Archive for garden

I hate to turn this blog into a travel log but when I travel art and design are always front and center.  Paul and I just returned from a short five days to Santa Fe and Taos, NM.  What a mecca of wonderful natural and man made art!  There was so much to see and so little time. In Santa Fe there is a gallery district called Canyon Road. It is seven blocks of residential properties converted to art galleries.  I took Paul in and out of more galleries than he ever cared to see. 🙁  Because of my new found fused glass interest I was thrilled to find so many incredible “kiln-formed” glass pieces.  (Kiln-formed is another term for fused glass fired in a kiln). Here is a sampling.Kiln_formed_glass_thelookout_suzannewallacemears_eightfoottall_santafe_carolelaroachegalleryLoved this 8′ tall sculpture by Suzanne Wallace Mears called “The Lookout”. Could be scary but so impressive.  To see more of her work go to the Pippin Contemporary Gallery, Santa Fe NM.Kiln_formed_glass_steel_garden_sculpture_face_suzannewallacemears_santafe_carolelaroachegallery Kiln_formed_glass_steel_garden_sculpture_suzannewallacemears_santafe_carolelaroachegalleryHere is another garden sculpture by Mears.  I had to share the close up of the expressive face.  Kiln_formed_glass_redlamp_suzannewallacemears_santafe_carolelaroachegalleryOne more Mears’ piece called Red Lamp, a 16″D decorative disc.kiln_formed_glass_stainlesssteel_makeawish_craigmitchellsmith_garden_sculpture_santafe_An incredibly large kiln formed glass and stainless steel sculpture called “Make a Wish” by Craig Mitchell Smith at the Canyon Road Contemporary Gallery.  The dandelion seed spray is constructed of fused glass and steel.  Impressive!kiln_formed_glass_flower_birdofparadise_artistunknow_canyouroadcontemporary_santafeAnother work by Smith in this Bird of Paradise sculpture is called “Tropical Splendor”.kiln_formed_glass_artistunknown_americanartistgalleryhouse_santafe
This smaller piece was on display at the BnB where we stayed in Taos,  the American Artists Gallery House BnB.  It was a delightful place with lots of Taos character.  Our hosts, LeAn and Charles, where very gracious.  I would highly recommend this place if you like quaint travel accommodations.FullSizeRender 55Here is Paul relaxing in front of the BnB with his morning coffee.  They also had a peacock called George who just took up residence 17 years ago. Meet George-FullSizeRender 88

There is so much I would like to share about this trip such as the other accommodations, the food, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and the Pueblos.  Is there anyone interested in more?  Let me hear from you.  Tell me your favorite things to do in Santa Fe and Taos.  I’m sure this will not be our last trip.

Happy, happy!

Mary

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

Working with you to create your lifestyle!

252-308-2694

 

May
03

The Amazing Flowers of the Desert

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The flowers of the desert are amazing.  This is my first spring in the Tucson area and I am soaking in all the colors of Spring.  The PaloVerdes trees have been in full bloom for over a month with bright yellow flowers transitioning into lime green new growth.  The intense buzzing of the bees over the canopy of flowers is wonderful!   The color along the highways cannot be missed.  This tree is native to our area.flowers_desert_paloverde_tree_vibrant_yellow

The Saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea), pronounced sah-WAH-ro, is one of the defining plants of our Sonoran desert. They can grow to be 150-200 years old. During the flowers’ short life (24 hours), they provide food for bees, bats and doves, who in turn pollinate the flowers.  I captured these shots of this Saguaro on my morning walk before I knew the beautiful white flower would not be there tomorrow.

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The next stunning beauty is a Trumpet Cactus (Tricholobivia), a member of the Echinopsis genus.  Its flower is tender but bright. This is a very small specimen but packs a powerful punch of color.  Thanks Roger (our neighborhood expert cactus gardener) for growing this one!

flowers_desert_Trichocereushybrid_Echinopsisgenus_beautiful_fuschiapink_flower_delicate_cactusflower

A very abundant type of cactus is the Prickly Pear Cactus, (Genus Opuntia).  Many different varieties grow in this region.  It can also be found in NC where I was lucky to have a large plant at the end of our drive with bright yellow flowers.  The fruit from the Prickly Pear makes tasty jam and syrup.  Here are two types in bloom now in my area.

flowers_desert_pricklypear_orange_flower_fruit flowers_desert_pricklypear_yellow_flower_pinkfruit

The Fish Hook Barrel Cactus is one of my favorite types of barrel cactus.  Its name is derived from its curved spines.

flowers_desert_fishhook_barrel_ cactus_Ferocactuswislizenii_redflower

Below is the Chain Fruit Cholla (Opuntia Fulfida).  It is also known as the Jumping Cholla, because the 3- to 8-inch joints separate easily and appear, sometimes, to “jump” to attack passersby.  These is a gnarly, prickly plant with a pretty bloom but I only want to look at it in someone else’s landscape, not mine.  I’m having enough of a hard time not being “attacked” by other cacti. 🙂

flowers_desert_chainfruitcholla_Opuntiafulfida_knarly_pink_flower

I recently spotted the Easter Lily Cactus, (Echinopsis) in a local garden center.  It shoots up this delicate flower resembling a lily from its small, rotund shape.

flowers_desert_easterlilycactus_Echinopsis_palelavender_flower_roundshape_cactus

There are many more flowers popping out everywhere, not all of them cacti.  It is good to see new life and color in the desert!

Let me hear about your favorite flower spottings!

All the best!

Mary

Working with you to create your lifestyles!

Mary Sherwood Lifestyles

252-308-2694

 

 

 

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Several months ago I shared my blog about A Design Career that Was Meant to Be.  If you missed it here it is. http://marysherwoodlifestyles.com/a-design-career-that-was-meant-to-be

Since then I have been searching for my childhood scrapbook that I mentioned in that blog.  I found it!!!  Boy was I surprised about the  origin of “my design career that was meant to be”.  The scrapbook was not dated but one of the pasted pictures was a 1956 Chevy.  That makes me about five years old.  Who would have ever guessed that was just the beginning of all the colors boards I would create in my design career.  Destiny certainly speaks through these pictures of contemporary styles, use of color, love of flowers (especially red tulips-my favorite) and design concepts (such as the use of three pillows). Enjoy the pictures of interior styles in the mid-1950’s which today is called mid-century design!

All of these pictures are pages of my childhood scrapbook!

Mary's Childhood Scrapbook of the 1950'S

Mary’s Childhood Scrapbook of the 1950’s

1956 Chevy

1956 Chevy

Potted plants on the patio.  Today I can't live without something potted and blooming on my deck!

Potted plants on the patio. Today I can’t live without something potted and blooming on my deck!

Red tulips of the 50's.  If you have ever seen my Spring tulips they are always red!!!

Red tulips of the 50’s. If you have ever seen my Spring tulips you know they are always red!!!

Pillows in groups of three!  I didn't need to learn this in design school!

Pillows in groups of three! I didn’t need to learn this in design school!

This 1950's contemporary kitchen design led to the contemporary kitchens of today.

This 1950’s contemporary kitchen design led to the contemporary kitchens designs of today.

Colorful 1950's bathrooms!

A Colorful 1950’s bathroom!

Contemporary house with people pursuing their lifestyle such as golfing.  That what Mary Sherwood Lifestyles Design is all about!

Contemporary house with people pursuing their lifestyle such as golfing. That’s what Mary Sherwood Lifestyles Design is all about!

After seeing how my early childhood lead me to this place I realize how important the early years of life must be.  I am so fortunate to have a successful design career and live the passion that has always been inside me.

Follow your heart, find your passion, create your lifestyle.

Thank you for traveling back into the future with me!

Mary

As a gardener, although it is the middle of Winter, some days you just have to get outside and get your hands in the dirt.  Sunday afternoon the skies had cleared and the sun was shinning.  I couldn’t resist.

Most of you probably have enjoyed our tulip display in the Spring in our large flower box under our sign.  Those bulbs were planted the first of January after chilling a few months in my extra refrigerator.  I didn’t quite finish the tulip planting chore that day and stuck the rest back in the frig.  Finally, I had a day to finish the planting and hope I didn’t get them in the ground too late.

Here is a picture of the Fall window boxes attached to the front of our building.  They were planted in October with some hardy and some tender plants that I knew would not survive the first frost.  I liked the combination and knew some could endure(the pansies and ornamental cabbage).  With the colder temperature the ornamental peppers and spider plants gave up the ghost.

garden_flowerbox_fall_ornamental_cabbage_peppers_spiderplant_pansies_lake_gaston

I planned to used these boxes and plant the tulips around the hardier plants but I had a lot of open bare areas showing.  Years ago my friend Patsy Cuthrell  showed me the reindeer lichen growing along many of our roads.  It’s also called reindeer moss and often used in floral arrangement and terrariums.  Reindeer moss is really a lichen: a combination of a fungus and algae that have a symbiotic relationship and form a new plant. The moss is spongy when moist, but dries out when removed from its natural habitat.  It can be preserved with glycerin and dyed with fabric dye.   How to Preserve Reindeer Moss  Since I was just using it for a short time in the boxes I left it natural.

I am lucky to have access to this lichen right at the end of my road.  Harvesting the plants is so simple because it spreads on top of the other ground cover.  Here is my harvest spot and bounty.  It took all of five minutes to collect.

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Some years I have better luck than others with the tulips in these boxes because they do not get a lot of sun in front of the building and the deer find them very tasty.  Here is a picture of the boxes in 4/2012.

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Next I cleaned up the dead plants out of the flower boxes and planted twelve tulips in each of the three planters.

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Here is where I used the reindeer lichen to dress up the boxes and hide the bare spots until the tulips poke through and do their thing.

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Keep your fingers crossed I didn’t plant the  tulips too late.

On the warmer winter days do you head to the outdoors?  What do you do? Garden, exercise, hike?  Let us hear about your winter outdoor adventures around Lake Gaston.  I am sure some of you sneak in a leisurely boat ride on the lake while the sun is bright!  Send us your Winter outdoor pictures to share.

Happy Winter!  I have visions of the Spring to come!

Mary

 

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!

 

 

 

Feb
01

To Market, To Market, To Buy…..

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So the nursery rhyme reads “to market, to market, to buy a fat pig, home again, home again, jiggety-jig”.  Well, we went to market and we’re home again, but there was no fat pig.  There were, however, a multitude of new products in every possible category.

We perused, navigated, and maneuvered as much of the four buildings and seven million square feet of Atlanta Gift Market as we were humanly able.  We were tired, but invigorated at the same time by the many new innovative gift lines, housewares, furniture, and apparel available.  Now we can’t show you everything new that we have coming because that would spoil the surprise,  but we thought a sneak peek would hopefully wet your appetites.

 

scarf, scarves, belt, purse, apparel, clothing

Bright new color combinations and graphic patterns were predominant in the apparel category.

shoe, purse, handbag, sandal

 

Leather, grommets, and attention to details led the design trend for shoes and handbags.

 

jewelry, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, silver, beads

Metallics, classic leathers, and beaded details inspired the direction of jewelry designers.

 

wall art, art, frame, canvas, silver

Large scale canvases and printed metals saturated the wall art category, while colorful, ceramic and meticulously beaded frames were seen in numerous showrooms.

 

furniture, company c, chevron, pillows, fabric

Furniture design and decorator pillows were inspired by bold graphics, contemporary color palettes, textured fabrics, and bright new florals.

 

pot, plant, garden, terrarium, greenery

Self-watering wine bottles, rustic painted ceramic planters, and custom terrariums were highlights of the garden product lines.

 

holiday, pumpkin, turkey, halloween, thanksgiving, christmas, ornament

Fun, whimsical, overscaled decorations helped us make our buying decisions for the holidays!

Since market, we are now renewed, refreshed, and reenergized after a busy holiday season.  We are looking forward to enjoying a successful 2013 with our valued and much loved customers.

Come see what’s new at Mary Sherwood Lake Living!  We’re waiting for you!

Mary

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

Categories : Design, Showroom, What's New!
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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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