Wednesday, March 22, 2017

More about Beatrix Potter

A teenage Beatrix Potter with her pet mouse Xarifa, 1885, from Cotsen Children’s Library, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University.
The daughter of Manchester Unitarians wealthy from the cotton trade, Helen Beatrix Potter, born Saturday, 28 July 1866, grew up in a fully-serviced Kensington house. Notwithstanding the butlers, governesses, grooms, nurses and maids she suffered early from the angst of loneliness. A cold, uninterested mother raised the child at arm’s length, and the warmest early companionship came from pets – lizards, guinea-pigs, newts, birds, mice, bats and rabbits, cats and dogs.
Read more fascinating information about our favorite illustrator here.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Welcome Spring

This rooster really has something to crow about on this first day of Spring. I photographed this image from my Royal Book of Crests.

I took this photo yesterday on my way home from walking my property at sundown. The snow has been melting rapidly and this was the first time I could walk easily in my boots. All the snow has melted from my back roof but there is still plenty on the western front. The birds sound happy on this sunny day and here's hoping you are too. See you later. xo

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Daffodil Lawn

Are you dreaming of daffodils? Mine are still buried under over a foot of snow. Do you love this 1775 Welsh cottage as much as I do? Have a great weekend. More photos here.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Look Closely for Shamrocks

Growing alongside the rosemary cutting, you will see three tiny shamrocks. They came up out of nowhere just in time for St. Patrick's Day on Friday. Aren't they sweet?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Path: One Shovel Wide

I shoveled for hours and have a path one shovel wide. I also can get my car out to the road and it's all cleaned off. I shoveled for hours and it felt good. Now I am going to fire up the heating pad and watch a movie in bed. What a day. Every kind of weather but not as much snow as they were predicting, thankfully. Be safe and warm. xo

Monday, March 13, 2017

Bring Spring Indoors

I have really enjoyed having indoor spring flowers since I brought in some snowdrops that got broken when I transplanted some clumps I dug out of the woods. via
Yesterday I clipped some forsythia to force inside. Mother Nature is working on a big blizzard that is supposed to hit tomorrow. If you are in its path also, be safe. xo
You can see all of my recent snowdrop photos on Instagram here. Thanks for looking!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Sweet Cottage with Front Garden

image source
Everyone I know is anxious for spring even though we have snow on the ground and a rumored big storm is coming on Tuesday. We can dream, can't we? Enjoy the weekend and be safe. xo
Don't forget to set your clocks forward one hour tonight before you go to bed. Spring forward, you know!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Snow is On the Way, Can you Smell it?

Don't you love this snow rabbit? It was 60 degrees today but the weather people say it's going to snow tomorrow. We shall see. Stay warm and safe if it's coming your way too. xo via

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

An Inspiring Poem and Its History

1932 Mary Elizabeth Frye [American housewife, florist; 1905-2004]

Abigail Van Buren [Dear Abby] researched the poem’s history and concluded in 1998 that Mary Elizabeth Frye, who was living in Baltimore at the time, wrote the poem in 1932.

According to Van Buren’s research, Frye had never written any poetry, but the plight of a German Jewish woman, Margaret Schwarzkopf, who was staying with Mary and her husband, inspired the poem.

Margaret Schwarzkopf was concerned about her mother, who was ill in Germany, but she had been warned not to return home because of increasing unrest. When her mother died, the heartbroken young woman told Frye that she never had the chance to “stand by my mother’s grave and shed a tear”.

Frye, according to Van Buren’s research, found herself composing a piece of verse on a brown paper shopping bag. Later she said that the words “just came to her” and expressed what she felt about life and death. - thanks, internet

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Do You Love Lemon Water?

This is my favorite beverage. Lemons make everything better, don't they? via

Monday, March 6, 2017

MI-5 BBC TV Series My Current Obsession

This is the first time I have gotten involved in trying to watch 10 seasons of anything. Thank goodness for the library. I watched Season One from the shelf of my favorite library. It ended with the cliffhanger of all cliffhangers and I wanted more. BUT my library didn't have the rest of this series in 10 parts. Thankfully, they have been able to get subsequent seasons thru inter-library loan. I just finished Season 5 and Season 6 has been ordered. It's the most exciting thing I have EVER watched. I love British Spies, you know!

The acting is superb and the head of this counter intelligence agency is Peter Firth and he's wonderful. I enjoyed seeing him last night in the finale of Victoria on PBS. He played Duke Cumberland.

The actors come and go and are replaced by equally superb characters.

Have you seen this series? It was on PBS, I believe. It started in 2002. Anyway, it's on Hulu if you subscribe and it might be on Acorn. Thankfully, my library has been able to find them all for me, so far. Each season is very expensive to buy, selling for as much as $80 per season. 

It is/was called SPOOKS in the UK.

Look for it. You will NOT be disappointed.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Ancient Cotswold Cottage Renovation

Drink coffee or tea, wash clothes, and play with plants here.
Photo by Sims Hilditch
Sims Hilditch, The White Hart

Located in one of the most beautiful corners of the Cotswolds, we discovered a piece of English heritage once known as the White Hart. Dating from the late 16th century this Grade 2 listed building was one of many countryside pubs which had fallen into disrepair in recent years.

We successfully purchased the White Hart in 2013 and undertook a complete refurbishment with the aim to preserve the building’s history while re-purposing it as contemporary design studio. The White Hart embodies the Sims Hilditch design ethos and is the perfect location to get a feel for what we do.

Want the complete house tour? Click here.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Winter is Back, Sort Of

Well, it's not exactly like this but the bird bath water is frozen again. We had the warmest February in the history of weather keeping and I enjoyed it very much. I found so many rogue clumps of snowdrops growing in the woods where I dump my weeds. I dug them all up and transplanted them in my front garden where I can enjoy them when I look out my window and when I leave the house. It's time to get back to normal, without any deep snow. Please! I would love a frosty morning like this one! via

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Tall Hedges Secret Garden

Tall clipped hedges with low hedges trimmed to resemble benches. Love the two shades of green and the topiaries in pots beside the stairs. Nice gravel path too. via

Monday, February 27, 2017

Amazing Hallway w/ Cupboards + Stenciled Floor

This architecture is amazing. I love the high ceilings and lighting fixtures. The closed built-in cupboards are wonderful as are the curved glazed door china cupboards. The floor is really stunning. i wish we could see more, don't you? via

Friday, February 24, 2017

Ferns Make This Room

An empty room doesn't seem quite so empty if there are great potted plants. I love these fern stands. via

Thursday, February 23, 2017

An Apple A Day and A Book

I had a mild case of the flu this week and took care of myself so I am well now. Thank goodness it didn't linger. 
I have posted this bookplate before in a gardening book. This miniature volume is on quotations in foreign languages. The apple is for scale.
No wealthy monarch can possess
A greater store of happiness
Than can be found in happiness
Of birds and books and flowers.
C. A. Maude Eden

Monday, February 20, 2017

My Recent Instagram Posts

Some of my latest Instagram posts are shown below. Click here for a closer look.
Happy Presidents Day
"A president's hardest task is not to do what is right, but to know what is right."
Lyndon Johnson, 1963-1969