Tag Archives: Blumen Gardens

Christmas On The Porch

This is our first Christmas in the Dutch colonial,

+ it has me wildly enthusiastic about decking our halls!

Isn’t there something about a new house + holidays

that makes us want to just go nuts!?

Anyway, I started on our incomplete front porch,

which, sadly, is still awaiting its rails + steps:


Does my display look goofy on the unfinished porch?

I hope not.

Let’s look at everything up close, shall we?


I bought that old, gray bench in an antiques store in Galena, Illinois.


I bought the old red mailbox this past summer

from Hammar’s This + That, here in town.

My plan was to store my gardening supplies inside it.


The large number cards are from

the Scout Flea Market in Yorkville, Illinois.

416 is our street address.


The 2 small urns were less than $20 each at Lowe’s.

Don’t you love pairs of things in the garden?  I do!

I bought those faux evergreen trees at IKEA last year.


I couldn’t resist buying that new-but-looks-old watering can

at my favorite garden center, Blumen Gardens in Sycamore, Illinois.

Ouch!  That thing is heavy when full of water,

but at least it looks good!


My sled was a gift from my friend, Alan.


Don’t you love those primitive red mittens?

I bought those a long time ago

at a wholesale market in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

Anyway, I think that’s going to be it for the outside.

Slowly but surely, I’m adding a bit of Christmas inside the house.

It’s hard, though, because I’m super busy

with my RedBird biz this month.

plaid umbrella flyer

I am participating in my friend, Amy’s, Plaid Umbrella Pop-Up Store

in the next 3 weekends in December.

If you’re from the Chicago area, I highly recommend this show.

Fantastic displays, awesome + affordable merch, nice people!




Blue + White Garden Happiness

Our Dutch Colonial project is currently in this phase . . .


. . . which is more than a little ugly + not as morale-boosting

as some of our recent triumphs:



So to lift my spirits, I headed outside in our current yard,

photographing a few odds + ends that make me happy.

* * * * * *

Remember when the Mart of K

used to sell all that cool Martha gardening stuff?

This tub, in which my froggie fountain sits, is hers.


Froggie’s happy gurgling sound makes me very happy.


Here’s one of the pink coneflowers that we transplanted.

In this heat, they were really wilting,

so I aimed the sprinkler at them.

The birdies were bathing later, + it was really great to see!

* * * * * *

Our new Adirondack chairs are pretty awesome . . .


I sewed those pillows,
using indoor-outdoor fabric.
I’m mad for navy blue polka dots.

. . . but I think I love all  my “old stuff” even more:


I found this old sprinkler at an antiques shop
in my hometown of Greenville, Illinois.
It still works!
My initial plan was to repurpose it into a lamp, but we never did.


Hands down, though, my MOST-loved garden items

are those of the blue + white persuasion.


This year’s shade patio window boxes
are filled to the brim
with white caladiums
+ silvery-green licorice plants!


Both old AND white,
here’s my beloved copper roof spire,
atop our garage.

And now for the blue portion of our mini tour:


Remember, as kids, when we thought gazing balls were so “granny”?

Not even!

Blue transferware mosaic  bird bath

Blue transfer ware mosaic bird bath
from Blumen Gardens in Sycamore, Illinois

And for my most favorite blue vignette,

I’ve been waiting all spring + summer to get this shot:


Both the blue thistles (or, as G.O. calls them, “weeds”)

+ those blue glass stars also came from my favorite garden center:

I posted about said-same here:


My Favorite Garden Center

Seems like only yesterday that I was “bragging”

about our garden shed’s new roof.


See for yourself:


B O R I N G !

How can such a morale boost from yesterday

turn into such a big YAWN today?!

Here’s why!  Feast your eyes on this rooftop fabulousness!


And this!


Grandlad + me

These snapshots were taken yesterday evening at my favorite garden center,

Blumen Gardens, in Sycamore, Illinois (about 90 miles west of Chicago).



Clonk!  I shoulda had a growing roof!

I told G.O. that he should thank his lucky stars

that I didn’t spy this a week ago . . .

. . .  because we totally would have put one of these

on our garden shed!


Compare . . .


. . . + contrast!

Sigh.  Oh, well . . . just file this under “missed opportunities” . . .

. . . or, as I like to say at moments like this: “Next house!”  😉

Anyway, let’s have a look-see at the rest of Blumen Gardens:


It’s hard to see in this photo,
but here we have a PAIR (genius!) of espaliered trees,
which have been trained to grow together
+, at the top, form an arch.

I totally want to do something similar here, against the plain Jane east wall of our garage.

I totally want to do something similar here, against the plain Jane east wall of our garage.

Trees are discounted at all the garden centers now, so I say “why not?”

Are you with me?

I'm loving the chippy white wood + the old gooseneck light fixture!

I’m loving the chippy white wood
+ the old gooseneck light fixture!

Lots of gargoyles,  if that's your garden "thing". It's not mine.

Lots of gargoyles,
if that’s your garden “thing”.
It’s not mine.


I love the way these bricks have been laid, don’t you?.
Totally on my “must-have” list!
I'm not sure what this is,  but doesn't it look great, incorporated into the pavers?

I’m not sure what this is, but doesn’t it look great,
incorporated in with the pavers? Love the moss, too!

I swooned a bit over this beauty. The crackled porcelain is so gorgeous!

I swooned a bit over this beauty.
The crackled porcelain is so gorgeous!

It was at this very moment

thatI made a mental note to myself that yes,

we WOULD be installing crackled glaze tiles

into our kitchen backsplash.  What say ye?

People.  You can actually buy these. Imagine, if you will, with a dark gray grout in a gray + white kitchen!

People. You can actually buy these.
Imagine, if you will, with a dark gray grout!
Century Tile in Joliet + Bolingbrook, Illinois

I shall share this fun factoid with G.O., using this blog post as a visual guide,

the minute it’s time for us to install our backsplash!

More crackled glaze tile eye candy!

More crackled glaze tile eye candy!

But I digress, as I often do.

Meanwhile, here’s one last photo of my beloved Blumen Gardens.

Imagine yourself in this charming setting,

with wonderful classical music playing throughout.


Do those corbels rule, or what?!

Just now I’m penciling in a trip to the flea market later this month

in search of said-same!

I’ll be heading to the liquor store sometime today (hic!),

as I am anxious to start a cobalt blue bottle collection of my own!

I wonder what kind of beverages are sold in cobalt blue!?

Any ideas?



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