Saturday, July 31, 2010

how do their gardens grow, part two.

Time to finish our little stroll through the quaint historic town of Ferndale, California – where old period Victorian homes and cottages line the neighborhood streets. Many of the homes were built around 1880. Each one is unique in its own way - from the colors, their gardens and their fences.

Join me, will you?

And we shall walk this way today….

down a street where this grand queen, properly titled The Gingerbread Mansion, awaits us.


P1010072 Such a sweet garden with a little hidden table to dine alfresco.

This hedge makes me think of Lifesaver candy….it brings out the kid in me and lures me to crawl through that hole – but I didn’t….



Below is a gorgeous boxwood hedge that is sculpted in a wavy pattern. The chartreuse green is a nice contrast to the darker foliage and the elegant cement fountain.






Fiona is being very patient with me as I take these photos.





On the opposite corner of the Gingerbread Mansion is this lovely white Victorian. I just love the stained glass in the windows and the diamond pattern above the lower windows. The pretty window treatments and white picket fence are so sweet!

But wait, there's more...come down this street and check out this yellow beauty and the gorgeous gardens. After that is a periwinkle blue home that is funky and fun with HUGE bright pink mop top hydrangeas.













Look, there is Duhgall!




A pretty pink door and pink cannon ball finials on the posts. Do you see the little rosette over the front window?


Look at the old metal tricycle on the porch! Isn’t that just too cute!? This house was built in 1882, as indicated on the placard.


Let’s mosey over next door to check out the violet and blue house….


Though this house didn’t have much of a garden, it did have lovely details in the scrollwork and corbels.


I hope you enjoyed the little photo tour.

The dogs had a good time and even met this sweet little Schnauzer, Maggie, along the way.

Have a sweet weekend!


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

come and join the fun!!

Have you ever met your blogging friends? I know I have and it has been such fun to actually meet them, hear them talk, see their smile and enjoy their company face to face. Dawn (Cottage State Of Mind) came up with this wonderful idea to have a blogger get together! **thank you, Miss Dawn!**

So here is the scoop:


(click on the button to sign up)

The Festival will be held at Sandi’s WONDERFUL antique store, The Green Pea Boutique, in Escalon, California. Escalon is located in the Central Valley of California (about 70 miles south of Sacramento and about 70 miles south east from San Francisco). ** There are plenty of fruit stands along the way to grab some good produce to take home, too. **

There is limited seating, so be sure to sign up as soon as possible.

Here’s how:

Sign up as soon as possible by emailing Dawn at

Put "Festival" in the subject line.

Please include the following:

Your name, blog name and URL,

location and date you started blogging.

Also indicate if we can use your name in a posted list of participants.
Don't wait, space is limited.


So please join us if you can! Lunch and dessert will be served.

We'll have a contest for the favorite name tag so get creative and make one up that reflects your blog. There will also be some giveaways and a guest speaker.

If you are traveling a good distance and need lodging, there are some nice places to stay in Modesto. Just email me and I can direct you to some lodging. The Riverbank Wine and Cheese Festival will be going on the same weekend and on Sunday there is a wonderful flea market in Sacramento. Plenty to do up in our neck of the woods!

If you are flying, the Sacramento International Airport is closest and the easiest to fly into. The other option would be San Francisco International Airport.

The Green Pea is located at:

1802 Main Street

Escalon, California

phone: (209) 838-1913

Please contact any of the following committee gals and we will answer any questions you may have. Sure hope you can join us!

Sandi (The Green Pea)

Dawn (Cottage State Of Mind)

Jean (In The Garden With Miss Jean)

and myself (Sweet Cottage Dreams)


Friday, July 23, 2010

with love, from violet – and she is having a giveaway!

Awhile back I received a special gift from my beautiful blog friend, Violet. It is such a personal gift – done with extreme detail, love and compassion. Because this is such a personal gift, I wasn’t quite sure if I would share it with all of you. (Infact, I really get embarrassed about sharing what others have lovingly given to me). HOWEVER, this would be a lovely present for you to give to someone you care about and Violet’s work is impeccable.

The gift is a precious digital oil painting of our late son, Jordan, tightly hugging me. You see, this photo was taken by my husband, unbeknownst to me, the morning of Jordan’s 25th birthday and his wedding day. My husband took it with his 35mm camera (I know, who still uses film?) and had it developed after Jordan’s passing. When I first saw it, I just broke down. However, I felt that it was a pure blessing to have and felt God and Jordan giving me a gentle hug at that very second. The photo took me back to that joyful moment in our life.

P1010021c I have shared about this photo before and Violet had read the story on my blog. She later contacted me and said that she had made the photo into an oil rendition and asked if it would be okay to send it to me. When I read her words, I wept. Of course, dear Violet, of course. Violet asked me to choose a Bible verse to go with the photo. There were several that came to my mind, but I chose Exodus 33:14 - “My presence will go with you and I will give you rest.”


Violet’s gift came wrapped in beautiful paper and tied to the bow was a little card with this special message…..a reminder that Jesus loves us.


The back of the painting has information about Violet’s fine art and contact information.


“Because Life Is A Work Of Art” ….. so true, so true!

This is a painting of sweet Violet and her beautiful dogs.



Violet, dear friend, thank you. Your loving heart has touched our family so deeply. We opened the package together, too. I knew it was coming, but my husband and son did not. We all cried – tears of joy, tears of missing our Jordan, tears of appreciation.

……and here I go again…tears welling up in my eyes.


to bring a SMILE to your face, please go over and visit Violet. Her blog is inspiring and she is also having a FANTASTIC giveaway! She is sharing great news, too! Congrats, Violet!!

AND….. like so many of you, she has an AWESOME studio where she creates!!!!!!!

So…. happy day to you all. Happy weekend and best wishes to you from me.

I will be back next week for more of our garden walk. That was fun, was it not?

love ya!

be sweet and be good to you.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

How Do Their Gardens Grow? (part one)

The historic Victorian town of Ferndale, California has an abundance of colorful period homes with lovely gardens and picket fences. My father has told me for years and years that I would fall in love with this town – and I DID! Hubby and I, with dogs in tow, strolled around town on a bright & sunny afternoon and took several photos to share with you.

What is YOUR favorite style of gardens? Do you like the formal or the not-so-formal? There was a little of both on our walk. Come along for a little “walk by”, if you will.

This beauty has more of a formal garden with boxwood hedges defining the path to the front door. This is my favorite look – very structured and elegant, and a bit mysterious with the huge hedge that surrounds this grand Victorian home.







Along our walk we discovered that you will have one “formal” garden next door to a rather “relaxed” style of garden. I like the juxtaposition of these two fences. The little white wire one is so quiant, simple and casual.



Pink scented roses lined the front of this adorable home. One of my favorite things about old homes like this is they usually have the most charming window coverings. There is something sweet about a scalloped edge pull down shade with lace curtains.



Isn’t this front door fantastic? Look at all of the details – AND the matching Victorian period light fixture that coordinates nicely.




Soothing blue paint, blue lobelia and lavender all meld together to create a serene garden.


The little details can really make the look all come together, such as the blue finials on the fence posts.


This home is sweet and understated with a neat and pristine little yard.



I had to take pictures of this home for you girls that have vintage bicycles and love pink homes.


P1010069a A bright white picket fence and a lovely gate greet you as you walk up the front path. Fun and funky details, like the bike and the pink door, give you a glimpse into the homeowner’s sense style.



I will share more of these inspiring gardens with you on the next post. Stay tuned…..

For those of you who were asking where the farmhouse is located, it is in Eureka, California. You can read more about it by clicking HERE. (now Laurie (estatez), if you buy it, let me know!!)