Ah the Good Life!


Come on in and get your taste of the good life!


Please sir, might I have a bit of Earth?

 Les Jardins de la Mansoniere

Today, I'm continuing with my love of gardening. Its not really a theme, its more like a little dream that's stuck on repeat. Right now I have just a spit of space by the back stairs and a low platform/deck my husband put down to prevent stray cats from using the space as a latrine. Totally glamorous, I know. But it's working. So I am looking at probably getting a few ferns and some pots to put on the stairs. Its little but it will make a difference. It always does. But I'm lusting for a bigger space to create some bloomy love, and all the new garden stuff we have is making me salivate.

When I have a little bit of dirt I get really excited about all the possibilities. When plants and flowers thrive, nothing could be better.  Everyone is having a good time and its la dolce vida. But as it goes in life, sometimes our best efforts are thwarted. Perhaps the soil is too rocky and shallow for one thing but too moist and acidic for something else. And its a big guessing game as to what besides weeds will want to live there. You have to find the plant that likes to grow in that specific place. It's much easier to swap out the plant than alter the earth. In my parent's house the things that do well are azaleas and rhododendrons - its a rocky and a little damp, and once they get a hold they get comfy. There was a fuscia pink azalea and purplish rhododendrom by the front stairs for many years, until there was a gas leak out in the street, that ConEd could never locate. When they did find it, it was too late.  Now there is a light pink rose and a pretty blue hydrangea that enjoy living there. But I still remember the original residents by the stairs.

The Parc Floral de Paris

The one thing that is very successful is a family of deviant Yucca plants that my Mom hates. She's commandeered many killing campaigns to end the reign of the Yucca, but there was always a shred of root left in the dirt and it happily grew back, not insulted in the least. I told my mom she could grind up the roots in a fine powder and it would be helpful to her arthritis. "No thank you," she said, "I think I'll just take my pill." My mom likes to try new things out and to make the place look nice, but being an herbalist isn't on her to-do list. A mini Tivoli is what she really wants, or maybe just the hanging gardens of Babylon...and my Dad, who is a retired biology teacher never really got into it. He had the laissez-faire attitude of just let it grow. Or die. A true naturalist I suppose. For me, the exciting part is locating a optimum spot for your new little bundles of joy, fresh from the nursery. Like Hey, there's actually enough sun to grow lavender here! or The ferns might look better in a shadier spot, or The bleeding heart still isn't happy. You have to check in with all your plants, record their gripes and see if there is somewhere else they can live. If not, a kind neighbor has to take it it and nurse it back to health. And keep it. This is the way it works. And if you get something new and exciting to grow that no one on on the block has tried before, you should deliver some little offshoots and say Hey, you wanna try some forget-me-nots in your yard?  Plants are expensive.

The Yucca plant, clearly a deviant of Botanica

If nature isn't thwarting you, like the relentless Yucca, it's some ignoramus with a leafblower or weedwacker. In one place I had a big bald area along the walkway by the side of the house. The few sprouts of pachysandra that I got from my mom's garden was just starting to spread when the "landscaper" the landlady had hired came by with his weedwacker and chopped off their heads. I asked him why he'd done that when it was clearly not a weed. But he didn't care. When I think about one day buying a place, this is high on the list of positives - "I can plant what I like and no moronic "landscaper" will take me back to zero!" Nature is making me hardier you can see.

Other times you are just too late. One bright summer day, waltzing down the stairs with camera in hand to take a picture of the sunflower "I" had grown, I witnessed a chipmunk scurry to the top, lob off its head, and hurry back down to munch on his feast of seeds. But such is a garden that sustains. And I like those little chippies anyway.

Don't forget to check out our Garden Section!


Jardin du Jour

Yes, it's raining, but don't lose heart, February showers bring flowers all year long here in Savannah! Which reminds me to tell you about our new and expanding Garden section of the website. Go check it out if you haven't already. We'll be adding more things to it this week, so let us know what we're missing.
I was thinking today, Wouldn't it be nice if we could magically transport ourselves to whatever garden we needed that day? Or maybe to see a new garden each day and really take it in. It would be like a "Jardin du jour". and we could take in the rest and the quiet, and feel renewed once more. Gardens are such a beautiful respite from our indoor lives with our little machines and tiny gadgets and little slips of paper reminding us of small things. Ugh. Having a garden in the sunshiney south has got to be one of the greatest joys there can be. All the colorful blooms you can have! And for so long! If container gardening or indoor plants is more your thing you can check out this post here. We usually have some lovely orchids in the store that Holley Jaakkola cultivates - which we love. We have a lot of public and private gardens right here in Savannah. From Forsyth Park to the beautiful squares, to little gems of courtyards with climbing vines and fountains tucked inbetween houses. You have only to walk around town to have garden envy or at least steal some ideas. We love our gardens! And so do the French. Alors, I bring you The Gardens of France!
 Les Jardins de la Mansoniere

Chateau de Vendeuvre

 Les Jardins de Castillon

Of course we can't leave out Versailles!
And this is only a small part of it!
 Les Jardins de Beauchamp
This almost looks a like a playground garden to me, I can see kids having a lot of fun here. Like curious girls named Mary or Alice.

 Les Jardins de Marqueyssac

Domaine du Rayol
I know there isn't much in this particular shot, but it's perfect for imagining what you would do with the space. A garden overlooking the ocean...ah. And a terrace to boot. The world needs more terraces. And more gardens of course. photos: French Gardens

Happy Gardening all you lucky ducks with gardens in the south!


Cheer upon Opening

You can do more with paper than read it, recycle it and use it for kitty litter. Of course there is Origami and Kiragami, and wrapping presents, but what about when the paper is so lovely you'd rather not fold it into a grasshopper? Or when you'd like to see it everyday and savor it. Well, you could put it on your wall of course..., but I currently rent and I'd rather fix up what I acutally own... So, I just covered the insides of two little bedside tables I have. The bottoms were a little rough, and they were starting to snag up some of my delicates, like my stockings and bathing suits, so I cut some of my favorite paper to size and because these drawers are annoying and have stoppers, I used double sided tape (Alvin-good stuff!) instead of spray mount. spray mount would have gotten tacky and hard to position since I couldn't take the drawer clear out and I might have ripped the paper. Although rubber cement might have been a good option too. So voila:

I also lined the inside of my kitchen drawers because the inside were again rough and the outsides look like they survived a fire, so when I open them up I want a little cheer. It worked. They are now cheery upon opening. With the left over tulip paper I did the little table by my bed. I used some of our colored tape to secure it on top, since the surface was too uneven for glue and the pink color matched the pink tulips perfectly. This tape is great, its a little stretchy and forgiving and the air bubble press right out when your doing edging like this.

I ripped this out of Elle Decor, the map paper on the room divider is awesome. There is something about that "map ocean blue" color that is just perfect. 

Here's some more ideas for all us paper lovers: This book is great - it tells you all the practical stuff like how to put on the paste for using paper on your wall, it gives easy how to's for lampshades and book cover and even takes you all the way through doing a headboards...

Enjoyez-vous votre papier!


Papier du Jour

Just wanted to let y'all know about the fab new papers we just got in. I literally can't get enough of these papers and just about every day on my way out of work I pick one up. Either I'm tempted to become Christo and wrap up everything I own or I just frame it. But more on that tomorrow.


New Windows are Up!

The Bohemian Campsite behind the Potting Shed:


Come on by and get inspired!


Market Influx

Bonjour mes amis! Today I bring you what the market adventures from last weekend have wrought! A few snapshots:

That's just a sampling too, so come on by and have some fun treasure hunting!


New Arrivals: Feathers and Fur

A lot of my favorites are back in stock! Check back next week for a quick preview of our spring items and soon to follow Garden Section of our website.

From l-r, vertically: Bird Wrapping Paper, Petit Dot Duster, Ostrich Feather Duster, Knitted Doll -Pierre, Carved Birds, Hare Tapestry, Owl Pillow Cover, Knitted Doll-Fleur, Large Bunnies kind enough to pose for this picture.

Ciao ciao mes amis, bon weekend!


Traveling: Reading, Reality and the Astral Plane

So the Savannah Book Festival is ON right now! For the schedule, click here. It kicked off yesterday and later today Walter Issacson, author of the biography "Steve Jobs" will be giving a lecture at Trustees Theatre. ($10)Saturday is another  full day of speakers and on Sunday, Stephen King will deliver remarks at the closing ceremony. Pretty action packed. I hope y'all can get out there and enjoy it, and that it serves to spur you on in all things literary or really any idea you want to bring to fruition. I've been hogging our book table lately - foraging the new arrivals down to the office to get a good look and I'm enjoying these cool little travel books that just came in a few days ago. Unfortunately, all I have to do is pick up a book like this and I start dreaming about free times in foreign places. These handy little guides point out the key destinations to visit for Art, Architecture and Design in their given place. Perfect for the intrepid traveler in your life! There is even one for Rome, which is kind of funny because you can't look up without bumping your head on something a million years old and gorgeous, but a great resource nonetheless - small, handy, flexicover, and written in both English and the native tongue of that city. Which when your in a foreign city sometimes even reading a cereal box in your own language can be comforting. But even more importantly, its good to know how "they" say things. Like Florence, isn't called "Florence", in Italy, it's called Firenze! You'll do  much better when you actually know where you're going. I only point this out because this confused a young lauren (the shame!)when I went on my own petit sojourns across the pond (after college and before the ball and chain). I would have liked to have had a snappy little book like this rather than my honking "Let's Go Europe" book, although by the end of my trip I learned to just tear out the pages I needed and to leave the tome at the hostel. (Why was I treating it so preciously?) All this to let you know these books are cool and worth getting and giving.

We also have another glossy books just in that I am loving, "Brazilian Style" I care about my glossies as much as my travel books:

 Happy Reading and Happy Traveling - even if it's simply through a good book! When you need a break from the festival, come on over and browse our selections! See you there!


Touches of Romance

Sometimes you just need a few touches to kindle the romance in a room. You can take a closer look at all these items on our website too. I really love all of these pieces; I'd love to stuff all the books I intend to read in the wooden alter piece below and curl up in the velvet pillows. Just the shape of the perfume bottle on the server brings a touch of elegance and makes me happy. Scroll down for links.
1. Edgecliff Sectional, 2. Pink Velvet Pillows, 3. Notes Decoupage Glass Tray, 4. Paris Decoupage Glass Plate, 5. Mercury Glass Ripple Lamp, 6. Brigitte Eau de Parfum 7. Gray Server, 8. Elliott Erwitts' "Paris" 9. Alter Piece, 10. Orange Velvet Chair, 11. Perfume Box


Beauteous Boudoirs

Love may begin in the heart (or the head), but at some point it visits the bedroom, so get inspired with some romantic and sweet boudoirs. All the lush fabric! All the gold and grey and pink and white! Heaven...



A Valentines Day Date Guide: Savannah Style!

Take a Riverboat Cruise!
Channel your inner Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr by partaking in a romantic river ride on one of Savannah's most unique tours. Prepare for an evening of dining, dancing, and live entertainment as you board on your very own historic Riverboat and take a scenic cruise down the Savannah river. Visit here for reservations, cruise times, and special Valentines Day cruise options.

Join your partner for Dance Lessons!
Nothing says old school romance like the art of dancing!
Savannah offers a variety of dance classes including Cha Cha, Tango, Salsa, and other Ballroom Dancing fundamentals. Visit the Savannah Ballroom Dancing website for class schedule info or to reserve a private lesson for two. Strap on those dancing shoes and show your special someone your moves!

Raise your glass and taste test some local wines!
Meinhardt Vineyards is located right outside the city of Savannah and offers a variety of local wines to tug at the taste buds and deliver that southern charm we all hold so dear. Their tasting room at 306 W. St. Julian St. in City Market offers up the chance to test your wine snobbery and expose your palette to some unique wines. Call (912) 644-7200 to reserve a time for you and your date! 

Take a Pedicab!
Slow down and take in the sights of Savannah with your own personal Pedicab tour. These human powered three wheeled wonders will take you anywhere you want to go in the historic downtown, and are even willing to pull over for a quiet smooch or two. Catch a ride at popular street corners such as Bull & Broughton or City Market, or call (912) 232-7900 and be picked up at the location of your choice.

Show off your artistic side!
Enchant the heart of your honey with something handmade. Starlight Pottery studio in midtown Savannah offers up the opportunity to create one-of-a-kind ceramic pieces in just 4 easy steps. Just pick your piece of pottery, choose from a large variety of glazes, paint your piece, and the studio fires your creation for you, available for pickup within 7-10 days. Check out their website for information on pricing, store hours, and driving directions. Create a memory along with a piece of art for you and your loved one to enjoy for years to come.

Grab a drink for two at Lulu's! 
 Lulu's chocolate bar is a great place in indulge those sweet tooth cravings and share a handcrafted martini with your special someone. Located at 42 Martin Luther King Blvd, this decadent dessert haven is a must stop for any romantic night out. Visit their web site, http://www.luluschocolatebar.net, for dessert & drink menu, live music schedule, and other chocolate lover info.