Fall Color Clippings

October 3rd, 2010

fall leaves in vase

Happy October friends!  Nature is putting on an incredible show this month, especially around my town.  How about yours? 

Over the weekend, I did a little gardening, plus paid a visit to my local nursery to see what’s available to plant on the porch this autumn season. 

More than ever, I was inspired to bring more new perennials into our garden, even plant a new tree or two.

I just love the autumn colors on display in nature and secretly, I’m wanting some new plants in my yard so that this time of year I can bring more fresh clippings indoors to capture that fresh autumn feel. 

     

Favorite Plantings That Guarantee Autumn Color 

Japanese Maple.  This slow growing ornamental tree has the most delicate leaves; ours turns a deep red during the autumn months.  It grows well in containers too.  We’ve had one for almost ten years in a large pot where it receives partial sun and partial shade.  I love to scatter its leaves on our Thanksgiving table. 

japanese maple duo

    

Coleus.  Shades of green, burgundy, and even black in color, this ornamental perennial prefers partial shade and milder climates outdoors, and also makes a great houseplant.

coleus variety

 

Chrysanthemums.    Decorative as a daisy and cute as a button, these hardy favorites come in all autumn shades.  I’ll be choosing deep burgundy versions this year for my own planters. 

fall mums

  

Sunflowers.  A bloom that crosses the bridge from summer to fall, these cheerful bright annuals bring the remnants of sunshine indoors, even as an autumn chill draws near. 

sunflowers duo

 

Ginkgo Biloba.  We’ve all heard of the pharmaceutical uses and the beneficial effects on memory derived from this tree, but how gorgeous are these intense yellow fan shaped leaves in autumn? 

ginko tree duo

 

Viburnum.  Definitely a favorite of mine, this perennial, which is sometimes called ‘Chinese Snowball’, grows white puffy hydrangea like blooms in spring, and provides gorgeous branches of colorful leaves in fall.  It’s been three weeks and only one change of water, and these stems still look fresh on my mantel. 

viburnum duo

 

Hydrangea.  Here’s another spring to fall perennial that I adore.  These blooms arrive in pale green with a wisp of pink in spring, then weather to shades of raspberry and sage in autumn.  In years past, I’ve dried their stems, then sprinkled them with metallic spray paint for a gorgeous holiday arrangement. 

hydrangea duo

 

Grapevines.  Not just for your typical wine country regions, grapevines offer fruit in summer, changing leaves in fall, and branch clippings in winter for forming wreaths. 

grapevines

 

Chinese Pistache.   This deciduous and drought tolerant tree is native to China (hence the name) and is often planted along streets in suburban areas for its hardiness and also its fall foliage.   

 chinese pistache tree duo

 

Oak.   There are several species of this tree, from red to white oak, that put on a glorious show in fall.  Which ones grow best where you are?

autumn oak via mooseyscountrygarden    

The Great Pumpkin.   The quintessential fall themed squash to plant in your garden.  With all the varieties available, if you have the foresight in summer to plant and the patience to let them roam across you yard, you’ll reap the rewards come October. 

pumpkin duo

 

Your local nursery or garden center will know just what perennials and trees grow well in your hardiness zone.   What’s the one plant or tree in your area or garden that gives you the best fall color? 

 

Image sources: Better Homes & Gardens; Martha Stewart; Southern Living; Country Living; Alaska In Pictures; Costco; Mooseys Country Gardens;

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Kid Friendly Halloween Drink Labels

October 1st, 2010

Oh my word, it’s finally October, can you believe it?   The arrival of October means autumn is in full swing, and Halloween is fast approaching!  Like I promised earlier this week with the adult version of my Halloween beverage labels, here are some more creepy yet kid friendly labels for you for all those upcoming classroom parties!

I created these spooktacular labels for juice, soda, and punch.

cg kid drink labels

 

juice soda labels

       

Need some fun labels for your water bottles?

wicked water bottles

 

Read the rest of this entry »

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Scheming Again

September 30th, 2010

So it’s no secret I love old furniture.  And thrift stores.  And the paint department.  The three combined bring me great joy and make my world complete.

Like so many of you, I love to fix up older pieces with stain or paint, and give them cool new hardware.  You know, bring them into this century.   Which is why I wander around local thrift stores and spend hours on Craigslist when I should be folding laundry.  Yet again, I was out ‘shopping’ yesterday, and found a few gems I really want to bring home.

Especially when I see this sign when I walk in.

furniture 50 percent off

 

This antique dresser just needs a little love, but I’d never paint it.  The burled wood is just too pretty.  And a glass top too!

walnut dresser

 

I can hear these end tables whisper, ‘Please paint me antique white, distress my edges, and replace my knobs with some crystal bling instead’.  I may just have to heed their call, since they are only $15 each on sale.

endtables

 

I love the lines on this piece.  It seems everyone knows someone with this style of dresser.  Dark stain or light paint (cream or gray) either way, it’s lovely.

brown walnut dresser

 

Even more beauties.  Such potential!

endtables 2

 

How cool is this hall tree bench?  Don’t you love that hutch!  Wouldn’t it be stunning in robin’s egg blue?

hutch and hall tree

 

Today, I’m loving this midcentury style credenza for my office to replace the ‘pretty but not storage friendly’ sofa.  It’s weathered and the top is *gasp* Formica, so I see it painted in pewter gray with nickel pulls.  Plus momma really needs some file cabinets.  I’m kinda liking that lamp too, it’s tall and has a gorgeous shape.  It would be stunning in glossy black.

 

credenza

    

And the crème-de-la-crème.  Be still my heart.

french styel dresser

 

I’ve spoken to several local antique stores and boutiques who are wanting to sell my pieces.  Which is why I’m in the market for one of these.

cambell hausfeld sprayer

 

Or one of these.

graco true coat

 

Just as soon as I epoxy the garage floor.  And just as soon as I can convince my hub his parking spot in that same garage may become my new ‘shop’.   Notice how I said his  parking spot.    smiley_thumb6

What’s your latest thrift store find?  Got any recommendations on a professional grade sprayer?  Do share!

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