Gearing Up

May 30, 2016

The unofficial beginning of Summer is here. First up on this Memorial Day, and most importantly, fly your flag in honor of those lost. Then on to an early start. In my case it was a stop at the nursery for a little inspiration and a bit of immediate gratification until the bigger projects are complete. As long as you’re staying in town, and the weather is finally cooperating, you might as well get to it.




With so much color and texture available in trees and shrubs I can never figure out what all the excitement is about with annuals. Inspiration around every turn and not a geranium or Impatiens in sight.


I’ve never been a fan of Barberry, but this particular variety ( Sunjoy Gold Pillar) has appeal with its upright habit, bright color and tolerance to cold. Boxwood hedge replacement? Could be. 


The sculptural quality of these stag horn ferns will be a welcome green addition to the porch. One may stay potted, the other mounted for hanging. Some artichoke thistle also made the cut to fill some vintage concrete saucer planters. Pics to follow once they get going.


A cocktail is definitely in order after a good day of running, hauling and yard work. So, while you’re firing up the grill you might want to sip on my Blueberry Bourbon Cocktail. Light, refreshing and a dose of antioxidants to boot. Grab a glass and muddle 8-10 fresh mint leaves in an ounce of home-made blueberry syrup. Add 2 oz. Bourbon and a handful of ice, give it a quick stir and top it off with a splash of Vernors Original Ginger Soda. You’re welcome.

Photos: gp





For everything…

May 22, 2016

there is a season. Now that we’re nearing the end of May, the time for tulips is coming to a close. There could not have been a more perfect simplequietmodern finale than these Parrot tulips…my hands down favorite…in my favorite tulip color.



whtPrrtBnch adj

What’s moving  in to take their place through the summer months will be equally simple…a single (maybe two ) Monstera  dropped into a glass cylinder. Cost effective at less than ten dollars a piece, this one has been going strong for over a month. Fresh…modern…sculptural. I can see this being my “go to” until Fall.





Large or small…

May 19, 2016

hand knit or woven, I’m a sucker for a blanket. This Faribault classic, in wool and recycled acrylic fiber could come in handy over the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. Toss it in the car for a weekend road trip , spread it on the ground for a concert or picnic in the park or pull it over your shoulders for a nap on the porch. Did I mention it was made in America?





Top photo:

Additional whip stitch border colors:



It’s always good to follow ones intuition. While this particular stop was not planned, it couldn’t have produced a better result…this vintage Eero Saarinen executive lounge chair with walnut legs designed for Knoll in 1957.








If April showers bring May flowers, a wet Spring weekend also provides just enough time indoors to knock out a batch of these…Brown Butter Bourbon Blondies.




I adjusted Phyllis Grant’s adaptation of Mark Bittman’s Butterscotch Brownies by adding a cup of coarsley chopped toasted walnuts and replacing 3 of the 4 teaspoons of vanilla with Bourbon. Now we’re talking…I should have made a double batch. You can find the original adaptaton here: