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The Fall Porch & How to Over-Winter Mums

It's officially Fall! The Fall Equinox is here, so it's time to get the Fall decorating into full swing.  For my birthday last month, my kids sent me this adorable wagon for the garden. 

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw this:

Yes, there was some assembly required, but it really didn't take too long.  The directions looked worse than they actually were! 

I decided it belonged on the front porch along with my Shabby Planter that I've had for a few years:

I also decided to keep the Stepladderout for a few more weeks:
Since we moved into a new Cottage and all the mums I've overwintered are probably blooming at the old Cottage, it was time to stock up!  All of the ones you see will be overwintered and planted in the ground next Spring. I never plant them in the ground in the Fall because they just don't have enough time to establish roots.  Here's what I do:
Over-Winter Mums: First, if frost is expected but the daytime temperatures will be warmer, I bring them in…
Recent posts

Summer to Fall Garden

The weather went from one extreme to the other this week. One morning I woke up to temperatures in the 40's and the daytime temps didn't get out of the 50's.  The past couple of days we've had mid-70's.  No doubt about it, cooler weather is coming, Fall is on the way, and the gardens are caught between the seasons, yet the hollyhocks are still blooming:
I just love that color! The daisies are also making a showing: I'm still picking fresh tomatoes, along with some beans and peppers. And the pumpkin plants are still flowering: So, where is Fall, you say?  
Well, the pumpkins are almost ready to be picked! It's time to get some mums too, since all the ones I had are probably blooming at the old Cottage.  This weekend I'll buy a few to decorate the porch.  When the weather gets cold, they'll come inside for the Winter and next Spring, out they'll go to be planted in the flower beds.  When Fall arrives, there will be mums flowering at the new Cottage.  I c…

The Silver Pitcher & Moving Toward Fall

We went to an Estate Sale a few weeks ago where I found some treasures. While we were in the basement of the barn, I spotted this pitcher through the back window.  It was sitting outdoors on a rickety table, surrounded by weeds, all by it's lonesome.  

It was humble, but I was ready to climb out the window after it, until my husband looked at me and firmly said, "No, not with your knee!" as he promptly climbed out the window to grab it for me.  Isn't he just the BEST??? When I got it home, I took a closer look and found this mark on the bottom.  It was time for a little research.  I learned that the Derby Silver Company was founded in Derby, CT in 1872.  In 1898 they merged with the International Silver Company.  At that time the Derby Silver Company was known as 'Company B'.  My research said that items with this logo most likely date from the nineteenth century. The company closed in 1933,  a victim of the Depression.  I couldn't find this particular desig…

Back To School...For Teachers

It's September and at the risk of you thinking I'm a day (or weeks) late...school starts around here after Labor Day. Time for my Back-To-School post...Teacher Style! 

Teachers deserve a 'little something' at the beginning of the year (just like the kids!), so if you're thinking of getting your child's teacher a little gift, let me offer some suggestions:
Ibuprofin -  Their feet and backs are already hurting.  Hard candy or cough drops - Teachers talk all day long and by the end of the first day, their throats will know it!Coffee, tea, water - See the suggestion above.Granola bars, nuts, fruit - Chances are, they won't have time to eat by the time they get their students through the lunch line on the first day.  I used to consider myself lucky if I got to use the rest room!Chocolate - Everyone needs chocolate!Dinner - If you're really feeling ambitious, get together with some other parents and send them home with a ready-made dinner.  Or, you could all ch…

The Garden Guests

This summer, we were fortunate to have some Black Swallowtail Butterflies in the garden.  I had seen a few butterflies fluttering around but didn't give it much thought until I saw these little creatures on my dill:
I was just puttering in the garden, pulling weeds and checking for tomatoes, when I noticed seven of them munching on my dill like it was a free buffet!  Let's face it, it was! Within a couple of days,  the dill plant was almost completely devoid of leaves and some of the caterpillars had move on to greener pastures.  I decided to 'rescue' a couple of them in a jar and proceeded to feed them Queen Ann's Lace.   After about 6 days, the first one formed it's chrysalis.  I was so excited that I had actually been able to keep them alive to do this! This next picture is a little blurry, but it shows the second one forming it's 'J', which means it's getting ready to shed it's skin and become a chrysalis.  
Two days later, I had another chry…

The Water-Logged China Cabinet

Here's the back story on this piece... The storage unit we rented was in an old factory and they were cleaning-out.  When we arrived with the movers (same company) I spotted the china cabinet that had been left out in the rain for a loooong time.  It was warped, split, peeling, and had no glass.  Since I'm an idiot...ahem, love a challenge, I offered to buy it.  The owner told me to take it - no charge.  He also gave me the maple table for free.  If you missed that makeover, click HERE.  Since I had no room for the china cabinet, it sat there until we moved into the new Cottage.  
The china cabinet made it as far as the back porch and as soon as we were 'settled' aka: had a functional kitchen and bathroom, I got to work. The original plan was to reglue the veneer and try to add stain to blend in what was missing.  That plan was tossed aside as soon as I realized the extent of the water damage.  Take a closer look:


The more sanding I did, the more veneer came off. It was s…