Blog Description

A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Simple French-Looking White & Green Fall Vignette

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Lone Star State is still green.  
Well, as green as north Texas gets in late summer. 
The grasses, flowers, trees, shrubs... all have a fine film of dust
(lack of rain)
making them a dusty green.
The leaves on the trees are still green with a few brown edges.
Indications that fall is approaching... 

The calendar says it is officially fall,
but the temperatures and foliage say it's really still summer.

Reading other blogs and looking at linking party photos
inspired me to create a 
simple white and green fall vignette 
on my kitchen counter.

The white pedestal cake stand is a recent find.
Call it new vintage...

Fragrant Pink Roses Remind Me of France

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Just inside the local grocery store is a new display for fresh flowers. 
Sometimes I buy blue hydrangeas, but
this week there was a special on roses...

Texans Are More French Than Texans Realize

Saturday, September 22, 2012

While traveling this week from the Dallas, Texas metroplex to the Houston area, I discovered Texas provides free wireless Internet service at its rest stops along Interstate 45.  After getting back home, I then discovered Texas was the first state to provide wireless Internet access at Safety Rest Areas throughout the state.

Texas map on the state's transportation website shows the location of rest stops all over Texas.  The map also indicates which rest areas are new and which ones are scheduled for renovation.

Blue Limoges Hine Cognac Stag Bottle

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Nothing is more exciting than finding a rare treasure at a flea market in France.  The flea markets in Paris are well known and bring top euro / dollar for their items.  The most exciting thing I found in the French flea markets was in Carsac.  Carsac, France, in the Dordogne region, has about fourteen hundred residents and is over six hours away from Paris.  Yes, there are still real deals to be found in French flea markets.

Here's the story I promised in an earlier post.

The vintage blue Limoges commemorative X.O. Hine Cognac stag bottle shown below was a real find.

Carsac Brocante

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Have you dreamed of browsing a French flea market?  In September 2011, I had the perfect opportunity finally to go to French flea markets after 26 years of daydreams.  We arrived in Carsac, France very late on Saturday, September 17.  Within a couple of days we spotted the signs for the Carsac-Alliac Antiquité / Brocante on September 24-25.

Botanic Bleu Beginnings

Saturday, September 1, 2012

B O T A N I C   B L E U   B E G I N N I N G S 

A backyard unfinished plywood garden shed was transformed into a garden house to be a home for annual French Country Christmas Events. 

My maternal grandmother had flower gardens both around her house and in her vegetable garden in north Alabama.  I can never remember a time when she did not have flowers.  Her flower gardens were modest, overshadowed by the vegetables and crop plants necessary for food and a living, but they were always well-maintained, grown from cuttings and seeds shared from family, friends, and neighbors.  I don't think she ever bought a flower seed or plant in her life.

My life has been blessed with flowers beginning with my grandmother, then with my mother, aunts, uncles, paternal grandfather, and now with my sister who is a professional florist.  My husband sent flowers for every birthday, Valentine's day, wedding anniversary, and other special times.  For years we planned for a garden shed so I could have flowers year round.

When I traveled to France each summer with students, the flower gardens, parks, garden houses, and verdant countryside of France always refreshed my spirit and renewed my desire for beautiful gardens and a garden house of my own.  The north Texas heat, cold, and lack of rain limit what I can grow. Budgets, energy, and time limit what I can build.  When I drew the first garden shed plans on graph paper, my family quickly dubbed it a "jardin chateau."  The shed is not really a chateau, but my traveling-to-France friend, Dewayna, said she laughs when I call it a shed.

February 14, 2004 --- No garden shed, just an open area east of the deck at my house

Botanic Bleu beginnings show a snowy empty wood scene before the garden shed was built