I thought today I’d do a post about some little luxuries you might like to think about for your garden. The dictionary says that Luxury means “extravagant living,” but that’s not the kind of luxury I’m talking about today . . . I’m talking about the little things in life with some sweet MUSICA for you. ♥
We can’t control what goes on in the whole wide world, but I know you know we can make life very sweet in our own small corners of it. Spring is the perfect time of year to watch the paper for local yard sales and flea markets. Meandering at this time of year is a wonderful thing ~ take your camera and when you see a tree or flowers you love, take a picture or get a clipping so you can ask for it at your nursery. Lots of wonderful treasures await you for the season. Here are some ideas for summerizing your life. . .
You can usually find really good deals on vintage tablecloths and napkins and they make your outdoor table especially welcoming. They would also make a wonderful Mother’s Day gift! And see the tiny bird house church on the top of the bench behind the table? Keep your eyes open for little garden items like that ~ look for things made of natural materials such as wood, straw, cotton, pottery, stone, brick and wicker. They are the perfect materials to compliment a natural environment like your garden.
Old handmade cloths give a feeling of romance around the house and garden . . . and here are more ideas for that . . .
Choose a flowering tree to plant in your yard . . . it will give you YEARS of joy.
This is the dogwood we planted three years ago . . . it gives me something to look forward to every spring . . . makes me so happy to see it blooming.
Or, if you have the right climate, plant a tree that will provide you with sweet smelling blossoms and free food like this little orange tree. Apples are good too, grapefruits and lemons and figs, oh my!
Or a wonderful flowering tree like this albizzia (at our house in California) with pink furry flowers that grows huge, like an umbrella; it shades the house and keeps it cool all summer.
Yes, trees do take time to grow, but that time will pass anyway and you’ll be surprised at how soon you’ll get huge enjoyment from a tree, almost immediately.
And that way you’ll have a place to put the old quilt or blanket you find at the flea market, take your book and a pillow, wait for leaves to move in the wind, look at the sky and feed your soul.
Picnics are the joy of spring summer and fall . . . this is one we had with our girlfriend Rachel at a lovely spot in England called Stourhead. See the baby geese? It doesn’t take much to make a day you will never forget. Almost every town in America has a beautiful place where you could go for a picnic. Food, drink, blankie, and thou. That’s all you need. Plus a little mas MUSICA.
And then there’s light. The magic of the night. We have the moon and the stars and lucky for some of us who get fireflies in June, but there is always room for more ~ twinkle lights around the door, over arbors, along fences, between trees and bushes . . .
help make summer memories . . .
You can find all styles of lights in craft stores, almost any big box store, even big drug stores.
And keep an eye out for “chandeliers” if you have a place to put one over your picnic table.
Even your bug buckets (buckets filled with citronella candles to keep away mosquitoes) can be cute if you look for them. (And by the way, a quiet fan in the garden is also a great way to discourage mosquitoes, they are too weak to withstand the wind. HA, take that!).
While you’re at those yard sales, keep your eyes open for interesting candle holders, ones where the candle goes deep so the wind can’t blow them out.
And, of course, look for tiny vases and old jars for your flowers. See that blue one? Joe found that in the hole he dug when he planted the Dogwood! Buried treasure!
A tiny vase of flowers takes about a minute to put together, needs very few flowers and look how cute.
Watch for something like this bird planter for your outdoor table.
I love gorgeous old pitchers too . . . so much charm, especially the colored depression glass.
And drinking glasses too . . . everything tastes better from glasses like these.
Old glass makes the prettiest bar . . . You don’t have to go get all of this at once, in fact you really shouldn’t even if you could. Collecting is half the fun!
Little luxuries at this time of year definitely includes sun tea.
We bought this small fountain for our porch because of the soft musical noise of the flowing water. It was very inexpensive, there was only one of them, and I’m not sure where it came from, but keep your eye out. They have so many of them these days and it’s such a nice thing to hear near the kitchen door.
Of course this, to me, says it all. It’s how I feel every day. ♥
Now look waaaaaay over there to the right. Under that little pile on the lawn is a large flower basket with a tall handle. That is my BEST garden thing. You’d be surprised at how many weeds and things that basket can hold ~ tons! ~ and it’s still easy for me to carry it. So if you get to a basket shop, look for a large flower basket . . . the kind with the scooped out bottom, the bigger the better.
Of course a bird bath in the garden where you can see it easily is a pure source of natural joy. ♥
This one is at our house in California ~ we also love our bee skep and the strawberry pot . . . see how all the natural-looking materials fit right in with Mother Nature?
Yard furniture is another thing we like to find at big flea markets ~ like the one at Brimfield here in MA, or the once-a-month Swap Meet in Alameda in California ~ they have such cute and different things.
These rocking chairs were made even more adorable (and comfortable) with the little tie on pillows and backrests.
We found this old swing for our tree at the Ventura Swap Meet.
Over the years we’ve amassed a mish-mash of old chairs, adirondack and wicker, mix and match is always fun.
And even a plain old bench is nice to have in your garden ~ it gives you a place to sit and smell the green things growing and it makes a good work table too.
This old and very heavy wrought-iron table and chairs belong to my girlfriend ~ and for a true luxury, it you have a place for it, OMG, this PORCH. What pure heaven. I’m taking the photo from the sofa she has there . . . I would live here all summer if this was mine. YEARS of fun, right here, don’t you think?
Near the door you go through most often? Something that smells wonderful. This is wisteria . . . and because of where it is, fragrance comes into the bedroom windows too.
And this delicious smelling vine of pink jasmine, grows over both doors in California, it blooms mid-winter through spring.
And another thing, if you have a place for it, is a trellis. They can be put against walls or fences or made into arbors and look especially pretty with the addition of a lovely climbing rose like this New Dawn.
And once you get your clothesline up, you are very likely going to need a good strong . . .
laundry basket. And if you don’t already have one, I would suggest you get one of those fuzzy things to go in it, because that is a little luxury you will adore year round. ♥
I hope I’ve inspired you today to
Keep track of your garden with a garden diary . . . write down what you plant, put in little photos so next year you will know what’s coming before it does.
The first thing I notice in the spring are the very long shadows that come across the lawn and into my windows in the early morning. They pop up in places they never are during the winter.
They splotch sunlight in the most interesting places . . .
And remember this? ↑ The stories I’ve written and collected from my diaries for years — the pile of papers I showed you a couple of months ago? I’ve been working hard putting together what I hope will be a wonderful story about my first little house here on the island, moving to Martha’s Vineyard and starting over. Every day the book becomes a bit more pulled together, makes a little more sense, telling another story of island life. I am over the moon with it. I never want to be done. I’ve never said that before either. I will miss this one when she is gone. ♥ Writing this book has been taking me away from blogging more than normal, but it won’t last forever, I promise I’ll be back and I hope you won’t miss me at all when you see what I bring with me.
That messy bunch of paper above has now turned into those ↑sun-splotched pages with numbers and everything! In a book, neatness counts! I have you in mind with every word I write. That’s what makes it fun. It’s kind of like a giant blog. Or like A FINE ROMANCE, only in Martha’s Vineyard and California instead of England. It’s hard to tell when it will be done since I’ve never written anything like it before. I’ll be sure to keep you posted.
Sail away with me Girlfriends. . .
And one more thing . . . I’ve had several people ask about the event we’re attending in New York at the end of this month called Book Expo. It’s not open to the general public which is why I haven’t made too much of it here on the blog, but it’s truly an honor to be invited to do an author signing at the Baker & Taylor Booth . . . so, just in case you ARE going, Joe and I will be there and signing A Fine Romance on Thursday, May 29, at 2 pm ~ please come say hello! And we’ll be seeing many more of you in Connecticut at the Gladys Taber event in June! Lots to look forward to! Bye for now, Joe and I are heading out on our walk, taking my own advice to go outside and play! It’s a gorgeous day ~ 65° here right now!!! Wishing you the MOST wonderful day! XOXO