Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Vase of Sunshine -- Thankful Thursday


It's Thankful Thursday and I am thankful today for the color which is starting to emerge everywhere you look. Yellow always makes me happy and hopeful.

The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses. Hanna Rion


Clcik here for more Thankful Thursday posts or go to the daisy in the sidebar.
Don't forget to visit An Herbal Bedfellow for healthy recipes made with herbs, and also my newest blog:
Happenstance House -- A journal about my Victorian home and all of it's contents.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

How Green Is Your Green?


Spring is so fickle this year. One day it's 70 degrees, and the next it's back to 45. I don't know when I'll actually be able to do some real gardening! One thing I do know is that all of the rain has turned this part of the world into an artist's palette of green!

On a driving trip up north a few days ago, I realized that here in Michigan, we sometimes take our green for granted. We say to our neighbors, "boy it sure greened up, didn't it?" But then we go about our business and forget to really look at it.

I truly love Michigan in the spring. There are so many colors of green that it's impossible to name them all. After a dark rainy day, when the sun bursts through the clouds, it's almost blinding with color!

Here are some samples of my back yard. I wish I had taken pictures on my road trip.


Blue-green ivy and lime green hosta sprouts.



Emerald green grass.



Forest green pine trees.


A River of Green.


Green ready to pop.


Green tinged with red.


Green edged with white.

The garden is sprouting shades of jade, moss green, and mint.

Years ago, I attended a quilt seminar. The speaker talked about different colors of green and how each state has it's particular shades and hues of greens which are reflected in the fabric stores in that area and therefore shows up in the quilts -- becoming a way to research the origin of old quilts. It was the first time I was aware of the many colors of green.

What shades of green are you seeing now?




Don't forget to visit An Herbal Bedfellow for healthy recipes made with herbs, and also my newest blog:
Happenstance House -- A journal about my Victorian home and all of it's contents.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Life Well Read - Giveaway


Have you heard of A Life Well Read, My Personal Journey Through Books put out by A Life Unplugged? I thought my gardening and cooking friends would especially enjoy it. A while ago a friend showed hers to me, and I knew right away I had to have one for myself.
It is an extremely well thought out concept for book readers of any kind. It comes in a beautiful box with a floral design. Inside you'll find large cards that you use as bookmarks for each book you read. You fill out the cards with the title and author of the book, where you got it, and when. Then you can make notes on your thoughts and ideas as you read. On the back there's a place to fill in your lending history (who you gave it to and when it was returned), and a section for book club dates and comments. When you're finished with the book, you file the card in one of several categories; My Books, Books on Loan, Books I Want, Books To Give and My Favorites. It even comes with blank dividers so you can create your own category.

I was excited to see two kinds of elegant bookplates that say either " from the personal library of ---" or "this gift is especially for---". These are perfect when giving a gift or just loaning your book out. And this wonderful set even comes with a very nice pen!

I've said it before, I'm a compulsive list maker. A Life Well Read has made it possible to keep track of all of my books -- from garden books, to herbal books, to historical fiction and mysteries. Besides being functional, it's so beautiful, I really enjoy using it.

If you're interested in buying one for yourself, they are running a Mother's Day special right now:
25% off for Mothers Day!
Dates of Sale: April 20-May 10
Order by May 4th to Guarantee Mothers Day delivery.

GIVEAWAY ALERT!!!




I'm happy to tell you that A Life Unplugged is giving away one boxed set. Here's your chance to have one of your very own.

1. Leave a comment about something you learned while visiting A Life Unplugged, or tell me how you would like to use this journal.
(You may enter once a day but on the following entries there's no need to leave a new answer.)

2. For a second chance to win, sign up as an e-mail subscriber with Feedburner, Feed Blitz, or become a Google Follower (see sidebar.)
Then leave a following comment for each subscription telling me you have subscribed or that you are already a subscriber.

3. For a third chance to win, blog about this contest with a link here, then come back and leave another comment telling me about it.


4. If you're not a blogger, be sure to leave your contact e-mail address like this to avoid spammers: pianananna(at)gmail(dot)com. If I don't have a way to reach you or you don't respond in three days, your name will be disqualified, and I will choose again, picking my favorite answer.

Good Luck!!


Open to US residents only, 18+.
Winners will be chosen by random.org.
Email addresses will not be shared with any third parties.
This Giveaway ends on April 30th at midnight EST.


Don't forget to visit An Herbal Bedfellow for healthy recipes made with herbs, and also my newest blog:
Happenstance House -- A journal about my Victorian home and all of it's contents.

Friday, April 10, 2009

WINNER ! 100 Flowers Giveaway

Auntrene has been selected as the winner of the book called 100 Flowers and How They Got Their Names. Congratulations auntrene! It sounds like this book is perfect for you.
Here is what she wrote:
The Backyard Homestead sounds good to me, I just went yesterday and looked at a new home that has a 2 acre orchard that hasn't been taken care of, I would love to get my hands on the grounds and see what I could do, unfortunately the house didn't suit my needs, the property was misused, and needs lots of TLC.. The boook in the giveaway sounds so wonderful, I love flowers, plants, trees, shrubs, I am not picky, I even have been known to like cactus.
Thanks, have a great day!


Thanks to all who participated in this giveaway. Please come back for more great garden items coming soon.


Don't forget to visit An Herbal Bedfellow for healthy recipes made with herbs, and also my newest blog:
Happenstance House -- A journal about my Victorian home and all of it's contents.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

100 Flowers Book Giveaway



I just got a new book called 100 Flowers and How They Got Their Names from the publishers at Algonquin Books. I have to tell you that I can't put it down, and it's not even my regular reading style of historical fiction or mystery! I love to browse through garden books,of course, but this one is different.

There are only one or two pages on each type of flower, so it's almost like reading "floral" short stories. The description of this book is "it's a book for those not only interested in the blossoms but the roots as well."

Each flower section lists the botanical name with a breakdown in Latin or another language and then goes on to explain why it was called by that name. Some come with stories of Greek gods, while others introduce historical facts about days long ago.

(pictured is my garden last spring)

Here's a sample of the Daffodil name:

The difference in the meaning between the names of daffodil, narcissi, and jonquil is still unclear, but we seem to agree that all daffodils are narcissi, though not all narcissi are daffodils................
The confusion over the name "daffodil" may have started early when the British, who preferred the imported asphodel to their native daffodil, allegedly called the former "bastard 'affodil."

Algonquin Books is generously offering a copy of this book to one lucky winner!! Here's how you can enter:

1. Leave a comment about a book that interests you at Algonquin Books, either in the gardening section or elsewhere.


2. For a second chance to win, sign up as an e-mail subscriber with Feedburner, Feed Blitz, or become a Google Follower (see sidebar.)
Then leave a second comment telling me you have subscribed or that you are already a subscriber.
If you subscribe in more than one way, leave a separate comment for each.

3. For a third chance to win, blog about this contest with a link here, then come back and leave another comment telling me about it.


4. If you're not a blogger, be sure to leave your contact e-mail address like this to avoid spammers: pianananna(at)gmail(dot)com. If I don't have a way to reach you or you don't respond in three days, your name will be disqualified, and I will choose again, picking my favorite answer.

Good Luck!!


Open to US residents only, 18+.
Winners will be chosen by random.org.
Email addresses will not be shared with any third parties.
This Giveaway ends on Thursday, April 9th at midnight EST.





Don't forget to visit An Herbal Bedfellow for healthy recipes made with herbs, and also my newest blog:
Happenstance House -- A journal about my Victorian home and all of it's contents.