Saturday, January 14, 2017

Bayview Arbor

We are sitting at home with an ice storm outside.
 Christmas is behind us,  the tree is down and back
  in the attic and I'm yearning for 
Spring already! 
One of my favorite things to do on a winter's weekend is
 to revisit our vacation destinations
 through our photos.  It's an escape from the cold dreary days that seem to linger in January and February and reminds of  the places we love.

Our visit to Whidbey Island in Washington  included
  a stop at  the well known Laburnum Arbor
 in the Bayview Farm and Garden Center.

I've seen photographs of the arbor in garden calendars,   books and magazines and thought it must be in a large botanical garden somewhere.  When vacation planning I discovered the arbor was growing in the middle of a retail garden center outside a charming town we would be visting.   

We hope to revisit again when the laburnum is in full bloom but here is a picture of my hubbie under the 
arbor in July.  The laburnum also known as 
'Golden Chain Tree' blooms in the spring.  The trees have been trained onto an arch support.  When looking at the photos I originially thought these were prolific vines.    

 I would love to be a loyal customer if we lived nearby.  
The selection and quality of their plants was impressive.  The staff was so helpful and knowledgeable, even giving me advice for my garden in Oklahoma. 

I'm a hydrangea lover and wish I could easily
 get these varieties at home.
This is 'Bobo'

The panicle hydrangeas are stunning!

The Flower House Cafe within the  garden center 
 serves homemade soups, sandwiches and 
wonderful coffees.   

The garden center was a delight to visit in July with so many beautiful flowers and plants in bloom. 

The dahlias were huge and throughout Whidbey Island I noticed dahlias growing in gardens and in bouquets for sale at farm stands.


Hope you enjoyed the armchair tour of Bayview on Whidbey Island.  The area is beautiful with so much to do and see. 
 It's so worth the journey!

 Peace out and stay warm and safe!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Decking the Halls

I finished the tree yesterday and today I set our Christmas table. 
 I love leaving the dining table set during the Christmas season as it encourages us to eat more of our meals in the dining room.

I purchased this set of dishes years ago at Target and they are some of my very favorites.   Designed by Tracey Porter these dishes are heavy and great for my family.

A Tartan tablecloth cozies up the table and I placed some silks and a candle in my dough bowl for an easy centerpiece. 

The red goblets are my go to stemware this time of year.  We purchased them at an antique shop in Grapevine, although the goblets are not vintage. 

I still have a few more things to decorate but I was able to get so much done this weekend.
How's your decorating going?

Wishing you all a very
Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Friday, October 7, 2016

Critter Proofing

 I love fall!  
The colors and flowers of fall just make me happy. 
 I planted a fall pot for the patio and purchased a few pumpkins for the porch but needed to critter proof them before setting them outside.  

We have squirrels, skunks and opossums that love to 
come by for a meal.   I have found that a coat of Mop & Glo makes my pumpkins not only pretty but less attractive
 to all those fall critters.
When the wax dries I follow it up with a coat of bug spray that I reapply if it rains. 

The critters don't like the smell of the spray and 
don't bother the pumpkins.
Thought I'd pass along my method of critter proofing pumpkins.

Happy Fall Y'all  !! 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Monarch Migration

The monarchs are starting their fall migration and my little pollinator garden is doing it's job.  I was so excited this morning to find the first caterpillar on the milkweed I planted this spring.

This is a variety of swamp milkweed.  In previous years I've only planted tropical milkweed but I prefer the swamp milkweed since it's a perennial.  It's all about making the garden low maintenance and low cost.

 The pollinator garden 
 is behind our home on the neighborhood greenbelt across the street from the lake.   
We have lots of wildlife and we do not use any chemicals in this area. 

This orange trumpet vine is a favorite of bees and hummingbirds.

Sedum Autumn Joy 
is almost in full bloom and a 
monarch favorite during fall migration. 

Sweet clematis vine is just starting to bloom and the bees love this vigorous plant.  It's very easy to grow and can be somewhat invasive but can be kept under control 
with a few early spring prunings.

The blooms are so pretty and smell 
so good!

Hyacinth Bean Vine is another easy to grow vine from seed.  I love the color of the blooms and the hummingbirds do too.  They have been visiting this plant almost daily since it bloomed.  Although this is planted next to my patio so I can enjoy it, I do have one planted on the greenbelt and it's doing 
well in full sun. 

The plants I choose to grow there have to take hot summers and be drought tolerant. 
I do hand water the plants a couple times a week when the temperature is above
 90 degrees and I use leftover grass clippings and mulch to keep the plants 
from drying out too fast.   

Monarch on my privet in the spring.  
They do like privet blooms in May as they
 are migrating north. 

I am hoping to see more monarchs as the migration gets in full swing however the reports this year say the count is low again.

I hope everyone will plant a few milkweeds in the garden each year and eliminate the use of chemicals.  
We all need to do our part to help these wonderful butterflies!