Blooming Trees and bumblebees

I promised I would post something about the Botanic gardens and not just the antique show that happened  week ago, these are a few from the gardens. If you live in the area, it truly is a nice place to visit.

The japanese gardens are probably my favorite, they have little pagodas and mugo pines and a japanese style bridge along the paths.

These trees I named the crew cut trees but they are amazing, there is a path that is lined on both sides with theses trees and looking down the path it looks really cool. The photos you are able to take here are amazing the light is filtered and its full of color. Just fantastic.

There are also the inside gardens as I call them, but they are actually green houses with a different type of environment in each house. This one was gardenias and palms and venus flytraps, among others.

The palm trees in the green house.

This is the little bumblebee that came with us, matching his yellow shoes.

I hope you find my pics interesting enough to get you to go, if your ever in the Chicago area. It really is a great way to spend the day.


Botanic Garden Antique Show

This saturday my girlfriends and I, along with our kiddies, went to the Botanic Gardens in Glencoe. It's a beautiful garden by itself but this weekend was the antique show and sale. Lets just say, I probably won't be coming back for the antiques anytime soon, or ever, but I want to come back to the gardens again when everything is in full bloom.

The antiques were for the most part, pretty mehh. And pricy$$$$$. There were a couple things that I took photos of that were a bit unique but even the more modern things were way too overpriced. I think I'll stick to the thrift stores and Broadway Antique Mall instead.

These were a few that caught my eye.

A great idea for any type of sports paraphernalia, maybe old football helmets, the ones that used to be leather, or golf shoes granted the shadow box would be thicker but I think it could work. 

I don't know for sure if that perforated looking egg is a garden stool, it looks a little fragile to sit on. The orchids, well they are just plain lovely, but the shell box that they were in was priced at $750.00 sorry, I think I'll pass. 

This installation has to be my favorite, for the kites. I believe that those are a permanent fixture in the gallery space and the table might have been temporary.  This would work if you had a large skylight in your home or maybe a sunroom, how pretty would that look with the filtered light coming through? 

Overall, it was a wonderful saturday, time spent with friends was worth it even though nothing was of particular interest or affordability.


Which natural fiber rug should I go with?

I currently have a ikea rug, it's not bad, but with a child and dog and shoes, it's seen better days. Not saying I don't try and take care of it, I try not to wear shoes in the house and usually someone ends up tracking in with shoes onto the rug.

Even last summer I washed it. Scrubbed, hard, on my hands and knees, to be exact, but it's not lookin' too pretty. So I think I want to go with a natural fiber rug. The one we currently have is a red rug with white and brown twigs on it, the white twigs aren't so white anymore. I don't even want to show you how ugly its become.

Help me decide which rug to go with. I like the dark chocolate since it is so dark, stains and dirt shouldn't show up to easily on it. But the diamond juste from west elm is pulling at my heart strings. Its thicker and that fab diamond pattern is a bit more contemporary than the jute/sisal rugs I saw at pottery barn. But either way I would like to know if you have experience with either of these rugs or natural rugs in the past and any comments are welcome.


Imagine this!!!!!

Well that's one way of me trying to sell this idea to my husband. I know he would never go for it but its fun to think what we can get done. Since I don't see ourselves living in this house much longer, not that I don't love it but we need more space, but I don't want to do too much to the landscaping.

Yeah I'm sure the pergola is not gonna fly, its way too much to spend on a decorative object but I thought hey why the hell not, if I'm photoshopping some landscaping why not go all the way.

So you see we are going to get our siding done, we dont have much since the house is all brick its just that triangle up in front and the back, which you cant see from this angle, of the house which is the negative space of the triangle. Oh and the garage, which isnt much we are also planning on doing the soffits and fascia and gutter and I want to go a dark grey but Im not sure if we can do the same thing for the gutters and everything or if that needs to be special ordered. 

But on to the landscaping. We are replacing the cherry tree with a nishiro japanese willow and behind it will be pink and yellow scotch brooms that grow pretty fast. And then I want to add some sort of grass that is a perennial, like maybe pampas or some other ornamental grass to give it some height. Also there will be some mounding white flowers and to give the rock facade some more color, there will be overflowing ground cover that spills over the rocks. In the back, on the right side of the fence where it currently is dead now will be my autumn clematis, that grows green all summer long just to bloom in august when the rest of the flowers are done. Smells so pretty especially at night when the windows are open, I love that time of the year. 

I went yesterday and bought some of the items listed like the scotch brooms, in yellow and pink, although they are pretty small they grow really fast, and to pay $20 for a full grown one was ridiculous since the ones that are for $6 will grow in about a month to the other size and be fully grown by the middle of summer anyhow. 

Also for $5 a pot there was montana sandwort, never seen it before but it grows in clumps and its perennial. So I picked up 3 pots. 

It's not much but it does add up quickly, the most expensive thing will be the willow tree and the extra soil we will need to raise the bed up, which I'm figuring to need about a ton? So you see when I go to my husband and say "Imagine this" he's gonna ask me how much and do we really need a pergola?

Well no we don't need it, but it sure looks pretty. 

Oh and just to leave you with a pretty pic, this is our flowering crabapple that I picked up for $30!! It was being nursed back to health and no one wanted it, but I saw the potential and after 2 years its holding up pretty well. 

Wish me luck, and if any of you gardeners out there have any suggestions on anything that I have talked about please feel free to comment and give me any advice. I sometimes get lucky and pick the right type of planting but this is fairly new to me for front yard landscaping.


It's so hard to say goodbye to cherry tree

I know its corny, but I have to admit, it was hard to say goodbye to our purple sand cherry tree. When we bought our house 5 years ago the thing that drew me to the house was the full size cherry tree that was cascading over the property in front of the windows.

This was taken two years ago, but you can see the tree in the background, how big the trunk was.

From this angle you can see the branch that cascades over the front lawn.

Unfortunately I don't have a pic of the front of the house with the tree in bloom, never thought I wouldn't have the chance to take a pic.

Last year we noticed that the tree wasn't getting  leaves through some of the top branches, and I noticed some white stuff growing on the bark. I took a pic of the stuff and took it to our local nursery. They took a look and said it was lichen and that it was ok, its not going to harm the tree. Well in the spring we usually get beautiful pink flowers all over the tree not so much this year. I called an arborist out to the house and he said that there was nothing we can do to save the tree, it had gotten peach tree borers. It was 60% dead. 

Thats sad, I was hoping we can spray something on it but unfortunately this type of tree, which is a purple sand cherry doesn't live past 15 years, and its probably right at that marker. Plus our neighbor has the exact same tree and he got the peach borers also. So not only is my full grown tree going but so is theirs.

This is what it looked like before we cut it down, it wasn't really blooming, except for the lowest branch everything else was dead. Look how pitiful it looks, by this time it would have had a mound of pink flowers on it. 

But today after cutting it down, even the skies are sad, well not really I just took the photo later in the day.

It really is EMPTY now. We are planning on planting something in that spot and I thought of adding some other type of tall plants but thats going to take me a bit before I get the plan together. I really wasn't planning on replacing the tree at all and in the last two weeks I have had to come to the decision that curb appeal means a lot if you want to sell a house. I know that is what drew me to this house so we will have to do our best to liven up the curb appeal before we think about selling. 


Just a little bit of sumfin sumfin

I love gold. I didn't before. My wedding ring and engagement ring are platinum and I have always liked silver or white gold but a couple of years ago I started to like gold again. Yellow gold, the yellower the better. I loved how warm and rich it looked on anyones skin. Gold, being so expensive nowadays I have to resort to gold look alikes. Which is fine but I usually break out in hives from the fakes. I saw a couple of these pieces on Gilt Group awhile ago.  Gilt, whats Gilt Group you say? Well its a shopping pass that you need an invite to get on and it has the most amazing designer things for sale for a limited time and of a limited quantity.  And the great thing about Gilt is if you sign up and you send someone a link to sign up once that someone buys something, Gilt gives you $25 to go towards your Gilt account. I have a link in my side bar, please click and get your own personalized invite to join. But anyways...

They have had some awesome deals in the past these are a couple of the ones that I wanted to get, some were waaaayy out of my price range, but most were not.

Do you bless your eggs?

You know I have always thought of myself as a pretty smart person. I mean sometimes I'm gullible but I figure I'm a well read, rounded and for the most part street savvy girl. I mean I did grow up in Chicago, and maybe that was the problem. Granted I came to the US when I was 6 yrs old so I grew up here and I'm pretty aware of all of our customs. But if you know anything about Chicago, besides that its the windy city, the land of mobsters and the mag mile, is that it's the largest population of Polish people outside of Warsaw (for those that don't know thats the capitol of Poland). I believe it too. If you are a polack, and trust me I can say polack, as its not used a derogatory word when used by a polish person; we'll get into this some other day, when in Poland there are mostly 4 places we immigrate too on a large scale basis. Chicago, New York/New Jersey (counts as 1) Canada I know this is a little broad, and Australia.

So growing up in Chicago is essentially like growing up in Poland. I went to polish school to learn to read, write and history on Saturday, I went to polish highlander dancing on Saturday night, we went to polish mass, we shopped at the polish deli, we hung around with polacks, and so on and so forth. So when I got my first real job in the industry, I was working with people that had many different backgrounds. Religious and nationality.

Imagine my disbelief that everyone didn't celebrate the holiday the same way we do. I innocently asked another catholic at work "so are you gonna get your eggs blessed this saturday?" He being a male guffawed and first thought of his own eggs, "not those, I meant your EGGS, and your sausage, and your bread in your basket!"


I think thats when it really hit me, I mean; I went to art school, hung out with people of different cultures and religions, but I guess easter and blessing of the baskets was never a subject that we talked about. I was surprised to hear that even my italian american Catholic friend didn't celebrate this tradition.  I honestly thought that this was a Catholic tradition and not just polish, being that every year the saturday before easter it was not just polacks that came to church it was other americans with their Easter baskets filled with wonderful smells of kielbasa, bread, butter in the shape of a lamb, horseradish and of course dyed eggs covered with a lace doily waiting for your chance to get your basket blessed by the holy water.

I have come to realize that its only a polish tradition not a catholic one, and I love it. My daughter is half filipino and although they are a very catholic country, they don't celebrate this holiday quite the same. But one thing I know for sure is that she will grow up getting her easter basket blessed with kielbasa and eggs and hopefully keep this tradition and pass it on to her children one day.

But however you celebrated your easter, with a tradition of blessing or a tradition of hunting I hope it was a good one. 

And I might be that last person showing this but I had to share with anyone who hadn't had a chance to see this. Slovenian artist Franc Grom drills a hole in an empty egg shell in Vrhnika, Slovenia on April 9, 2009. Grom drills thousands of holes into egg shells to create unique Easter eggs of fragile beauty.

Go and see more images that celebrate easter around the world.


Quote of the Week

I should not laugh at this but my grandma got her drivers license taken away, for good reason. I swear the last time I was in the car with her, and she had a license still, I was gripping the handle until my knuckles turned white. So yeah, I can kinda relate and I think this quote is funny.

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