Archive for Gardening

Recently I had the opportunity to attend a Pallet Garden class at Green Things in Tucson.  The plants and the staff are amazing.  The class had its challenging moments.  Picking from all their beautiful plants was the hardest part.greenthings_garden_center_tropical_greenhouse 

So here is what you need:

  1. A pallet-salvaged or constructed.  For this class we used a 16″ x 16″ pallet that was very easy to manage.  Larger pallets will take a lot more materials and become pretty heavy.
  2. Plants-here is my collection 🙂succulents_supplies_greenthings_garden-center_tucson_azJPG
  3. Coco coir mat.  This is available by the roll and/or the foot.  You only need about a 2′ square piece for the small pallet.  The sheet goods will be shredded to fill the bottom of each level of the pallet.coirmatting_coir_shredded_pallet_garden_green-Things.2
  4. Green moss- the type that is often used in tops of pots (not sphagnum moss).  It comes in a plastic bag.  One medium bag was used for this pallet.  Soak it in a large bucket of water before use.  It is layered over the coir fiber and the plants are nestled into the moist moss.sheet_moss_potting_pallet_garden_2
  5. Here is Cathy, our very talented garden designer, demonstrating the packing of the pallet with the shredded coir.greenthings_ tucson_Cathy_instructor_2x2_pallet_coirmatting
  6. Here is Cathy and me working on my pallet.  I got off to a slow start but finally got the hang of it.  When you think you have enough coir matting packed in, add some more.  It is the supporting structure between the pallet levels.  Thanks Cathy for your help!Cathy_Mary_Greenthings_pallet_building_class

AND here is the final product…succulent_pallet_finished-greenthings-nurseryThat is the short and sweet of building a succulent pallet garden.  Hopefully these 3″small succulent babies will grow and fill in the spaces.  They need very little water and prefer a shady spot.  Grow babies, grow!

Here is a video posted on Facebook about the class.  It is long but you can get a feels for the technique of building a pallet garden.  Thanks to Catalina, a staff member at Green Things alias videographer, there is a nice recap of How to build a pallet garden.

I’m getting ready to hang my new pallet wall garden on my front porch.

Hope you give it a try.

Happy planting!

Mary

PS:  A new art glass collection is being introduced on the Mary Sherwood Art Glass page later this week.  The holiday collection is right behind it.  Take a look.  Comments more than welcome!

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

252-308-2694

 

How do beautiful salads and Paul’s new iphone relate? Here’s the answer.

Recently Paul became an iphone convert.   His droid was due to be replaced so he made the switch.  So far no regrets (thank goodness).  So, because both of our phone contacts had expired, I also got a new iphone 5e. Well, what does this have to do with gadgets for salads?  In setting up my new phone and purging over 10,000 pictures (ugh!) I came across this video we made at the MSLL store to promote two amazing products.  Although I no longer have the store and sell these products I thought it was worth sharing this video and these tips for peeling and slicing fruit and veggies.  I can’t live with out these two gadgets for making fruit salad, green salads, tarts and what ever requires thinly sliced fruit or tomatoes.  Makes prep so easy!

There are two items mentioned in the video.  The first item is fairly common and made by many different companies.  It looks like a regular vegetable peeler but with close examination you can see the serrated edge of the blade which enables it to gently peel soft fruit and veggies.  Here is the close ups of the soft fruit peeler and its serrated edge.  It can be purchased in many kitchen gadget departments or online.  Here is a link to the Amazon site for Oxo Soft Fruit Peeler I use.  Reasonably priced and functions very well.  soft_fruit_peeler_tomatoes_easy_summer_fresh_marysherwoodlifestyles

The next gadget is the Queen of soft fruit slicing, the Genu Tari Slicer.  Chef Yvonne Hoffman and I found this in the gourmet products at the Atlanta market.  I use mine all the time.  Cutting strawberries, peaches, grapes, hard boiled eggs, mozzarella cheese and more is so easy and fast!  If any of these soft foods have a tougher skin, like tomatoes and peaches, using the soft fruit peeler prior to slicing insures good results.  It is functional, easy to clean and produces amazing thin slices.  All of this makes it well worth the price just in time for peach and tomato season!

soft_fruit_slicer_tari_gefu_summer_healtyfood_gourmet_foodprep

Sooo…here is the Video!  Don’t laugh too hard I am not a video star.  You can no longer stop by my store to get a demo but you are welcome to see these gadgets in action at my house anytime.

Hope this video with the tips will help you make beautiful summer salads and desserts.  I can almost taste the Caprese Salad shown above.  Show me what you can do with this gadgets.  Let me know if I can help answer any questions about how I use these products.

Enjoy!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles-Working with you to create your lifestyle!

252-308-2694

NOTE:  I have not been endorsed or paid by the manufacturers of these two products.  I just love how they simplify my food prep!  Pictures of the products were collected from the manufacturers’ websites.

 

 

Jun
29

Exploring Santa Monica

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Paul and I just returned from five days in Santa Monica visiting Jake and Elif taking in all the beautiful weather and surroundings.

Our first outing is always a walk through the neighborhood to brush off the road weariness.  The streets are lined with a mix of old and new homes.  I always enjoy the small front gardens and plantings.  We stumbled across this amazing sidewalk garden. It is full of succulents, annuals and a comfortable spot to sit and reflect.  An unexpected thing like this is what makes me love California.  The plague on the tree is a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Peace cannot be achieved through violence.  It can only be attained through understanding.”  How fitting for today’s turbulent times.SANTAMONICA_SIDEWALK_GARDEN-ENCHANTING_SUCCULENTS

The next day, we walked to the beach at the Santa Monica Pier where there is a sign that says this is the original location of Muscle Beach.  Love the broad wide beach, great bike path and fun people watching.IMG_7522

On Saturday we boarded the new Expo Light Rail in Santa Monica to travel into downtown LA.  What a wonderful transportation addition.  An upbeat train station, colorful train cars and easy travel to LA was a real pleasure.Blog 06 29 2016 Santa Monica1

Our train travel took us to the California Science Center to see the Endeavor Space Shuttle exhibit.  It is a very interesting and informative display about the space shuttle’s history.  The Endeavor completed 25 missions from 1992 – 2011.  It was originally constructed outside of LA and was brought back to its permanent location through a parade through the streets of LA in 2012.   This is an exhibit well worth a visit.

Jake and Elif have been raving about this new ice cream parlor in an eclectic Venice shopping district called Abbot Kinney.  We strategically scheduled our visit to make sure we had plenty of room to enjoy this wonderful creamery.  The Salt end Straw far exceeded our expectations. Out of many different combinations I chose the Slumptown Coffee with Comparte Lovenuts ice cream.  OMG!  Click here to learn more about the Salt and Straw. salt_straw_icecream_stumptowncoffee_comparte_lovenuts-abbotkinney

What a great weekend!  We visited so many of our favorite spots and explored many new ones.  We cooked several dinners from Green Chef (organic Food Delivery), watched movies and walked many steps.  Perfect long weekend with bright blue skies and 75 degree temps!  Thanks Jake and Elif for a great time!

I think this may have to be my new ride for our next beach visit.  What do you think?LINUS_BICYCLE_DUTCHI_COOLRIDE_ROADSTER

As many us of travel through the summer feel free to comment and share some of your favorite journeys.

Wishing everyone sunny blue skies!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

252-308-2694

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://saltandstraw.com/flavor/stumptown-coffee-compartes-love-nuts/

Mar
16

Art Glass Passion

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I am in love with all forms of art glass.  If there was anyway I could afford it I would collect Chihuly Glass.  Short of that I have gathered an assortment of small to large glass art for my own home.  Many of you may recall some of these pieces if you toured our Lake Gaston home.  Now that we have relocated to Tucson I have access to a small glass studio to try my hand at fused glass.  I started last November and am feeling more and more confident.  Here is my dabbling in this art form from the very first piece to my latest collection.fused-art-glass-4inch-trinket-plate-black-multi

My first 4″ trinket dish I made in the introductory glass.  I hope you will appreciate my evolving skills.

fused-glass-art-cabinet-hardware-multi-color-target-hand-towel

Early on as I was trying to brighten up a small 3/4 bath.  I decided to make glass  pulls and knobs to add some pizazz.  While browsing in Target I located the perfect hand towels to complete the look.

art-glass-fused-turquoise-blue-clear-11inch-sushi-plate

11″ clear, turquoise and blue lattice sushi plate.  I love the effect of lattice weave.  This plate helped me to improve my cutting skills.  I still have a lot more room to grown in cutting a straight line. 🙂

fused-art-glass-9inches-orange-white-yellow-clear

I love to use scrape pieces to pull together a design.  Nothing goes to waste.  Most of the glass in this 9″ plate is from scrape.  I tried a new technique with this plate.  The squiggly pieces are made by melting thin glass stringers into all kinds of funky shapes.

Art-glass-fused-11inches-Circle-multicolored-blue-turquiose-clear-bowl

I have been admiring this bowl design in a fused glass book.  I finally got up the courage to cut 30 glass circles of assorted sizes and colors.  I adapted the design using my own take on the colors and shapes of all the pieces.  I absolutely love the finished 9″ bowl!

fused-art-glass-garden-totem-27inches-multi-color-abstract-design

I have been longing to make bigger art glass pieces.  The kiln in our community glass studio can only accommodate up to a twelve inch piece.  I ventured out to a local stained and fused glass art shop and took a 4 hours garden totem class. Here is the finished piece.  It is 27″ h x 6″ w.  I am so thrilled with it.  I have the clear glass bases cut for a 30″ and 36″, so there is more to come.  fused-art-glass-closeup-garden-totem-27inches-multi-color-dichoricglass-abstract-design

Here is a close up of the totem.  It is so pretty I am not sure I can put it in the garden!  It includes over 100 glass pieces and some metallic dichroic glass accents.  I didn’t really think I had it in me to finish this piece the day of the class.  We started with a blank canvas of clear glass and had to come up with a concept.  There were five students in the class and every totem is entirely different.  As the other finished pieces are photographed I will share them.  Creative minds are a wonderful thing.

fused-art-glass-collection-multi-colors

Here is a collage of a few art glass pieces I created to add to my collection.  I love being creative.  If you see something you like I will be happy to discuss commissioned pieces.  I can only display but so much of my own glass so help me out here!!!

I think you can see my passion for art glass!

I am thankful I have a local community workshop with wonderful cohorts that always spur me on.  I would not have the courage to keep trying new techniques and designs without them and their kind advise.  Thanks SCOV fused glass girls!

Enjoy!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles-working with you to create your lifestyle.

252-308-2694

 

 

 

Feb
09

Gems, Beads and Rocks -Oh My!

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Once a year over 55,000 people descend on Tucson, AZ. for the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.  I have been to many trade shows but none that is so vast in size and depth in the very small category of gems and minerals.  Because it was my first time and I was doing very limited purchasing I found the show can be really overwhelming. The extent of my purchasing was a few of these handpainted Karuzi beads.  How could I past by all this color without taking some home!karuzi-beads-t copy

Even though the show was full of every imaginable bead and precious gem, for me the show stopper was the minerals, geodes and rocks.  I was truly amazed at the incredible variety and the array of colors and configurations.  I cannot name all of these pieces but I wanted to share with you these stunning works of nature.

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I am so glad I explored this show and will be able to delve into it more deeply next year now that I’ve gotten my “feet wet.”  I see incredible possibilities for utilizing rocks and geodes in interior and garden design.  I set out to look for beads, jewelry findings and tools but found rocks, the natural gems that God creates.  So beautiful!

Hope you enjoy these natural beauties!

Mary

Working with you to create your lifestyle!

252-308-2694

 

Dec
15

Party Food Etiquette

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As you were growing up your parents taught you to be polite and courteous.  Those same rules today can be applied to planning a party menu for those with food allergies or food preferences. Last weekend we hosted our first party in our new home.  It was great to share our new place with neighbors and friends.  We had a great turn out and are excited about getting the “social” ball rolling.  But, of course, it is not all about the food (for some).  The table with flowers ifs always a must have for me.  Here is a very quick “do” for the centerpiece.  Missing the evergreens of the NC garden!

Table centerpiece using large liquor bottles for vases.

Table centerpiece using large liquor bottles for vases. By using the bottles you achieve various “heights” and it takes very few flowers. One bunch of white Hydrangeas and a few greens is all it took!

This leads me to party food planning and Party Food Etiquette.  I have been following a gluten-free dietary plan for about five years.  It is not just a fad but something that makes me feel better and my body function better.  I do not have a severe allergic reaction as some with Celiac disease but I now understand how important diet can be.

We had several guests following a gluten-free diet and/or a vegan diet.  With that in mind I started researching recipes that could suit both.  My best word of advise is to read every label.  For example, I wanted dairy/animal free cheese. I found “Veggie” cheese by the tofu and thought that would do.  Reading the label revealed that the cheese had milk solids.  So, always check labels if you are looking for some particular allergens such as dairy, nuts or wheat.  Food labeling has really improved but buyer be smart!

Enough about the why’s, here are the how’s.  I went way overboard with the food selection but learned a lot in the process. Here is three ways to build an antipasto skewers for several diets:

  1. The recipe called for tortellini, salami, mozzarella cheese balls, artichokes, olives, and cherry tomatoes.
  2. Gluten-free version leave off the tortellini.
  3. Vegan version, leave off the tortellini, salami, mozzarella and add more veggies.

    Antipasto skewers with food labels on cute little candy cane easels.

    Antipasto skewers with food labels on cute little candy cane easels.

By adjusting this one recipe I meet most of the dietary needs of my guests. Other items on the menu were more specific to just one, maybe two dietary categories.  All in all, the food was a success and everyone seemed to enjoy the options and variety.  Our diet conscientious guests were most appreciative!

The food array for our holiday party with amazing bright sunshine filtering through our windows.

The food array for our holiday party with amazing bright sunshine filtering through our windows.

Food labels are a must when making such a wide variety of foods in different dietary categories.  Your guests do not have to “guess” what’s in the food.  I found this festive holiday template and candy cane easel ideas on Pinterest.  Common initials for various diets are shown in bold on the bottom of the label.  You can be more specific for various other ingredients, if needed, such as peanut or nut allergies.

Printed food labels with bold diet initials at bottom.

Printed food labels from www.foreveryourprints.com with bold diet initials at bottom.

Party on!  Keep your guests happy and coming back for more!  If you want more details about the menu list or recipes please reply in the comment section of the blog.

I have missed seeing all our LKG fans this holiday season!  I hope you all have a very happy and joyous holiday.

Merry Christmas to all!

Love to all!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles – Working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

For more party printable ideas go to Printables

 

 

 

Pollen

Although this picture has been edited to exaggerate the amount of pollen, I’ll admit it, this is my (Autumn’s) van. Mary would never let Roxy get this dirty!

Spring has officially sprung!  Here on Lake Gaston, it looks like Mother Nature’s highlighter exploded!  Pollen shows that everything is coming back to life, but how can you enjoy life on the lake when all your outdoor furniture is coated with a yellow haze of pollen?!  Here are some cleaning tips that will help cut through even the most caked-on outdoor filth on your cushions.  Then you can get back to the fun of the season!

Fresh pollen can simply be rinsed away with a garden hose, but for heavy layers or pollen mixed with dirt, dust or other messes, you’ll need to do a bit more work. For a deep down clean, follow these steps.

You Will Need:

  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Warm water
  • Clean spray bottle
  • Scrub brush
  • Garden hose with running water

Steps to Remove the Pollen:

  1. Fill the spray bottle ¾ full of warm water. You can use hot water if you’re not concerned it will cause color run on your cushions.
  2. Add a good squirt or two of dishwashing liquid.
  3. Shake well until suds begin to form inside of the bottle.
  4. Remove the cushions from the chairs if possible. This will allow you to clean both sides thoroughly. If the cushions are attached to the frame, work with the surfaces you can see.
  5. Rinse loose pollen or debris off with the garden hose. This will prevent you from scrubbing the grime through the cover and into the cushions themselves.
  6. After rinsing, spray the entire surface heavily with the detergent solution.
  7. Follow with a good scrubbing with the brush. Use care around any ripped, torn or weakened areas.
  8. Continue until all surfaces have been cleaned.
  9. Rinse thoroughly with running water.
  10. Repeat with a second spray down and scrubbing if necessary. Rinse thoroughly once all of the grime has been removed.
  11. If cushions were removed from the chair, try standing them on their sides to dry. If you can’t do that, replace them on the chair only if there’s room for them to drip through. If they can’t be removed from the furniture, and the furniture has a solid bottom, turn the entire chair on its side to allow them to dry thoroughly. Water pooling under the cushion will cause mold or mildew to form.
  12. If possible, set the chair in the sun to speed up the drying process.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • To keep the mess to a minimum, wipe the exposed surface with a sponge soaked in warm soapy water at least once a week. Hose off to rinse.
  • Finish with a fabric protectant, if desired.
  • Always try to dry the cushions as quickly as possible. It may even help to press some of the water out. If moisture remains, it quickly becomes a breeding ground for mold and mildew, which is very difficult to remove from cushioning.

(Instructions provided by www.howtocleanstuff.net/.  See the original article here)

 

Now you can sit back and enjoy the season!  Happy Spring!

~Autumn

Mary Sherwood Lake Living -Working with you to create your lifestyle!

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Apr
08

Terrific Tulips: See how to arrange!

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All of you probably know how crazy I am about tulips.  I dutifully order in the fall, pre-chill in our extra refrigerator until late December or early January and plant on the first “not too cold” day.  Tulips need several months planted in cold, dark soil. Because of our unpredictable winters, pre-chilling helps to give them the “cold” they need to produce in the spring.  But don’t wait too long to plant or they will not have enough time to set their roots.  You can also plant earlier but who has time before the holidays!

Tulips and Pansies love a little cold weather to be able to shine bright in the spring!

Tulips and Pansies love a little cold weather to be able to shine bright in the spring!

So today, I “tiptoed through the tulips” and created this spring bouquet.

A simple "5 minute" spring bouquet of tulips, hellebores and a little purple heart will brighten your home after a cold and wet winter!

A simple “5 minute” spring bouquet of tulips, hellebores and a little purple heart will brighten your home after a cold and wet winter!

Another find in my garden this time of year were a few Hellebores, commonly called a Lenten Rose.  These grow only in shade and pop up around Easter.  I have very little shade and often forget to look in this spot for these little gems.  Spied them this year!

Hellebore, also called a Lenter rose, pop up right around Easter.

Hellebore, also called a Lenter rose, pop up right around Easter.

Sometimes I like to play with the tulips and make them look like red poppies.  Watch the video to learn how!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSH12vueEuA

Leave me a comment and tell me how you are enjoying the spring flowers and send pictures of how you use them in your home!

Happy, glorious Spring!

Mary

Feb
18

Designing in Tucson

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Hello loyal MSLL Design Wednesday Wisdom followers!  I am writing this from super sunny Tucson, AZ.  Sorry to gloat but I am glad we are here instead of frigid NC.

I was not sure this was the place for me until this trip.  I am loving the climate and getting excited about our future relocation.

Life is different here because just about everything revolves around being outdoors.  Paul and I are enjoying the 3 mile round trip walk to the community Athletic Center.  I am fascinated by the succulents and cacti in their many various shapes and forms.  Many evenings we have shared time with our friends on their patio and enjoyed the warmth of the fireplace. I have been picking fresh grapefruit each morning from one of our four citrus trees.  We just missed the blood orange season for this year. 🙁  But I have it on the calendar for 2016! IMG_9748

The most exciting news is that our Tucson friends have purchased a beautiful new home on Dove mountain.  The house was built as the Ritz Carlton model when they were developing the area in 2007.  It is an amazing house with so much attention to detail.  The new owner wants to lighten up the interior and make it more transitional.  We are busy planning the interior paint, wallcovering, rug and fabric selections while we are still in town.  If you have to work on “vacation” this is an exciting way to do so.  I will post more about this project as it evolves.Lone-Dove-House-Tucson-AZ-moutain-living-.png

Sorry to say we are coming back to the cold but it is always good to be back at Lake Gaston.

So until we meet again…be safe, stay warm and know spring is on the way!

Warm wishes!

~ Mary

 

Mary Sherwood Lake Living -Working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

Apr
17

Is Your Green Thumb Itching?

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Spring has sprung.  Is your green thumb itching?  If so, container gardening is an ideal solution if you’re limited on ground to till.  It allows an easy and portable way to brighten up your porch, patio, or deck with minimal prep and maintenance.

Our new Amazing Plant Stands offers a new spin on an old tradition.  With the help of this integrated system, it allows you to construct a tiered container stand.  The possibilities are endless!

The plant stand comes in two convenient sizes, one for tabletop which allows for a three tiered configuration, and the second is a larger stand with a numerous, varying sized design.

plant, stand, container, garden

What a simple way to show off your green thumb…and your creativity!  And you don’t have to stick with the old standby terracotta pot.  Try mixing it up by painting your pots in a variety of pastel colors to breathe extra life into your creation.

pastel, spring, plant, stand, pot, container, garden

You can also try utilizing different types of containers as well.  The examples below illustrate the usage of Chinese rice buckets in various sizes and textures to add interest to their plant stands.

plant, stand, pot, fern, vinca

Finally, your “plant” stand doesn’t have to be confined to merely plants.  Use the tiered structure to display a multitude of items, just like these stuffed animals for a little girl’s room.

pink, stuffed animals, plant, stand, pot

Your plant stand design is only limited by your imagination!

Please join us on Saturday, April 27th at 11 a.m. for our “Amazing Plant Stand” demo class.  Contact us at Mary Sherwood Lake Living, 252.586.2437, to reserve your space today.  Class fee is $10 with a $5 rebate towards the purchase of your own “Amazing Plant Stand”.

How can you use one of these “Amazing Plant Stands”?

 

Michelle

Mary Sherwood Lake Living – working with you to create your lifestyle!

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Mar
13

NOW is the time to give Spring a push!

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By this time each year we are tired of the all the uncertain weather, one day cold and wet, the next day sunny and warm.  But Spring is not quite here.  Give it a push by taking a stroll through your garden and find some flowering shrubs or trees that have buds that are starting to bulge with all that wonderful color of Spring. Yellow forsythia, white dogwoods, and fruit trees like quince, cherry, plum, and pear are just a few that respond well to forcing them to bloom indoors.

dogwood, white dogwood,spring flowers,

Dogwood

Take some pruning shears or sharp scissors (for smaller stems) and trim a few choice branches to make an arrangement.  Once inside, under running water, recut each stem and remove all the buds and leaves that will be below the water line.  Recutting the bottom of each branch helps to improve water absorption and encourage early blooms. To help keep the water fresher longer add a little citrus-lime soda. This arrangement should be casual, playful and not too fixed.  You don’t have to be a florist to create a pleasing arrangement of stems.

This time of year, depending on how close they are to blooming, you will probably see flowers within a week or two.

Enjoy your little shot of early Spring.  It is not so far away!

Forsythia, flowering quince, spring blooms, forcing flowers to bloom, casual floral design

Forsythia and flowering quince

Here is a picture of forsythia and flowering quince just opening up in my house!  Enjoy!

Share with us how you are bringing Spring inside your home!

Happy Springtime,

Mary

 

Mary Sherwood Lake Living – working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

 

 

May
15

Swing into Summer…

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Love the fabrics and the ropes! Photo from This Old House

Just imagine. It’s a quiet, lazy afternoon at Lake Gaston. You are worn out from a busy work week and it’s time to relax. Grab your book and head to the porch or covered deck, climb into your porch swing bed and your week’s demands just fade away. Get the picture?

Remembering my grandmother’s front porch swing makes this new swing version so appealing to me. There are many different varieties and styles. I love the idea of mixing outdoor fabrics, colors and patterns to create your own outdoor look. Here are a few of my favorites.

Show your patriotic colors. Photo by PB

Double Swing Bed Duty Photo from Coastal Living

Modern Porch Swing

Porch bed swings are one of my favorite new trends. I am “dreaming” of where I may use one of these!
If you do not have the space or budget for the swing bed there are other options to help you relax in motion. The “front porch” swing styles have evolved with many choices of wood, wicker, metal or poly-wood. Add your cushions for comfort and color and you have created your own outdoor oasis.

Comfy swing chair for the garden by Magnolia Casuals

A smaller and comfortable swing option is the fabric swing chair.  It is available in a wide variety of colorful outdoor fabrics.

Once you have selected your way of “swinging into summer” here are a few tips to get a longer life out of your outdoor swing cushions or any outdoor fabric products:

  1. Use outdoor fabrics made of 100% acrylic or 100% spun polyester fiber. There are several types of outdoor fabrics with Sunbrella solution dyed acrylic being the industry leader. Please note that outdoor fabrics are water repellant not water proof.
  2. Never leave your outdoor cushions out when expecting excessive rain. Although outdoor fabrics are meant to stand up to all weather conditions, saturating the fabric with water will make the cushions harder to dry.
  3. Outdoor cushions can be made with fast-draining marine foam if they will remain outside for long periods to decrease drying time and help prolong their life.
  4. Most outdoor fabrics are mildew resistant; however, mildew will grow on dirt and oil. Keep your fabrics clean by using a solution of liquid dish detergent and warm water to clean away dirt and dust.
  5. For stubborn stains on Sunbrella fabrics, add bleach to the soap and water solution, or use a fabric spot remover. Sunbrella acrylic fabrics are not damaged by bleach.
  6. Stains on printed acrylic fabric can usually be removed with a mild soap-and-water solution. Do not use bleach on printed acrylic fabrics, as it will fade the printed pattern.
  7. Keep suntan oil off the fabric. Suntan oil can stain outdoor fabrics. If stained with suntan oil, remove by using a commercial spot remover for grease stains. Follow the instructions on the bottle.
  8. Try to put your patio cushion away when not in use. Storing your outdoor cushions will increase the time your fabric stays new and vibrant. Take your cushions in for winter, then let them back out again for summer.

Here are some helpful links for more different swing bed style and a DIY video about constructing your own outdoor bed!

http://www.livinglocurto.com/2009/07/hanging-porch-beds/

http://www.houzz.com/Porch-Swing-Bed

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIbrgLQY48g

 

Happy swinging and outdoor “Lake Living”!

 

Mar
14

Does Pot Man need clothes???

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pots, garden, pot man, party, kit

Mini Pot Man

As we collect all our parts for the “build your own” mini pot man party I have been contemplating  whether  to “dress” my pot man with some type of attire.  Perhaps he needs some color with painted stripes or a collage of glued on fabric scraps.

What do you think?

Join us Saturday March 24 at 10 AM to create your own pot man, clothed or naked!!!

E-mail or call to register:

autumn@marysherwood.com

252-586-2437

 

 

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Apr
01

The Orchid Trail

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As most of my readers know I have a love for all things with flowers…growing them, decorating with them and enjoying them! But I became a real fan of orchids about ten years ago when I was given my first orchid plant by my very good friend and neighbor, Nancy.  The first time it re-bloomed I was ecstatic! This has lead me to this place and time where this orchid trail begins. About a month ago with our good friends, Brenda and Quinn, we made a day trip to the Philadelphia International Flower Show. (Please don’t tell any of Paul’s motorcycle friends that he went to a “flower show”)  All I can say is WOW!  There are so many fabulous things I could tell you about this exhibition.  But I will focus on the magnificent orchid display for this post.  Click on this link to view a short video of the greenhouse: Orchid Greenhouse at the Philadelphia Garden Show

After viewing the fabulous array in Philly I was not satisfied with my few healthy, re-blooming Phalaenopsis orchids and a few other orchids that looked very pitiful.  Local resources for orchids are limited.  So as Paul’s birthday present to me we embarked on an orchid trail.  We already had plans to rendezvous with Paul’s brother in DC for his birthday so we plotted our trail from DC to Lake Gaston.  Somewhere on our way back home we were going to buy my birthday present.  As luck would have it, our first stop  in Vienna, VA was a winner.  Orchids For You,  a cute little orchid showroom, was tucked backed in a retail/commercial  office district, which seemed an unlikely spot for an orchid greenhouse.  As we walked in I was amazed at what was inside.  After discussing my home environment with Tom, the knowledgeable owner, we decided Phalaenopsis (the easiest orchid to grow) was definitely my kind of orchid.  It likes bright light and “semi-attention”, that is, watering only when it is almost dry if it is potted in a bark/moss medium.  Paul and I began to make our selections.  Paul, being color blind, reacts to flowers so differently than I do.  I never dreamed I would be orchid shopping with Paul.  Over the many years of our partnership in life we have each come to respect each other’s interests.  No, I am not ready to travel on the back of his motorcycle but I do enjoy our discussions about his next motorcycle trip or his next motorcycle gadget (to some degree).  As well he has come to appreciate and enjoy my love of flowers and gardening.  So without further ado I present the treasures of our orchid trail adventure.  Needless to say, we never stopped at the other greenhouses on the trail.  We’ll save them for another day. Hope you enjoy!

Phalaenopsis, orchid, purple, white, large

Harlequin Phalaenopsis-My First Choice

Phalaenopsis, orchid, yellow, pink, flower

Kaleidoscope Pink/Yellow Phalaenopsis-Paul's First Choice

 

orchid, red, epidendrum, max valley, flower

Epidendrum Max Valley-had to try this red one!!!

 

lady slipper, orchid,Paphiopedilum,supersuk eureka,raisin pie

Lady Slipper, Paphiopedilum Supersuk Eureka Raisin Pie, getting ready to open

 

orchid, phalaennopsis, epidendrum, paphiopedilum, flowers, orchid,garden,spring flowers,anemoneshybrids,

My orchid family and a few spring blooms from the garden!!! They look pretty happy so far!

Send me your favorite orchid pictures and stories.  Let’s continue this orchid trail!

Mary Sherwood Lake Living…working with you to create your lifestyle!

 

Categories : Gardening, Mary's Raves
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