Witch Hazel Front Door Basket

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In the depth of winter, when most of my zone 6 garden is hibernating, there is the most magnificent blooming tree in my garden. It seems as if overnight, the bare limbs of this tree are filled with clusters of feathery flowers up and down its branches. Their fragrance is intoxicating and beguiling.  The spidery flowers with long crinkly petals vary in color from yellow to golden orange and burgundy.

My witch hazel's flowers are golden orange with deep burgundy centers.

My witch hazel’s flowers are golden orange with deep burgundy centers.

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Christmas Evergreen Front Door Swag

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This year our front entrance is showing some swagger for the holidays.  Instead of a wreath, I made a large swag with evergreens cut from around my garden then adorned it with ribbons, pine cones, pheasant feathers, ornaments in gold and burgundy and even some jingle bells.  I love the scent of fresh greens to greet one and all at the holidays.  Take a look at how it came together.

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A Seashore Memorial Day

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Memorial Day became a Federal Holiday in 1971 and is observed on the last Monday of May.  It originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868 to honor all the Americans who died in that conflict.  Since WW I, it now honors all Americans who died in all wars.  Many towns celebrate with parades and memorial ceremonies.  Many families visit graves to lay wreaths on their loved ones’ graves.  It is unofficially the start to summer and celebrated with BBQs and get togethers.  On a recent vacation to the New Jersey shore, towns  were proudly displaying their patriotism in red, white and blue.  From quaint Victorians in Cape May to grand hotels like Congress Hall, from hometown fire halls to front porches and private gardens everywhere, patriotism was on full glorious display.  Wherever you are celebrating the holiday, honor the brave men and women who have served and paid the ultimate price to fight for our country.

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Bucks County Designer House and Garden Tour

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Long before ‘Fixer Upper’ shows brought design ideas into our home, designer showhouses were providing inspiration and making us dream. The 41st Bucks County Designer House and Garden’s team of talented designers has transformed the Foxwood Manor house into a showhouse that dazzles and inspires at every turn.  Situated on an expansive property in Jamison, PA, in beautiful Bucks County,  the showhouse is open to visitors until May 29th.  Along with the spectacular home and outdoor spaces, there are six delightful boutiques in the charming carriage houses providing quality and unique shopping. Much of the house’s furniture and art is for sale too!  A café offers tasty lunches.  All proceeds benefit Dowylestown Health.  The showhouse is organized by The Village Improvement Association of Doylestown and the show is nothing short of spectacular this year.  I have been to my fair share of showhouses and this one delivers major inspiration inside and out!

Please join me for a tour through this year’s 41st Bucks County Designer House and Garden and be wowed.  This is a post bursting with eye candy photography that I hope will energize your own decor.

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Valentine’s Day Wreath and Planter DIY

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“A man is not where he lives, but where he loves.”  Latin Proverb

February is a big month in our household with Valentine’s Day, our wedding anniversary and my birthday.  With winter setting in, I like to brighten the entrance for the month of February with a Valentines theme.  This year I recycled my holiday decor and transformed it with a few simple tweaks to celebrate the month of love.

“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.” David Bowie

I find a lot of the ready-made Valentines Day decorations are too corny or overdone so I like to create my own.  The  holiday urns had been done up in silver, flocked and red twig branches with red winter berry wreaths.  I left these in place,  removed the silver Christmas balls  in the arrangment(you can see the original urns here) and hung heart shaped ornaments throughout the branches.  Simple, restrained yet not too frilly.  I live in a household of all men, including the cat!  I really like the subtle sparkle from the glitter branches in the winter light.  Don’t have red twig dogwood?  Simply paint any branches with red paint as I did here.

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Sparkle and Berry Front Porch Christmas

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“Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.  Just keep going. No feeling is final.” Rainier Rilke

2015 has been a difficult, tragedy-filled year and I am struggling to find the Christmas spirit.  It even seems trivial to post the décor of the front porch although it is my readers’ favorite.  Then I stumbled upon this quote by Norman Vincent Peale, “Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” and thought, if I can brighten even one person’s world, I should.

The wreath was created by wiring a red berry wreath over a tig one, adding glittery pinecones, a glitter star ornament, sleigh bells and a red ribbon bow with glittery silver snowflakes. This set the theme for the rest of the proch décor.

The wreath was created by layering a red berry wreath over a twig one, adding glittery pinecones, white berry sprays, clusters of silver mini ornaments on florist pics, suspending a glitter star ornament in the center and crowning the wreath with a cascading red ribbon bow sparkling with  silver snowflakes and a cheerful pair of silver sleighbells on a velvet ribbon. The wreath set the theme for the rest of the porch décor.  The wreath was repurposed from what was in the Christmas closet and is probably my favorite wreath ever.  It really shimmers when the light catches the glittery bits.

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