days then it will be cleaned and put up for sale.


Riverside County Parks, Lake Skinner and the Tecolota mountain
range ~ four years ago when we began our trailer life adventure.
Thank you for all your prayers and well wishes with our move ~ I do appreciate it!




Marching is thankfully ending like a lamb,

A Look Back, Scheduling Movers + Looking Forward…

A look back  at our last home in California and the furnishing which will be making the journey in the upcoming weeks to our new home here in Texas!

I have been talking with moving companies for a week now getting quotes and sending inventories back and forth. Whew! It’s a tough nut to navigate and I still want to drive out to bring back some of the really fragile things but now I am rethinking carrying a few of the mirrors back with me…

Maybe it is better that the movers crate them…

What do you think?…


A heavy mirror I shipped back on Virgin Atlantic from England in 2005.

I’ll be leaving later this week driving cross-country and actually my Sequoia is in for servicing yesterday and today. The brakes needed some special master cyclinder-type thing as it is failing. Glad this is getting done even though 2 bills are being spent…

Don’t want to be involved in a major crash because of brake failure!

Have you ever shipped long-distance and how did your mirrors, prints and family portraits survive the move? Did the movers crate them? How about your furniture ~ how did your case goods hold up?

Thank you for your thoughts! 🙂 I am worried and I know I can’t do anything about them, plus they are just things as people say. When I moved with my parents some jewelry was swiped on two occasions and we lost a box of Christmas things, mainly my baby stocking and velvet stockings I made for Charles and myself when we were first married. 

I need to remake those… 😉 
Maybe this fall… 

My big birthday present from 4 years ago ~ a 4’w x 5′ tall pier mirror.

We will have a quote later today from a carrier I regard as trusted ~ hope it is a good one and something we can afford. We will probably go with this moving company as they can schedule a pick up around March 6th, just when I’d like to the packing and loading done. The estimate is for 16,000 lbs. 


Here is the pier mirror as I found it in the consignment shop in Citrus Heights, California.

And another gesso mirror I found in Murrieta at another consignment-antique shop several years earlier.

Here’s a link to the story I wrote about finding the pier mirror and one very similar to this dresser mirror above.

So excited to share all these lovelies with you in their new home in the upcoming year…

Have a great week!
Sharing with
Dishing It and Digging It ~ DIY 180
Keep In Touch ~ Let’s add Sprinkles
Feathered Nest Friday
Thursday Favorite Things
Sweet Inspiration
later this week…


Hugs and blessings to you,

A Victorian Dickens Tea at The Lasker Inn

Every year a tea is hosted by Cheryl Adams Palmer and a few friends at the beautiful, historic antibellum home-turned Lasker Inn just a few blocks from the beach in Galveston, Texas.

Come along with me and share in the day’s repast!


1019 16th Street
Galveston, Texas 77550
reservations ~ 409.497.4318
My friend Laura had sent me an email way early in the year telling me about this tea down on the island of Galveston and would I be interested in going? Well, of course! as I love going to tea and have with all of my friends in California during the almost 20 years I was in the Victorian Tea Society.

Friends Gloria and Sandy and I went to Barbara Ann’s in Ontario, California at her Queen Anne home turned tea parlor and to the Chocolate Angel Tea Room in Richardson, Texas, about an hour away from where we live now.

So driving 6-8 hours down to Galveston would be a fun road trip plus this would be during the Dickens Festival, which I had never been to one before and this one is BIG!  More on that in the next post…
😉

These lovely gentlemen greeted us at the door and Frank, the gentleman on the right, sat at our table this evening.  I believe Frank is Cheryl’s husband as he was telling me how she also makes corsets for women to wear and attends festivals as she is part of a costumer’s guild in the Houston area, which is how she and Laura met.

Oh! Did you know that many men who participate in costume guilds often sew their own clothes?  I want to say that Frank sewed some of his outfit but later he said he was joking.  His wife helped make his costume, and the other gentleman had his tailor-made and custom fit.  Beautiful craftsmanship!  

Often, costumers will use old techniques and that means a lot of hand-sewing.

Cheryl’s bio for the tea talked about how she was first an event planner in the oil industry but began a second career “designing and making historical costumes.”  We are sooo glad she did!  This is their third year hosting the tea.

Ms. Laura in her Marmie Civil War era wool dress.  Perfect in every detail! 
Laura Ingalls Gunn (who writes Decor to Adore) graciously loaned me a small hoop skirt, a lovely Christmasy skirt and a Peter Pan collared blouse to wear, along with a garden bonnet made over
by yours truly…

Here I am ready to go back at the Four Points Sheraton.  My room overlooked
the Galveston seawall and beach. It was heaven in the mornings!
The Grand Victorian Tea Reception began at 3:30pm
with many people just coming straight from the Dickens on the Strand Festival ~ including myself.

These women sewed their own dresses from antique sewing patterns… Absolutely perfect details!
Each of the rooms was decorated with a Christmas tree and the parlor was the first room off to the left here at the Lasker Inn.

In the adjoining tea room guests mingled while one of the hosts sat writing out part of a speech given later in the evening…

Images of weddings held at the inn adorn the central hallway walls and up along the grand staircase ~ ethereal, indeed!

I am sorry that a few of these photos are blurry and appear double imaged. I goofed and changed a setting on the camera and this was what happened… But I did want to show these guests and host as I loved their costumes!


Then we were called in to tea…


Wait staff from the inn brought out tall tea servers with the first course of several types of scones and a selection of teas from which to choose.


As this first course was finished tea sandwiches appeared along with acorn soup in the sweetest two-handled bowls.

Frank told me how the previous year another type of bowl was used and that the owners then went shopping for the correct bowls to serve for this year!  The attention to detail was period perfect for this lovely afternoon tea.  

Here’s a fun little video on how to make some scones or “rocks” as this chef likes to call them.


“Marmie” played mother to the table pouring tea for us and for the family with whom we sat.  Again I am sorry for the blurred photographs. The man on the right is Desi and he was very excited to tell me he was named “like I Love Lucy.”


He also really liked roast beef as that was one of the fillings in one of our sandwiches. Also part of the fare were cucumber sandwiches on rye but these had a bit of heat to them, which was really fun!

Most of the tea sandwiches served were gluten free except for the pumpernickel bread {the very dark sandwich on the bottom tier’s plate}.  I didn’t know that pumpernickel had wheat in it ~ good to know.  

There was a discussion about Celiac disease then and many other topics including talking about different kinds of teas.

I have to say that conversation is one of the things I relish about attending or hosting a tea ~ there are so many things to think about and you always learn something new! 


We all had a lovely time and this was a special treat for everyone but especially for these young men!

We were blessed to sit and take tea with them.
🙂


The dessert course was next and everything was created by the owners’ daughter who is a professional baker.  

Here is the wonderful chef who baked all of the truffles and macarons!
She wore a dress decorated with her favorite blooms ~ sunflowers ~ all
hand-made by her mother Cheryl.
🙂

She told us later as we sat down to an after-dinner conversation in the main parlor how she made the macarons and that their success is very dependent upon the weather!
These are the two hostesses ~ Cheryl Palmer is on left and Amanda Vermillion of The Tea Mistress, LLC.
Amanda’s talk was about a particular tisane bloom which when brewed is one color but changes color with the addition of another item.  Her talk on this wonderful transformation is appropriately called “Accidental Alchemy” and everyone enjoyed participating and seeing the change!

Everything was so beautifully done!

Frank and Cheryl Palmer
I hope you have enjoyed this visit and tea!
Sharing with




Happy tea to you,

Christmas Wishes and Christmas Trees…

A warm fire blazing  and the glow of candlelight. The sparkling twinkle of white and colorful lights on the Christmas tree bright…

Memories of Christmases past and present mingle together in a merry reverie…

Every year  the Christmas trees lovingly pulled from their boxes may be a little different but the thoughts and sentiments are always the same ~ glad tidings to all and best wishes and prayers for family and friends.

In our last home  my daughter would help me decorate by stringing the lights and as she got older she began decorating the tree, too. It was a fun family event and we would pick a theme of all whites and silvers or just family ornaments.
 Those trees became our most favorite ~ special for their simplicity and the memories they each recalled.  

Our first Christmas in our first trailer spent at Lake Skinner.

The blue star
  atop the one tree was one of the first Christmas ornaments my new husband and I bought for our first Christmas tree together in our first apartment. The year was 1989 and he had just come home from his MOS job training in South Carolina and was just beginning his first tour at Camp Pendleton, California.

These little Christmas trees were ones I fashioned and bleached as gifts for friends in my Victorian Tea Society group and also for my coworkers and teacher at school that year.  I have been making little Christmas trees and now French Snow People ever since.
Our tree this year is the same one used last year ~ a nice 4 1/2′ tree I found
right before Christmas from Sam’s Club for $24 or $27.  A wonderful bargain
with realistic looking needles.  🙂
This Christmas  I am keeping it simple with just the one Christmas tree set up on the tall nightstand again and a simple window vignette.

A bit of a mess but that’s real life, isn’t it?  Presents to be wrapped up on the
sofa and a pillow and mugs to put away.  Mr. Yoda is enjoying
his new dogbed.  :)’

The fireplace decorated with the snowmen and little trees.

This little pinky tree was created by Laura last year as part of our Lone Star bloggers gifts and I just love it!

The little pink Christmas tree reminds us of the real reason for the season…
That Jesus came to this earth fully man and fully God to give us eternal life.

This is my favorite photo of the season…

I have fallen in love with beautiful vintage religious santos and relics and have been looking out for them in my thriftshop trips.  This sweet Mary and Baby Jesus must have been a Christmas tree ornament as it has a small hook at its top but I think it is better as a table display.
🙂

Our Christmas tree looks lovely at night with its sparkling lights, pearl strands found in the wedding section of big box craft stores like Joann’s and sweet gift tags created locally.


And a little daytime view…

Sharing with
Feathered Nest Friday ~ French Country Cottage

Hope you have enjoyed this little
Christmas tree tour,

My Little Texas Home ~ Fall In Love With Texas blog tour

Happy Fall  to y’all and welcome to Texas!  Such a beautiful state all year round but in the fall it is especially lovely with all the farmers harvesting golden fields into giant rolls of hay bundled for winter livestock feeding.   Leaves on the crepe myrtles, red oaks and sugar maples are beginning to show their fall colors, and the days and nights beginning to cool off after the heavy heat of summer.  
Welcome!  I am happy to share my little slice of Texas with you as part of the Fall in Love with Texas Blog Tour…

We are so happy you are here!  These next five wonderful days will be filled with true Texas grit featuring much lovely fall decor and gardens decorated for the autumn season featuring bloggers from all across the state.  

We are sure y’all will fall in love… 
🙂

Grab a cup of tea  and let’s get this party started!  If you are new to my blog and are stopping by from Katie at Let’s Add Sprinkles ~ welcome!  🙂  As always, I am happy you are here! 

An evening tea party with scones and English Breakfast.
Above is a favorite look I shared last fall that I loved creating~ hospitality is my thing and I love having friends in for tea luncheons and for dessert.   Our home is in Sanger, a small town in North Central Texas.  We have some rolling hills here in Denton County and we are currently situated up on a plateau looking down towards Dallas and Fort Worth, about an hour to the south and west of us.  We are also just about 40 minutes from the border of Oklahoma so we get a lot of wind and cold weather here in the late fall and winter, then a whole lot of heat in the summer off the Gulf of Mexico ~ such a dramatic change from the weather we had in sunny and warm Southern California ~ but we are loving the changes!

Make a fall centerpiece with a faux pumpkin vase.
Setting a beautiful table is something I really like to do to show  my guests that they are truly appreciated.  For fall I like decorating with real and faux pumpkins then using some of my real china even though our Prairie Home is a giant fifth-wheel.  It is truly more of a glamper than a camper! Most folks when they are camping full-time tend to use plastic plates and cups ~ and we do use those too ~ but I love having real china and have several sets with us.  

These two plates I picked up at HomeGoods and similar ones can readily be found there and other stores this time of year.  Dressed with sweet paper napkins {a snowy owl in a purple crown!} and silver tableware this table is all fall elegance.


I went for a less cluttered look this year still using flowers but the faux variety instead of dried.
This year I changed up our fall decor a little by adding in this sweet whitewashed tobacco basket with wine, rust and navy velvet pumpkins.  I’ve actually redecorated this window a couple of times and am having fun tweaking this vignette a little more each time!  Do you like to do that, too?  Someone recently said she thought she had “decorating ADHD.”  I’m borrowing that thought, lol!


Here’s the latest window styling I finished sharing a tutorial on creating a small chalkboard ~ love its addition to the holiday decor with its frame’s lovely antique gold patina!


Shall we go outside  and check out what’s blooming for fall?  I am still getting used to gardening with Texas’ wide swing from cold + dry winters to hot + humid summers, so… I lost three roses this year but two have survived and are ready to share their blooms here now for you.  These are English roses Sceptre d’Isle and The Generous Gardener by David Austin Roses.  I am not sponsored but I love these roses and thought I’d share a little more about them today.  

Ever since we moved two years ago to Texas, everyone has told me that only Knockout roses grow well here and they are right.  You’ll find these lovely single petaled dark pink and red blooms all over the Dallas area, but I am on a quest to get English roses growing in my garden.  Many species of roses do grow beautifully in East Texas where the weather is less humid.


Replanting those pots I brought in some more of that lovely deep fall color I have indoors with these sweet mums ~ really loving them every time I wander in or outside!  Try popping a few mums in with your usual garden plants for a burst of color.

My usual color of choice is a much lighter pink in flowers but this year I’ve been drawn to these deeper colors.  Guess I’m wishing I could see some of New England’s fall colored leaves like I used to when visiting my now-deceased mother and father at their last home in Connecticut ~ Oh, Happy Columbus Day to you, btw!!!

Our leaves are beginning to change here on the crepe myrtles, oaks and maples up here in Sanger but really they won’t get going until November.

Last of the evening light falling gently on this colorful trio of gourds.
It was fun finding all these different colored pumpkins and just playing outside figuring out where each would look best.  Really love this deep orange speckled pumpkin this year ~ it’s a new type for me.  For some fun information on pumpkin types, check out Growing Produce.com.


One last look in the waning light ~ can you find the forgotten sticker??  😉
Thank you so much for stopping by today and I hope you’ve enjoyed my little home and garden tour.  I hope too that you’ll wander over and visit all of the ladies on this week’s tour. Feel free to stop back by to follow their links throughout the week.  

Laura of Decor to Adore is next up in the Fall In Love With Texas blog tour and I know you’ll enjoy her home and features.  

Here is the list of who is hosting each day ~ just click on each link.

A great photo for you to pin!  Thank you, Katie of Let’s Add Sprinkles!

Monday 


Tuesday

Wednesday 

Thursday 
White Spray Paint 

Sharing with ~
Sundays at Home ~ Maison de Cinq
Waste Not Wednesday ~ Faeries and Fauna
Style Showcase ~ Shabbyfufu
Friendship Friday ~ Create With Joy
Hearth and Soul ~ April J. Harris



Happy fall and enjoy the tour!

Places to Visit ~ The Historic St. Anthony Hotel {Pt. 1}

The St. Anthony  hotel in historic San Antonio, Texas is breath-taking with its crystal chandeliers, antique baroque and Egyptian furniture, and incredible oil paintings and statuary ~ a hotel well worth your visit!…


This was  our view from our park side hotel room overlooking Travis Park in historic downtown San Antonio, Texas ~ pretty with sunburst walkways into the center of the park and set with its tables ready for visitors to picnic at or play a game of chess or two.
🙂


We arrived late on Friday night due to holiday weekend traffic and leaving town late due to things that had to get done so I didn’t get any photos of the room itself except this little hallway entry table.
Loved the set up and lighting switches were set up to let staff know if you wanted the room cleaned or wanted privacy as well as a nightlight at a push of a button.


The antiques downstairs

The pool on the 6th floor had lovely views of neighboring hotels and business buildings, most historic, and was over-filled making it a fun place for kids to play along the wide steps walking into it.
The weight room with treadmills and stationary bicycles was really nice with large mirrors so you could see yourself lifting and correct your form… But even though I partook of the latter I really was gaga over all the priceless antiques inside the St. Anthony’s lobby and upper museum gallery areas!

This was my cup of tea!

Beginning with  this beautiful hand-laid tile doormat at a streetside entrance declaring the year the St. Anthony opened
I was enchanted!

Coming in from that entrance this famous “little” painting of an eagle ready to fly off a cliff is one of the first things one notices in the Grand Salon and entry area.
The walls of this French inspired space were decorated with numerous oil canvases, many from famous painters, as well as ethereal antique furnishings and reproductions of the original pieces.

I loved this sassy lady playing cards with her friend or sister and what looks to be her mother ~ the scene just says, “We are here to have fun!”  A motto to which this hotel also subscribes.

Isn’t this sitting room beautiful?
Tea and coffee are set out on this desk every morning for guests along with travel cups to take out for sightseeing the city.


I wish more pieces of furniture were out there that the common person could find… Wouldn’t this be a lovely desk in one’s
library room or office?
Sadly a number of the paintings are torn and are in need of restoration ~ this one was sweet of this family’s children and their beloved spaniels.
🙂

Well, the computer is telling me my post is full so I’ll have to share some other photos with you another day…
I’ll be writing a post next about our walking trips around downtown San Antonio and the Alamo site so please look
for that post soon!

This post was featured at
Thursday Favorite Things ~ An Artful Mom
Thank you, Pam!!!
🙂


Sharing with
Feathered Nest Friday ~ French Country Cottage
Thursday Favorite Things ~ Katherine’s Corner
Style Showcase ~ Shabby Fufu
Sweet Inspiration ~ The Boondock’s Blog
Waste Not Wednesday ~ Faeries and Fauna
Friday Features ~ Oh, My Heartsie Girl!
Make It Pretty ~ The Dedicated House


Just lovely,

Wildflowers and Gardens ~ Austin and Magnolia Market

Last week   the beginnings of another Texas spring
bloomed everywhere my daughter and I drove.
Today I’m sharing a little of those beautiful Texas
wildflowers and also the gardens at Waco’s
Magnolia Market.


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Let’s begin   our garden tour in Austin where I found
this beauty ~ I think this may be a flowering redbud
but I’m not 100 percent certain as it could be a type of
cherry tree too.
If you happen to know what type of tree this is
will you let me know in the comments?
Thank you.
🙂

It sure was lovely in all it’s pinkish purple beauty!

Guess where I found it and a lot full of others just like it?
Costco.  
Yes really.
Beautifully sculptural and not overly trimmed is just how
an ornamental tree should look
to me at least
and these were perfect!
😉


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A close up shot of the buds and blooms on this tree ~ ethereal purple goodness!
I drove over to say goodbye to my daughter as she had
to go into work before I had woken up
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and I was blown away by how pretty these trees are.


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A beautiful red beauty blooming on a greenbelt at my daughter’s apartment complex.


Another of my flowers finds ~ everywhere we drove in Austin
these red roses were blooming and I’m sorry that they look
more neon than the real red that they were.
I didn’t have my Canon camera with me so I used my
iPhone and red just isn’t this phone’s favorite color
to reproduce.
😦
These roses were beautiful none the less and the plant
grew to about 5′ wide and tall.
This rose bush is really healthy and I am guessing that
this is a Knockout rose as they are planted everywhere and
do really well here in Texas.



Of course  what is spring in Texas without sharing
the state flower ~ the purple bluebonnet
or lupinus texensis??

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Isn’t this greenbelt incredible??  I posted a little video on my Instagram feed so you can see more.    

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Last spring I went crazy photographing bluebonnets and
I used to have them growing once in a while in my
gardens in California.
They don’t like a lot of fuss and really prefer rocky soil.
If you try growing some just toss them out on your
meadow in the fall and leave them be.
No feeding and the winter rains will water them.
🙂


Magnolia’s gardens  are pretty in all seasons and
at only two years young it’s amazing to see how mature
the gardens are now.
I love how there is something for everyone at 
Magnolia Market at the Silos.
I did several write-ups beginning with this one sharing
shopping finds I found at Magnolia two years ago
just after the shops opened.
My husband, daughter and I were on our way to our
son and daughter-in-love’s wedding
from Amy’s new home with a friend in Kyle
{where she was before moving to Austin}
when we stopped in Waco, Texas.


Later in the fall I wrote a second post sharing more of the
actual insides of Magnolia Market.



Last spring about this time I stopped and shopped
but the gardens weren’t as filled in as they are now.

I love the espaliered trees along the fence and the
little greenhouse!


Someday I’d like to have one in my next yard speaking of
greenhouses.
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This one is about 16′ long by 10′ wide or so and
has built inpotting shelves ~ perfect for putting
small to medium
sized pots up on it to trim and plant plants.
Glass windows cover all the walls and ceiling and side
windows do open to let breezes in on warm winter days
and to let hot air out on late spring and summer days.
The floor in here is tile with a/c and heat set into the
Versaille pattern.

Love love love these small sapling arbors ~ they are created for Chip and Joanna by one of their vendors.
Back out in the garden raised planter beds are filled with lettuce
and early spring annuals like snapdragons and tulips.
The flowers are mixed in with edibles which is pretty cool.
Here you see strawberry plants paired with snapdragons.
*If you choose to plant vegetables and herbs with flowers
make sure those flowers are non-poisonous.
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🙂
This is out in the lunch truck covered eating and park area.
Lovely lamb’s ear is sooo soft ~ here planted with white snapdragons and ivy cascading down the left side of
this tall planter.

Have you ever planted lamb’s ear?  We had a different
variety that grew well in the desert heat of So Cal
and wasn’t as soft as this variety.
Lamb’s ear adds a lovely green-grey to the garden
that mixes well with other plants.

A couple of the gardeners working the soil in a vegetable planter, rear of photograph.
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And of course there must be roses!

While out in the garden I saw several garden employees
so I went to ask some questions about a particular rose.
She ended up giving me a couple of clippings as she
was trimming it that day!


Later this week I’ll share how to root a new rose bush
from a clipping.
🙂

Hope you’ve enjoyed our little garden tour.


Sharing with
Blogging Fifty ~ Facebook
Romantic Homes ~ Facebook
Wow ~ Savvy Southern Style
Feathered Nest Friday ~ French Country Cottage
Friendship Friday ~ Create with Joy
Sweet Inspiration ~ The Boondocks Blog
Thursday Favorite Things ~ Katherine’s Corner


Happy spring,

M. Rabbit’s Garden Thoughts and a Homesteading Project

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Out in the garden late this past week and weekend
as I was happily playing with some
lettuces and herbs I’d picked up on sale
I thought about springtime and our
sweet Monsieur Rabbit…



A view posted to Instagram just before the spring garden clean up on a late February day when it was particularly warm out.
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I puttered about  and as I was cleaning pots and doing
a bit of weeding and just generally having the best time
playing in the garden
I distinctly heard M. Rabbit* asking me a question,
“Pardon me, Madam, but this year do you think
you might be persuaded to fix my ears?”

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Well  you see his poor ears were cracked when he left
California a year ago via a large brown truck and
although he was particularly well packed
in his box carrier his poor ears did
suffer this indignation!

*M. est l’abréviation pour le “Monsieur” au Français.

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He did  receive a good bath and a pedi scrub
while I was at all this snipping and planting.
This made M. Rabbit quite happy.
🙂

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Last year and the year previous Monsieur Rabbit helped
in the garden with his words of encouragement
while I worked.
Afterwards, he enjoyed a bit of tea time!

His cousins then came this past year to visit us for a little
Easter spring tea and brought along the sweetest
pink bandanas to use for the tea table.
Ils étaient fantastique!
{It was pretty fantastic, if I do say so myself!}


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This year  M. Rabbit is thinking we should have
a salad bar when friends come for luncheon.
His idea has merit as the little lettuces just planted
may be ready for harvest as whole heads by then.


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Getting back  to his poor rabbit ears, though,
I talked with him about doing a whole
rabbit makeover…

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Meanwhile  sitting at a stoplight early last week
I saw the first trees beginning to bloom ~ isn’t this
one just soooo pretty?


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And even  our pansies which were covered over much
of the winter during the hard freezes have come back
mightily with their sunny-faced blooms.
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This winter  I’d set up a little “heater” to help the plants
during the cold nights with this bucket stuck in another
black greenhouse bucket.

How to make a garden heater


I’d seen a version of this while watching a homesteading
show and thought maybe it would work to protect
our tender plants…
Normally this would be done inside a greenhouse
but I didn’t have one and I didn’t think our landlords
would let me set up a cement block version
so…
this is what I came up with:

A mini garden heater

1) Fill a container with water and cover with a lid.
2) Paint with black paint or tape off with black duct tape
{which is what I did}
3) During the day the “garden heater” will absorb
sunlight and heat up, then at night it will release
its heat.

Here I’ve just used the leftover water to water
the newly planted lettuces.
Monsieur Rabbit approved of my recycling!
😉

Creating a heated greenhouse for homesteading

1) Ideally, a greenhouse is built out of cement blocks,
logs, planks of recycled wood on three sides
{or built into a hillside for the third side/back side}
with the fourth side at the front composed of
all glass windows and an entry door.

2) The greenhouse is filled with river rocks for a floor
and then large drums painted black, filled with water
sealed and are placed inside the greenhouse.

The drums or a series of painted pipes would sit
at the front of the greenhouse to absorb
the maximum sunlight during the day.
Both rocks and drums/pipes would heat the greenhouse
all through the night.

3) Shelves are made for potted plants and seedlings
and larger potted plants can be set on the stones.

The heat given off by these water-filled drums or by a series of black painted water-filled pipes at night will create a sustainable warm environment for growing vegetables
throughout the late fall through winter.

4) A roof would be made from logs or framing with
a metal roof covering.
This can be insulated, too.
I was blown away with the whole idea!
I’ve wanted a little greenhouse for years but in the hot
Southern California climate it was never going to be
a reality ~ plants can “cook” even in wintertime.

But here in Texas…
🙂

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The possibilities  might become realities!
Monsieur Rabbit definitely approves.
😉


Sharing with
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Style Showcase
Friday Friends Parade ~ Happy Happy Nester
Wonderful Wednesday

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Happy almost spring!

Storm Watch ~ Ice Crystals and Icicles

Ice storms and snow  are almost unheard of where we came from in Southern California but I am finding the longer we live
here in North Texas the more varieties of weather
there are here…
🙂


Ethereal  in its frozen beauty sharply outlining each tree and each blade of grass with winter’s magic…
The rain was freezing in long dripping icicles as our temps sat at 29-31 degrees last week for a couple of days.
Needless to say, the heaters were working overtime to keep
ourselves and our neighbors warm!

The Girls  wore icicles in their crowns rather somewhat
poignantly.
Chandeliers of ice and dried tears…

The pansies  didn’t seem to mind the freezing rain and are a colorful understudy to the glassy crepe myrtle limbs above.


 Surreal in black and white
Amazing to me to see everything stark in neutrals.
Loved the laciness of the tree branches though ice is sooo
heavy and a few branches around our area broke from
this added weight.
Beautiful in its treachery.

This original  photo didn’t quite “pick out” the ice as it
truly was so on Instagram I played with it and came up with
the leading photograph ~ really shows the sparkle and
icy allée as it really was ~ a snow globe of
frozen magic!

Sharing with
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Keep warm where you are,