Sunday, August 5, 2018

What's blooming in my July Garden?

Join me for a stroll in my July garden. The agapanthus are blooming and I am so glad they have multiplied more this year. Agapanthus will grow in the sun or shade.The feathery plant around the bird bath is white yarrow that will soon bloom.
 I planted this limelight three years ago. It gets some afternoon sun and filtered morning light. For a number of years I hesitated planting one because I have so much shade. Many of my neighbors have beautiful ones in the sun that I pass everyday. 
It has been hard to wait to have enough blooms that I didn't mind cutting them. This variety gets very large growing to about 8 feet tall and 6 feet wide. This year I was blessed with a lot of blooms. My last post showed an arrangement I made from the blossoms.
I love having fresh flowers to arrange.
The limelight is encircled by my four season topiaries that are are tucked among the hydrangeas and azaleas. 

This time of year there are many phases of blooms on the bushes. There are new blossoms, a little older ones and those that have turned green with pink tips. I cut the very brown ones off and that encourages new blooms.
This is a close up of the fall season. One of the blooms feels papery just the right texture for drying. 
I was surprised to capture this very tiny baby chameleon !
This year I have been plagued with insects eating my hostas, scale on boxwoods, azaleas and phlox. Also, white flies and a bug and a fly I can't identify on my hydrangeas. 

This bug seems to be everywhere. Does anyone know what it is? I found one "bug app" but there is a charge. Has anyone had success with a bug app? I've heard good things about the plant identification app. 

The white flies were very bad in late May and early June. They were very heavy on my gardenias and phlox. I haven't wanted to spray for insects with anything strong because I want to encourage pollinators. 
I haven't had as many butterflies this year and I don't understand why. They usually enjoy my phlox and pentas. For some reason my pentas haven't taken off this year. They are usually so much bigger. 

 I do know why my phlox is sparse. My sweet yard man that comes a few times a year does not know a weed from a flower... bless his heart! I turned my back for a minute and he had whacked down my phlox with a weed eater. They had multiplied this year and I was so pleased. They were almost ready to bloom, so needless to say I was disappointed, but he is so sweet to me I could not be upset with him. They would grow back. I fertilized them and they have grown. Maybe I'll have blossoms soon.
 I intend to plant more phlox in another part of my garden so I will have blooms to enjoy in my view from the house and more blooms elsewhere to cut for arrangements. They will grow in the shade or sun which is great for me. 

So with all the white flies, mystery bugs and scale, I thought I should learn more about beneficial bugs. I knew that lady bugs and praying mantis were good bugs.  For several years, I have been curious about lady bugs and  finally got around to ordering a batch of them.  You can see one on the pic above close to the bottom. I released a portion of them for three days because there were so many in the order. However, I think they died. I only saw a few the following day. I plan to try this again and will release them immediately when the package arrives. The instructions say to release at dawn and dusk and that was a little inconvenient so I waited a few days and they were in the refrigerator. They were still alive when I released them but next time I won't wait and see it that helps.
Beneficial bugs sound like the answer to my problem so I have more studying to do.
Instead of thinking about bug solutions, it is more fun to show you several arrangements I did in different containers, with the fruit of my labors from my garden.

I put this on Instagram. Please join me there if you do not already.
For some reason after I finished this arrangement this old cotton doily my great grandmother made came to mind. I treasure this amazing art form that might  already be a thing of the past.

This is the same limelights in a different vase.
And... still another vase with the same flowers.
 I enjoyed you joining me for a stroll through my July garden and viewing some of the arrangements I made from the flowers growing. 
What's blooming in my garden? Since I have been gone for a week on a family vacation I fear weeds are the main thing growing since we have had so much rain!!! Have a great week friends. Happy gardening!🦋🐝👒🐞

 Gardens Galore  
Metamorphosis Monday   Show and Share  The Scoop  Celebrate and Decorate  Inspire Me Tuesday  Wow Us Wednesday  Tablescape Thursday  Share Your Style Party  Share Your Cup Full Plate Thursday
 Feathered Nest Friday  Dishing It & Digging It   Calypso in the Country Sunday's At HomeThyme for Tea

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Iced Tea in the Garden

My limelights are blooming in my garden.  Tablescapers don't need an excuse to set up a pretend table but my table started out as a real table for guests. However, I spent so much time looking for my fourth napkin the opportunity to have guests was gone. The friends I wanted to invite were all engaged and it was already getting too warm to enjoy walking through the garden. 
So, I invite you my virtual friends to pick up a glass of cold Ginseng tea, a macaron and let's talk tablescaping.

Have you tried cold green tea? It is so refreshing! I found it in the cold tea section at the grocery store. Sweetened with honey it is very nice in the summer.

My tablescape was inspired by my garden limelights blooming and the changing color hydrangeas in my garden. The hydrangeas change from a blue color to a green with pink tips in July. For some reason this frenchy vase came to mind and then the ecru lace tablecloth. Where does your inspiration for a tablescape start? Mine usually starts with the centerpiece. 
Hydrangeas are so easy to arrange and it doesn't take too many to make a nice arrangement. I put the arrangement together in the kitchen where it was cooler while I gathered the other table pieces.
Next, while still in the kitchen, I tried my ecru lace tablecloth over my "go-to" white matelassé tablecloth. I love the softness a tablecloth adds to tablescapes and especially when the cloth is long enough to drape to the floor or in this case softly cascade on the grass.
My bistro table was a perfect size for garden  refreshments. 

 This is another bistro table setting in my garden. You can see the post here. My friends that were invited to my garden tour were so surprised I set a table for them. One of them exclaimed, "Oh, we never get too old to play house!" But, I digress.....

Macarons on a Bordallo Pinheiro plate add color to the table but I still can't find the other napkin. Does that happen to you?

I never did find the other napkin and by the time I made all the pictures, I drank all four glasses of tea I was so hot! So, if I am going to entertain in July, when my limelights bloom, I must plan ahead! LOL!

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 Feathered Nest Friday  Dishing It & Digging It   Calypso in the Country Sunday's At HomeThyme for Tea

Monday, July 23, 2018

Summertime Alfresco Dining


 Chloe Crabtree from Celebrate and Decorate is sponsoring another tablescape bloghop this week. The first tablescape hop I participated in was the Alfresco Tablescape hop in 2016.  Bloghops are like being with old friends and also making new friends as some have participated from the beginning and others are new to the group.

Join me for a summertime alfresco evening here in the deep south. I'm on my patio on an overcast day with a nice breeze, perfect for alfresco dining. I've cut flowers from my garden just for you.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Alfresco Tablescape Blog Hop Next Week


 Join me and a group of talented tablescapers for an Alfresco Tablescape Blog Hop next week July 23-27 sponsored by Chloe Crabtree @ Celebrate and Decorate.

Here is the schedule:

Home is Where The Boat Is
Everyday Living
A casa di Bianca
Living With Thanksgiving
Corner of Plaid and Paisley
Me and My Captain
PMQ for Two
Red Cottage Chronicles
Life and Linda
Bluesky at Home
The Painted Apron
Belle Bleu Interiors
Our Crafty Mom
Celebrate and Decorate
Debbee's buzz
Simple Nature Decor
From My Carolina Home
My French Twist

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Flower arrangements at Château Chenonceau


Travel with me to France to Chateau Chenonceau in the Loire Valley of France and see beautiful fresh flower arrangements in every room. The elaborate architecture, period furniture pieces, and fine art work along with the lovely flower arrangements make Chateau Chenonceau a favorite among visitors.  
 This is Diane de Poitiers' bedroom, King Henri ll's favorite lady to whom he donated Chenonceau. In 1559, after King Henri's death, his widow, Queen Catherine de Medici, had the chateau given back to her by Diane in exchange for Chauont-sur Loire. 
This arrangement in this exquisite vase was my favorite of all the flower arrangements. 
The first thing Queen Catherine de Medici did was to place a portrait of herself in Diane's room. This room had a river view and had great natural light.
The Gallery
Measuring 60 meters in length, 6 meters in width and with daylight from 18 windows, a tufa and slate-tile floor and exposed joist ceiling, this is a magnificent ballroom.

Notice the embossed medallions of historical people along the wall. Also, the
live topiaries prominent in the niches.
During the winter, they still light wood fires for warmth and historical ambience.
This arrangement in the Gallery, even though it reflects the later period of the french revolution, was my inspiration photo for a patriotic post you can view here. All the flowers in the chateau arrangements are grown in a vegetable and flower garden on the property. I did not get to see the cutting garden or the greenhouses but read about them in the guide book. A team of 10 gardeners work this garden, tend the greenhouses and keep the fresh arrangements throughout the chateau.
You might be interested in following Chateau Chenonceau's instagram here. You can see the cutting gardens and flower designers at work and many other gorgeous photos of the Chateau and gala events there. I was thrilled to see many other flower arrangements in some of the same places I had photographed.   It is beautiful decorated for Christmas!
This hall is covered with a series of rib vaults and I wish I had gotten a good picture of the beautiful ceiling in this hall.

The gorgeous textiles on the beds were stunning as were all the tapestries. Note the flower arrangements on the bedside tables.

This is a close up of the matching tables and identical arrangements on each side of the bed.
This is Queen Catherine de Medici's bedroom. I wish I had a picture of the entire room but it was crowded and hard to get a good picture without people in the way.
As shown here, can really see the beauty of the tapestry with good light.

Close up of the flower arrangement. I think you can see how thrilling it was for me to see all these creative arrangements.

All the fireplaces were very elaborate. This is Louis XIV's drawing room.

King Louis XIV Drawing Room.  He visited the chateau once and in memory of his visit years later gave his uncle the Duke of Vendome his portrait in this extraordinary frame.

We enjoyed hearing the history of this chateau and the history of the furnishings and its inhabitants over the years. I covered some of the history in the post, Gardens in France. Today, I am concentrating on showing some of the interior rooms and the flower arrangements I was able to photograph.  There is just not time to cover all the history. However, I did find it interesting that, during World War II, the Chateau was used by the Resistance as a bridge out of occupied France across the River Cher into Vichy. During the First World War, it served the French more conventionally as a hospital.
Now, onto the kitchens with multiple rooms. This elaborate display was beautiful and very fragrant.

The copper pots were impressive and look at that ceiling and the stone walls and floors. 

I would love to talk to the gardeners/floral designers that work at Chateau Chenonceau! They are very talented people. 
If you are planning a trip to the Loire Valley and you are flower lover like myself, plan an entire day for your tour. We saw two other chateaus the same day we toured Chenonceau and I would have liked more time there.  I was in awe of the beauty I witnessed there. 

 Gardens Galore  
Metamorphosis Monday   Show and Share  The Scoop  Celebrate and Decorate  Inspire Me Tuesday  Wow Us Wednesday  Tablescape Thursday  Share Your Style Party  Share Your Cup Full Plate Thursday
 Feathered Nest Friday  Dishing It & Digging It   Calypso in the Country Sunday's At Home, Thyme for Tea