Blog Description

A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

French Prints Shadowbox | Tips for Creating Your Own

Sunday, August 2, 2020

 A Paper Series Post 

Create a shadowbox with reproduction watercolor French prints to add an inexpensive French country look to any room in your house. By using prints collected during a trip with family or friends, your shadowbox will also remind you of special memories. 

Read about how I created a blue and white shadowbox to hang in my bedroom and get ideas for your own shadowbox. I have a few tips for finding small prints to use, for how to arrange the prints, and for using special items to add a little pizzazz! 


French Prints Shadowbox with Tips for Creating your own
Reproduction watercolor prints in soft blues, greens, and neutrals go well with most French country decor. 

Home Grown Summer Tomatoes

Thursday, July 9, 2020


Nothing tastes better than home grown tomatoes in the summer. Vine-ripened until ruby red are the best tasting of all. Yet, sometimes unripe green ones have to be picked. 

Read about ideas on how to choose which tomatoes to grow, how to decide when to harvest them, how to store them until ready for eating, and how to help tomatoes to ripen when picked while green. 


Home grown summer tomatoes under wire cloche
Start with where do you keep fresh red and green tomatoes until they are ready to eat? Storing fresh tomatoes is a topic for both store bought tomatoes and home grown tomatoes. So, even if you don't grow your own tomatoes in a home garden, you may find this question useful anyway. 

Fading Pink Hydrangeas | Reminders of Mother's Love

Thursday, July 2, 2020


The first pink hydrangea blooms of summer are fading, but there are more blooms to come on these Nantucket Blue® hydrangeas. Seeing the profusion of hydrangea blooms reminds me of my mother's love for hydrangeas and of her love for me. 

Nantucket Blue hydrangeas bloomed pink on the first blooms this year
Nantucket Blue®, a new hydrangea variety on my shady open deck and porch last year, blooms on new growth as well as on old growth. There is the promise of new buds to sprout as summer continues. 

Pink Hydrangeas | Containers On Shady Deck

Sunday, June 21, 2020


Hydrangeas planted in containers on a shady deck were blue last summer, but are pink this year. Although we added aluminum sulfate to the plants earlier this spring, we added it too late for the first blooms to be blue. 


Pink Hydrangeas in Containers on Shady Deck with Adirondack chair

Over the years I planted hydrangeas in the ground without any success. The plants always eventually died after struggling during the long hot, dry summers and heavy clay soils in north Texas. Then I discovered hydrangeas kept in large containers on the shady deck and porch not only survived, but bloomed! 


Styled for Summer | Glass Topped Vintage Table

Thursday, May 21, 2020

A glass-topped vintage table on the back porch is styled for summer with a wooden plate rack, blue floral dishes, antique glassware, and potted ivy plants. 



A glass topped vintage table is styled for summer with a good cleaning and a little rearranging
The table has very few changes from one season to the next, but a good spring cleaning and a little rearranging makes every thing fresh again. 

Take a closer look at the vintage table on the back porch for ideas how to use a small table in your outdoor summer spaces.