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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Happy Gardening

I must have flowers.  Just a sprig or two here and there....but a magnificent sprig (or two or three)!
Doesn't take much.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Life is Full

Wow, it's been crazy busy.  I've been doing a lot of gardening - mostly early in the morning.
And we've hired two lovely new people at the store. And that always takes a lot of time.  But it is so interesting to try and discern who someone is from a single page or two of paper that they might send you.
And then there's the interview.  Interviewing people is one of the most interesting parts of my job description.
And you never know what miracle might be heading your way.  So I try to stay really open and look for little things that might mean something.  Like a funny email address.  Or the turn of a phrase.  Or an idiosyncratic interest. 

 And I've been going out to look at some beautiful wedding venues which is a great way for me to get inspired and revel in the beauty of the southern Willamette Valley.

Plus I had two lovely houseguests from Pakistan who were visiting as part of a government delegation.  (Total aside, but OMG, how do mom's do it?  Shopping, cooking, and cleaning for 3 meals a day for 3 people just about did me in. But we did have some lovely meals and I learned to cook a tasty potato dish and they loved the fruit smoothies I made for them every morning. That took just about every waking moment.)   Plus they had the most beautiful clothes.  The turquoise sari my friend on the left is wearing was just one of many stunning outfits she wore.  There were scarves and embroidered silk dresses and pattern upon pattern, plus great tights and bracelets, and plastic shoes. I want to go clothes shopping in Pakistan!  Who knew?

Then I went to southern Oregon, Malheur in Harney County to be exact.  Exactly in the middle of nowhere.  No cell service, no wi fi, maybe a lone goose to carry your message and that's about it.  Cowboy country and birds.  Lots and lots of birds.  Red wings and yellow heads with names like bobolink and nightjar.  One ginormous great horned owl, kestrels, and pairs of sandhill cranes with their babies.  Ducks, gulls, terns, and pelicans galore.  And antelope and jackrabbits and herds of marmots.  It's juniper and sage country.  The other half of Oregon - the eastern side.  Dry desert country.  If you're ever looking for consciousness altering experiences, I might suggest spending a few days just looking at birds.
And now I'm back home and summer is definitely on it's way.  Getting ready to make room for summer at the store~!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Summer Right Around the Corner

Summer is definitely here - time to plants tomatoes, liberate houseplants from their winter domicile, spiff up the deck,  and take time to smell the roses - because they are insanely beautiful right now.
Hoping you are all having a lovely Memorial Day weekend.  I'm using the two days in a row that the store is going to be closed for a little summer reset so next time you come in, we'll be in full summer mode!
What does summer mean to you?

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Dash & Albert Rugs

I have really appreciated my Dash & Albert indoor/outdoor rug this winter season.  I have a runner out on my back deck that keeps things from getting too slippery and looks good to boot.It doesn't look like plastic and you don't have to worry about it getting rained on and it's super easy to clean.  And from what I've heard, people with dogs are loving them inside in mud rooms etc....And with summer dining just around the corner, we though this would be a good time to bring a few of these lovelies into the store. In fact, we've brought a whole new batch of rugs for your perusal.

 The cat's paw (pictured above) is a Passionflower perennial fave.  It's a sturdy , well priced, wool rug that comes in four fun colorways.

And Dash  and  Albert just excels at cotton ticking rugs. There's a zillion combinations.  Each more perfect than the next.  Don't you just love ticking?  It's contemporary but old world at the same time. It's fun but it's classic.  And these come in runner sizes.  Great way to spiff up a hallway.

 And finally, I'm presently enchanted with the plain tin rug (pictured above).
I have it in my bathroom but I can easily see it in a very classic or contemporary home setting.
And there's always this: Buy a rug that your dog will look good lying on. Something Martha taught us.
Happy rug hunting! 

Bottom three photos courtesy Dash & Albert Rugs

Friday, May 9, 2014

Live and Learn

If you're a gardener, and you live in Eugene, you have, no doubt, as have we at the store, been commiserating with your other gardener friends about the plants you have lost, the plants you are waiting to see if they will come back, and the plants that did, surprisingly, survive. Because we had that serious cold spell last winter.  The coldest it's been in the thirty plus years I've lived in Oregon.  I lost my perennial fuschia and my beautiful jasmine vines!

And I lost all my dusty miller plants which won't be too hard to replace but will take a while to grow back.

But the real tragedy is the loss of this big, beautiful, gorgeous New Zealand flax that was just perfect in it's oak barrel pot.  Still, no matter, that is the interesting thing about gardening, it's never the same year to year.  And there's always something to learn if you just pay attention.  This year, that freeze gave us the opportunity to learn about what really survives in a colder clime.  Tough lesson, but a good one.
Because, next time, I'm moving the big beautiful pot of flax into the garage!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Lindsey & Tara

A little throwback Thursday love....remember these two Passionflower lovelies?
How time flies when you're having fun.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A look back at fragrant Lilac

 A look back at the lovely lilac....vintage purple glass and a variegated lilac

 Smells so good.  Remember not to pick them too early.  Wait until at least half the blooms are already open on the branches.  And don't smash the branches.  Give them a two nice, clean, crosswise cuts and put them in warm water.

And don't be afraid to prune your lilac. If you dont' prune, they'll get leggy and won't bloom as profusely.  Lilac like to be cut.

We love them with apple blossoms and viburnum and bearded iris.

And we love them all by themselves.

Monday, May 5, 2014

A Summer Wedding and a June Rose

I was looking for a picture of a wild rose for you but ,ahem, my photo filing skills are getting rusty, and I could not find it.  Because I do want to tell you that the wild rose is blooming here in the Willamette Valley.  Let the season of the rose begin.
But, instead of the wild rose photo I found this little wacky shot of my screen saver from a while back.  It's from a beautiful wedding Sarah & Chris & I did with flowers in birch bark tubes and we were so busy making flowers, we only have something like two photos from the wedding.
And this is one of them.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

By Nieves Body Care

 If you haven't tried our new body care line, you might want to give it a whirl.  The entire staff has fallen in love with By Nieves (pronounced nevis) - an amazing body care line out of Northern California.  I first ran across their product when it was being sampled at the San Francisco Gift Show (ever on the hunt).  Now there's a lot of body care products out there, but this one stood out.  

 I started reading the ingredient list and everything made sense.  I knew what it was and why she was using it.  I was intrigued.  I tried it. A little clay scrub in the shower, some amazing emollient oil on my face when I dried off, and a little 'cloud of protection' to top it all off.  I was hooked - in a good way. 

The dabble bag is the perfect way to check out all her amazing products.

By Nieves - "Everything good, Nothing Bad".
And then come into Passionflower and try a little sample.
Because we think it's as good as anything out there.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May Day Happiness

 Happy May Day lovelies.  And what a May Day it is.  Clear and bright and warm already.  Are you off to drink in the morning dew, gather round the maypole, and worship the goddess Flora (this is her holiday after all)?  Shall we strew some flowers about?

 Or perhaps it will suffice to put a flower in your hair and spray yourself with some lovely perfume~!
Enjoy this lovely May Day.  It really does feel like summer is on it's way and I'm ready to put away that winter coat and bring on the outside dining! 

photo from Kirsty Mitchell's piece entitled "The Last Dance of the Flowers"