Curious Bedfellows- Deck Refinishing and Scarf Design

The weather gave us a short series of sunny days to clean and stain the front deck. It’s taken roughly 500 days to get here. (We missed last year entirely) Happily, I was able to take short breaks to visit our little cactus- boasting four flowers this year- three in a row!  Deck Refinishing Friday, we taped, wet down and applied cleaner and brightener to the mahogany deck. The process is challenging- you wet the wood, apply the product, let it sit for 15 minutes, scrub the surface with a bristle brush, and rinse it off. Sunday, we stained and rubbed
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Clothes From the Garden

You grow the plants. Photograph them at high resolution with your Nikon of choice and design new creations in Photoshop. Apply those to a finish product and SELL said item. A tall order. Even though I’ve bought printing for marketing purposes, experimenting with printing to fabric was a whole other story. It would be exhausting to think about doing even part of the job, if I hadn’t fallen head over heels about the potential for creating beauty. The love of transferring nature to fabric has had its way with me relentlessly. Blogging about it is my confession. Pretty or handsome?
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Maine Travelogue

Our summer vacation this year began in Somerville MA, a comfortable driving pause enroute to Newburyport and Maine. The bonus was lunch with my son and his fiancée. Caught up in a whirlwind of late fall wedding plans as they are, we figured the best way to get their attention was over a meal.  It worked really well! After lunch, we drove to Newburyport for an overnight at a bed and breakfast called the Essex Street Inn, close to downtown. Great location. Lovely people. The following day we drove to Harrison ME to catch up with old friends. Harrison is
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Teak, Citrus and Tung Oil

Wood finishing ingredients with a seductive ring to them. For some foolish reason in updating our house, we surrounded ourselves with outdoor materials that demand protection from the elements. Mahogany decks and bamboo fencing require sun/mold protection almost every year. A wooden statue and Asian door made for tropical weather were not created for Zone 5- Connecticut. What were we thinking?  Last year we added two more items- teak deck chairs in need of re-finishing. Sheer insanity. I know it, you know it. What could make it more complicated? Sealing with natural products of course. Last year, I used a combination of Tung
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It’s Summer- We’re Headed to Maine

Can’t wait! We’re headed north to visit old friends in Harrison Village. Never been, but the allure of Maine is intoxicating to this CT resident. I can’t WAIT to get out of Dodge. ( Sorry, Dodge) The hot sun has required watering the garden twice daily to keep the newly replanted Golden Carpet shoots hydrated. The hanging baskets get soaked every afternoon. It’s summer- and it’s just that time of year. Besides. As long as the IMAC remains unusable, no way can I pick up where I left off with my new Morning Glory scarf- Midnight will be its name.  What
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Summer Work Delivers Beauty

A few days ago when my one year old IMAC crashed I was smack in the middle of birthday party fatigue and a bout of rabid gardening. Can you say “Apple Care Protection Plan?” It was the price of sanity. Summer work helps to cool the angst of dastardly computer troubles. I’m pleased to say that even as hosta flowers emerge all over the garden, I’ve also shaped three Japanese willow bushes- albeit a little late. It’s better to do them mid- June here in Connecticut and give new growth solid recovery before cold weather…but I think they’ll be fine.
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Summer Scarves

Summer is the time to feed and water plants that have returned to share their beautiful flowers. It’s also a time to take new photos, move out some inventory left from the last fair and begin to create new designs. I was so happy to get my daughter back one sunny day to pose in the garden with some of the scarves. So much more fun than work on a hot day! Although. The garden does have its charm. I adore this photo. The miniature lilac tree is past but its memory will linger all year. We transplanted this tree
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Welcome to the Tropics of Connecticut

Have you noticed? It’s hotter and wetter in warm weather, and less cold in winter. Still, every gardener welcomes rain as an alternative to being eaten by mosquitoes when you’re trying to water thirsty plants. And it’s wonderful to look out at the lush greens, especially as the lilies haven’t quite burst into bloom yet. It’s an almost-water feature! I adore my new water hyacinths that live in a small metal pot embedded in one of the flower beds. And you don’t have to water. What a concept. Water plants are new to me and I find the leaves with
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Mother Nature Rules

Is that deck finished? You can see the red stain somewhat. The beauty shot of a newly refinished mahogany deck will have to wait until the next day the sun shines- this weekend? It sure may look tranquil but the before and after shots of ten hours playing nursemaid to a deck tell another story. This has been the year of repair. The lovely metal railing on the front deck had started to rust. Sanding, primer and spraying. I learned the hard way that shaking a can of paint VERY WELL is obligatory. And once you’ve checked the brand and
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Blossom Shopping in a June Garden

The first blast of Spring flowers has past, leaving in its wake rich young green colors on every side. What’s budded up in CT right now? Well, the peonies are starting their show… The day lilies are dutifully rearing their crooked little heads as the astilbe flower stalks get fatter by the day. Welcome patches of purple spiderwort are bearing their first flowers even as they demand staking. Spiderworts are great this time of Spring, as little else is blooming. Their fat numerous buds are a promise of continuous flowering. A few patches of new white allium have appeared I
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