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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Deck Update 1- French Style

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Deck updates at my house usually take several weeks, sometimes months, and some updates even take years. Budget, energy, time, materials availability, and worker availability are all factors that influence how long updates take. 

Let's not forget Mother Nature's role. Sunshine needed. Rain and hail delivered. 

What did I do that made her so angry? 

Isn't that what happens in most people's lives? 

Few of us have resources - time, money, energy, contacts - to work around-the-clock until an update is completed. Another thing not to forget is L I F E occurs. Unexpected events happen that require our attention.

Yet, progress is made.

Deck Update 1 - French Style



Everything came together this week for some changes on the deck. 

Mother Nature smiled, and sunshine appeared during the day between tantrum bouts at night that delivered thunder, lightening, and rain. 

First, the old beyond-repair wooden bench was dragged off the deck onto the paver walkway awaiting removal by the yardwork crew. 

In its place is the glass and sewing machine base table that now holds French-style pots and .......

A G A P A N T H U S ... a dwarf variety, full of blooms... found unexpectedly at a local nursery. 

Sometimes the unexpected events in L I F E that happen are good! 

The flowers provide shelter and resting spots for birds, bees, and butterflies that come to the blue bowl watering hole. 

During recent harsh winters Mother Nature unleashed snow and ice regularly, and the blue bowl watering hole froze over. The expanding ice cracked the bowl and broke it into three large pieces. 

However, the blue bowl is one of those items worth repairing and keeping. 

The birds, bees, and butterflies do not even notice the repairs as they sip. 

Since the large old oak tree was removed the deck gets several hours of morning sunlight that the potted flowers need. 

Throughout France, balcony gardens and window boxes overflow with lobelia cascading over the sides of their containers. 

An old G. Wolff pot is the perfect size for 6-inch plants, and the patina adds a beautiful layer of old-world French charm. 

The large French-style urn is a temporary home for the pink and yellow lantana. 

Soon, depending upon all those pesky factors that dictate progress, and if Mother Nature continues not to be angry, the lantana will be transplanted to a spot on the hillside under some native yaupon holly trees. 

Do you see any butterflies on the lantana? There were 4-5 butterflies flitting around the lantana plants at the home improvement store where I found this plant. 

Looking forward to mid-morning breaks on the deck and watching butterflies... 

More progress... three dwarf yaupon holly bushes bought and waiting to be planted. 

These three will go on the other side of the new low limestone wall (where the glass and sewing machine table was located before.) 

Dwarf yaupon holly plants are drought-tolerant, disease-resistant, and should...

survive M E. 

M O R E  TO  DO ...

Besides planting the new yaupon holly bushes, the concrete bench on the hillside needs to be moved to the deck. 

Squint hard... the bench is in the background. 

L A S T  W E E K ...

The sewing machine table sat between the two hosta-filled planters. The yaupon hollies will go on the other side of the low stone wall, and the concrete bench will go between the two planters with hostas. 

Mother Nature, did you hear these plans? 

T O D A Y ... 

The first two bloom stalks on the hostas... 

The view from the living room... 

Thank you, Mother Nature.

Time for another mid-afternoon nap after this week's progress... 

Dragging that old beyond-repair bench was hard work... 

Summer always means fun times ahead... 
On June 7, 2016, Texas bloggers will have FUN 
at the 

Texas Bloggers 

Art & Craft Retreat 


Is there any doubt there will be laughing... 
lots and lots of laughing... 

~~~~ ❦ ~~~~ 

Please join me at these inspiring places for more joy of living. 

Dishing It and Digging It @ Rustic and Refined




  1. Oh I love the dwarf A G A P A N T H U S and G. Wolff pot. :)

  2. FABULOUS. Mother Nature has been good to us too and she has invited me to go outside starting TODAY to tickle the earth and see things come even fuller into bloom. GORGEOUS blues, Judith!

  3. So far, so good- thanks to Mother Nature:) I've never heard of a "limestone wall" before, nor have I seen one. But judging by your last picture, I love it:) Make sure you take a long break, and drink lots of that delicious looking lemonade you make before you attempt moving that bench, and do be careful because it looks mighty heavy! If all of Texas could look like your backyard, maybe I would move...

  4. I feel your pain! We are trying to finish painting the wood trim at our house and hopefully will finish it this weekend IF the weather cooperates. I think your deck looks gorgeous. All that hard work is really paying off.

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

  5. No hail here, but we had some good rain again. The garden loves it! You'll find me in the garden this weekend. Happy Weekend to you!

  6. "Tantrum bouts at night" is the perfect choice of words for the crazy weather we've been having. Recently, I forgot to close the doggie door before I went to bed, so the neighbors and I got to listen to my dog bark at it for an hour as well. Then, when I finally got him in, he had half an inch of mud from head to toe. Yes, I was actually giving my dog a bath at 2 a.m.

  7. You have such beautiful taste indoors and out, Judith. This is lovely as always. I might have pinned 3 times. :)

  8. Beautiful!
    I pot up a few large pots full of lobelia alone, as I love the way it blows in the breeze, trails, and just looks gorgeous.

  9. Dearest Judith, BONJOUR! Merci de vos commentaires chez moi! Yes, spring has arrived here and we were treated like royalty with all the unusually warm weather and early arrival of the flowers. This weekend however, our Minnesota reality has come back with possible overnight frost and cold days. But that is OK. We know that sunshine and warm days will follow and there are the peonies to look forward to, the day lilies and roses and bleu delphiniums....I can't wait to show you those. I think you will swoon! BON WEEKEND!

  10. So nice to spend some time with you in the yard. I have been spending two weekends now in the yard weeding raking up the dead foliage and planting, pruning Lavender, roses, and olive trees. I love standing back and admiring all the new growth and the arranging or yard pieces.

    You my dear have a full lush yard to admire, I love the deck railing fenced in with horse wire, it feels so European here.
    See you soon, enjoy all the beauty you have created.


  11. I so enjoyed my stroll with you through your yard.
    I just knew that your style and sense of incorporating the serene essence of nature would be abundant and beautiful.
    Thank you so much for sharing your time, talents and wonderful creativity with us at TOHOT!

  12. Everything is looking lovely at your house.

  13. Oh my gosh! What a truly beautiful patio! It has so much character with all of your lovely pieces and how you used them so creatively!

  14. Judith- you are so talented.
    I would love to sit on your deck and visit.
    Agapanthus is a favorite of mine!

  15. Beautiful place... I love enjoying the beauty of nature!

  16. Love your blue birdbath, agapanthus and french pots nestled together. Your copper post tops ( not sure of the proper name) are attractive.
    Just joined your google friend connect. I am so jealous of all you great girls getting together for a arts and craft day. Sounds like fun.


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