Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Starting Anew

It's hard to believe it has been over a year since I have last posted on the blog. Much has happened in that time. Not only have we put our beloved family home up for sale in NY, but my husband and I have moved out of state. Leaving two of our three children, our home of sixteen years, friends, my gardens, and our community was a difficult decision to make and execute. But we believed that God had a plan for us and we chose to trust Him. So, it was Pennsylvania, here we come!

First, I had to find the right real estate agent. I love old houses, especially the stone houses of southeastern PA. I used all sorts of key words in my search, and one name came up over and over again, Scott Laughlin. Scott specializes in historic and unique homes. He also specializes in patience!

You see, I had a list of requirements; stone house built before 1850, three bedrooms, two baths, two (+/-) acres and in move-in condition. Oh, and there was a price limit. I think Scott is still laughing. My husband on the other hand had only one request, one hour from work. Scott had his work cut out for him.

We began the search in February, 2015. First trip was two days and thirteen houses. Now let me go back a bit, I love going through old houses. I don't care the condition. I love admiring all the historic details and imagining the history of each one. So when we began this search, we saw the full range; lovely to nearly condemned. I dare not mention the cat house.

Since my husband had a one hour radius, we looked at houses in six counties. Did I mention that Scott was patient? Our first time out I fell in love with a stone house in Chester County.

Love at first sight.

Well, over the next five months, the house of my dreams went under contract twice, while we placed and pulled an offer on another house twice. Finally I saw that the listing became active again and we put in an offer. Back and forth a couple of times and the house was finally ours!

After a slight delay (Husband's gall bladder decided to misbehave the day before our scheduled move) I was finally directing movers as to what went where. We have settled in nicely and truly love living in such a beautiful place. There is much to do on the property and I will be sharing our reclamation and planting as we go along.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Picking Out the Wreath

There is a truly lovely place just up the hill on Route 20 from Guilderland, NY.  Noch Fiernan Farm, a field grown perennial operation in summer, is transformed into a world of Christmas greenery each year after Thanksgiving.

Rita Jane, and her sisters, create the most beautiful wreaths.  I always have the most difficult time deciding which one to bring home, so that this year I brought along my husband to assist with this most difficult of decisions. 

The barn is a very busy, and creative place.  In addition to wreaths, they also offer kissing balls, swags, centerpieces and fresh cut trees, all reasonably priced.

Rita adding sparkles to my wreath!
Wreathes are accented with pine cones and other ornaments, as well as generously sized bows.

I think husband chose well.  Being in the spirit of the season, he even picked out a centerpiece for our Christmas table.
Check out Noch Fiernan Farm, as well as their Facebook page for directions and hours.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Waiting Impatiently for the January Thaw (or at least the next garden show)

The latest visit from the now infamous, Polar Vortex is starting to wear thin.  I prefer my winters snowy with temps in the high teens and low twenties.  An occasional wind chill in the single digits is tolerable as long as it doesn't last too long.  This year, the sub zero temperatures have been just plain annoying!  Therefore, I am going to take you, Lovely Readers, on some garden tours from the past.  I hope these pictures will warm your soul and possibly give you some ideas for your own gardens.  Enjoy. 

2011 brought us to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 

One must visit each season, to fully appreciate the exquisite beauty of Pennsylvania's 

Just one of many greenhouses.

 There are no shortage of flower shows to help shake away those mid winter blues.
It is a treat for the senses smelling fresh soil and seeing the colors of springtime in the dead of winter.

First, the Boston Flower Show 

Then there is the wonderful mid-summer show in Newport, Rhode Island 

International Tennis Hall of Fame

Driveway of a private residence.
A favorite sign along the Cliff Walk.


Some of the loveliest gardens I have had the pleasure of visiting are through the Open Days program courtesy of the Garden Conservancy.  These gardens range from the small and simple, to the formal estate garden maintained by a full time staff.  All have something special to offer and it is always a learning experience meeting the special people who plan and tend these gardens.

As much as I love to visit other gardens, I'm always happiest with my own patch of earth.