Sunday, July 19, 2015

Mid-summer Home and Garden Snippets

In mid-summer you'll find me mostly dodging the high sun and heat, with walks and garden piddling in the mornings, leaving the afternoons for indoor things (like naps) and air-conditioning. It seems my motivation for a few recent changes with indoor decor was sparked mostly by company on the 4th. Retail sales after the holiday were an excuse to finish what I started.

A couple of new slipcovers from Ballard Designs in the Courtney Spa pattern provide some coordinating color and pattern to my early-summer mix in the sunroom.
Courtney Spa slipcover
I changed just a few vignettes to coordinate with a lighter, summery touch. Funny how those recent finds at the estate sale spree didn't seem to make it to the booth spaces yet. The penny glass bottle (below) came from that sale, and the Japanese fishing float was pulled from our booth space (5-finger discount, lol, best kind of sale). The triangular chunk of blue-green glass you see on the floor came from a (now closed) local glass plant which made automobile windshields here in Charleston. The monkey knot doorstop was another item from BD, on sale, and it protects all that glass when the French doors are flung open right beside the grouping.
Summer sunroom glass
Sunroom summer sideboard
The daisy pedestal stand on the sunroom sideboard was also from the estate sale mentioned, while the broken sea glass and shells were beach found items from past trips. Other accessories were chosen from stash to keep it light, with an overall illusion of cool. "Dream Life" was fashioned from an estate sale desk sign that previously read, "Dr. Fred Van Winkle MD". My lemon plants are thriving under the direct sun streaming through the glass windows overhead.
DR, Sunroom summer vignettes
Another sideboard in the breakfast area sports a couple of vintage majolica pieces. Before using this space for my dessert bar setup on the 4th, I had some of my Quimper faience pottery here.
Pictured below is my bar cart, which is in my dining room. The Jul-Aug issue of House Beautiful mentions a new line of home furnishings coming to Pottery Barn in August, from San-Francisco based designer, Ken Fulk. His "Admiral Bar Cart", a doppelganger of mine if I ever saw one, will be available for $599. I sourced mine for a fraction of that cost (and collected everything that rests on it), at the same estate auction where I won my chaise lounge I slipcovered for the sunroom. I guess everything old is new again, or everything new is old, whatever.
Vintage bar cart - PB's "new" Admiral Bar Cart is its doppelganger
Outside, summer has been extremely WET and muggy. Seriously, my garden is starting to look like a jungle. The good news? No annual container or annual beds need watered (over 6" of precipitation in each of June and July so far). The bad news? Lots of weeds to pull, including the much-dreaded poison ivy (knock on wood, no more outbreaks as of yet).

Check out these containers - no fertilizers used since being planted in early June.


Look what bloomed from my container (below) after the rains this past week among my burgundy potato vine! The blooms look like petunias, and I don't think I've ever seen my potato vines bloom. Ever.
Burgundy potato vine blooms
Another plant I'm trying for the first time this year in containers, which I'm really enjoying for its texture, color and sun hardiness, is celosia.
Celosia, "cockscomb" detail; a sun hardy  specimen - I like it!
The front annual beds are filling in nicely - not too skimpy, not too bushy. The rest of the landscape plantings, however, look like a jungle.
Hummingbirds have had their babies in this region, and they're all dive-bombing each other for the feeders. It's hard to catch those boogers in a photo!
Dive-bombing hummers in flight (12 o'clock and 3 o'clock in the photo shown)
Female hummer, stopping momentarily to feed
The butterfly bushes are doing their best to attract their namesake, too.
Butterfly study
I've been making a list of updates I'd like to start lining up contractors to do around the house, both inside and out. This is not something I get too thrilled about, as it requires a lot of scope management that I've talked about before. You know, the old "one thing leads to another" kind of list, reconciling wants between Mr. P and I. We'll see where this goes. It's also hard to find reliable contractors in this region (or is that a universal issue?) I may just go back to the basement and do another overhaul of "stuff". There'll be nobody but me calling the shots there.