FRIDAY FLOWERS: A WHOLE LOT ‘O YELLOW GOING ON

The late summer garden in all its yellow glory!

From Tickseed/Coreopsis

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to a stunning yellow zinnia

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to Helianthus/Sunflower

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To one beautiful daylily

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It’s a late summer garden!

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TRAVEL: DISCOVER VALLE CRUCIS, N.C.

We were in search of a few days relief from the all-encompassing heat and humidity that comes hand in hand with living in central North Carolina. A quick trip was what we were after. We considered the coast: after all, Ocracoke,  Kiawah, Bald Head Island and many more are within an easy drive and offer beautiful beaches. But no, the thought of the searing sand and relentless sun made us cringe.

The answer was to head for the mountains. And, lucky for us, the Blue Ridge Mountains are only about a three hour drive from our house, due west.

Are you familiar with the Blue Ridge Parkway? I had never driven on it. I assumed (WRONG!) it would be similar to our old stomping grounds, the Taconic Parkway in New York State. While the Taconic is lovely and offers a true view of the real Hudson Valley and beyond, the Blue Ridge is just plain dramatic.

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For one who is “height challenged” I actually did quite well! The drop offs are buffered, somewhat, by stone walls.

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This is a view of Bass Lake taken from the Moses Cone Mansion in Blowing Rock.

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The best part of our getaway was staying at
The Mast Farm Inn

Yes, this is a first-class, lovely, understated, peaceful, no-request-is-too-much kind of place. Take a look at their site and see what I mean.

This was the view from our room:

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The upper left house, The Loom House, was built @1810 as the original building on the farm. It is now the oldest inhabitable log cabin in North Carolina. Yes, you can stay in it!

Look at all the moss and textures on these roofs. It was a wonderful sight to see!

Our RoomLovely blue toile fabric everywhere, including a comfortable sofa, two armchairs and a rocking chair. Every day a personal note would appear like the one above. The king size bed was very comfortable. There were plenty of
standing and table lamps. The bathroom worked perfectly. It was quiet.

And…ta da…. there are NO televisions in any of the rooms. My kind of place!

Each morning, at 8 AM, a basket was delivered to our door with pre-breakfast tea or coffee.

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You know I am picky about my tea and can smell and taste a once upon a time used for coffee container….not so here. The thermos had only the freshest, pure water for my tea!

Breakfast was served every morning between 8:30-9:30. While I did not take any pictures of it, please believe me that is was lovely. One of the best things about their breakfast is having your own table. No, no communal tables here. That is probably one of our pet peeves about most B&B’s and small hotels. I do NOT want to converse with my fellow travelers at breakfast!

And then we have the gardens. The Inn grows (almost) all the vegetables and fruits used in the restaurant.

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The garden is just across the road, in front of the barn, and can be thoroughly enjoyed by sitting on the front porch of the Inn in a rocking chair. Sounds good, no?

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Early morning tea looking over at the gardens…

Do you have a favorite place to escape to? Have you ever been to this area? We would all love to know!

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FRIDAY FLOWERS

This was a totally, as in TOTALLY, new plant to me until just a few weeks ago.

Tibouchina urvilleana
aka   Glory Bush

Isn’t it magnificent? It can grow to be about 3-6 Ft. wide and high. I bought it at a very good nursery in Chapel Hill where I was told it would be fine in our zone. But when I go on line all the sites seems to indicate it’s hardiness in Zone 10-11 which is Florida. So…we will see. I’ll be sure to cover it on cold nights. But if it does well and is alive and well next spring, I will most certainly buy another one or two!

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What a gorgeous color.

Happy weekend to everyone!

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THIS….IS WHO I AM GOING TO VISIT IN ENGLAND!

Some of you (bloggers) may know her. But if you don’t, let me introduce

Julie, of Peonies and Posies

Yes, Julie has invited me for a visit while I am in England. Julie and I met while taking the Blogging Your Way course from Decor8 and  were partners in a project. As I have said before, I have met so many wonderful new friends through this course. Another one is being offered in the Fall 2014 and is geared to the experienced, advanced blogger so I just might have to do it. Blogging friends, are you going to join me?

Anyway, when Julie and I started talking about my trip to England, way back in April, she invited me to stay.

I am so looking forward to this experience! Julie is, among many other things, a very accomplished gardener . You can read a bit about her path to gardening here.

On her blog Home page she has side “galleries” of her garden images broken down by season. It’s a very effective way of showing images and then being able to click  to enlarge.

Julie Collage

All images ©Julie King

Yes, her photographs are really good!

We hope to spend some time in Cambridge and then the next day visit some local nurseries, have lunch outdoors and maybe visit some friends.

Thank you, in advance, to Julie and her family for having me to visit: I am so looking forward to it.

P.S. You can like her Facebook page here.

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FRIDAY FLOWERS: UP IN THE MOUNTAINS

How in the world did it get to be 10 PM on Thursday evening? For once, I totally forgot about my
Friday Flowers post! So this will short and sweet.

We spent a few days up in the mountains of western North Carolina: I will do a complete post on this getaway in the very near future…but for now, just a few images of flowers.

The gardens were just beautiful: the weather up there is made for cottage gardens!

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And my favorite:

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Don’t forget: more on the
Mother Daughter Travel Series
coming next week!

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