Tag: fall

Setting the Scene for an Autumn Celebration

How is the weather in your Garden Home? It’s glorious here with warm days and crisp nights – the perfect time for throwing a garden party.

October Garden Party

Details

When it comes to entertaining I like to create a welcoming environment for my guests. I want them to feel completely at ease and enjoy themselves.

Tablevogue table covers will make any type of table party-ready.  Tablevogue table covers have a tailored seam and box pleats that give the table an upscale look.

A round table makes it easy for guests to go around and choose what they like to eat and visit with one another.

Bring autumn’s colors to your table with bright tableware, pumpkins, gourds and glazed vases filled with flowers.

The alstroemeria and lilies I used are long lasting so I can make the arrangements a day or two in advance.

The décor is rustic using garden elements such as pumpkins, grape vine, gourds and wheat stalks. Easy and relaxed, which sets the tone for the gathering.

Accents

Tablevogue 72” Round Table Cover in Natural

Le Creuset Dinnerware in Cassis

Glassybaby Votive Candles

Menu Ideas

Pumpkin Pie Martini
Citrus Tea
Assorted Cheeses and Pickled Vegetables
Grilled Mushrooms Stuffed with Artichoke Hearts
Cinnamon Apple Chips
Honey Glazed Pecans
Shrimp Over Rice
Rustic Pear Cranberry Tart
Caramel Apples

Game Day Gatherings

Football season is getting underway this month so lots of folks are discussing their favorite teams and planning game day gatherings.  And while I don’t claim to know a lot about football, I do know something about parties and a tailgate party is fun way to celebrate with friends and family.

A backyard or patio is the perfect place to set up a tailgate, especially on a beautiful autumn day. All you need is good food, a few lawn games, drinks and plenty of team spirit. Include a few of these game day essentials and your guests will feel like they are at the stadium minus the traffic jams or bathroom lines.

1. Winning Table
Give your buffet and folding card tables team spirit with a table cover from Team Tablevogue.
They feature the logos of numerous collegiate teams and fit neatly over standard-size folding tables.
Available from Team Tablevogue.


2. The Wheel Deal
Forget lugging your food, drinks and tableware to friend’s tent. Drinks, appetizers, plates and more all fit neatly inside this rolling cooler.
Available from Brookstone.
[photo courtesy of Brookstone.com]

3. Give Me an “A”
Face it—cheers just sound better with a few pom-poms in the background. Plus, they’ll add color to your tent or tailgate.
Available from GameDayPoms.com.
[photo courtesy of GameDayPoms.com]

4. Stadium Crystal
Toast a victory with a shatter-proof version of a well-loved drinking glass.
Available from Target.
[photo courtesy of Target.com]

5. Fun and Games
Don’t forget the entertainment! Challenge your friends to a game of bag toss or ladder golf before you head into the stadium.
Available from Frontgate.
[photo courtesy of Frontgate.com]

6. Meal at Hand
The Drink-and-Plate keeps refreshments together in one place, giving you a free hand to cheer.
Available from Shop.InstantTailgate.com.
[photo courtesy of Shop.InstantTailgate.com]

7. Field of Teams
Fun meets functional in this pack-and-go table that mimics the playing field.
Available from Sports Authority.
[photo courtesy of SportsAuthority.com]

8. Tech Support
Spend less time setting up the satellite and more time enjoying the other game’s around the country before heading into your own stadium.
Available from Dish Network via Amazon.com.
[photo courtesy of Amazon.com]

Win a Team Tablevogue table cover!

Tell me which college football team you cheer for in the comments section below. I’ll select a winner at random on Wednesday August 28, 2013.
Up for grabs is a 34-inch square Team Tablevogue table cover in any of the available team logos. Click here to view the team logos.

If your team isn’t available or, perish the thought, you don’t have a team you can choose an unembellished Tablevogue 34-inch square table cover. Click here to view.

Congratulations to Debbie Dillon! She was selected using Random.org to receive a Team Tablevogue table cover with her team’s logo! Go Texas A&M Aggies!

Simple Gifts from the Garden

I’m excited to guest host #GardenChat tonight. It’s a weekly Twitter based “party” where gardeners from across the country get together to talk about gardening and whatever else is on our minds. It’s a great way to make friends and learn something you might not know about the garden.If you want to join me on #GardenChat it starts at 9 p.m. EST. Click here for the what fors and how tos.

#GardenChat is how I met Bren who coordinates the event and writes the blog BGGarden. She has contributed this week’s guest post. Everyone give her a big welcome to my blog!

If you are like many Americans, you will be watching A Charlie Brown Christmas during your Thanksgiving evening turkey sandwich snack.  What would the holidays be without a glimpse of the past when having a puny little tree reflected the true meaning behind Christmas?  This classic cartoon captures wonderful morals filled with the basic principle of making the most of what you have.  When I think simple, I can’t help but think of using items that make up my garden each year.

 

A wonderful tradition enjoyed by my family is to use treasures from the garden on our Christmas tree: Simple projects that include the children, like drying blooms from our favorite hydrangea shrub; Preserving memories while teaching the children that gardening is more then just enjoyment in the summer months but something that can be carried on into the next growing season. Drying hydrangeas for the Christmas tree is super easy if you remember that you will get the best results by cutting 12″ stems during the months of August through October.  Cutting fresh, recently opened blooms does not dry well in the open air.  Letting the blooms hang in a dry area for a few weeks teaches the children patience and that good things come to those who wait.   Basic craft projects like this will yield the benefits of expressing your creativity without spending a lot of money.

 

Think beyond what you’ve grown and preserved by using clean hand tools and miniature birdhouses in the decorating.   Pulling items you use in the garden make a wonderful natural garden theme on a low budget.  I can’t explain the visual sensation experienced when seeing my favorite vacant birdhouse with the Christmas lights sparkling around it.  You can also use burlap that is commonly used to wrap young shrubs in the garden as a tree skirt to complete the garden themed tree.

 

It seems that the true significance of the holidays has been lost in our society, having been cluttered by the average person’s busy schedule.   If time is budgeted, you can save money while attaching new memories to this time of year by making use of what you have – from the garden.

 

Happy Halloween!

Who doesn’t love a wacky Halloween party? Last Monday I blogged about how I was getting ready for the annual Halloween fest by making floating Jack-o-lanterns. Today I’ll show you pictures from this weekend’s celebration.

The party got off to a bang when the ghouls arrived. The ghosts of river people long dead.

I greeted them on my porch along with my guests.

What tasty fare filled the black caldron? Hot white chicken chili or lentils and ham. Yum!

A decoration often used at Halloween, the raven portrays darkness and trickery.

I think I scared this river spirit.

As darkness fell and the festivities wound to a close, the ghosts of the river people returned to whence they came.

Halloween Pumpkin How To

These suspended Jack-o-lanterns are a whimsical spin on an old Halloween favorite. I’m making them again this year for the annual Halloween fete at the Garden Home Retreat. I like to hang them from the arbors attached to the art studio and summer kitchen. Glowing in the darkness they appear to be hovering above the guests.

Making a floating Jack-o-lantern is easy. Here is a photo journal of the steps. Click here for complete instructions.

I made some of the faces on my pumpkins happy & smiley, others ghostly & scary.

A dowel inserted through holes on either side of the pumpkin provided somewhere to tie the wire.

To come up with the wire length I measured how far down I wanted the pumpkins to hang & doubled it. Then I tacked on a few inches for tying to the dowels.

I dropped in LED tea lights before hanging the pumpkins. They don't give off that scent of candle warmed pumpkin, but they are safer and won't blow out.

Fallscaping: Fall for Autumn

I had the pleasure of meeting Helen Yoest at the blogger conference held at the Garden Home Retreat last spring. Helen is a garden writer and speaker through her business Gardening with Confidence ™ and also serves on the board of advisors for the JC Raulston Arboretum.

You can follow Helen on Twitter @HelenYoest and her Facebook friend’s page, Helen Yoest or Gardening With Confidence ™ Facebook Like Page and catch up with Helen via her blog at www.gardeningwithconfidence.com

In this guest blog post she shares the beauty of her North Carolina garden in fall and inspires us to take a look at what’s going on in our own autumn landscapes.

It seems everyone is a gardener in the spring, many of us continue into the summer, but only a few add flowers for the fall. Yet the fall is the perfect time to be in the garden

With the dog days of summer behind us, October opens with cooler air and less humidity creating a fresh scent and a sense of excitement. The source of this excitement may be for no reason other than it being bearable enough to be outside once again.

Indeed, October, and throughout the fall, is an ideal time to plan and plant new garden beds to ready oneself for the next year. The fall is also an ideal time to enjoy what the months have to offer.

The fall is also more than just flowers. There is color from foliage, there is scent, textures, and fruit and berries. With our area’s late frost date, we often find our gardens providing interest and intrigue well into November.

Flowers, Foliage, Fruit

Summer color can be extended into the fall with Asters, Anemones, Eupatoriums, Helianthus, Salvias, and Sedums. There’s also beautyberry, fothergilla, and golden rod.

Gingers are releasing scent to waft the thinner air, with flirty flowers causing reason to stare. Roses are regaling, hardy Begonia beguiling, Amsonia amazing. The ripened figs become a destination for one of nature’s most delicious delicacies.

Color, Scent, Texture

Reds dominate. Yellows generate. Purples empower. Grasses sway, with flags as flowers. Crepe Myrtle’s bark shed creating unique texture and mottling. The Maples mission is fulfilled as the last red leaf falls to the ground and yellow Gingko leaves make mass merriment.

The seed heads of Black-eyed Susans add texture and interest to the garden long after the birds finished them off.

Wildlife

The butterflies and hummingbirds are also busy in the fall garden as they ready themselves for a long journey south. The flowers of perennial Chrysanthemums such as ‘Sheffield Pink’ make the most perfect landing pad for a butterfly.

Hummingbirds pause mid-air to sip nectar from a Canna. Monarchs are grateful to find nectar still rich. Finches steady themselves as they feed on seeds. The box turtle moseys around the tomatoes eating what the birds or deer knocked to the ground.

Autumn was made for sitting on the patio to watch in wonder. Fall gardening does not need to be all about what needs to be done for the future. It can also be about what is available now. In the wise words of garden writer Elizabeth Lawrence, “Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn.”

Enjoy your garden this fall and all the falls to come. As you plan and plant, include fall peaking selections in your choices.

Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris) - Photo Courtesy of Helen Yoest

Blue Atlas Cedar - Photo Courtesy of Helen Yoest

Crinum - Photo Courtesy of Helen Yoest

Hardy Cyclamen - Photo Courtesy of Helen Yoest

Dahlias - Photo Courtesy of Helen Yoest

Fall Textures - Photo Courtesy of Helen Yoest

Gourds and Mini Pumpkins - Photo Courtesy of Helen Yoest

Mexican Sage (Salvia leucantha) - Photo Courtesy of Helen Yoest

 

A Cord, A Peck and a Whole Mess of Greens

The changing leaf color is one way to tell its autumn, but my signals tend to be a little more quantifiable. On my fall check list are a cord of firewood, a peck of apples and a whole mess of greens.

Even though it might still be too hot for a fire, the arrival of a cord of wood means to me that cooler temperatures are soon to follow. Even more than smoke from a fireplace, the smell of split oak still green from the cutting puts me in an autumn state of mind.

Next on my list of signs of fall? Picking up a peck of apples from a roadside farm stand. Just in case you don’t know four pecks make up a bushel.

If you’re at the farm and I’m serving greens, you can bet it’s fall. Greens such as kale, collards and turnips are usually better when they mature in cool weather. A light frost will make them sweeter. Definitions of a “mess” vary with the cook, but to me it means just enough to feed everyone at the table.

All this to say that autumn has arrived at the farm. I’ve got a cord of firewood stacked up by the house, a peck of apples in the kitchen, and just this past weekend I cooked up a whole mess of greens.

What’s your favorite sign of fall?