Delightful scarecrows!

Bread Shop PlanterSalisbury takes on a delightful fantasy village aspect during the Fall Festival when the streets are lined with wonderful scarecrows produced by shops, groups and creative individuals.

The Recycler ScarecrowThe Cub Scout Pack pulled out all the stops…, trash to create “The Recycler” and win first prize for a group effort. The medium is the message…

 Eggs in a BAnk scarecrowSalisbury Bank’s scarecrow message was “Don’t put all your financial eggs in one basket” featuring all sorts of containers.

Real Estate Lady crowHarney Real Estate’s “Mrs. Doubtfire, keeping heaven tidy”.

Bride and GroomNear the church, a “Mr and Mrs Straw Stein” got married!

Fashion Victim scarecrowSalisbury’s resale shop creates a fashion victim “Ghouls Gone Wild”.

 Mrs Tchotchke scare crowPrime Finds, a household resale shop benefitting a Torrington Mental Health Facility, is captured in the charm of the scarecrow – “Mrs. Tchotchke has a knack for knicks”.

 Scared Crow and family“Scared Crow”, created by the Salisbury Garden Center, wow-ed the crowds and won the popular vote for a scarecrow by a business.

 Halloween tableHappy Halloween everyone!




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Pumpkin plethora

 Taft FarmsI love to visit the many farm stands here in the Berkshires to see the huge variety of pumpkins and gourds for sale in October. Taft Farms in Great Barrington MA always has a huge variety from which to choose.

Pumpkins with orange and black stripesThe more unusual the variety, the better I like it. These striped beauties are so distinctive. Their dark green color is almost black.

 Pumpkin GiantsAt Boardman’s, a local farm in Sheffield, these huge pumpkins bask in the late afternoon sun. They easily weigh 30 pounds or more. Boardman’s is one of the last Sheffield farm stands with an honesty box – just put in your money and make any necessary change.Route 44 PumpkinsThis week when I went pumpkin shopping in earnest I found many stands had only the usual orange jack-o-lanterns left. This nursery on Route 44 in CT caught my eye and I found some of what I wanted there.

 ShireflowersI like to mix up my autumn pumpkins at The Barns. Shireflowers was an early blog begun the Bride, to which I sporadically (very) contributed. Its home page featured a friendly pumpkin.

Pumpkin buddies1More pumpkin adventures were chronicled in (see Archives) when we visited Sheffield’s Howden Farm, birthplace of the patented Howden pumpkin.

Gold and green striped pumpkinThis gold and green striped beauty was the inspiration for this year’s front step. I love the hugely indented ridges with their green patterned striping.

 The Barns front stepPaired with some of its cousins in shades of yellow, it makes a cheery statement on these mostly rain and wind wracked days. I figure if I pick the bittersweet, the birds won’t.

Pumpkins at The Barns detailAlong with the resident frog, the ruffles of a kale plant flank the pumpkins and squashes. What’s on your doorstep?


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flowerflinging fun

 Hard at Work bannerIt is always a treat to attend a floral design workshop. Hopefully, the teacher has chosen beautiful materials to use and attractive containers.   In September, a delightful group of Rochester NY ladies spent the day making two very different designs.

Modern mass with Hypericum berries Modern Mass with rosesThey began with a modern mass design in a slim green container. The materials used were Rosa ‘Cherry Brandy’ with its subtly darker outer petals, a coral mini carnation, coral tulips, green Hypericum, tiny button mums in chartreuse green, lily turf grass and a green/cream/burgundy striped Leucadendron, a kind of Protea.

Happy students with designsThe happy students pose with their designs and soon after,  we were spoiled with a delicious hot lunch!! Yum – thanks, VC.

Underwater design with callasThe afternoon session delved into the world of underwater designs using a handsome container from from Target – Threshold Large Globe Glass Vase At 11.5” x 7.5”, the opening is large enough to get your hands, making it easier to work with the materials.   This container was last seen in “Blooming Birthday, part two” (see Archives, June 2013).

Callas and orchids underwaterDesigners had Monstera ‘Xanadu’, the distinctive dark green leaf, curly willow, purple Dendrobium orchids, variegated Aspidistra leaves, Anthurium obake ‘Rainbow’ and mini calla lilies in the most beautiful shades of blushing pink. The callas were not the really smallest ones, but had good stems for curving around in the space.

 Underwater with AnthuriumMechanics were passed out in brightly colored bags and included a 1” pin holder, florist clay, glue dots, small light green glass stones (Michael’s Crafts) and chartreuse aluminium wire (

Underwater with OrchidsIn the GCA, underwater designs are those in which all or part of the design is submerged in water.  The emphasis is on the design being in water; not just a group of stems in water. Filling the container to the top changes the design by its marvelous magnification of what’s inside.

Underwater design with layersBecause of carrying it back home, not everyone wanted to put the water in. However, it is easily siphoned off with a length of plastic tubing.

 Underwater Willow weavingAfter some initial hesitation, all the students had fun with this concept, as there was no right or wrong way to do it – just creative expression. Most of these flowers above rise up from the pin holder, hidden by stones, with the willow circling the design.

 Underwater Xanadu leavesThe truly lovely and very fresh Anthurium, orchids and ‘Xanadu’ leaves came directly from Hawaii to Rochester, courtesy of Green Point Nurseries. Visit their website and drool… Their tropical flowers and foliage are always just picked and beautifully packed. It is a complete joy to work with such perfect flowers. Thanks, Green Point and thanks ACGC!!



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