Show Off Your Cottage Monday

Sunday, February 28, 2010
Welcome to “Show Off Your Cottage Monday”, a blog party I host at the beginning of each week to celebrate the things we love about our homes and how we live.

Today I'm celebrating porches. Who can resist the charm of country porches? A porch offers spectator seating for summer. It's a place to reconnect with family and friends, and it's the perfect spot to watch fireflies come out at night. The owner of this lovely porch I'm about to show you doesn’t own a blog of her own, but from time to time Annamarie shares lovely pics with me of her darling cottage and gardens, and today I’m honored to share some of them with you. So sit back, relax, and enjoy!

Now it’s your turn to tell us what you’re celebrating. If you have something to share with us on your blog, then add your link below. Just please be sure to:

1. Copy and paste our little logo on your blog.

2. Link back to the house in the roses from your post so that your readers can come and see what everyone else is celebrating today!

Did I kill my roses?.... and what about that dog

Friday, February 26, 2010
Dear traveler, welcome to the house in the roses!

Please come in! I'm brewing tea. Would you not join me for some tea? Go ahead, take a sit, and while we sip and enjoy this sweetness, if you care to listen I'd share a few things with you too--secrets about my life, here in Hollow Village.

One would think that life here in the Hollow is a perfect paradise, but this ain't totally true. I get frustrated just like you, and just like you, I do get headaches too. Besides, I’m bound to believe that I’d kill my roses, and that thought is making me feel very miserable... after a week of sunshine and lovely weather, I got “itchy green thumb”, and thus, I decided I wanted to satisfy my gardening desires and pruned my roses... Were the gods laughing at me? One would think so, because that very night the temperature dropped down considerably, and the following day the sky turned grayish-black and few snowflakes drifted off the sky teasingly... as if in revenge.

It scares me to think that I have become the slayer of my own passion, so on looking for a gleam of hope on the Internet this morning, I read that “Mid-February is the best time to prune roses or after the last hard freeze and before new growth appears”, and although I still think that this might not apply to our region, with its harsh and ever impredictable February weather, my hopes are high for the best blooms ever. More tea?

Oh yes, I’m anticipating with much excitement the rebirth of the earth. I cannot tell you how much my soul yearns for the contact with Nature; sunshine warming my back as my fingers work the soil...

I treasure the beauty and stillness of the garden, and work very hard at it too! It is in stillness that I find peace. It is in stillness that I am opened up to Nature’s voice, so when this harmony is in some way broken, or interrupted, I tend to get very frustrated. Barking dogs top my list of frustrations—actually, barking dogs, digging dogs, inquisitive dogs, jumping dogs—they all frustrate me. Can you imagine my annoyance over my neighbor’s dog, who happily meets all the qualifications above listed?

I have proof. Here is "Jumping-Snoop" on top of our 6" high fence! She can be there barking for hours or just observing the panorama on the other side of the fence, and if she happens to be too tired that day to jump, then she goes for the "underworld" as of to speak... she digs under the fence, disturbing roots and bulbs and whatever she finds in her way.

Ah yes, every garden has its own secrets and its own stories to tell. Believing I was the sweet "Fairy" of my garden was a nice thought for a while. But I had got it all wrong. You see, the other day I read that witches dislike dogs as much as dogs dislike cats. That said, then I must be the "Witch" of my garden!

So you beware you little "Jumping-Snoop" you! I could turn you into a mouse, and “Morning” would be here waiting for you: hair smooth, claws like knives, tips of teeth like silver, eyes that shine.... arrrgggg!!

Tablescape Thursday

Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Shopping for a square tablecloth for my big square diner table is not easy...

I guess I must be one of the few people in the world with a love for square tables, because square tablecloths are hard to find... the only tablecloth my table had seen for the last four years is a shower curtain, wish by the way, I'm very thankful for... also, have you notice how difficult it is to find a round tablecloth longer, or larger than 70”? They just don’t make them longer enough, so it seems. They’d have to be ordered, and they cost a fortune.

I’m so thankful there are thrift stores! I can always find what I need there. Like this pretty (and long enough) square tablecloth I found the other day! My thanks to whoever made it so that one day it would sprinkle my table with color and charm!

By the way, did you notice my new Rosanna set of 4 spring dessert plates? Lovely, aren't they! Even the sweet little box where they came in, is just too pretty! Now I want another set so that every sit in my big square table would have a pretty dessert plate on it.. oh, I'm starting to feel so annoyed by Ms. Spring. She is way too slow for my taste, you know! Always late arriving here. Do you feel the same way? I can hardly wait for spring to arrive so I can set up my first spring table outside!

In the mean time, while we wait for spring to arrive, we can always visit Susan, at Between naps on the porch for more lovely tables. Have fun embellishing yours!

Sitting pretty

Monday, February 22, 2010
There was once a not so pretty chair… some people thought of it as trash, some others passed by it even without offering a merciful glance… but I saw much potential in it. Scruffy, yes, but certainly good looking! And for only $7.99 I knew I had to bring it home with me!

I don’t know what’s in an old grubby thrift store piece of furniture that attracts me so. Of course, it would have to have a twist to it to attract me. Like my old chair here! I knew it would look perfect in my cottage style bedroom.

Giving an old piece of furniture new life by cleaning it, repainting it or reseating it to complement my home's character, is just fascinating. It's not only because I love the price, or because I'm trying to find ways to get back to basic living, or keeping costs down. The way I see things, is me creating beauty around my home, rather than some manufacturer.

My old dining chair now reupholstered and refinished take pride of place in our master bedroom. I just can seem to get enough of it.. I love the final look, don’t ya!

I'm joining "Do it yourself day", at A soft place to land"

And Metamorphosis Monday, at Between naps on the porch

Here comes the sun

Friday, February 19, 2010
Spring comes slowly here in this region, but although is still cold out there, a cheerful sun is already warming up the land...

Pretty soon sap will be running in the grape vine, spring heralds will be showing new life everywhere, our flowering Cherry and Pear trees will be putting out new leaves, and the garden will be graced by daffodils and colorful tulips once again...

I can hardly wait! Oh, my fingers are ready to tease the warm womb of the earth, my hands ready to make contact with Nature... have you ever felt so happy that there was nothing that could bring you down? That's how I feel when I think of the arrival of spring....

If you could have anything right now, what would you have? I'm happy as is.

Happy weekend, every one!

Through the garden gate

Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Like light peeping through the clouds, looking at photographs of beautiful gardens—on wintry days like these—brightens the outlook of my barren garden. If you’re like me, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the garden I’m about to show you.

There is nothing more delightful than going by a beautiful garden and be able to sneak a peek at what lies beyond the garden gates. For those who yearn to peer beyond the garden gate of this glorious garden, here is your chance! Click here to experience the serene aura of these gardens and see every treasure that is normally off limits...

Our Enchanted Garden gates are now open!

I'm also participating in "Outdoor Wednesday". Please visit Susan for more garden delights.