Flowers for the Cottage Garden

This week I made a stop at my local Lowe’s garden center. I try to stop in frequently throughout the summer, because there are always so many unadvertised specials to be found! While I was there this week, I overheard a sales person talking with a customer, trying to explain the over abundance of plant material. She said – they have a contract with a large wholesaler, and they receive a certain number of plants whether they need them or not. This usually means that they have way to many plants & need to mark them down – or else they will risk loosing the plants due to lack of proper space & care.

There is almost always a rack of plant mark downs when I stop in. I routinely find deals of 50-% – 75% off!

I am so thrilled with my latest finds!

This is an evergreen ground cover called: Lithodora – Grace Ward
Lithodora Ground Cover

It flowers in May & June, only gets approx 6″ high, and is one of the best blue flowering ground covers available!

This little beauty is a wonderful option for; ground covers, rock gardens, spilling over walls, hanging baskets, or edging your flower garden borders. I think this plant would look wonderful with the white version of this plant which is called “‘White Swan”. I think I might also mix mine with some ajuga.

I was VERY excited to find this Longwood Wisteria plant with a few flowers already on it, especially when some types of wisteria plants can take up to 7-10 years to bloom!
Wisteria - Purple Longwood

They like to grow in sun or partial shade, and can reach 20 – 30 feet tall! It will grow in zones 5-9, and I was surprised to find out that this particular wisteria is a US native! Although this plant blooms from late spring to early summer, there are also reports of this beauty showing off again right through September!

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    Delicious Summer Pasta – and new visitors to the cottage garden

    Salad Mix

    This is a quick, easy, cheap, come back for seconds family dish!

    Pasta salad is the perfect side dish for any summer meal! You can also change the recipe very easily by tossing in any of your favorite ingredients right from the cottage garden!

    Cook your favorite kind of pasta while you’re making the sauce to save time! (we like using small pasta such as angel hair or bow-ties)

    * Feel free to double the recipe – or add your own favorite ingredients 😉

    While your pasta is cooking, mix together the following ingredients & let sit until pasta is done.

    4 cups chopped tomatoes
    1/2 cup chopped basil leaves
    2-3 cloves pressed garlic
    1 can sliced olives (I prefer mushrooms)
    2 T. balsamic vinegar
    2 T. olive oil
    Add salt & pepper to taste

    Top your pasta with this delicious sauce & be prepared for seconds 😉

    Some ideas for extra favorite things to add:

    – Cheese bits (or freshly grated parmesan cheese)
    – Diced green, yellow, red, or hot peppers
    – Broccoli
    – Beans
    – Sugar snap peas
    – Celery
    – Onions
    – Chicken
    – Pepperoni
    – Bacon

    I know your family will enjoy this one!

    I also wanted to share some of the newest guests to our bird feeder with you!


    I call this little guy Fred 😉
    I thought he had a piece of string tied to his tail! It took several days of seeing him at the feeder to realize that his little leg was broken. He gets around very nicely – even though he is “disabled” :)

    My Friend Fred - At the bird feeder

    My bird feeder gets lots of traffic! This wild turkey is our latest guest :) Don’t forget… although we have several acres of land surrounding our cottage in the woods, we do live in a little Victorian village! Nice to see such a variety of “guests” come out even in the village :)

    Wild turkey at the bird feeder

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      Humming Bird Feeder – Vintage Glass Look

      Red Hummingbird Feeder

      I wanted to show you this great new humming bird feeder that I picked up at my local Walmart for $9.95!

      The reason it caught my eye (besides the fact that it was deep red – my favorite color… for now ;), was because I thought that it was a thick red wine bottle that had been made into a humming bird feeder. It reminded me of some of the other thick bubble glass that some of my other garden features are made out of.

      Upon closer inspection, I realized that it was actually plastic!

      It has the look of a vintage wine bottle with a cork. At first, you might think about how hard it would be to keep the feeder filled after you take out the cork, but you actually unscrew the bottom of the feeder, turn it upside down, fill it, then turn it right side up – (after you put the bottom back on of course :).

      Both the hanger & the bottom of the feeder are made out of metal, both of which help add to that vintage feel.

      Peach Begonia

      I purchased this feeder a week or so ago, but while I was working in the office today, I saw a little humming bird come up to the window. He was trying to get to the beautiful begonia flowers that a friend had given me (he must have been spying on me through the window :). So… I figured it was finally time to share the pretty red “vintage looking” feeder with him – and not just keep it all to myself 😉

      If you get a chance, go check out the garden center at your local Walmart… maybe you can find one for your cottage garden!

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        Pink Roses That You Can Make

        Pink & red roses are in high demand this time of year, and as well they should be! After all, we are honoring the most important women in our lives – our moms!

        Pink roses that you can make

        With Mother’s Day being just around the corner, I thought I would remind you of a very simple way to decorate those pretty packages!

        Pink tissue paper roses!

        They are so easy – very inexpensive – and so beautiful!

        I remember making this kind of rose when I was a child, except they were as big as a dinner plate! I loved them then, but for some reason, I haven’t thought about them again until today.

        This morning I was wrapping my mom’s Mother’s Day gift so I could put it in the mail, when I remembered the paper roses I used to make as a child.

        I decided to wrap part of the package like you would a piece of candy – with twists at each end. But instead of folding the ends & taping them as I usually do, I decided to make them into pink roses instead.

        Here’s how to make the roses when you are wrapping a gift.

        Wrap your gift using 2-3 sheets of tissue paper (I kind of roll the gift so there are several layers of paper at each end – this makes a nice full rose). Tightly tie a ribbon around each end. Be sure to leave several inches on each end, so that when you gather it tight, you will have enough paper left to “pull” into a rose. Then, gently pull each layer of the paper apart, and shape into your rose.

        Here’s what mine looks like from the top.

        Pink paper roses

        You can also make paper roses without wrapping a gift first.

        – Decide how big you want your roses to be, then add a few inches extra for gathering
        – Cut 2-3 strips of tissue paper that length
        – Roll the paper into a loose roll (you can wrap it tight to begin with to make the center of the bud if you wish)
        – Gather at one end & secure with a piece of wire, or a twist tie
        – Pull the layers of the paper apart to make your desired rose shape

        Think about all the beautiful colors & patterns that tissue paper comes in these days! You could add a few different colors (or patterns) together for a great effect! And tissue paper is so inexpensive, that you could make a room full for a few dollars! You say your a shabby chic, country cottage, or Victorian kind of girl? Hey – why not use these little beauties to decorate your space!

        Oh – the possibilities!

        Pink package with pink roses

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          The Bird Feeder – A Hot Spot in Our Garden!

          Yellow finch at the bird feeder in our garden

          There’s nothing better than being able to sit at my desk, while enjoying all of the noise & traffic that goes by my window each day! Traffic you ask? Yes! The best kind of traffic… wildlife roaming through the yard, enjoying a little treat as they go about their day :)

          I’m talking, of course, about our bird feeders!

          With this being our first year living at the cottage in the woods, we are just starting to get a taste of the joys of living with nature 😉

          I thought I’d share a few pictures of the recent guests to the cottage feeder.

          The first up (one pictured above) are the wonderful finches! They come in so many colors & sizes – but most of all – they have the most beautiful songs!

          Then there are the little guys like this little chipmunk! So cute & tiny – we love to watch them stuff their cheeks full of goods then run back under the trees!
          Chipmunk at the bird feeder in our cottage garden

          And last of all… the bigger guys like this sneaky raccoon! I do love wildlife… but I hope this is as big as the visitors get! After all… there were a few bear sightings in our area last year – yikes!
          Raccoon coming around the cottage garden bird feeder

          * Did you know that raccoons have “thumbs” which is why they are able to open trash can lids, and get into lots of other trouble around your property?!

          * Do you know what a baby raccoon is called? Answer: A kit

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            Decorating for Spring

            Vintage Pine Cabinet

            Although I love to decorate for the holidays, I never really thought about changing things around during each season… until now 😉

            About 8-9 years ago, we decided that someday soon we would move into a different home. We wanted something a little larger for our growing family, and more land for our growing desire for gardening! After we found our property, we went through the process of finding a house plan & building the new house. Fast forward several years… I finally feel settled & excited about decorating & gardening for the future.

            In the past, I would normally get in the mood to decorate when the holidays came around a few times each year. Now, in our first year in the new cottage, I find myself thinking in terms of seasons – not just holidays.

            I’ve always loved to look through magazines & see the beautiful pictures of homes as they go through their seasonal changes, but I always thought it was to expensive, as well as to much work. Now, however, I have a new philosophy… Why Not?

            Even if the only thing you change is a picture, a piece of fabric, or a potted plant, you’re still keeping things interesting & current. And expensive? I should have known better :) I have been known to uncover “many a good deal” in these parts 😉 So… I wanted to share some of the recent changes for the new season. This is our first Spring in the new house – as well as the beginning of a wonderful new tradition… change 😉

            My friend bought me these little prim chicks from a favorite prim store of mine.

            I love having different platters & bowls to serve our family & guests. When I find one at a great price, I snatch it up quick :) This one was only $6 from a Pier One Sale!

            * I just had to dress the rusty tin star with a dash of color :)

            I love vintage wooden butter bowls – I picked these up in a $1 box at auction. The little bunny is cast iron.

            I love these pears! I picked them up for .79 cents. They have such a vintage look with their coat of sparkles.

            Inspiration Board

            Primitive Angel

            Isn’t she beautiful! I especially love her little red lips!

            P is for Pearls

            A gift from a friend – I love pearls & my name is Pearl :)

            Angel Ornament

            My friend made this little ornament for me. I love the way it sparkles!

            I picked up the waverly toile runner for $5 at a local discount store. I want to add some pots of green plants to the center.

            Here’s a close up of the little cast iron birds in the table wreath.

            I can tell this is going to be fun!! :)

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