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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tuesday Tip

Woven washable baskets. Get some!
 Panama Woven Washable Baskets 

This is the first time I have ever published a Tuesday Tip that was on the pricey side. But when I discovered these baskets from Williams-Sonoma Home, I thought it was worth passing along. The baskets look just like wicker, but are made from polypropylene.The retail price is $69.99 (I bought my for $59.95 at the WSH outlet in Leesburg, Virginia) which seems a bit much for just 2 baskets until you consider they can be used over and over and even left outdoors!

If you don't want to wash them by hand, you can put them in the dishwasher!!!
I love real wicker and have 2 pull out baskets for fruit/vegetable storage (with liners) in my kitchen,
but the germaphobe in me loves this more!!!

I can think of dozens of ways to use them, but here's what I did with my pair:
I've told my daughter to put whatever she needs for the pool here.

 My other daughter has one for all her summer items too. Now if she would just put her things away...teenagers!
Photos courtesy of WSH and A&A

Monday, June 11, 2012

The View From Here

I do not consider myself a gardener, I only buy and plant what I am confident I cannot kill. Other than the boxwoods that line the bluestone walkway and the topiaries that flank the steps, the A&A landscape is totally maintenance free. But that doesn't mean I don't spend more than I should on annuals every year and go outside to cut the perennials every chance I get. It keeps me sane. The last 3 weeks my pruning sheers have been getting a serious work-out.  Sanity can never be overrated. Neither can flowers.
Purple Hydrangea in a pewter champagne bucket on top of a secretary in the living room.

I realized after I downloaded the photos that the blooms echo the intricate details of this church ceiling!

Clipped from here. My only bush of this type. These blooms grow on existing wood and the leaves and stems are very stiff as opposed to some varieties that grow on new wood.

French Hydrangea. This says summer to me.
 These bushes also yield the most blooms, so be warned, I  go a little nuts with my cutting and arranging!

French hydrangea, in an antique French flower basket on an antique French chest.
 Who cares if the scale is off with flowers this pretty-right!?

One of my favorite containers from a trip to Charleston, SC. several years ago.
The basket above is also from there and was purchased from an antiques shop called Alexandra AD for all you francophiles who want to see (or buy) some absolutely beautiful pieces.

Can you have too many hydrangea in one room?

Probably, but they sure do make the blue ceiling stand out! The blue tapers were a gift from a friend. is so calming.

We live on the deck in the summer. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. It's nothing special and could certainly use a major overhaul (tear down), but it's comfortable and a great spot to relax. All the trees keep the temperature about 10 degrees cooler than the front of the house and because it's 8 feet off the ground, there is usually a breeze. This year I purchased 2 new rugs. The last time I showed you the dining side was here. The French doors swing out right off the kitchen for plenty of al fresco dining. I love how the rugs really give the feeling of a room. Not to mention, they are soft underfoot when you have an old deck!  The little herb pots next to the hydrangea bouquet are from my kitchen window-getting a little fresh air.

Impatiens, vinca vine and now I can't remember the name of the plants with the purple leaves? I love these wooden planter boxes. They're 18 years old and have seen countless varieties of annuals over the years.

I bought yellow Hibiscus to flank the front steps. A first ever for me. I usually choose pink!

Lemon yellow, so fresh!

 But I still love pink flowers.

Double impatiens. They look like miniature roses without all the work!
 So how's the view from your house? What did you plant, what are you cutting this year?

All photos courtesy of A&A