Saturday, October 29, 2011

It's Finally Really Fall!

It finally feels like a fall weekend!  Pumpkins are out in the yard..leaves are falling and the fescue grass is a beautiful green color under the bluest skies.  

Halloween is almost here and much to do to get ready for our office extravaganza..but I had to snap a few pictures of my fall window boxes and garden cart.  My sons gave this cart to me for Mother's Day...they know me well..I loved filling it full of pumpkins, gourds, mums and kale!

Got to run and finish my shopping before the football game!
Go Sooners!!

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Celebrate Fall-Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival

Fall is my favorite season!  I love spring and summer too but fall just feels cozy and comfortable and the  foliage colors are beautiful. 

Pumpkins, pansies,  football and sitting by a fire just makes me happy and I finally get the urge to "bake" something!  I actually "celebrate fall" with warm cinnamon rolls,  a cup of  hot chocolate or spiced teas.  This time of year I love to make homemade soups and chowders.

On our recent trip to California we discovered that the little coastal town of Half Moon Bay also celebrates fall in a big way!  The climate  is perfect for growing  gigantic pumpkins 
-some over 1,000 pounds!   

They have an annual Art & Pumpkin Festival complete with parade and the largest pumpkin contest.  The 41st festival is next weekend and what a great family venue it will be!  We were there a little too early for the festival but the little town was all a buzz getting ready for the big event!  Everyone told us about it and made sure we got a personal invitation.  
What a great small town to live in!

We have decided to plan another trip keeping this is mind. We discovered this charming little historic area of Main Street which parallels Coastal Scenic Highway 1 and had fun shopping and dining along the picturesque street. 

 I took some fun photographs along
 downtown Main Street.    A picture of the corner grocery...

A great outdoor cafe filled with art and pumpkins!

Tile mosaic of Half Moon and a 
signature pumpkin. 

Hand painted and decorated pumpkins.  I especially  like this couple..her hair is made from spray foam insulation and he is wearing the cap from the spray can.  How fun is that?!

The City Jail with the Haunted House in the background...can jails be cute?? This one is!

A purple garden cottage shed in the front 
yard of an artist's studio. 

Mexican heather in full bloom.

Beautiful old church from the 1800's.

A great indoor courtyard with beautiful hand painted murals.  We noticed how many wonderful artists display their work indoor and out in this beautiful area of inspiration!

An old spooky butler greeted us at the door of this gift shoppe. 

Another great mural...this one depicts all the landmarks around Half Moon.

Fabulous flower filled boxes in front of  Pasta Moon-
 a great Italian restaurant!

Side yard of  a Victorian home on Main Street covered in the fuchsia pink!

Harvested pumpkin patch on the outskirts of town.

Big brussel sprouts in the next field 
ready for harvest.

We  had a lovely stay at the Ritz-Carlton at Half Moon Bay -really a dream spot on the California  coast!  Bag pipes played at sunset as we sat with blankets next to the firepit listening to the ocean waves crash....

I love fall!

   I'm linking this week with 
The Tablescaper's  Seasonal Sundays
Susan's Outdoor Wednedays
and Tootsie's Fertilizer Friday

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Flowers of Northern California

Northern California is a gardener's dream.  While on our trip celebrating my husband's birthday this year I couldn't help but photograph all the gorgeous flowers along the way!

Along the coast at Half Moon Bay the flowers just thrive in the coastal fog and mild temperatures.  No frosts or 100 degree temperatures to stress their growth produces beautiful blooms to enjoy almost all year long.  

The hydrangeas at our hotel were truly breathtaking...a fantastic mix of colors and varieties along the front greeted our arrival.  A border filled with a combination of mopheads and lacecaps...what could be more beautiful? 

Lavender edged the back patio's flower borders mixed with begonias and impatients.   A wedding in the garden for all to enjoy and a real treat for the guests as we got to "attend" without a formal invitation. 

The gazebo is magnificent and while we were there the hotel had three weddings and receptions within a 24 hour period.  This is a wedding destination and people travel from all parts of the country to have their "dream" wedding with attention to every detail.   I must say it is the perfect setting for any special occasion!

My favorite flower is the stargazer lily and in the hotel foyer there were four magnificent bouquets each in their own niche that perfumed the air on arrival.   Just beautiful!!

The day we spent there the fog hugged the coast but fog is very common in the morning and usually clears in the afternoon.  When the sun breaks through there is no prettier place to be!  

We drove back through San Francisco on our way to Sonoma and snapped this picture of poppies 
growing seemingly unattended in the median! 

We headed up to Sonoma and Napa for a several days which is  another fabulous place to flower gaze.  I think everything grows in this region...even if you have a "brown thumb". 

At an olive orchard and vineyard in 
Glen Ellen beauty is all around!

Roses were blooming among the 
olive trees and in the vineyards.
I love these large standards.  My mother-in-law had a rose garden very similar to this...brings back lovely memories cutting them and bringing them in her house. 

The fountain is surrounded by a bed of ornamental kale
 and is the focal point in the rose garden. 

This display of begonias is in Yountville
 is a great splash of red!!

These containers are perfect for fall in front of 'Napa Style'.

Great courtyard garden.

Window boxes in St. Helena..I visit them every time we are there as they are always planted differently and 
with such vibrant flowering plants.

Great sweet potato vine 
trailing out of  a citrus tree container! 

Morning glories under control.  (If you have ever grown them you know what I'm talking about)  

Our last morning was spent having a wonderfully organic omelet in the Sunflower Cafe on the Sonoma Square...our trip was a welcome break to our brutal summer but now fall is here in Oklahoma and it's a beautiful day!  I'm headed out to the garden to do some flower gazing.  

I'm linking this week with:

Seasonal Sundays
Susan's Outdoor Wednesdays
Tootsie's Fertilizer Fridays
and Beverly's Pink Saturday

Make sure you go by for a visit!

Happy Fall Y'all!!