Decorate: Aubusson Inspired Floral Rugs

July 25, 2013 Comments Off on Decorate: Aubusson Inspired Floral Rugs

I’m not sure when I really started to care deeply about the aesthetic in my home.  I’ve been, for the most part, restrained by cost, piecing together things that are on sale and kind of work. I’ve tried to curate a look centered around pieces that have character or a story  and  staple pieces I can afford. Sometimes it works, but sometimes it just bugs me until I can get it right.  Even with resources, I’m sure it would still take me years to find fulfillment in my home decor.

That said, I have been eyeing some type of floral rug to add to my home for some time. I wasn’t initially a fan of floral rugs, they can be busy , hard to match, and just look downright tacky. What really turned it around for me was the “Aubusson” style of rugs , which have originated from  Aubusson, France since the 15th century. They commonly have a floral pattern, are flat woven and are quite grand in both size and pattern- a reflection of historically being commission by aristocracy. They have a wonderful french aesthetic, with floral patterns that fill but don’t overwhelm the space and a color pallet that always seems to get it right.

Antique Aubusson Floral Rugs

These antique rugs are quite pleasant, but they will most likely set you back a pretty penny .

If you can’t shell out the beaucoup bucks that it will take to buy an original rug, you may want to consider these more affordable options.  I know I am, Especially with dogs being so tough on carpets!


Cool Plant: Caracalla Bean

July 24, 2013 § 3 Comments

The Caracalla Bean, also known as snail flower, is one of the most interesting beans I think I have ever encountered. It has ordinary foliage but a beautiful snail like flower, that is quite fragrant, and is a surprising late bloomer. I discovered it last year while visiting Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson. While I had fully intended to plant it in my own garden this year, I never quite got around to it, but these photos are certainly making me regret that!




Tips for Keeping the Deer Away

July 24, 2013 § 2 Comments

Earlier this week I lamented  over  the gourmand deer who think lilies are planted just for their enjoyment. So I thought I would share some tips for deer abatement.

Deer Hoof Print

The two best ways to keep deer away are:

  • A tall fence– White Tail Deer can jump up to eight feet high, and you want the tall of enough so the deer don’t attempt to jump the fence and get caught in it. However, that said, I  have found the a six foot stops them pretty well, and deer can’t jump both tall and wide so slanting a fence outward can also help deter deer.
  • Plant things that the deer don’t want to eat– The most difficult time I had this year deterring the deer was when a mulberry tree was fruiting and drawing them to the yard, once the tree stopped fruiting the deer presence significantly lowered. In this vein, human hair can work similarly.

deer foot print

Other ways to deter deer:

  • Dog’s (Pee)- Canines are natural predators, and the scent of dogs and their urine will act as a deterrent. However it washes away with the rain, and if you keep your dogs in a fenced area, the deer will know. I let mine out to run around outside of the fence to do their business.
  • Purified Smells– The smell of rot,  rotten eggs in particular, can deter as well.
  • Mint- I have used a diluted castille soap to some success and have heard of others using barred Irish spring around their beds.

The caveat to these, save for the tall fence, is that if the deer are truly hungry, they are going to eat. A little depressing I know, but many plant will flush back out.

Blooming Now: Daylilies

July 22, 2013 Comments Off on Blooming Now: Daylilies

Daylilies might as well be called “deer food”, last year I got one bloom before the deer came along and had quite a pleasant snack.  As a  result, I transplanted them in the fall, moving them to a more remote area of the yard, in an attempt to keep from luring the deer there.  I was pleasantly surprised that the transplant went well with the deer have stayed away from the (for this year), and there are blooms a plenty!




DIY: Mailbox Planter

July 21, 2013 § 1 Comment

One of the first things I didThis re purposed mailbox is no more difficult than planting any other planter, you fill with dirt, make sure there is appropriate drainage and away you go! I wanted something that would fall out of the box and had some left over Creeping Jenny that I needed to put to good use. The one downfall is that the mailbox doesn’t collect rain and can get quite hot, so be sure to water appropriately.




Blooming Now: English Lavender, Lavandula Angustifolia, ‘Munstead’

July 20, 2013 Comments Off on Blooming Now: English Lavender, Lavandula Angustifolia, ‘Munstead’

Today we bring to a close my week long overture to Lavender. This week has  brought me one step closer to planting  rows of lavender in my vacant backyard, and the bees would be so happy!


I bought this English Lavender, in a bit of haste,when I thought one of my beds was a little sparse(it wasn’t), and was surprised to find little blooms popping up this week. Unlike the other two Lavender varieties I have shared this week, Munstead is compact, only growing about 1-2 ft in height and width. It has bright blooms(blooming June-August)  that attract nectar loving insects and short leaf  foliage that is highly aromatic.

munstead lavender

Lavandula Angustifolia

English Lavender

Travel Here: Lavender Farms in Virginia and Beyond

July 19, 2013 Comments Off on Travel Here: Lavender Farms in Virginia and Beyond

Believe it or not, despite my obsession with Lavender, I have never actually visited a Lavender farm. It wasn’t too long ago that I discovered there are options in Virginia,many of these places are small farms and may bot be up to European standards, but look to still be a nice quick trip! Looking at these wonderful places makes me want to pursue a new profession, Lavender farmer…

Lavender Farms in Virginia

This is just a small selection of Lavender farms in Virginia, a more comprehensive list can be found here and here. Make sure to call ahead to make sure farms are open to the public and/or still open for the season. If you can’t even contain  your Lavender love and are in the Virginia area you may be interested in the United States Lavender Conference from the U.S. Lavender Growers Association, happening in Virginia in October.


Inglewood Lavender, Nelson County Virginia

411815lavender and hay 1

Seven Oaks Lavender Farm, Catlett Virginia


Scott County Lavender, Dungannon Virginia

Evergreen Lavender Farm, Appomattox, Virginia

Lavender Farms in the U.S.

As if anyone(me) needs another reason to love the Pacific Northwest, there are a TON of lavender farms in the Oregon/ Washington area.

Oregon Lavender Association-List of destinations, a festival(!), and tour maps

Sequim Lavender Festival (Washington)

A list of other farms around the United States can be found here , here, and here.