Posts in Garden Antiques
Follow Your Inner Urn-Ing

For some time I have wanted an urn in my garden, an urn that was simple but gave a nice touch to the garden. Urns are easy, as they can be planted, take the weather, moisture, and look great just where they are placed.

So in my mind, I began the hunt for the perfect white urn. Why white, because I have two existing white fountains, white is in my garden color palette, and I have a white stucco home. White is a theme. I have found white urns are a bit harder to find than other colored urns. 

So my journey began to find a white urn that would work well in my garden. In my travels and every day life, I came across fabulous urns and began to have "urn envy."

Recently, I stumbled across an urn that I thought would look great in my garden. I should say "urns" as I found three, and made a little vignette. Where did I placed these urns? In a perfect spot, the olive grove. Interestingly, these urns are almost a collage of the fabulous urns I had seen and been admiring, only better, because they seem perfect for my garden in color, form and size. Their white color draws your eye to their heavenly spot, in a most simple and natural way.

Urns in My Olive Grove

Urns in My Olive Grove

I found urns for my garden, at the most surprising place, HomeGoodsThese urns are very reasonable and beautifully handcrafted in Mexico by local artisans. Suggestions to find urns for sale are nurseries, garden shops, flea markets, and home decor stores. Know what you are looking for, and keep your eyes open!

Carolyne Roehm, Garden Glamour
Carolyne Roehm Signing Books After Her Presentation

Carolyne Roehm Signing Books After Her Presentation

The Prado at Balboa Park was the perfect setting for a rare San Diego visit last week by one of America’s most important tastemakers, Carolyne Roehm.  Roehm has been a part of American design culture for decades with career chapters in fashion, gardening, entertaining, publishing, and decorative arts.

Currently traveling the country promoting her latest book, Carolyne Roehm at Home in the Garden, The Village Garden Club of La Jolla was pleased to present Carolyne Roehm as this year’s “Meet the Master” grand event.  

“Meet the Masters” was inspired by one of the club’s founders, Adrienne Green, and is held yearly in her honor. Each year The Village Garden Club of La Jolla brings world-class floral designers to San Diego to speak and demonstrate their master floral creations. This educational event is a gift to the club’s members, the greater San Diego Community, and beyond.

Beautiful, stunningly statuesque, and dressed in a bone-colored monochromatic pant suit, Roehm spoke to over 230 devoted luncheon attendees in a warm and charming manner about her 33 years of personally creating and refining the pastoral lands, gardens, and ponds on her historic 1765 property in Connecticut called Weatherstone.

Roehm shared her incredible life’s ups and downs, paralleling her Weatherstone property’s ups and downs, often using metaphors between life and a garden.  One common thread throughout her life has been her love affair with flowers, and “a garden is a canvas for making colors, textures, and shapes.” Her passion for flowers is what drives her garden philosophy. She carries her garden palette, what she is planting, tying it through to her table, dishes, and what works best with what.

Roehm ended her presentation with one of her favorite quotes from Frank Lloyd Wright, “Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature.  It will never fail you.”

A timely article from One King's Lane visits Carolyne Roehm at her Weatherstone home. For more information, visit Carolyne Roehm.

Entrance to The Prado, Balboa Park

Entrance to The Prado, Balboa Park

Lady Who?

Inspired by my trip to Provence, France in the fall of 2014, I finally finished a part of my garden which had been vacant for five years. I had been waiting for the design to come to me in my head. Mind you, I had played with the design on paper too. I had to consider several things, 1) it had to work seamlessly with my existing boxwood garden, 2) it had to be drought-tolerant, 3) it had to have pathways and access, 4) it had to have year-round interest, 5) it had to draw you into the garden as our west deck and home overlooks it--and it is part of our ocean view and horizon, and last 5) it had to call to my soul. That is a tall order!

My mind was fresh from visiting some of the best "earthy and elegant" world-class gardens Provence has to offer. It was a chance page-turning moment however, in Louisa Jones' Gardens in Provence where I saw a small 2-3/4" x 2" color photo of a garden similar to what I had envisioned in my head. I had my design, and could move forward.

The design is simple. It consists of four African boxwood parterres created by pathways. Within each parterre is a "Tiny Tower" Cypress, Goodwin Creek Lavender, and Irene rosemary. Goodwin Creek Lavender is an excellent landscape lavender as it blooms nearly year-round and has great gray foliage against purple blooming spikes. Irene rosemary also blooms profusely, with a low-mounding shape. The inside parterre hedging is flowering dwarf myrtle.

Soon after that, luck was on my side when I found this beautiful "Venus de Milo-esque" fountain at my favorite consignment shop. She was a "lady" with a presence, and the centerpiece for my new garden. She stands on a pedestal and a large basin. A small quiet stream of water arches out of a dolphins mouth at her base. She provides a cooling effect for the garden and a soft gurgle noise to tweak your senses.

Here she is on the first day in our garden when everything was still a vision. As the garden continues to grow, I think this fountain needs a name, Lady Who? Obvious ladies to name her after are Lady Di, Lady Gaga, Lady Antebellum--you get the picture. Please comment and share, if you think you have a great name for her.

Autumn Vintage Container

DSC_0891 There is nothing like a vintage container with a beautiful "warn and warm" hue to fill for a simple autumn display. This is some sort of vintage bucket, which is big, and can be re-purposed for all kinds of objects that remind you of fall. I found the bucket on a whim at Gardenology. This is a great home decor shop that also offers unique vintage pieces. They now have two locations, Encinitas, and Newport Beach. It is fun to stop in regularly, just to check out their "chic" displays.

In all kinds of toffee hues, I have this container displaying various dried gourds that I have grown in years past. If you look closely, you'll see my favorite--the apple gourd. I've written about growing these whimsical apple gourds in detail before, Apple Gourds, and include a link to where to find them at Burpee Seeds. I had a few pieces of faux leaves and acorns that adds a bit of fluidity to the design. This display is so simple and timeless, it is hard to determine what is real and what is faux.

Some other options to use in an autumn vintage container such as this could be dried sunflower heads, dried flowers and pods of all types, gourds, pumpkins, indian corn, bundles of wheat, and even feathered-covered balls.

This vintage container will work through all of the seasons, creatively filling it with fun objects of each season. Do you have a favorite container that you fill and decorate with each season. Please share what you like to display for autumn in your favorite container.

Garden Trug at the Buffet Table

Garden Trug Re-Purposed For Buffet Table Look  for all of your tucked away garden trugs,  and use them for entertaining, like this one re-purposed for a fall buffet.

A vintage garden trug, dated 1962, and purchased at a flea market a few years ago, adds "oohs" and "aahs" when guests start serving themselves to a little morning brunch. Turned upside down, and strategically placed on the table, this trug gives a special occasion dish added height, interest and character. Clipped branches of bay laurel leaves garnish the corners.

Garden trugs are traditionally a shallow basket usually made out of strips of wood, intended to hold cut flowers or fresh produce. They can be re-purposed for many uses, from garden to home.

Goat Cheese, Smoked Ham, and Artichoke StrataBon Appetit 1997, is the dish highlighted on the vintage trug. This recipe is supreme for any special occasion from Christmas morning to Easter Brunch. This recipe is a favorite among my garden friends, and my first introduction to it.

It requires quite a few different ingredients, and time assembling, but well worth it at the first bite. To help a hostess further,  it can be made a day ahead and chilled. For vegetarians, smoked ham can be replaced with fresh spinach.

Please share how you use your garden trugs. Please comment on your favorite trug.


VintageGardenGal Tidbit Thyme....

Timber Press has a new book out,  Concrete Garden Projects. This book offers up an inspiring array of creative projects that can be made for next to nothing. Follow the easy, step-by-step instructions to make containers of all sizes, benches and stools, ponds and birdbaths, pavers and stepping stones — and even a barbecue.

Celebrating the release of Concrete Garden Projects, Timber Press is hosting a two-week long giveaway from October 11-21, 2011, where entrants can win a copy of the book, a $25 gift certificate to Home Depot, and a set of molds. Readers can enter by submitting their email address at, Concrete Garden Projects. Good luck!


Beauty in Burlap

Beauty in Burlap When my husband and I remodeled a year ago, I carved out a perfect office and workshop area in a single car garage. With the addition of our new master bedroom wing, it created this small, private, very intimate garden room which I can look out and access from my office and workshop. I planted a Podocarpus hedge along the north fence on one side, a row of espaliered Silver Wave Camellias along the stucco wing on the south side, and the third side was my very old working garden shed to the west.

In the middle of this garden room, I created a pea gravel square edged with dwarf Euonymus and placed my vintage garden baby fountain smack in the middle. My garden baby fountain, see Everyone Loves a "Garden Baby"  finally had a permanent home, after years of transit traveling around my garden.

The reason I'm describing all of this in detail is because I had an unappealing open door and side of my garden shed which desperately needed some sprucing up. The answer was burlap, the reasonable landscape burlap which has incredible texture, durability, and vintage-like appeal. This is another idea for garden economizing--reasonable landscape burlap as a material. If you don't know about it, you must look for it at your garden and landscape centers. I find my burlap locally at Grangetto's. You can also be creative and re-purpose coffee burlap bags.

I created a small vignette with an old warped wood table, matching symmetrical pots, a pair of young cypress trees for height, and blue-gray shutters for interest and color repetition.  I pulled out my "dusty but trusty" sewing machine, and loosely measured my spaces as everything was uneven. Presto, a working burlap curtain door, and a sweet table skirt for my table. I secured hidden dowels to hang the burlap for my shed opening and table. I also dug out one of my old hooks, and placed it on the side of my shed for a quick way to hold up the burlap curtain door when I needed the large opening.

What a difference, and what beauty in this burlap. Think of this landscape burlap material when you have a project where it might conveniently lend itself. Please share if you use this burlap material already in your garden. Please comment on creative ways you have worked with this burlap.


This Frog Doesn't Ribbit

Last weekend, I experienced this year's  Secret Garden Tour of La Jolla, and was thrilled at the homes and gardens showcased on the tour. Each home had an Artist in the Garden, Designer in the Garden, and Musicians in the Garden, which elevated the garden settings to poetry.

At one of my favorite homes on the tour, this historic 1925 home was decorated in tasteful architectural salvage. The table display, and Designers in the Garden, were Etceteras in La Jolla. I loved their entire table vignette, but was absolutely smitten by their vintage frog place card holders. I had never seen them so small and dainty. A perfect anchor for a name card.

The entire place setting with the pewter cups, peacocks, fruit, woven  twig place mats all  worked  together to create a warm and inviting table.

Vintage flower frogs are fun to collect, and can re-purposed for holding table place setting, cherished photos, bills, business cards, and even their original purpose--flowers. Vintage flower frogs can be found at shops like Etceteras, fleas markets, garage sales, and online.

VintageGardenGal Tidbit Thyme...

Attention Chicken Lovers! Spruce up your chicken coop for VintageGardenGal's Annual Chicken Coop Photo Contest. Send in your photos this month to

Seek Containers With A Past

Vintage Cherub Planter Charms I love finding great vintage containers with a past. They have a history, the intrigue of previous owners, time-worn patina, and usually multiple imperfections. All of which create an incredible charm and uniqueness.

One of my favorite pieces in my garden is this tiny charming cherub statuary, diligently overseeing her thriving succulent planting of echeveria and string of pearls. She might also hold a candle glowing with a soft romantic light, or some sweetly-scented dried lavender. I have a lot of cherubs in my garden, for a touch of femininity, and maybe to evoke a certain mystique.

This sweet little cherub was once a fecund green, now muted and disappearing in places. She was broken at one time, and someone cared enough to mend her. I purchased her back east, so she has journeyed far. She definitely has a past, and now she has a present and an ongoing future.

Don't overlook these types of vintage container treasures as they can add oodles to your garden charm with their simplicity and sheer survival. Best places to find these vintage container treasures, is often where it is most reasonable. Seek out your local flea markets, thrift stores, garage sales, alley dumpsters (no kidding), barn sales, and favorite garden antique shops.

Please comment if you have a vintage container treasure that makes a statement in your garden? You believe that one person's discard, can be another persons' treasure?