Today is a lazy day for us.  We always feel a bit beat up after a three-day weekend.  That, and it's hot today so we are doubly lazy, and it was hot all weekend.  The heat totally slows me down.  I'm melting.  In a bit we are going to lather on the sunscreen, put on baseball caps and go for a ride in my husband's hobby car, a restored '62 Corvette.  Destination?  Who knows--someplace cool?  Probably not as far as to the beach, but maybe halfway, perhaps to Alice's Restaurant for a frosty drink.

Everyone in town agrees that this is a banner year for the roses!  We've had such good rain this year they must think they are living in England!  Here are some photos I captured over the last month.  Next week, a veggie garden update and more knitting.

The grande dame of our garden is Climbing First Prize.

Her pretty sister is Climbing Eden, also seen below.


Red Simplicity, above foreground and also in the pictures below.

a bouquet of David Austin's Graham Thomas

bearded iris

an Eden and some David Austins

a path lined with tree roses

In the vegetable garden, some David Austins.

Climbing Blaze arbor just as it was starting to bloom.

We have several Iceberg roses--a tree and some shrubs.  Best white rose ever.

 I love the crazy "through the looking glass" views with panovision.

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xo, Kristen


bistro lights

In one afternoon my son and husband strung 200 feet of cafe lights on our back patio.  I'm amazed at not only how well they illuminate, but the lights add such a beautiful, twinkly ambience, it's hard to believe it's my old house!  I feel like I'm in an upscale continental outdoor cafe!  As an added bonus, the lights finally unite the three patios that form our backyard entertaining area. 

In the forefront of the picture above is the patio off our family room nearest to the vegetable garden.  This is a cozy place for a smallish group.  Here we get the cross breezes and is one of the cooler spots in the back garden. The patio wraps around our kitchen where two bistro tables with chairs flank the kitchen's 70 year old dutch door. Next is the large patio off our living room which has an oversized wicker sofa with matching chairs and ottomans. This is often the warmest and sunniest spot and we tend to sit there in the cooler months.  On the far right is the patio off our bedroom where we have placed the dining tables and chairs. All three patios are distinct and separate outdoor rooms, but the brick floor and tongue and groove ceiling throughout, and now the cafe lights and matching pillows, all help to unify them, not to mention seriously amping up the ambience.  This is definitely one of the less expensive and easier projects we've ever done, yet it has made a huge impact.

We work pretty hard in our garden and it's nice to have a spot to sit in the evening to enjoy looking at the beauty of all that work!

Most of our furniture was purchased years ago,
but below are notes on the newer pieces with sources.

Catalina seating from OSH on the patio off the family room.

The cafe lights are also from OSH, but couldn't find them online.  
They are at my local store now.  We purchased 9 strands of the 20 ft. length.
Priced at $14 per 20 ft. strand--I thought it was a terrific bargain.

The red and orange pillows are also from Costco and are in stock now at my local store.
I couldn't find these on their site either.  They are made from indoor/outdoor fabric and 
priced at an incredible $15 for a pack of two.

This is the patio off our bedroom and needs some decoration.  I'm thinking of painting that far wall.  A friend suggested a mural, but I know I'm not up for that.  Perhaps some painted stripes?  My husband suggested hanging some inexpensive artwork.  Any ideas??

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