Hydrangea and Rose Arrangement

Sorry I haven't create a post in a long time.  I went on yet another vacation and came home to all sorts of activities!  Also, I have been preparing for a wedding I am doing in just under two weeks and all of the preparation has been, of course, time-consuming.  I hope to share photos of that event soon, but, for now, I do not want to give away any of the wedding secrets!

However, I did make an arrangement this morning from flowers I bought at two grocery stores in my area.  Sometimes grocery stores can be hit or miss with the flowers they offer but, if you hit it right, you can find flowers in beautiful colors and shapes, allowing you to make great arrangements for dinner parties or just to brighten your home for your own enjoyment.

I actually bought these flowers for a wedding workshop I was hosting at my house and simply purchased the kind of flowers I needed, not really caring about the colors and how they coordinated with each other.

 When I looked at the buckets of flowers that remained I thought, "Why not make one big arrangement out of the left-over flowers?"  It would be a waste not to use them, right?  I was pleasantly surprised by the result.
 The flowers I used were white and blue hydrangea, red rose, light pink and white spray roses, white alstroemeria (these are always available at grocery stores) and a purple heather-like filler.  I wouldn't normally have chosen the purple filler with the blue hydrangea but, since I had it I used it.  I kind of like the pop of unexpected color.
 I love the texture of flowers!
So, go out and grab a few bunches of flowers from your supermarket and have fun creating a centerpiece for your table.  It might inspire you to invite someone over!

Seaside Gardens

Since I was on vacation again last week and wasn't able to post easily to my blog, I decided to take pictures of some gardens in my neighborhood and share them with you when I got home.

All of these gardens are very close to the ocean, if not right next to it.  As you can see the sea air does wonders for plants and flowers.

It just so happened the day I chose to take photos was the day all the lawn mowing companies were out mowing lawns, making it difficult to get nice photos.  Here are some of the best ones.

I was nervous about photographing other people's gardens but while taking this picture, I was told by a passerby that "people are always taking pictures of that house!"  Therefore, I wasn't nervous anymore. If others could do it, why couldn't I? This house is on the way to the beach and every August we marvel at these beautiful perennial habiscus plants.
 There are dark pink flowers...
 Light pink flowers...
 and red habiscus flowers.  Beautiful!
 I wanted to get a better picture of this garden but there was a landscaping truck parked to the immediate right of this photo.  The other side of this garden is even prettier!
 This wild sweet pea plant grows naturally along a seaside road.  Such lovely color!
 More lovely gardens
 Purple Cleome, Shasta Daisy and Lime Hydrangea
 This is not the best photo I took that day but there's a funny story that goes along with it.  Again, I was nervous about taking photos of someone else's garden.  However, the owner of this house was so excited to see that I was taking a picture of hers that she lead me to another part of the garden and said, "You have to see this plant!"
   This is a pineapple lily.  My new gardening friend told me a neighbor had divided a clump of this lily and given it to her.  She said she had planted it a little late this year (She couldn't remember where she had stored the bulb over the winter!) and that was why it was blooming so late in the summer.  I am going to check my bulb magazines this fall and order a pineapple lily for my garden!  I just loved it!

One Last Outdoor Room

Before I get going for the fun of the weekend, I thought I would share one more outdoor room with you.  This screen enclosure is kind of like a tree hut and it keeps out the bugs.  Enjoy your weekend.  I hope you have plenty of time to relax and share moments with friends and family!

Outdoor Entertainment Room

As I have already mentioned, I like creating outside rooms.  They are fun to decorate, sometimes with funky things you can't get away with inside your home, and they also offer different kinds of areas to express your design self while serving a great purpose...entertainment and visual joy.

This outdoor entertainment room has been especially useful since it is located right off of my kitchen.  Its location provides easy assess for delivering food for grilling, as well as refreshments for guests.  Although our old Webber gas grill is out of sight in the photo, it is in a great location on the deck.  I can come and go in and out of the kitchen and my guests can be part of all the activity going on.  This outdoor "room" works wonderfully for serving appetizers and drinks, as well as just relaxing.

Elements I like to add to an outdoor room are comfortable seating arranged for easy talking and listening; a decently sized coffee table for serving food and beverages; and lots of color.  It's summer, after all!  We always have winter to be formal and proper!

It's also fun to add some interest in the way of a centerpiece.  As you can see, you don't have to go overboard and spend a lot of money to make a cute little centerpiece.  This one consists of some decorative colored bottles and yellow tea roses.  In the background are flower pots filled with annuals to add more color and interest.  Flower pots and planters are very easily created and not terribly expensive but can really add much to the whole outdoor area.  I started these planters in June so they are pretty established in their growth.  However, mature planters and flower pots are usually available all summer long at well-stocked nurseries.

It's also fun to hang items from an umbrella.  The lanterns I have owned for several years.  I think I bought them at The Christmas Tree Shop.  The orange paper star, medallion and solar lanterns I purchased this year at JoAnn Fabrics.

Finally, it just wouldn't be "my" space if I didn't add a few window boxes!  This window box looks a little unruly but, I can't bring myself to trim that beautiful purple petunia!  Maybe next week.

Outdoor Rooms

Creating and enjoying outdoors room is among the things I look forward to the most in the summer.  I find myself making little room vignettes all over the outside of my home, be it on the deck or out in the yard.  This "room" below is the view I see in the morning while eating my breakfast from the screened porch on my deck, another outdoor room I have created for summer enjoyment. 

Here you see all the elements of a carefree summer afternoon.

It is a great place to relax, read a book or magazine and sip on a glass of iced tea.
Part of having a great outdoor room is to have lots of color and greenery to view.  I love window box gardens because they offer so much variety and are easier to maintain, except for the watering, than flower bed gardens.

Another key element which is nice to add to an outdoor room is fragrance.  I have two herb window box gardens purely for the joy of sniffy.  Every now and then I use the herbs in cooking but, I just love walking by the garden and smelling the different scents the plants emit.

So, outdoor rooms can be a feast for the senses, if you plan them correctly.  You will enjoy beautiful views from inside and outside your home, smell the flowers and herbs, hear the birds chirping and, of course, enjoy the taste of your iced tea...or any beverage of your choice!


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