Somehow, It Blooms Anyway

Somehow, It Blooms Anyway via cottagemagpie.com

Somehow, It Blooms Anyway via cottagemagpie.com

So, I may have mentioned this already, but most of my time this summer has been consumed by helping my Mom move to a fantastic retirement community, clearing out her old house and putting it on the market. It’s a huge, mammoth, gargantuan job as you can probably imagine, and it’s taken all summer so far and there’s still miles to go.

My house? Nothing is happening at my house except the accumulation of unfinished chores. Inside, the only thing changing is the growing piles of stuff. In the garden, any progress that had been made has completely been overtaken by the six-foot weeds and healthy crop of dandelions. I’m sure the neighbors are wondering if I’ve taken up dandelion farming. [Read more...]


All Cleared Out, Where Do We Go?

All Cleared Out, Where Do We Go? via cottagemagpie.com

All Cleared Out, Where Do We Go? via cottagemagpie.com

When I declared so boldly that I was going to finish my living-room-slash-sewing-space once and for all, I forgot I was going to have to pack the whole room up and clear it out. Ugh!! Isn’t that just the hardest part ever? Having to figure out where to put all that stuff so that it doesn’t (a) swamp the rest of the house, yet (b) is still accessible is just hard. Haaaaard!!!

Okay, it wasn’t that bad, it just took FOR EVER. But I’m happy to say that not only am I don’t clearing the room but we’ve actually done the first teeny, tiny bit of work! Yay! So, given our current rate of progress, we should be done in, oh, say, 37 years! Woo hoo!!

Kidding. I’m sure we’ll [Read more...]


Garden in Bloom: June 2014

Garden in Bloom: June 2014 via cottagemagpie.com

Garden in Bloom: June 2014 via cottagemagpie.com

Aside from my birthday month of April, I think June is one of my favorite months. The whole garden bursts into bloom and it’s such a joy to watch it unfolding every day. This garden needs a little attention. Some things have died off and others taken over. Some of the perennials need dividing. So it’s not in as full of glory as it was a couple of years ago. But it’s okay. It’s still a cheerful burst of color to enjoy.

The weather this year has been unusual to me. It’s been warmer and wetter than I remember from previous years. Muggy and overcast isn’t the most common condition where I live. Overcast, sure, but then rainy and [Read more...]


Living Room, Before

Living Room, Before via cottagemagpie.com

Living Room, Before via cottagemagpie.com

I just realized that I never actually did a full “before” post of my Living Room here at Pear Tree Cottage. It was included in the very first post for the house, (“Welcome to Pear Tree Cottage“) that I did back in (gasp) 2007, but I never looped back around to show you the nitty gritty. So, since I’ve decided to get this room done, done, finally done, I thought I might go ahead and give you the goods on what this room looked like when we bought the house.

It’s been through many, many iterations since then, and I’ll share a little summary of those next week, but for now, here’s a little look back to 2007, featuring my [Read more...]


Continuing Progress in the Back Garden

Continuing Progress in the Back Garden via cottagemagpie.com

Continuing Progress in the Back Garden via cottagemagpie.com

Flowers continue to bloom and fade, and little creatures come and go, and I keep chipping away at cleaning up the back garden so I can feel guilt free about focusing on the shed garden this summer. Now that it’s June, the proportion of sun to rain has increased, though we still have little spatters here and there.

But with the increase of good weather, and the decrease of children’s schoolwork, I’m starting to make bigger strides out here. The herb garden I put in a few years ago had gotten kind of ragged. Originally it had herbs, decorative and [Read more...]


Spring Flowers in the Rain

Spring Flowers in the Rain via cottagemagpie.com

Spring Flowers in the Rain via cottagemagpie.com

The garden here evolves on a daily basis this time of year. With the mix of sunshine and rain, things are growing so fast (*ahem* like my lawn *ahem*). I find myself wanting to take a little tour every day just to see what’s newly blooming, what’s about to bloom, what’s already fading.

The weather is mercurial. Some days we have squalls and rainstorms sweeping through the otherwise sunny days. Other times it’s unrelentingly drizzly, and the flowers bend under the weight of all the water.

My favorite days are when it’s a little bit of both, a little but sunny, a little bit rainy. Then the light does amazing things, and [Read more...]


Garden in Bloom: May 2014

Garden in Bloom: May 2014 via cottagemagpie.com

Garden in Bloom: May 2014 via cottagemagpie.com

Luckily for me, the garden doesn’t care if it’s cleaned up or not. It just blooms and blooms anyway. This time of year is so fun with the peonies all peeking out their heads and gradually opening to a frilly, blowsy celebration of joy. I love waiting for this show every year. Most of the best action in my garden all takes place in this one little part, the garden around the Gazebo Thing and the part next to it where I put the bird and butterfly garden. I did all that work our first summer here. I took lots of pictures, too, but never shared them. I’ll have to go back and do that, soon.

But in the meantime, you see what’s blooming. These gardens don’t have as many blossoms as they did originally–I think they need a bit of dividing and editing, but I’m still enjoying what’s going on, and [Read more...]


Refocusing: My Sewing Studio

Refocusing: My Sewing Studio via cottagemagpie.com

Refocusing: My Sewing Studio via cottagemagpie.com

So, I have a little bit of Decorating ADD. I think you all knew this already. I think I knew this already, but wasn’t quite ready to admit it to myself. But it’s true. Sometimes it’s for practical reasons (can’t afford the next step, can’t logistically do the next step, can’t physically/mentally do the next step, don’t have the skills for the next step). But sometimes it’s just, you know, “OOooh, SHINY!” (This blog is called Cottage Magpie for a reason, people.)

Case in point, my recent obsession with the once-again-large family room (and the new-to-me iron daybed I got to put in it (and the Bohemian quilt I made to put on that)). I mean, yes, it was the right thing to do, and yes, it was a good evolution in our space to open it back up, etc. etc. etc.., but [Read more...]


My Tree Peony Bloomed!!!

My Tree Peony Bloomed!!! via cottagemagpie.com

My Tree Peony Bloomed!!! via cottagemagpie.com

Wow!! Last week when I shared the enormous buds of my tree peony (Paeonia suffruticosa), I never in a million years thought it would bloom so soon. The herbacious peonies won’t bloom for weeks, so I had no idea this one would bloom so early. Color me stunned.

Plus, as I said before, it’s pretty exciting since it’s never bloomed before in the 10 years I’ve had it. That’s mostly my fault, since I had moved it so many times it was really unhappy. Frankly, I’m surprised it’s growing at all, let alone blooming.

But blooming it is, and goodness, it’s pretty spectacular. Can you believe how big those blooms are? I mean, wowzers, they are HUGE! [Read more...]


Iron Daybed for the Family Room

Iron Daybed for the Family Room via cottagemagpie.com

Iron Daybed for the Family Room via cottagemagpie.com

I feel like all of my progress in my house is kind of a groundswell. It really doesn’t seem like much is happening for… well, years, but then all of a sudden things start to come together. I think by this time next year our house is going to look quite different, and it’s going to seem like we just did our house all in one swoop, although really we’ve been working on it for years, it’s just not much to show! Or maybe it’s just that I finally know what I like.

Either way, I think the fun stuff is going to start happening. [Read more...]