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My heartfelt thanks for stopping by for a visit to my blog. HFTS is all about friendship, feathering one's nest, and sharing a creative spirit. Thank you to all of you who take the time to leave a comment. I read and appreciate each and every one. Your notes are the only way I know who has stopped in for a visit.

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Garden Girl

I'm a garden girl.

One who is happiest in a garden, 

be it mine or someone else's.  

Gardening genes run through our family.

My grandmother's garden is one of my 

favorite childhood memories.

Sweet peas climbing up a trellis, 

snapdragons in candy colors,

stock, and a wealth of other bloomers. 

My mother and all three of her sisters were also gardeners.

I'm happy I inheritated the gardening gene too.

Spring arrived early in Austin this year, and the

redbud trees all over town offered up deep pink blooms.

Our ever blooming knockout roses, with their

backdrop of blue plumbego,

welcome guests just about year round.

As do the firecracker ferns and 

the brilliant yellow of the golden thryallis.

I'm a serious fan of this wonderful shrub.

I cut it back at the end of winter, and by spring it rewards us 

with these delicate yellow blooms right into the next winter.

Iceberg roses with their sweet fragrance

welcome you as you come up our front steps.

A staple in our garden are hardy iris in a rainbow of colors.

All of our iris were "pass along plants" given to 

us by other gardeners who had an abundance.

The day lilies are just beginning to 

put out blooms, but it won't be long before

we'll have a sea of these pretty blooms to greet the day.

Gerber daisies and petunias

give the sun garden annual color before the

dreaded triple digit heat of summer arrives.

Oh, and before I take you to the shade garden,

Sadie wanted you to see our crop of bluebonnets 

that bloomed earlier in the spring.

Bluebonnets grow wild along the roadsides in Texas,

but many of us Texans have them in our gardens too.

We can follow this foot path

to move on to our shade garden in the back.

The shade garden is my favorite outdoor space because

the shades of green with occasional white blooms offer the 

feeling of a cool oasis, even if it's just in my imagination.

Do you see the tall ginger plant to the left

that grows under a large live oak tree?

It's a shell ginger.

Most winters it freezes back to the ground and 

wouldn't yet be tall and full of leaves, but there was no freeze  

here this past winter.  The odd years with no freeze

means we'll get to enjoy the beauty of these amazing blooms.

Truly they are the 

most exquisite blooms!

You might come across a 

bunny here or there.

My garden bunnies like to hide 

among the holly ferns .   .   .

Or frolic beneath the canapy

of the oak leaf hydrangeas.

Oak leaf hydrangeas are native to the US,

and they seem to thrive here while most hydrangeas find

our summers too hot.  They don't require a lot of water like most

hydrangeas, nor do they need much attention.  

Perfect for a Texas shade garden!

 Our shade garden is a quiet space except

for the sound of bird calls and the occasional bark 

from Sadie as she chases a squirrel up a tree.

It's also basically an evergreen

garden so it can be enjoyed year round.

I'm trying something new this spring.

I  moved this table from the upper terrace

down to the lower terrace and brought out my topiary plants 

from the sunroom to see if they will flourish outdoors.  

Image here from Tone on Tone

My inspiration is my blogging friend, Loi @ Tone on Tone.

I've been a fan and avid reader of Tone on Tone

for many years.  If you don't know of this exquisite blog,

then head over and prepare to spend some time.

He has an amazing eye for beauty, and as you can see

Loi is an expert gardener.  Aren't these myrtles amazing? 

Image here from Tone on Tone

I'd like to add some myrtle topiaries if 

I can find a source and perhaps

do the table exclusively with myrtles 

as Loi has done in the photo above.

~ Gardens ~

Happy Earth Day 2016!

I'd love to hear about your spring garden.


on Monday, April 25 for a Garden Party

Also Joining

Monday, April 4, 2016

April ~ 2016

~ A P R I L ~

April showers bring May flowers.

We had a wet beginning for April, and here in Texas

we welcome any rain that comes our way.

The drought conditions unfortunately continue to keep

 us on one day a week watering restrictions.

April 1st ~ April Fool's Day

The history of this holiday is vague,

but the tradition of playing practical jokes on April 1st

 is one that has continued through the centuries across the globe.

The above photo isn't really a prank, 

but I have a friend who likes to "photoshop" interesting touches

to create a "joke" photo of sorts.

Here I am in Paris with my strolling French roosters.

One of the funniest she has given me is moi as Frida Kahlo, 

complete with dark bushy eyebrows and a monkey on my shoulder.

Not sharing that one!

Do you have a favorite April Fool's Prank?

First Weekend in April 

Can't leave out the much anticipated famous 

Round Top Spring Antiques Week.

You can read about last spring's Round Top advernture here.

April 6th ~ National Tartan Day

National Tartan Day is a favorite holiday for me in April.

It's not because I'm Scottish, 

but because I adore tartans and plaids.

Click the links below to visit Tartan Day Posts from years past.

 ~ 2015 ~ 2013 ~  2012 ~ 2011 ~

April is the month that Texas wildflowers put on their show.

Roadsides are transformed into a carpet of vibrant color.

~ Bluebonnets ~ Indian Paintbrush ~ Evening Primrose ~ Poppies ~

~ Blackfoot Daisy ~ Indian Blanket ~ Wine Cup ~ Mexican Hat ~

~ Coreopois ~ Sun Flower ~ Rain Lily ~ Spider Lily ~

Just to name a few! 

Thank you, Lady Bird Johnson for your vision in

spearheading the Beatification Act of 1965.

Andrea ~  Beautiful Butterfly Lady
Guest @ Eeyore's Birthday Party A Few Years Ago

April 30th ~ Eeyore's Birthday Party 

To close out the month there must be a mention of

 Eeyore's Annual Birthday Party

a spring traditon here in Austin.  

If you plan to attend, you can read all the details here.


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Tiptoe Through the Daffodils

Easter has come and gone, 

and April is knocking at our doors. 

 I had planned a "tiptoe through the tulips" 

sort of theme for Easter 2016.

When I spotted these adorable golden bunnies

while in Dallas during February, I knew they

would be fun with my group of Courtly Check vases 

and urns that I had used for my Queen of Hearts

table for Valentine's Day here.

My plan was to exchange the red tulips for pink,

use stacks of gardening books in 

place of the red themed decorating books,

and trade out the Queens of Hearts for bunnies.

The crowns and 

Courtly Check hearts

hanging from the brass chandelier  .   .   .

Gave way to frolicking bunnies

and Courtly Check Easter themed figures.

It all came together easily, and we've  enjoyed a lovely

spring table during the month of March.  

Fresh tulips filled the vases each week

while tulip bouquets were available for just a few dollars.

But by Easter week, tulip prices were suddenly 

two and three times what I had been paying.

I decided it best to tiptoe

through the daffodils instead.  

With daffodils available for two dollars

a bouquet, it was an easy choice.

A few girlfriends came over early in the week

for a light but delicious chicken hack salad.

Before dinner we munched on chips and guacamole and 

healthy "rabbit food,"  along with a glass or two of prosecco.

 Lemon tarts were our treat for dessert.

It was a lovely spring evening

out on the terrace under the full moon.

Our Texas weather didn't cooperate for an

Easter Sunday alfresco brunch as planned, so

Saturday afternoon I decided to set the table inside.

The William Sonoma rabbit offered to load up his

  basket with daffodils and hop on board as our centerpiece.

Limoges boxes, gifts from a sweet friend through the years,

were nestled in the grass below.

The other bunnies and daffodils that had been on the table

settled in on the buffet and on tables on the sun porch.

 Wedgwood Nantucket Basket was the obvious

choice with the woven basket detail, and green chargers

added just the right color with the natural linens.

Petite vases of daffodils brightened each place setting.

The Texas Easter Bunny filled festive cones

with special chocolates for each of our guests to take home.

We enjoyed tasty appetizers with

 champagne to start us off.

I had to have at least 

one bouquet of tulips for Easter!

The vintage Easter toys were finds while

antique shopping last year.  

They are J. Chein and Co. tin toys 

from the 1940s and 1950s, 

a bit of nostalgia from my own childhood. 

Small bites of smoked trout and smoked salmon

are one of the chef's specialties.

~ Easter Brunch ~

French Toast Sticks with Maple Syrup 

Open Face Ham and Scrambled Egg Sandwich

Caramalized Onion and Goat Cheese Tart

Bacon and Sausage Medly

Tri Colored Salad

Lemon curd tarts were my "go to" dessert for Easter week.

My inspiration was that cute lemon curd tart with a

pie crust bunny seen in the top left corner of the mosaic above.  

Jain @ A Quiet Life shared the idea in a post here.

The bunny chalkboard was an Easter gift

from a friend that arrived in time to do dessert buffet duty.

Pier 1 was the source for the cute paper napkins.

~ Life Needs More Chocolate Bunnies ~

As well as the darling bunny plates.

That's it for our Easter 2016.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tell me about your Easter ~ I'm all ears!


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