Showing posts with label Garden Design. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Garden Design. Show all posts

Monday, July 14, 2014

Quick Little Trip ...

Scott and I whisked ourselves away this weekend for a little vacation in the Brandywine Valley. It was much needed, trust me! If you read the blog with any regularity, you know I love the Brandywine Valley, that beautiful, Eden-like area where Philadelphia meets Delaware and Maryland. We had a reason to go, Patti LuPone (broadway legend) was performing her show "Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda ... Played that Part" at Longwood Gardens, but our only reason for staying the long weekend was exploration, relaxation, and restoration.

We started at one of my favorite stores in Glen Mills, Pa, Terrain at Styers. Terrain is the brainchild of the Anthropologie brand. A store devoted to gardening and plants, it's a nursery done only the way that Anthropologie could possibly pull off. Unique, one-of treasures are mixed with hand crafted soaps and beauty products, plants and gardening equipment strewn about the lush pebble carpeted grounds with glimpses of fine upholstery, art, and home d├ęcor through every window and open door. It's a magical place, and I'm constantly and irrevocably inspired every time we visit:

Next we headed off down the road for a little antique store shopping. There are 4 antique stores on Baltimore Pike, all of which carry a variety of things and operate in a Co-Op format with vendors renting small spaces and filling it with literally, whatever they want. Sometimes it's good - and sometimes it's not.
At one of these antique stores, a large open air porch wraps the entire house turned shop, and I couldn't resist playing Alice when I saw this awesome oversized chair:

How fun is this? I don't think it's for sale, because it's been here every time we stopped in to the store. Architectural fragment litters the porch, everything from windows and doors, to fireplace surrounds and columns are ripe for the picking. Inside, I thought this little sign was brilliant for the baker or cook who likes a little whimsy:

Keep Calm and Add Butter
Next we checked into our hotel, unpacked our bags, and then headed back to Longwood Gardens for a quick spin around the gardens before Patti's show. (I'm totally on a first name basis with her!)


I even got inspiration for our kitchen remodel from the antique kitchen on view in the home turned museum of Longwood Gardens' creator and benefactor, Peirce duPont.
Then we headed over to the stage, to grab our seats before Patti came on to perform. Now, if you know anything at all about her, you know that pulling your camera out to take pictures while she's on stage is begging for an embarrassing invitation to leave, so I left my phone tucked neatly into my white pants, and enjoyed the concert! She's an amazing performer!
The next day we headed into Baltimore, but before getting there, we stopped off at Ladew Topiary Gardens by recommendation of my friend Amy. It was lovely!

It was a lovely garden, and the weather couldn't have been more perfect. The inside of the Ladew house is spectacular, a home I could move right into without changing a thing! Unfortunately, they do not allow interior photographs. Next we headed down to Baltimore, and to the National Aquarium. I'm a huge aqua-nerd, so, anytime we are near an aquarium of any repute, we go.
While it was a lovely aquarium, the highlight had to be the introduction to Calypso, the 490-pound green sea turtle missing its left, front flipper. Found off the Long Island coast in 2000, the turtle was just 6-pounds when rescuers nursed the now mammoth turtle back to health. The missing left flipper, lost to a severe infection when Calypso was found, doesn't even seem to bother Calypso. We had a great time, but so far, nothing has compared to the Boston Aquarium.
We headed out to the harbor, strolling around the water and even taking a hike up Federal Hill to appreciate some of the architecture and available real estate!

We headed into the shops along the harbor, including the candy shop where they had laughable, oversized portions of popular candy bars, including my favorite: Sweettarts!
I didn't have any, but I had to take a picture in jest. As night fell, we took one more leisurely stroll around the harbor, before we headed back to the hotel.
The next day, we headed off in a northerly direction to Philadelphia. We had been to Philadelphia before, of course, but I wanted to run into IKEA quickly, and it's a great city.

We of course, made a stop at the Philadelphia Museum of Fine Art, where I ran those steps like a champ, showing Rocky a thing or two in my burlap Toms. Then we walked around the area, finding our way to Fairmount and the Eastern State Penitentiary, now a museum. They were closing up for the night, so we didn't get to tour - something I'm sure we'll make plans to do next time, but the restaurant across the street was intriguing.


Situated perfectly inside of an old firehouse, Jack's Firehouse was a visual delight. Dark and moody, the food was amazing. I had their pulled pork piled high on corn chips seasoned with a blend of powdered spices, and their bone-sucking ribs. If you're ever in the area - I highly recommend it! After dinner, we went to the King of Prussia mall for a little retail therapy, and then back to the hotel.
The next day we were heading back to CDLV, but before we did that, we stopped off at Winterthur to make use of our Member passes. I could tour the house over, and over and over again. And have! In fact, blogging about it several times, here and here and here and here. This time we did a short tour, the introductory, which is free to members and takes about 45 minutes. On this tour, you get to see my favorite room in the house:
The Chinese parlor. This room was created around the wallpaper that Mr. DuPont found in Paris, although the paper had been hand painted in China. He brought the paper back to this house in the Brandywine Valley and had his architect create the room, size, height, and coved ceiling around the exact size available from the purchased paper. The rest of the room is filled with fine early American antiques and slipcovered furniture. You can see better pictures of this room, and read more history from the links above.
We got home last night, late, and fell into bed. Today started like any other day before we snuck away. Full of things to do, and people to see! If only we could afford to live like tourists 365-days a year!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Our Backyard Round Garden

Well, things are finally starting to slow down around here, and the light at the end of the tunnel is a view into the relaxing round garden at CDLV instead of the train. I've got a garden party tomorrow, the Lewiston Tour of Homes the following weekend, and then one big push with my gorgeous cross bottles, and then I am done! I can get back into the groove of blogging and sharing my changes and additions with all of you! There have been plenty! Til' then, know that I'm still here - and I haven't forgotten you - please don't forget me! 

See you soon! 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

CDLV Garden Progress, Take Two

I know I said that I would be back sooner than this, but you have to understand the amount of work putting on a new roof puts on someone like me. You see, we live in a fairly decent size house, with a high-pitched roof, which makes the install of a completely new roof quite difficult and therefore much more expensive than I'm even willing to say. Thank goodness this is not a yearly repair. I, of course, asked how I could get a discount from the original price he quoted me, and he told me that if I picked up the shingles, it'd save me $1,000. I jumped on it, after all, don't you know what I could do with $1,000?! After long days of picking up two layers of shingles (those things are heavy) there was just not a shred of get-up-and-go left in my body.

Today, however, I'm back on top, and thought I'd give you a little tour of the garden, fresh after a heavy rain.

That's right. Rain! Thank goodness! I just planted a ton of pots last weekend and they needed some liquid attention! I also bought this awesome armillary built right here in Western New York while I was at the Lewiston Garden Fest. My friend and client Judy also bought some things from this guy - you'll see those when I get around to photographing my latest project with her, later.

For those of you who don't remember, or who are new to the CDLV garden; I live in an old neighborhood of homes built on fairly narrow lots. My backyard is about 90' long, and 14' wide. So, I thought that the best way to make it feel larger was to make it into separate spaces. Near the house we have the round garden, now filled with gravel, which includes a fountain and a shade garden built up with natural slate stones from the Niagara Gorge. Then there's the long garden, where all of my sun plants thrive, and then at the very back next to the garage; the pergola. This tiny little garden is off the garage and creates the entrance to the pergola, so I figured the armillary would fit here perfectly!

This garden is filled with perennials, and the annuals are planted in giant pots. Coneflower, Black Eyed Susan, Snake Root, Coral Bells, Day Lilies, Climbing Hydrangea,  Jacobs Ladder, and Azalea make up the bed, and in the pots: ivy, purple potato vine, dragon wing begonia, petunia, and "spider plant" or cleome. Love this stuff!

For whatever reason, maybe all the rain, my astilbe are all FINALLY blooming this year! This white one is beautiful against the green of the hydrangea leaf and those bright red Asiatic lilies.

I just had to show you this photo. My coneflower are coming up quite nicely, I love them at this point. It's like a little piece of art!

The dragon wing begonia are spread throughout the garden in pots and in hanging baskets. This pot, near the back porch, has English ivy, dragon wing begonia, and white fuchsia

In another pot, the dragon wing begonia is planted with your standard variety of begonia and English ivy, then set in a bed of creeping jenny. Love that stuff ... you see it in lots of places in the garden at CDLV. It's a fun shade of green and a such a light creeper that it doesn't choke anything else out.

Even Mr. Earl got a few dragon wing begonias in the chimney liner behind him. Those purple sweet potato vines are really starting to leaf out! It'll really be beautiful as it starts to "fall" down along side of those super white calla lilies you can see just the left.

From the pergola, you can see where the small garden where the new armillary went wraps around (the ginger ale coral bells and creeping jenny) and where the long garden wraps back along the fence. The peninsula where the birch trees are planted section off the round from the grass.

Does anyone know what this is? I don't think it's a weed. I planted so many things in my rock garden, and I didn't mark one of them! I'm assuming it's a variety of rock cress, but I just love the blooms ... such a pretty purple.

Right off the back porch, before you get into the round garden, is Scott's lily garden. Remember in Progress Post One, just below this one, I showed you these guys closed up but about to burst? Well, here they are! They smell so sweet! It's the perfect little perfume from the back porch in the morning on my way out the door.

The sun garden, where Mr. Earl resides. The flower immediately in your face here, lower left, is white phlox. I love it, but it blooms so late it just looks weedy now. That humongous grass to the right of Earl was a gift about two years ago from my friend Melisa. I love it ... but it probably needs to be thinned out. It gets to be about 9' tall!

The purple snake root, planted behind the ginger ale coral bells in the armillary garden are looking beautiful and standing tall!

And all of the stella doro lilies are blooming and looking beautiful and bright. I forgot how many of these guys I had planted at CDLV. They're such a wonderful garden staple in our zone (5), they are always blooming, and the color goes with anything.

And lastly, the rock garden, with that plant I had questions about. In the background you can see my beautiful wine barrel ring orb is still in the garden. And the pinks and light purples in the rock shade garden are starting to perk up and show off. And of course, my favorite ... begonias ... are planted here too. These do so well no matter where I plant them they're a must-have.

I know it was all wet, and it's not all blooming ... but it's coming along. I hope you enjoyed your little walk through the CDLV garden ... I'll have more progress, including the new roofs and porch paint, soon. Enjoy your weekend!