Monday, November 30, 2009

"Haul out the Holly...

Put up the tree before my spirits fall again now, cause I need a little Christmas, right this very minute!"

Now that Thanksgiving has past, it is time to get out the Christmas Decor! At our house, we picked out a tree and decorated it last night.

(image courtesy of Country Living)

We still need to get a wreath to decorate our front door.

And maybe add a few more touches here and there.

I love this red bow shown above on a wreath at the White House.

The last picture is my sister's house decorated for Christmas. You can hardly see the lights in the palms in this picture, but they look great at night.
'Tis the Season!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Home for the Holidays

Today we are headed south for the Holidays.

We will have a our family Thanksgiving meal here...
(The two little ones on the blanket will be the guest of honor.)

We will be eating here quite a bit as well...

The girls will be shopping here...

While the guys will be out doing this...

And that is a few of the reasons why we love Thomasville, Georgia. Check out Garden and Gun for even more reasons.

If we are really lucky, we may even get to go peak around at some of the old Plantations such as Millpond (pictured below.) This one is particularly special to us, because this is where we had our wedding reception.

The last four pictures are courtesy of Garden and Gun.

Hope you have a wonderful Turkey Day!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

In the Garden

The two pictures below especially struck me because they were taken of famous people in the comfort of their own garden.

Above, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, who were married over 50 years, pose on their daughter's backyard swing set at their Hollywood home. From this picture, you would never know that they were oscar winners; it is nice to see such well known people so understated and seemingly accessible.

Actress Doris Day (pictured above) is quoted as saying “From the time I was a little girl, my only true ambition in life was to get married and tend house and have a family.” She was said to have a great interest in design, which is evident in the above picture of her Los Angeles's Toluca Lake area home. This photo reminds me of the picture below from Sea Island.

When looking at pictures such as these, I have to throw in a few by Slim Aarons (via Photographers Gallery.) These garden parties captured by such an amazing photographer seem indicative of a more glorious time.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sweet November

It is hard to believe it is November with this fabulous fall weather - today high of 74 in Atlanta!

*I dont have the source of the picture... sorry!

If this keeps up we could have Thanksgiving dinner al fresco. The screen porch above looks like the perfect place!

Screen porches are a simple way to extend your home outdoors.

They can become a second living room in your home, and create a great place to cozy up by a fire place.

OR a great place for outdoor dining.

Just over a week away - What are your plans for Thanksgiving dinner?

* last three pictures courtesy of Cottage Living

Thursday, November 12, 2009


If you are a dog lover, than this is the coffee table book for you. Barkitecture by Fred Albert is full of a variety of dog houses. Some are quite the monstrosities, and some are so perfectly designed that they fit seamlessly into the garden. The cover of the book illustrates a great example of this.

This thatched roof dog house is one of my favorites in the book. It reminds me of the play house at Old Westbury Gardens.

How funny is the one?

The book is just full of interesting designs that are very entertaining to look at.

The above picture is not from the book, but does it remind you of something? Maybe a post earlier this week... It is from Boutique Tents! They even make a dog version.

The last two pictures are of Mosley's house (my parents dog.) The shingles and the paint color match the house perfectly. Although it is tucked in a corner it still becomes another garden element or focal point instead of an eye sore.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Office Outing

Last week we decided to take advantage of the gorgeous fall weather; so we took a break from work and heading to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.

It is hard to believe that there are 30 acres in the middle of the city dedicated solely to art, education, horticulture, and sustainability.

There are so many gorgeous focal points around every turn.

There are several smaller themed gardens such as the Japanese Garden, the Rose garden, the Fuqua Conservatory and Fuqua Orchid Center. I am sorry that I don't have pictures of all of these to share, but I do have picture of the children's garden which was one of my most favorite!

This map shows a plan view of the children's garden.

There is a fun tunnel for the children to crawl though which also explains the metamorphosis of a caterpillar. And a butterfly garden...

There is the sunflower fountain- just for fun!

And the slide...

There is also a vegetable garden and an amphitheater for the kids that I unfortunately do not have pictures to show.

The Elevated Canopy Walk is under construction and is projected to be completed by Spring 2010. I cant wait to get back to see this exhibit!

For more information of to plan your visit click here.
pictures via

Boutique Tents

While we are on the topic of circus acts and classic American style, I thought that these Boutique Tents were fitting. They can be used any where from weddings to cabanas. They are made of aluminum and can be left outside year round.

This tent creates a unique out door room and would be a perfect spot for an outdoor lunch or a children's tea party.

This tent is from the Viceroy Palm Springs, California luxury resort and spa. It serves as a great shelter for dinning al fresco, an intimate pavilion for parities or to just hang out, and it adds so much to the daily atmosphere.

The last two images, via shelter, show the timeless use of the black and white tents as pool cabanas.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Great Expectations

Ever since 1998 when the movie Great Expectations came out, I have been awed by the house where it was filmed.

Paradiso Perduto (meaning Paradise Lost) is the name of Ms. Densmore's neglected mansion in the film. As the story goes, she was to me married in the garden there, but when the marriage fell through she fell apart. The house fell apart with her, but this dilapidated set only heightens the magical quality of the film.

When I discovered that the set was really the Ca d'Zan, the winter home of John and Mable Ringling of the famous Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus it only spiked my curiosity even further.

The Ca d'Zan is described as a Venetian Gothic mansion designed by architect Dwight James Baum. It overlooks the Sarasota Bay, which reminded the Ringlings of Venice, their favorite city.

The above picture was taken in 1927 of John Ringling at the Ca d'Zan (meaning "the house of John" in Venetian dialect.) The house was completed in 1926 at the total cost of $1.5 million. According to Wikipedia, with inflation that converts to approximately $16 million today.

The unique architecture and specific attention to whimsical detail is indicative of the the circus background of the owners and only seems to make the place more magical.

The above picture is of Mable Ringling. She was said to have loved being out doors, and loved gardens. The grounds and gardens include the Italian rose garden, Mable's Scvret Garden, the Dwarf Garden, Millennium Tree Trail, and other delightful views of the bay.

Pictures above found here.

The Ca d'Zan mansion is now open for tours, a venue for public events, and can be rented for weddings.

I have great expectations of touring the mansion and grounds when I one day make it down to Sarasota, FL.