...because there is a little country living in all of us

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Watch for Falling Leaves

I am bursting with excitment today to share this with you.  Last week, I was heading to work at our family dairy farm on a sunny October day.  The drive usually takes about thirty minutes but this day it took a tad-bit longer, because I stopped at every turn along the way to stand amazed at the beauty around me.  I tried to capture it all for you, but these photos don't really do justice.  I wish you could have ridden along with me to see for yourself, but nevertheless, try to imagine the sun hitting each tree just right that it glowed with color as if ablaze.  It was breath-taking!

When I finally arrived at the farm, I wanted to see more and because I had time, I took a walk on the woody acreage out back.

On my walk, I discovered an apple tree in the woods.  I wish you could have smelled all the fresh apples.  It was wonderful!

I hope you enjoyed my little color tour!

Have a gorgeous fall,

Maria ~Rusty Hinge

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Gardeners, Don't Give Up

I am sorry that I have been featuring gardening in all my posts lately.  It's just that in a couple months, all this will be buried under feet of snow and I want to make sure it is completely out of my system before then!

I think the fall garden is the crescendo of all the seasons.  The temptation for many gardeners it to let everything slide after summer blooms fade and the first frost hits, but I think the fall can be the best of all with a little bit of work.

The last two years I have been planting late bloomers to build up fall color in my border.  Flowers, such as mums, asters, Joe Pie weed, sedum, hydrangeas, Ornamental Kale (started from seed in the spring), Viburnum and many different ornamental grasses come to peak now.  The cold nights even bring out brighter colors in some of them.

It is very important to continue watering, even though it seems unnecessary, many flowers can die off during dry times in fall.  Now is the time to move anything around in your borders or plant anything new you want to try.  Keep up the weeding as well!  Pull 'em before they set their seeds.  And don't forget about putting in more spring bulbs!  I have put in bulbs during a wet, cold sleet before, but it was all worth it the following spring!  So it isn't too late to go pick some up.

A zinnia that survived the first frost. 

Hardy hibiscus comes in all sizes and colors.  And so easy to care for, so try it in your garden. 

Hydrangea blooms, my favorite.

I love this Autumn Charm Sedum.  It adds so much color to the fall border.

A Carefree Sunshine Yellow Rose still blooms into fall!

Joe Pie Weed takes over in the back of the border when others start to fade.

You can always get late bursts of color with dwarf asters.

A pink hardy mum just about to open...

Continue to cut down all spent flowers so all the bloomers stand out!

I am sorry if I am boring you with garden shots, don't worry after the snow flies, I will have six long winter months to show you all my decorating projects.  Stay tuned for pictures of my indoor fall decor, our master bedroom and my linen collection.  I promise you will not be disappointed!

Thank-you very much for continuing to check in.  I am having so much fun, and I appreciate each one of you who follow and leave encouraging comments.  On a long, busy day it is such a treat to read them.  A big thank-you goes out to you!

And on a final note, I want to officially welcome all of you to an Antique Barn Sale at my house on October 29.  Stay tuned for details and pictures.

Happy last minute gardening!

 Maria ~Rusty Hinge

Friday, October 7, 2011

Cool Country Porches

I have a special treat for you.  Today, I have the privilege of welcoming a guest post from Susi, who writes for the online retailer Arcadian Lighting.  She did a wonderful job and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I have!

Visit their website for more information about the company's home lighting products, light fixtures and lamps.  Check out their cool blog while you're there.

A porch is more than a place to enter the home.  Covered and screened country porches can be turned into outdoor living rooms and dining rooms if there is the space.  Smaller porches are the perfect place for a few plants, maybe a chair to sit and have tea.  We've found eight cool country porches that range from small to grand.  Enjoy!

Country Porches
Walt Landi via
A fireplace on the porch is perfect for cool nights.  Adirondack chairs provide comfortable, cool country seating.

Country Porches
A Primitive Place via
Aged woods and faded wickers give this country porch a soft gray palette.  Love the mix of textiles in soft hues of orange and rose that add some color.

Country Porches
Better Homes and Gardens via
The candle lantern adds country charm to this cool porch.  A riot of fall mums and grasses fill the space with color and texture.  Love the canvas bag filled with plants on the door.

Country Porches
Pinterest via
One side of a larger porch can make a cool country outdoor dining room.  White chairs, a colorful green table and a cool little faux lighting fixture set the stage for beautiful summer flowers.

Country Porches
Better Homes and Gardens via
A small porch, or portico, is still cool with its brown and white painted arch.  The floral design is an unexpected touch to the country architecture.  Looks lovely with autumn floral decorations.

Country Porches
Martha Stewart via
Shaker style rockers are classic country style.  They look cool in black on an all white porch.  An antique side table is a charming addition to this cool country porch.

Country Porches
Flickr via
Glossy white paint on the floor and ceiling of this country porch make it feel light and airy.  Black furnishings and warm colored cushions, and flowers give it a fall feeling.  Love the look of that black bell jar hanging lantern.

Country Porches
Southern Accents via
The architecture of this cool country porch is stunning, especially the arches.  Located on Kiawah Island, this porch is decorated with tons of Southern charm.

Susi is a writer for Arcadian lighting which is a splendid website full of the newest trends in lighting fixtures and design!

Thank-you, Susi, you really pin-pointed my style with your guest post!  I love these porches!  They have all inspired me with their design.  You are welcome back here anytime!

Maria ~Rusty Hinge

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Saying Farewell to Summer

Hello again, everyone!  I hope you are all having a wonderful Sunday.  I awoke this morning with the sun streaming through my window, and after a week of rain, I was overjoyed.  Then, I saw the white frost blanketing my gardens.  We have officially had our first hard frost here in northern Michigan.  Today, I said good-bye to summer and another growing season.  This inevitable day is always hard for me every year, so today I want to celebrate what was my summer garden, and share one last look at it with you.

This is my little metal chandelier I have hanging from the tree branch above my rose iron bistro table and chair set.

An old bicycle with a burlap-lined basket is packed with impatiens.  Clematis vine twines around the bicycle wheel.

A Carpet Rose variety.  Although very thorny, it is hardy and blooms all summer long!

I picked up this chippy, wicker plant stand at a garage sale for a couple dollars!  The pink impatiens match my pink porch chairs.

Thank-you for joining me on one last stroll through my summer garden.  I hope you have enjoyed yourself as much as I have.  Although bittersweet, today turned out to be a beautiful fall day.

Maria ~Rusty Hinge