Saturday, May 8, 2021


Outside my back door is my walkway to the back yard.  Most of our yard is flat, but when you exit the kitchen door there's a steep slope to the back yard.   It's always been a challenge.  This year I was thinking that it had gotten too overgrown.  I changed my mind after I snapped this photo in the early morning on an overcast day.  My opinion completely changed.  I think I'll keep it just as it is--for now.

I've always loved the archway.  It soon will be filled with Clematis.  The Cherry Laurel have the white blooms, the Azaleas are covered in pink blooms and the Pieris Japonica have new red growth.  I love the lime green Creeping Jenny ground cover and the way the she wraps herself around the slate stepping stones.  




I love the contrast of the glossy dark green leaves and the white blooms on the Cherry Laurel.


At the base of the path are my much loved perennial ferns.  They line the patio wall.


I have another field of ferns on the opposite patio wall.  Don't miss my silver garden sphere.  I placed it in to a bird bath in the garden.


I mentioned in a previous post that I purchased some Giant Allium from Holland Bulbs.  I've been monitoring their progress.  The stem is already very tall and I can't wait for the bulb to bloom.  This is one of three bulbs.  I layered it in front of one of my clay chimney pots.


How is your Spring garden doing?

Saturday, May 1, 2021


I was lucky enough to grow up in western Pennsylvania in a small town north of Pittsburgh.  I was even luckier to live within walking distance of my grandparents and cousins.  I fondly remember the times spent with my siblings and cousins at my grandma and grandpa's farm.   We loved watching my grandmother can fruits and vegetables from the garden and make goat cheese.  I can still see the cheese in her colander.   I can also see the faces we made when we refused to taste it.   

My favorite farm event was the day my grandma, her sisters and her cousins got together to make pasta.  Their Italian heritage was still evident.  They added all the leaves to the table, covered it with a cloth and sprinkled it with lots of flour.  It reminded me of  a quilting bee with flour, eggs, and water instead of needles, thread, and fabric pieces.  I can still see that huge kitchen table draped with strands of fresh pasta and the fun they all had while we observed and waited for a taste.

One other memory is the day she baked bread.  We could count on her to slice it and lather it with butter while it was still fresh and steaming from the oven.  I can still feel the texture of the warm spongy bread, the crispy crust and  the taste of the melting butter.  Yum.

Grandma sometimes put us to work.  In retrospect, she probably just wanted to get a break.  She would pull out all her pots and pans and set us up at the picnic table under the yellow cherry tree and hand us Brillo pads.  We thought it was fun to scrub pots.

My grandpa was different.  He was very quiet and kept to himself.  He was a voracious reader and created his library retreat in one of the out buildings.  The walls were floor to ceiling shelves crammed with books.  The only furniture was a chair, a side table and a lamp.  It was his refuge.

What I remember most about him though was his art.  On the spur of the moment he would grab his easel and art supplies and paint.  Sometimes his spot was on the farm, other times it was a nearby countryside.   He was prolific.  We all were able to have some of his art. 

I have several of his small oil on board pieces.  If you look at the back of the art, he basically stretched canvas over a piece of cardboard.  I never framed them.  I cherish the front and the back.  They move around, but their current location is on my pair of family room bookshelves.

I mixed them in with my books and nature-inspired collectibles.



I have a large collection of trophies.  This mini loving cup is for Whist.  

 I paired it with a Whist rule book.


These are two of the shelves on the other bookshelf.

Do you have family pieces that you treasure?

If you made it to the end of this long sentimental post, thank you for reading. 

 Everyone is allowed to digress from design for a bit, aren't they?