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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 11.9.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 11.9.13: imagecourtesymysecretgarden.tumblr It's (almost) all a dream, until reality comes knocking-- in the guise of an unstoppable horde ...

VT 11.9.13

imagecourtesymysecretgarden.tumblr


It's (almost) all a dream, until reality comes knocking--
in the guise of an unstoppable horde or deer or rabbits or voles or moles . . .
Vigilance!!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 10.9.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 10.9.13: imagecourtesynotesondesign.tumblr A quick walk through the aisles at the big-box's nursery would have anyone believing that summer ...

VT 10.9.13

imagecourtesynotesondesign.tumblr


A quick walk through the aisles at the big-box's nursery would have anyone believing that summer has ended, and fall has begun; row upon row of 'juiced' mums, somber ornamental cabbages, as well as endless flats of perky, playful pansies.  I refuse to participate in this ruse; for outside it's 91 and not a rain cloud in sight . . .

Friday, September 6, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 6.9.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 6.9.13: imagecourtesygiftsoflife.tumblr As I grow to understand life less and less, I learn to love it more and more. - Jules Renard ...

VT 6.9.13

imagecourtesygiftsoflife.tumblr



As I grow to understand life less and less,
I learn to love it more and more.

- Jules Renard





Thursday, September 5, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 5.9.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 5.9.13: imagecourtesygiftsoflife.tumblr Believe that a further shore is reachable from here. Believe in miracles and cures and healing wells...

VT 5.9.13

imagecourtesygiftsoflife.tumblr


Believe that a further shore
is reachable from here.
Believe in miracles
and cures and healing wells.

-Seamus Heaney (1939-2013)

poem by Seamus Heaney via Clodagh

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 4.9.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 4.9.13: imagecourtesygiftsoflife.tumblr Today's cool temperature will make watering so much more pleasant.  And all the effort of the past ...

VT 4.9.13

imagecourtesygiftsoflife.tumblr


Today's cool temperature will make watering so much more pleasant.  And all the effort of the past months are now evident.  Swaths of sedums, dahlias, black-eye susans, and pineapple-sage have stepped into the lime-light, supported by a cast comprised of coleus, azaleas, and countless ferns.  I must resist the urge to gloat . . . 

Monday, September 2, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 2.9.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 2.9.13: imagecourtesyathouughtfuleyeblog It's the beginning of the month of September, and for many it is a clear signal of autumn.  Yet th...

VT 3.9.13

imagecourtesyathouughtfuleyeblog


It's the beginning of the month of September, and for many it is a clear signal of autumn.  Yet the absence of rain and the continuance of hot, humid days makes for lots of hand-watering at dusk or dawn.  Thirsty plants, especially zinnias, show their gratitude through even more resplendent blooms.  Until the earth cools, one must stay vigilant . . .

Monday, August 19, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 15.6....

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 15.6....: VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 15.6.13 : photokellyklein Happy Weekend to all of my peeps!!

MONDAY'S VT!!

imagecourtesygiftsoflife.tumblr


The blog reopens on Labor Day with new pics, new commentary and lots more visual treats!!

Friday, June 14, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 14.6.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 14.6.13: imagecourtesygalleriethaddaeusropac Don't buy copies of art.  If you can't afford the real thing, go for a walk and find a sto...

VT 14.6.13

imagecourtesygalleriethaddaeusropac


Don't buy copies of art.  If you can't afford the real thing, go for a walk and find a stone that looks as beautiful as a Brancusi sculpture.
 You can find amazing things in nature.



Axel Vervoordt
'Elle Decor,' Jan/Feb 2013

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 12.6.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 12.6.13: imagecourtesygiftsoflife.tumblr Acknowledge local conditions and adjacent structures.  To find a color for the exterior of your house, che...

VT 12.6.13

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Acknowledge local conditions and adjacent structures.  To find a color for the exterior of your house, check out your neighborhood.


Donald Kaufman
'Elle Decor,' Sep 2012

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 11.6.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 11.6.13: imagesourceunknown Never buy art just because the color is right.  Art should bring you further along as a person, while also mirroring ...

VT 11.6.13

imagesourceunknown


Never buy art just because the color is right.  Art should bring you further along as a person, while also mirroring your view of life.  When you approach a collection that way, you can buy different things but there will always be a connection among them.


Axel Vervoordt
''Elle Decor,' Jan/Feb 2013

Monday, June 10, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 10.6.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 10.6.13: imagecourtesydesiretoinspireblog My favorite colors come from the shades of local earth.  Dig into the ground and you'll find so man...

VT 10.6.13

imagecourtesydesiretoinspireblog


My favorite colors come from the shades of local earth.  Dig into the ground and you'll find so many layers of color--amazing yellows, sand, browns, black, beige.  I don't like cool dogmatic white houses.  They're not human.  I prefer warmth.


Axel Vervoordt
'Elle Decor,' Jan/Feb 2013

Thursday, June 6, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 6.6.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 6.6.13: imagecourtesydesiretoinspireblog Color is a mood setter.  It can make you feel great.  But people have a fear of color.  They're af...

VT 6.6.13

imagecourtesydesiretoinspireblog


Color is a mood setter.  It can make you feel great.  But people have a fear of color.  They're afraid of what their friends will say or not say.  White is glum and beige is boring.  I'm Italian.  For me black is mourning.  Mind you, I had a black kitchen once that I loved.  Food looks sensational in a black room.


Mario Buatta
''Elle Decor,' Apr 2011

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 5.6.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 5.6.13: imagecourtesygiftsoflife.tumblr If a room has bad bones, paint them out.  Doors, windows frames, and moldings will disappear if you pai...

VT 5.6.13

imagecourtesygiftsoflife.tumblr


If a room has bad bones, paint them out.  Doors, windows frames, and moldings will disappear if you paint them the same color as the walls. 
 It will hide a million mistakes.


Mario Buatta
 'Elle Decor, ' Apr 2011

Monday, June 3, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 4.6.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 4.6.13: imagecourtesytheblackworkshop.tumblr The design industry is seeing an enormous shift, mainly because of technology.  In the course of a...

VT 4.6.13

imagecourtesytheblackworkshop.tumblr


The design industry is seeing an enormous shift, mainly because of technology.  In the course of an afternoon,  you can go online and look up 101 things.  But just because the information is available doesn't mean you shouldn't kick the tires.  There is no substitute for tactile, direct experience.


Alan Wanzenberg
'Elle Decor,' Nov 2012

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 3.6.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 3.6.13: imagecourtesydesiretoinspireblog Luxury can be intangible.  It can be a day with nothing to do.  It does not require a big budget.  If ...

VT 3.6.13

imagecourtesydesiretoinspireblog


Luxury can be intangible.  It can be a day with nothing to do.  It does not require a big budget.  If anything, money can be destructive to luxury.  I've worked for people with 15 Kelly bags in their closets.  At some point that becomes a burden.  Luxury is a sensibility, one that requires discernment.


Alan Wanzenberg
'Elle Decor,' Nov 2012


Sunday, June 2, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): THE SUNDAY POST 3.6.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): THE SUNDAY POST 3.6.13: imagecourtesyjjjjound EVENTS ON THE CALENDAR: The Thorn Tree Project:   Join Clodagh and friends for an incredible evening at The...

THE SUNDAY POST 3.6.13

imagecourtesyjjjjound



EVENTS ON THE CALENDAR:


The Thorn Tree Project:  

Join Clodagh and friends for an incredible evening at The Urban Zen Center for The Thorn Tree Project's 11th Annual African Bazaar and Silent Auction to benefit the children of the Sumburu Tribe.

The Center is located at 711 Greenwich Street (between Charles and West 10th)

More information about The Thorn Tree Project can be found at Facebook/The Thorn Tree Project

**

Banana Tree Imports:

It's Pop-Up Sale Time Again!

Announcing our Annual Pop-Up Sale
at 1125 King Street, Alexandria, VA
June 8-30

Everything 50-70% off

**

Jay Fisette Reelection Fundraiser:


Please join Arlington (VA) Democrats at Jay Fisette's Re-Election Reception on Monday June 3rd, from 630-830 PM.  Meet Democratic Candidate for Governor Terry McAuliffe and some other great candidates!!  It's going be a blast as we celebrate a great night for Virginia's future, and ready for Nov 5th.  Details for location, as well as the ticket purchases can be found on Facebook/Jay Fisette.


Friday, May 31, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 1.6.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 1.6.13: imagecourtesynotesondesign.tumblr To say that trees are the slowest-growing of all plants is misleading.  Just because a tree might tak...

VT 1.6.13

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To say that trees are the slowest-growing of all plants is misleading.  Just because a tree might take a century, or even more, to reach its ultimate height does not mean that it is slow, just big!  But woody plants do vary enormously in the speed at which they grow and the slowest can frustrate your efforts to achieve early maturity.  This does not mean that the fastest are necessarily the best to choose.  Rapid shrubs can be coarse and leggy, or can be immature even though they get large quickly.  These may be useful for a quick-growing shelter belt on the edge of the property.  For the central part of design, there is more to making the best selection than going for the fastest growers.  We need artistic merit as well as speed.


Nigel Colborn, 'Shortcuts To Great Gardens'

Thursday, May 30, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 31.5.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 31.5.13: imagecourtesygiftsoflife.tumblr Although purists may insist on native plants, a well-planned woodland garden can carry exotic wild spec...

VT 31.5.13

imagecourtesygiftsoflife.tumblr


Although purists may insist on native plants, a well-planned woodland garden can carry exotic wild species and even certain hybrids without losing its natural look.  The secret is to use plants which give the impression of being wild--plants with small simple flowers and foliage which is not abnormally marked.

In the wild, woodland plants grow where there is a natural covering of leaf litter.  In an artificial wild garden, such plants as primroses, trilliums and epimediums grow better with plenty of organic matter in the soil.  Fertilizer will ruin the character of wild flowers.



Nigel Colborn, 'Shortcuts To Great Gardens'

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 30.5.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 30.5.13: imagecourtesygiftsoflife.tumblr Steps, too, can make strong central features.  A slope, a drop or indeed any difference in levels is an...

VT 30.5.13

imagecourtesygiftsoflife.tumblr


Steps, too, can make strong central features.  A slope, a drop or indeed any difference in levels is an invaluable asset in garden design, subdividing the area and thus increasing the interest quotient.  A stairway through a gap in the wall draws attention to itself and, if it has to be there, is better made grandiose than understated!


Nigel Colborn, "Shortcuts To Great Gardens'

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 29.5.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 29.5.13: imagecourtesygiftsoflife.tumblr Water is the stuff of life.  From a biological point of view, every living being needs it to surviv...

VT 29.5.13

imagecourtesygiftsoflife.tumblr


Water is the stuff of life.  From a biological point of view, every living being needs it to survive.  From the artistic point of view, water adds a special extra ingredient that can be the making of a garden.  A great many designers refuse to contemplate a garden plan without water and frequently it plays a central role in their landscapes.  But, like all hard landscape features, water can be overdone and an insensitive or self-indulgent designer may ruin a good thing by having too many water courses, fountains and pools.

Yet a garden with water is almost always more interesting than one without.  Water features provide another key to an established feel.  Although sometimes costly, they are quick and easy to install, and can be designed to suite every imaginable style of garden from a natural wildlife pool to a Persian-style rill that might grace a harem.


Nigel Colburn, 'Shortcuts To Great Gardens'

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 28.5.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 28.5.13: imagecourtesygiftsoflife.tumblr Although layout is important, the essence of a good garden is structure.  And the first and most tellin...

VT 28.5.13

imagecourtesygiftsoflife.tumblr


Although layout is important, the essence of a good garden is structure.  And the first and most telling features in any garden -- those which best create the felling of maturity and establishment--are such solid, three dimensional structures as wall, fences, hedges, pergolas and arches.  Thus, if lead time needs to be minimized on any garden project, the boundaries are an important element where effective change can be brought about very quickly, sometimes instantly.


Nigel Colborn, 'Shortcuts To Great Gardens'


Thursday, May 23, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 24.5.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 24.5.13: imagecourtesygiftsoflife.tumblr A holly at the bottom of the garden may be the last remnant of the natural landscape that existed befor...

VT 24.5.13

imagecourtesygiftsoflife.tumblr


A holly at the bottom of the garden may be the last remnant of the natural landscape that existed before urbanisation spread over your patch.  That is quite a comforting thought - a thread that connects the before and the after.  It need not stop you gardening around it, planting cyclamen close to its trunk and ferns to unfold after the holly's berries have gone.  Tune yourself into the holly's pace of life.  Think slow.

Anna Pavord, 'The Curious Gardener'

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 23.5.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 23.5.13: imagecourtesydesiretoinspireblog A satisfying garden is a resonant one.  That is easier to recognize than to pin down.  A resonant gard...

VT 23.5.13

imagecourtesydesiretoinspireblog


A satisfying garden is a resonant one.  That is easier to recognize than to pin down.  A resonant garden has things going on it that are not of the here and now.  Built into it there many be messages from previous owners of the garden and previous uses of the land.

Even after the mammoth building boom of the late twentieth-century, fewer people are the first-time occupiers of a house than live in places that others have lived in before.  Even if the house itself is new, the space around it may carry hints of what happened there previously.  Huge pear trees in suburban gardens round the outskirts of London remind us of the orchards that used the feed the tenement dwellers of the city.  Big old bay trees planted close to houses recall the time when gardeners believed quite literally that 'neither witch nor devil, thunder nor lighting will hurt a man in the place where a bay tree is,' as the seventeenth-century herbalist, Nicholas Culpeper, put it.

Anna Pavord, 'The Curious Gardener'

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 22.5.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 22.5.13: designlucianogiubbilei courtesyathoughtfuleyeblog In your garden, you can make a stand against the prevailing trashy mood of the time....

VT 22.5.13

designlucianogiubbilei
courtesyathoughtfuleyeblog


In your garden, you can make a stand against the prevailing trashy mood of the time.  The great eighteenth-century landscape gardens were made at a time when their busy agricultural owners were fencing and hedging and parcelling and enclosing land.  Capability Brown's idealised landscapes reminded them of a pastoral, dreamy past, before turnips, before corn.

If the mood now is instant, disposable, then our gardens can become places where the opposite things are going on.  We should be planting slow, steady, sustaining things.  In the garden at least, if in no other part of our lives, we can dream a future.

Anna Pavord, 'The Curious Gardener'

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 21.5.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 21.5.13: imagecourtesydaniellawitteblog The point of gardening is the doing of it, not having got it done.  It's the process that matters, ...

VT 21.5.13

imagecourtesydaniellawitteblog



The point of gardening is the doing of it, not having got it done.  It's the process that matters, though it is of course directed towards an end result.  It's rare now for people to stay in the same place for generation after generation.  But continuity produces a tangible effect in a garden:  hedges bulge, trees cast ever-longer shadows over a lawn, wisterias send out tendrils to close up the windows.

We live in an impatient age, used to quick results.  Because people move around more than they used to, they don't plant things that won't immediately benefit them.  This is a danger in gardens.  It leads to layouts that, like instant takeaway food, are ultimately unsatisfying.  The ingredients are limited and, after the initial gratification, there is no lingering sense of longer pleasures.  But a holly tree, though slow, can give you that in spades.

Anna Pavord, 'The Curious Gardener'

Monday, May 20, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 20.5.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 20.5.13: imagecourtesythenewyorktimes There is one style that defines all that taste is really about to me.  It's not over-good, or over-bad...

VT 20.5.13

imagecourtesythenewyorktimes


There is one style that defines all that taste is really about to me.  It's not over-good, or over-bad, or dull, or elaborate.  It think of it as uncontrived taste, and it is exemplified in the room [pictured above] . . .  One senses that the decorator isn't trying too hard, that the room is simply right; it is not bland or unconsidered, indeed it is romantic and gutsy, as the furniture is huge and not what one would necessarily consider the right furniture for the room; it has warmth and coolness, light and strong shadows, scale and dignity and a dash of carefree color.  One gets an almost imperceptible air of impermanence, yet the scale of furnishings, their presence, anchors the room into our consciousness.


Nicky Haslam, The Matter of Taste
(T), The New York Times

Thursday, May 16, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 17.5.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 17.5.13: designbetsybrown imagecourtesydesiretoinspireblog Humor, a moment that makes one smile, seems to have vanished from most decoration:  t...

VT 17.5.13

designbetsybrown
imagecourtesydesiretoinspireblog



Humor, a moment that makes one smile, seems to have vanished from most decoration:  taste has become rigidly uniform--those far-too-long, desperately ungiving sofas, furniture arranged to look good with little thought of its actual use, the spiky "pieces' made by "artists"--probably because designers think too hard and not subjectively about it . . . And as every owner of a new space automatically tears out the decor, even if it is by a master designer, to impinge their own taste on it, impermanence is not at all a bad look or idea.  Indeed, it suggests a life in progress, one in which living is going on, rather than a stiff, sterile layout meant to count as taste for the ages.


Nicky Haslam, The Question of Taste
(T) The New York Times

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 16.5.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 16.5.13: imagecourtesygiftsoflife.tumblr I'm sure, today, that the interior decoration of Arturo Lopez-Willshaw's yacht, La Gaviota, loo...

VT 16.5.13

imagecourtesygiftsoflife.tumblr


I'm sure, today, that the interior decoration of Arturo Lopez-Willshaw's yacht, La Gaviota, looks like bad taste to many, but in its just-post-war heyday, the Orientalism and leopard velvet furnishings were as refreshing as Dior's contemporary New Look.  Likewise, after the bad taste bling and glitz of Versailles coming as it did on the heels of the colder, far more austere Renaissance style, the court breathed a sigh of relief at seeing Marie Antoinette's lighthearted and light-giving cottons and gauzes at that purposely tumbledown creation, the Hameau; and her sister Queen Maria Carolina, having fled the mauve marble and silver stucco of Naples, preferred bright, natural colors and sparsely furnished Turko-Gothic interiors for the Chinese Palace in Palermo.  The decor of both these interior schemes was thought to be the height of almost perverse whimsicality; now they may seem affected, but dull they are not.  Taste irons itself out over time.


Nicky Haslam, The Question of Taste
(T), The New York Times

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 15.5.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 16.5.13: designaxelvervoordt courtesymyparadissiblog For there is a dire lack of oomph in most current interior design, whether ultramodern or tr...

VT 15.5.13

designaxelvervoordt
courtesymyparadissiblog



For there is a dire lack of oomph in most current interior design, whether ultramodern or traditional, calming or glamorous.  The act--maybe I mean art--of making beautiful, comfortable and unique settings of our own is deeply satisfying.  The scope to be different is so vast, and luckily, one man's mat is another man's cushion.



Nicky Haslam, The Question of Taste
(T), The New York Times

Monday, May 13, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 14.5.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 14.5.13: designtriciahuntley courtesyathoughtfuleyeblog And yet, every continent, country, and capital, is awash with bland beige, unrelieved ...

VT 14.5.13

designtriciahuntley
courtesyathoughtfuleyeblog



And yet, every continent, country, and capital, is awash with bland beige, unrelieved by a lot of lifeless leather, a bit of black and a throw.  And that's not just the new breed of "modern" hotels, but apartments and homes as well, for people seem to want their living spaces to look exactly like the hotel, or spa, or friend's house they just left.  This dullness of "taste" is surely a watered-down version of those coolly elegant rooms that were so eye-catching decades ago.  Think of the Mercer Hotel-ification of style:  those dark brown wenge-wood bookcases are now the sine qua non of ubiquitous, bland modernity.  Even an icon of great taste, like Cy Twombly's house in Rome, has been the object of much dull, middle-of-the-road copycatting.  Nowadays, the tedious sameness of so much modern architecture enhanced by a dash of classicism can only make such taste insipid.


Nicky Haslam, The Question of Taste
(T), The New York Times

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 13.5.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 13.5.13: photodianekeaton courtesythestylesalonisteblog WHAT IS IT ABOUT TASTE?  A sort of defensive look crosses many people's faces when ...

VT 13.5.13

photodianekeaton
courtesythestylesalonisteblog



WHAT IS IT ABOUT TASTE?  A sort of defensive look crosses many people's faces when they hear the word.  If good taste is mentioned, often the reaction of sophisticates is a counterintuitive: "Oh, yuck."  And if bad, it often yields defiant admiration:  "Well, I love a bit of bad taste, actually."  Do they?  Don't they really mean they desire something with guts?  Gusto, after all, in Italian, means taste, gout to the French.



Nicky Haslam, The Question of Taste
(T) The New York Times

Sunday, May 12, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): MOTHER'S DAY 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): MOTHER'S DAY 2013: imagecourtesygiftsoflife.tumblr For all the mothers of the world, a heartfelt thank you!!

MOTHER'S DAY 2013

imagecourtesygiftsoflife.tumblr



For all the mothers of the world, a heartfelt thank you!!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): THE SUNDAY POST 28.4.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): THE SUNDAY POST 28.4.13: imagecourtesydesiretoinspireblog I'm pretty sure that tonight's thunderstorms will continue into tomorrow morning, and rush-hou...

THE SUNDAY POST 28.4.13

imagecourtesydesiretoinspireblog


I'm pretty sure that tonight's thunderstorms will continue into tomorrow morning, and rush-hour traffic will be a headache for even the most experienced drivers who will curse the other car/the Metro bus/pedestrians in sober-colored raincoats/ducks crossing without advance warning/the weather and so forth; yet we desperately need rain as it's been a very dry spring.  After the rain has fallen, irises will erupt, as will baptisias, perhaps peonies, and lilac bushes--previously minor players and now stars in the theatre of the modern garden.  If all goes well, the rain will thankfully continue well into Tuesday . . .  

Happy Sunday, everyone. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 26.4.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 26.4.13: imagecourtesyjjjjoundblog I'm tempted to build something just like this for reasons that many gardeners (and farmers) will clearly ...

VT 26.4.13

imagecourtesyjjjjoundblog


I'm tempted to build something just like this for reasons that many gardeners (and farmers) will clearly understand.  Moles, voles, birds, squirrels, and other unseen critters claim victory daily, and if their sneaky visits continue unabated, this year's expected bounty will fall even shorter than the meager results of our efforts last year when every disaster except a plague of locusts was experienced between the months of June and October.  The three tabbies who reside next door have done nothing so far about the little band of bold-faced bunnies that appear nightly, and who've been nibbling on every hosta leaf or tulip stem within easy reach (or short hop).  Sweet and fuzzy they are, but more adorable when confined to a straw-basket, and nestled among chocolate eggs, marshmallow chicks and short-bread rounds.

Still, upon second thought, perhaps a troupe of agile bunnies is infinitely less annoying than being bombarded by a brigade of stink-bugs, or a battalion of Japanese beetles.  Or a herd of white-tailed deer intent upon a light lunch . . .


Happy Friday to everyone!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 24.4.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 24.4.13: imagecourtesydesiretoinspireblog photofranchescawatson And finally we're experiencing spring in its truest form.  Warmer temperatu...

VT 24.4.13

imagecourtesydesiretoinspireblog
photofranchescawatson


And finally we're experiencing spring in its truest form.  Warmer temperatures and light showers usher nature's unfolding as azaleas, tulips, red-buds and magnolia rejoice through a crescendo of brilliant color.  Creeping ground cover such as ajuga, viola, and anemones almost miraculously appear among the stepping stones which leads from the edge of the perennial bed to a bird-bath half-hidden in a grove of towering laurels.  Columbines, once forgotten, nestle shyly beneath the viburnum bushes, sheltered from the slanted rays of the afternoon sun.  Seemingly overnight, ferns of many sorts emerge frond-by-frond like sly lovers intent upon rapture.  The anticipation of more beauty quickens my morning step . . .

Happy Wednesday.

Monday, April 22, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): THE TUESDAY POST 23.4.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): THE TUESDAY POST 23.4.13: imagecourtesydesiretoinspireblog designstevenscarloff Thankfully I was spared the full onslaught of electronic images as the spectacle...

THE TUESDAY POST 23.4.13

imagecourtesydesiretoinspireblog
designstevenscarloff


Thankfully I was spared the full onslaught of electronic images as the spectacle (and nightmare for many) in Massachusetts played across the wide-screens.  While away from Washington DC, and briefly sequestered in Williamsburg, VA (that tiny hamlet of colonial charm renown for southern graciousness and a certain gentility of long pedigree), the more pressing concerns ranged from deer-resistant evergreens to boxwood winter-burn to shade-loving annuals capable of withstanding some neglect during the heat of the summer which will shortly commence.

We are all affected by this recent breach in our collective safety and well-being.  Last night, the sound of police-cars' sirens in the direction of Shirley Highway produced some anxiety, as well as concern upon encountering numerous road-blocks in the vicinity of the hospital.  I wish that all the troubles and problems facing the nation could be as easily solved as seasonal feedings of Hollytone and plentiful watering, yet even here in the garden, danger lurks in the guise of waiting slugs and hidden borers . . .

Happy Tuesday to everyone!!

Friday, April 12, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 12.4.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 12.4.13: imagesourceunknown photomattmurphy Bang the drum slowly--or quickly, in salutation; this has got to be the wittiest side-table in all ...

VT 12.4.13

imagesourceunknown
photomattmurphy


Bang the drum slowly--or quickly, in salutation; this has got to be the wittiest side-table in all the world.

Happy Friday to all . . . 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 11.4.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 11.4.13: imagecourtesyathoughtfuleyeblog designluisbustamante The irony isn't lost (on me).  Hours upon hours I've spent looking through...

VT 11.4.13

imagecourtesyathoughtfuleyeblog
designluisbustamante

The irony isn't lost (on me).  Hours upon hours I've spent looking through on-line blog/flyer/magazine/catalogue/tome/newspaper/literary journal--and much more time will pass in the same fashion; countless hours spent in search of an ideal called 'home,' whilst outside the door and not far away eleven million or more individuals clamor for the opportunity to feel 'at home.'  Some were brought across the borders illegally as children. Others climbed across fences, desperately crossed deserts or swam rivers, all drawn to the ideals of liberty and freedom and now claiming this nation as their home.  Many of them have not broken any laws other than being inhabitants in a country which fails to recognize their contribution to the melting pot called the American Dream, as well as their continued plight as persons without a country to call home.  Currently, eleven million or more individuals are denied the opportunity (vis-a-vis citizenship or a path to permanent residency and/or citizenship) because of arbitrary laws which grant residency to some and not to others (for reasons that most will agree are arcane and unfair).  Still, even after this experience of inequality, the Dreamers persevere in their pursuit of 'the American Dream.'

Funny thing about one's place of birth; it can't be planned or self-determined.  Simply a matter of luck, or, destiny.

Never give up, Dreamers!!


VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 10.4.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 10.4.13: imagecourtesyathoughtfuleyeblog designwindsorsmith . . . and a Happy Wednesday to all blog readers!!

VT 10.4.13

imagecourtesyathoughtfuleyeblog
designwindsorsmith


. . . and a Happy Wednesday to all blog readers!!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 6.4.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 6.4.13: imagecourtesygiftsoflife.tumblr It's a gorgeous Saturday morning with bright skies and lots of sun.  Every nerve in my body is screami...

VT 6.4.13

imagecourtesygiftsoflife.tumblr

It's a gorgeous Saturday morning with bright skies and lots of sun.  Every nerve in my body is screaming 'Get Outside' and so I will.  Gardening, the flea-market, and then lunch at Eastern Market--seems like paradise.  Wishing everyone a wonderful day (without stress, angst or drama)!!

Friday, April 5, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 5.4.13 (THE LATE-NIGHT MIX)

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 5.4.13 (THE LATE-NIGHT MIX): imagecourtesyarchipile.tumblr While the city sleeps, the music flows . . . https://soundcloud.com/yuriyogaltsev/remember-me-heads...

VT 5.4.13 (THE LATE-NIGHT MIX)

imagecourtesyarchipile.tumblr



While the city sleeps,

the music flows . . .

https://soundcloud.com/yuriyogaltsev/remember-me-headshop-and-scot


VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 5.4.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 5.4.13: imagecourtesyarchipile.tumnblr Friday is here again--thankfully.  Last night's rain and today's warmer temperatures is sure to ...

VT 5.4.13

imagecourtesyarchipile.tumblr


Friday is here again--thankfully.  Last night's rain and today's warmer temperatures is sure to spur lots of activity.  The garden shops are brimming with new arrivals and this weekend seems ideal for cleaning out and getting in place over-sized containers to be filled with azaleas, anemones, ferns, and mountain laurels.  The thought of planting neat rows of veges and herbs seems enticing, but it may be wise to wait at least another week or so.  Better safe than sorry:  this proverbial wisdom still holds true.  Patience, I believe, is a necessary attribute of a true gardener . . . 

And a lovely weekend to all!!



Thursday, April 4, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 4.4.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 4.4.13: imagecourtesyarchipile.tumblr Yikes!! Despite my repeated and oft stated preference for cooler temperatures, lately the need to remaine...

VT 4.4.13

imagecourtesyarchipile.tumblr


Yikes!! Despite my repeated and oft stated preference for cooler temperatures, lately the need to remained bundled under sweaters and woolen pull-overs has become somewhat tiresome.  Mother Nature dangled the illusion of an early spring and unthinkingly we all knelt before an ideal comprised of blossoms, blossoms, and more blossoms--which has yet to appear.  Sadly for visitors to our area, the famed cherry trees at the Tidal Basin have still not revealed their glory.  And, as of this morning, most tulips are still reticent; and many daffodils and snow-drops in my garden remain petulant.  Nevertheless, a warmer afternoon could change things for the better. 

 Have a wonderful Thursday!!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 2.4.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 2.4.13: imagecourtesyindigenousdialogues.tumblr Finally; we're all stepping out of the winter blues and into spring.  Hip, hip, hurray!!...

VT 2.4.13

imagecourtesyindigenousdialogues.tumblr



Finally; we're all stepping out of the winter blues and into spring.  Hip, hip, hurray!!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): EASTER MONDAY 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): EASTER MONDAY 2013: imagecourtesydesiretoinspireblog While it may be easy for some to move on (to the next big thing), I'm still pondering the events...

EASTER MONDAY 2013

imagecourtesydesiretoinspireblog


While it may be easy for some to move on (to the next big thing), I'm still pondering the events of last week.  The proceedings in the Supreme Court were paramount to supporters of marriage equality, as well as to opponents who've compared any additional 'liberties' to same-sex households (now seeking federal recognition and thereby eligible for all the rights, privileges and benefits (approximately 1138) afforded heterosexual couples) as tantamount to the resurrection of Sodom and Gomorrah, or the end of civilization.  Justification based upon religious beliefs (for the continuance of DOMA) is hardly novel; the necessity to protect 'responsible procreation' offered by Charles Cooper seemed antiquated, and the argument from Paul Clement (supporting DOMA on behalf of Republicans in the House of Representatives) resting on an alleged federal need for uniformity in administering benefits fell just short of absurdity.  All that hubris followed by collective disbelief at the reading of House Report 3396 (which accompanied the passing of DOMA by the 104th Congress); apparently the Republican controlled Congress decided to reflect and honor [of] collective moral judgment and to express(ed) moral disapproval of homosexuality.  If this expressed sentiment, no--judgement based on fear/prejudice/bias, isn't reason enough to continue advocating for a separation between church and state, what is?  If our elected officials prefer to pander to a more fundamentally-inclined religious base, what chance for advancing liberty and equality for those whose beliefs fall outside of a narrow Judeo-Christian doctrine?  And it makes me wonder . . .

  For those fortunate among us to be attending the Egg Roll on the White House Lawn,  cheers to the delights of chocolate eggs and fuzzy bunnies.  
Happy Easter Monday to all.

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): EASTER SUNDAY 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): EASTER SUNDAY 2013: imagesourceunknown WISHING EVERYONE A WONDERFUL EASTER!!

EASTER SUNDAY 2013

imagesourceunknown




WISHING EVERYONE A WONDERFUL EASTER!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 27.3.13

VT (for all of my design-obsessed peeps): VT 27.3.13: imagecourtesyjjjjoundblog Just like everyone else, same-sex families eat around the kitchen table, do laundry on Thursday evenings, ord...

VT 27.3.13

imagecourtesyjjjjoundblog


Just like everyone else, same-sex families eat around the kitchen table, do laundry on Thursday evenings, order take-out meals, mow the lawn, and raise children (whether biologically theirs or adopted, foster or borrowed).  Just like other couples (straight, bi, swingers, gay-curious, or those on the down-low) they deserve the same privileges and rights (and tax benefits).  Seems ironic that the religious right which bemoaned the sexual promiscuity, social irresponsibility, and decadence of the early 'pioneers,' now chastise the LGBTQ community for finally advocating for stability, security, respect, societal approval, and all the responsibilities inherent to being a member of the community.  I can't understand the so-called 'threat to marriage' that arises as a result of marriage-equality, nor do I understand the inherent fear, ignorance and bigotry that seems pervasive on the part of some.  And to all the others (who understand that full-equality for all citizens means better families and communities and show it), a heart-felt THANK YOU!!