Birds of a Feather

Birds of a FeatherA gift of these charming papier-mache birds inspired a desire to create a centerpiece with them for a summer dinner.  Some came from the MFA in Boston and some from Paper Trail in Rhinebeck NY.

 BW red houseThese birds were on my mind when I visited Bunny Williams’ garden in Falls Village CT. In a wooded field, she has created a delightful village of birdhouses, ranged around a large circular walking path. All the “village” houses were on wooden posts, high off the ground.

Birdhouse with porchesPorches for the birdsI wonder how the birds feel about these intriguing houses? They seem to be miniature or model houses first, and bird houses second. Here the entry is in the front façade windows, top.

Purple Martin CondoThis stylish condo looks like it might be a home for purple martins, who are the largest members of the swallow family. Sadly for this modern abode, purple martins prefer their housing rather isolated from buildings and tall trees.

Columns and julepsDo goldfinches like Greek Revival Houses? Can you imagine a little golden family on the front porch, twittering away?

Carpenter Gothic BirdhouseA Carpenter Gothic cottage is for rent with its own giant weathervane, so each bird knows which way the wind is blowing.

Birdhouse Village BandstandWhat’s a village without a bandstand?

Outer Banks birdhouse villageIn North Carolina’s Outer Banks, The Bride spotted this in the marches on what might be a disused telephone pole. It’s a village of churches with Quanset hut housing between them!

Book of Gardening Bird HouseOrigins of Gardening birdhouseHands Down – my favorite birdhouse is the one I was so generously given when I finished my term as MGC president…. “The Origins of Gardening”.

 Audubon facadeTrowel for a Landing placeThis charming masterpieces is like the living room that no one uses – just for enjoyment and admiration – no “For Rent” on this one, just sitting on a table on the porch in summer is as outside as it travels. It was beautifully created from a birdhouse, a book, beautiful color pages and a small trowel as the landing place by Wild Wings: “Literary Lodgings” in White Oak PA. Thanks again, MGC!


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The Last of the Summer Pots

Begonias, Lantana and Coleus at The BarnsAfter Labor Day when the chrysanthemums and kale plants flood the markets, it’s time to take stock of summer plantings. These can provide inspiration for next year’s plantings. At The Barns, it was red, red, red with Begonias, Lantana, and Coleus.

New York City coleusWith the relatively cool weather this summer, New York was aglow with the many shades of Coleus. In these window boxes the Coleus is complimented by a dark Impomea.

Coleus on 70th StreetColeus, Caladium and IvyCaladiums, Coleus and Ivy decorate the city’s streets.

Morning glory planters In the village of Salisbury CT, a pair of these towering morning glories welcome shoppers to the grocery store. Sprays of Verbena bonariensis,

Village purples  Coleus, petunias and purple verbenaLarge pots such as this line the sidewalks. I particularly love these with the dusty miller, distinctive striped petunia, coleus, foxtail grass and Bacopa.

Matching wall basketsWall hangings change the look just slightly with white Angelona, sweet alyssum, dark Impomea, and Bacopa, What a lucky village!!

Pumpkin coleus, zinnias, and oxalisI love the color scheme in this planter but not its design. The gorgeous soft orange Coleus, almost matching zinnias, tall dark New Zealand Flax, and Oxalis at the bottom make an arresting combination.

Bunny Williams' Stone UrnAt Bunny Williams’ garden, this stately urn is full of textural plants in many shades of green, providing a cool respite on the garden path.

Barrel of fushiaIn Memphis, this barrel planter in its iron holder is filled with Begonias and Fuschias.

Bacopa and BegoniaMore Begonias in beautiful shades with Bacopa trail over a magnificent green pot, one of a pair, on a porch in East Hampton. What were your pots like this year?


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Plethora of purple petals…

Susan DetjensLate August gardens split into divergent color camps of either vibrant yellows or elegant pinks and purples. In front of The Barns, there is Buddleia, Plectranthus, Perovskia, Thalictrum with natives, Joe Pye Weed and a pale Monarda, dotting the fields.

 Wallpapering the tubesEarlier in the month, I had fun making a long container of paper-covered test tubes. The tubes ( were held at various heights on wire rods and zip-tied in place. Then they were covered with a group of artist papers in soft neutral patterns, glued and sealed with Modge Podge (a decoupage sealant).

Paper and tube containerThe base was made from a slab of leftover insulation foam (see “Curling Up” May, Archives), edged with bass wood strips, painted with a nickel colored spray paint. The inside of the base was filled with small pearl like stones (Michael’s Crafts).  A water bottle with a spout helps fill all the test tubes which have to be refilled daily.  Annuals are thirsty!!!

Perovskia at The BarnsThe purple flowers in the garden inspired this post. Just how many varieties of flowers in purple shades could I find?

Susan DetjensThanks to weeding project in the Sharon Audubon Herb Garden, a late-day visit to gorgeous Twin Maples and a bouquet from Thornhill plus my own garden, I collected over two dozen!

 Gomphrena, Verbena, AgastacheHow many can you recognize?

Phlox Ageratun PerovskiaSalvia, Ageratum, Celosia, Zinnia, Gerbera, Thalictrum, Plumbago, Angelonia, Gomphrena, Phlox

Zinnia, Echinops, BuddleiaHyacinth Bean, Echinops (commonly called globe thistle), plus a really tiny no-name thistle from the fields, Monarda, Perovskia, Plectranthus,, Verbena bonariensis,

Susan DetjensBuddleia, Allium, Agastache, Nepeta, Joe Pye Weed, Astrantia and lavender!


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