Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Elevator in My New Listing

My new listing went "live" yesterday and today is my Broker Open House. As luck would have it, the weather is awful. It's raining buckets but is supposed to stop by my 11:00 opening. When was the last time you saw a house with an elevator? For me, it's never! This one is a beauty and it serves all three floors. MLS: 3566006 Wish me luck today. Fingers crossed. 

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Limelight Hydrangea Cutting Rooted in Water

It took a while but my Limelight Hydrangea experiment is working. A while back I showed you a cutting from my "Mother" Limelight that I pushed into the ground when I pruned her in the fall several years ago and the cutting rooted itself and is now a baby shrub. I took a cutting from the baby and put it in water at my kitchen sink and I got my first little roots this week. Plant propagating is another form of thrift and you know how much I love getting something for nothing. It takes patience and luckily I have plenty of that. I need to plant the two containers of lavender in the background that are full of roots.

My grandmother and grandfather purchased their retirement home in Greenville, SC and rented it out for years and years and years before they could actually live there. My grandmother rooted all of her boxwood at her sister's house nearby and they were mature when she transplanted them in their final resting place. I guess she was the one who gave me lessons in patience. She love African violets too and actually bred them on her window sills. 

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there. Enjoy your celebrations. xo

Friday, June 14, 2019

Pair of Built-in Bedroom Cupboards

What to do when you can't find the perfect pair of cupboards for your master bedroom when building your house? Find a woodworker who can build them flush with the wall! On the other side there is a fireplace and a pair of bookcases in the sitting room/library. The deep wall in between the two room provides extra sound proofing for sleeping. This is a sneak preview of my new listing that goes live on Monday. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Hydrangea Explosion

Wow. I love how happy these hydrangeas are all smashed together and blooming their hearts out. via

Monday, June 10, 2019

Rainy Monday Photos at My Cottage

My front entrance this morning on a rainy Monday

Pink and proud. Still looking lovely in a soft rain. Notice clipped boxwood in background,

Riffled white hiding from the rain.

Ruffled white peony. I love this variety.

Petals are falling.

Red barn garage with loft, back entrance. Don't my clipped boxwood look nice? I am liking my wild field too. Serious grass cutting will be done the next nice day. xo

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Injured Sea Creatures in Doctor's Waiting Room

Look what ocean pollution is doing to all the sea creatures. Please recycle your plastic!
YouTube link here.

“Marine life in plastic is not fantastic.”
Greta Thunberg is my hero. Read all about her global warming campaign here. How one teenager became the voice of the planet. #FridaysForFuture

Greta was on the cover of Time Magazine. Don't you love her shoes? She posted this photo on her Instagram.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Plastic Change: Poseidon attacks litterbug

This is the best thing I've seen lately. Don't litter because you never know who's watching! If you cannot see this post, here is the YouTube link
Have a great weekend! xo

Making a Vestibule when There is None

I think this vestibule was added to a door that opens directly into the living room. What do you think.? I like it!

Friday, June 7, 2019

Perfect Napping Place

This napping dog has it all figured out by sleeping inside and outside at the same time. Yawn. xo

Thursday, June 6, 2019

House / Patio: Before and After Renovation

Somebody had a vision and look what was accomplished! Read the story and see more photos here. I love before and after photos to see the fruits of good taste and hard labor. xo

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Elegant Kitchen Decor

This is a very formal kitchen sink arrangement and it's quite beautiful too. At first I thought it might be in a bathroom but the "instant hot" faucet on the left made me think it must be a kitchen. I love the deep white porcelain double sinks and all the collections on the shelf.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Photos from House Tour Today

Dining Room: Lovely cupboards on either side of recessed nook with sideboard.

The Library. Wall of bookshelves doesn't show.

Outdoor Fireplace opposite Fireplace in kitchen.
It was a lovely day to be out and about with the hottest part of the day being only 71° but the heat will be on tomorrow and the rest of the week in the 80s.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Laundry Room Sink and Shelf Love

I love everything in this room! The old ginger beer bottles lining the shelf are a lovely touch for a great photo shoot.

My clay chicken pot found on the side of the road on trash day several years ago is planted with on of my rosemary herbs that was originally rooted in water. This photo also shows my second cast iron chicken in the background. I haven't spent any money at all this year in either my front or back gardens. I have just been transplanting, rooting, or seeding with seeds I saved myself or bought last year. I am especially proud of a Limelight Hydrangea cutting I pushed into the ground two years ago when I was pruning that is turning into a handsome shrub.

Here it is in between two American boxwood I just pruned and haven't picked up the clippings yet. I pushed this clipping into the earth next to the mother plant when I pruned my huge Limelight in the fall two years ago. The following spring it sprouted leaves and I left it in place. I transplanted it to the side garden next to the driveway that leads to my red barn/garage this spring and now is thriving and is growing into a real flowing shrub. It will probably outgrown this spot but for now it is in its "nursery" stage. I planted another rooting in another spot but it is much slower showing off than this one. Plant propagating is another form of thrift and requires patience but is very rewarding in the end. Luckily I have a lot of patience that has paid off in many areas of my life.

Current rootings in progress at my kitchen sink. Left and center vases have many roots forming on lavender clippings and the far right has a limelight hydrangea cutting from my new shrub; I am curious to see if it will root in water. I have already planted one clump of lavender rootings and they are growing slowly but surely out back. My mother always had something she had pinched rooting at the kitchen sink and my brother and I liked to root sweet potatoes and carrots there too. Now I want to go out and buy some sweet potatoes and get a good vine going. xo

Sunday, June 2, 2019

More of My Peonies + Happiness Quote

As promised, here are my red and white peonies opened up showing their yellow centers. I completely forgot they close up in the late afternoon and are still closed in the early morning. They are like me, they go to bed early and open slowly the next day. I shall watch them closely this morning to see what time they fully open and awake. For me, it's after two cups of coffee.

I love this quote: 
"The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things." 
Henry Ward Beecher

Another view of my front garden from from farther back. I clipped all 15 of my American boxwood earlier this week and they look neat and tiny now. The large one left center is an English box I transplanted my garden when I moved. It is the mate for the two  at the end of my front walk at the driveway. I didn't clip this one at all. 
Enjoy your Sunday. xo

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Hello June

I wanted to post this wonderful 19C. illustration and poem on time. Happy first day of June.

My Peony Garden

I took this photo late Saturday afternoon, the last day of May. This morning the peonies have opened showing their beautiful yellow centers. The ferns I dug from my woods are spectacular this year too. Will post a photo later. Happy First Day of June. The ferns I dug from my woods are really thick and healthy this year because of all the rain. xo Click photo to enlarge.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Great Vintage Cottage Kitchen

I love this gardener's kitchen and I spy lots of clay pots on the enclosed back porch. The galvanized pot with a bay tree is great, even if you don/t use bay leaves a lot in your cooking. Those old cutting boards are handy as well as decorative. I have quite a few myself but have noticed they have all but disappeared from house sales because they are prized now. I don't really understand the long brass closures on the cupboard doors. Guess you have to be there to figure them out. I could work happily in this small space even if there were no dishwasher. PS: mine is broken and I am considering putting something else in the opening because I didn't use it that much anyway. I had it repaired once and got quite a few years out of it but it has started leaking again. Actually, this problem is from lack of use in the particular model I have. There is something in the center that dries out when not used regularly. I will probably replace it with a better one but not until I review all my alternatives for the space.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

May Flowers in Bloom at My Cottage

I have no idea what this is or where it came from. A bird must have planted it for me. The purple flower is small, measuring only two inches across the two lower petals. There is a spider inside and some sort of winged pollinator on his way to the yellow stamens in the center. This looks like a small flat iris and I love having it in my front garden.

This is the third nasturtium blossom I have had from my overwintered plants.

My lamb's ears in the back are standing proud and tall this spring. The lace cap hydrangea in the distance is full of bud that will be blooming soon. The limelight hydrangea in the left foreground has no buds yet but it's are loving all the rain we've been having.

My pink peonies will be opening soon. This bud is the most advanced. They are already starting to droop because of all the rain drops inside. They are taller than ever this year, up to my chin. They are the loveliest of all spring flowers, agreed?

And last, but not least, the humble wild daisy.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

DIY Twine Holder from Wooden Hanger

I am definitely going to make one of these today. Isn't this an absolutely brilliant idea? I have a closet full of vintage wooden hangers and a basket full of twine. Put them together and what have I got? A gorgeous twine holder that will cost me nothing. Found on Pinterest.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Memorial Day at My Cottage

I posted this Pottery Barn ad on Memorial Day 2012. I still love it and this porch party is the perfect place to celebrate family and friends to remember our fallen soldiers.

I photographed this pool at a gilded age mansion in Bernardsville several weeks ago. I added the text to remind you to use your sunscreen. I also posted this on Instagram this week.

My nasturtium seeds are getting their second set of leaves.

Are you going to any Memorial Day parades today?

I hope you get a good place to see it. This dog found a great spot to see the marching bands.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Wonderful Sleeping Porch

You know you love this! Here's wishing each of you a restful Memorial Day Weekend, especially if you have a sleeping porch. via

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Vintage Chambers Range + Red Maple Sapling

I toured a smaller country colonial home yesterday that was a few streets over from me and loved the vintage Chambers range in the kitchen. It featured a well used griddle and two ovens. The last one I saw in a local home was ripped out when the house was demolished and probably ended up in the landfill. Boo hoo, but I have to confess it was not nearly as pristine as this one.
There was a nice size Japanese red maple seedling growing in the front pachysandra bed at this house and the listing realtor said I could have it. I couldn't pull it up but went back later with my gardening tools and dug it up. It is already thriving in my back yard near one of my bird baths. I am such a scavenger and I am always looking for something to transplant. The pachysandra roots had a stronghold on this little tree and it was much too close to the house to be allowed to grow in place. Lucky me. Now a little red tree has found true love and a new home.

I had a request to post a photo of the sapling so its growth can be recorded over the years. I have to be careful where I plant things with deep roots because my septic system is in my backyard. I need to scrub the birdbath and remove the algae buildup so the birds will be happy. We had rain overnight but I think it will stop around noon and just be an overcast day. 
Isn't this little tree a beauty? My grandmother, the master gardener, always said to put a fifty cent plant in a ten dollar hole and I followed her advice when planting this free tree. I can tell it's happy the way it sways in a gentle breeze.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Magnificent House Tour Today

Broker Open House today. Mansion. Circa 1929

Gardens from an upstairs window. Through the screen. Pool in distance.

A distant view through a window with no screen. Diving board on left. The property had a total of 62 acres.

Greenhouse, photographed from my car.

Horse barn. Yes, it's true. This entire structure is just for horses. Also photographed from my car. It was a wonderful day. MLS 3557788