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Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Walk through my Neighborhood

I am not a huge fan of the desert. Yes, I know I live here, but as I’ve said before... I prefer trees, flowers. streams. You get the picture. But every year the desert gives us a gift, that comes from a very unlikely place... A Cactus! The beauty of this flower inspired me to take a walk around my neighborhood, and in my backyard, and show you some of the lovely flowers we DO have here in the Southwest. The picture above was taken in a neighbors front yard. I believe it is on some sort of barrel cactus.

This is what the flower looks like when it’s not open.

This is the flower of a Prickly Pear Cactus. (A particularly nasty cactus in my opinion, but with perfectly lovely flowers.)

Unfortunately I waited to long into the season to try and photograph the rest of the cactus that bloom here in the valley, so here are some other lovely flowers, many many are from my own backyard. The plant below is a Mexican Bird of Paradise. It’s colors are so vibrant! In fact most of the flowering plants have very bright colors, which is a good thing because the sun is so intense here it washes out color if it’s not very bright.

Lantana is a bush that I see everywhere in the valley. It’s a super performer and although it does okay in drought like situations, it thrives with just a little bit more water. I especially like the one below. It’s in my flower bed and has so many color variations all in one plant.

This yellow one is on the other side of the bed. It flowers non stop from February until the first hard freeze. (Yes we do get those a few times every year.)

Blue Cape Plumbago is another lovely plant. Unfortunately, it will soon be too hot for it and it will start to die back. Fortunately it will come back to visit next spring!!!

This is some form of Tecoma Sans Yellow Bells. (It must be the orange variety) It is a bush and grows quite large if it’s not pruned.

And last, (but not least) one of my all time favorite summer survivors... Vinca Periwinkle! This little trouper provides blooms all summer long, tolerates the intense heat and bounces back if I forget to water one day. What more could you ask????

Well, that's it. I hope you enjoyed my little walk about this morning!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

More pics for you!!!

I know I'm going a little photo crazy here, but I feel like I want enough things for everyone to look at!! My blog is very young and I know that over time I will fill it with all sorts of wonderful things... so in the mean time here are some more pics of my home...

My Kitchen

I thought I would share some photos of my kitchen. It's a not huge, but it works for us. As you can see I do NOT subscribe to the philosophy that less is more!!!

There is a peninsula that divides the breakfast table from the working part of the kitchen. Someday I would love to tear it out and put in a giant island that can serve many purposes. I love the windows. This is definitely the brightest room in my house.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Architectural Salvage in my home

More architectural salvage all through my home. This is one of my favorite vignettes in my house.

Old ceiling tin tiles make the most wonderful magnetic bulletin boards!!!

Matching corbels tend to be pretty pricey...these were no exception, but I had to have them!!!

These old posts took a new china hutch and gave it a wonderful shabby accent!

Architectural Salvage

I absolutely adore architectural salvage. I would use it everywhere if I could. Unfortunately it's usually either to hard to find locally or it's priced out of my reach. Here is how I've used what I do have in my garden. Some of my favorites to use are old iron gates. There is just something about the color and texture and the beautiful scrolly bits that get my heart pounding. I've been very lucky to find some wonderful pieces here in town...

I don't know where this old stained glass piece came from, but it looks wonderful on my back porch!!!

Another favorite of mine are old chippy window frames. I love hanging them as space dividers. This one hangs at the edge of my covered porch.

I got a pair of these columns at a local antique market for $50.00. They are so wonderful on my porch. I just love them.

Tranferware Collection

I thought I would share with you one of my favorite collections...
and one of the cool things I've done with them...I love my chandelier. It started out as your basic brass chandelier...
I added strands of pearls and hung my transferware creamers from it.
I change them out sometimes for the holidays by hanging large crystal ornaments.

These two displays flank my china hutch which holds my English Chintz collection, (But that's another post.) I love to mix old, found pieces with new pieces. It makes the collection a lot more affordable and they all blend together beautifully.
There are more plates throughout the house. I can't afford to collect fine art, so I hang plates on my walls instead!!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Wecome to my cottage!!!

Hi there and welcome to my desert cottage!! I started this blog to share my successes and my failures at trying to maintain an English style cottage in the desert. I hope you enjoy what I have to share with you. I'm sure this blog will evolve and grow as I do. Let's have some fun!!
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