Blog Description

A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Garden Shed Summer View Part Two

Friday, September 22, 2017

{Disclosure: This post contains photos of items that are for sale in the Botanic Bleu shop on Square.} 

Garden Shed Summer View

Interior - Part 2 
Linens, Paper, Pottery 

Summer officially ends today, September 22, and with it, the end of summer decor in the garden shed. As I look around the little chateau de jardin d'été  (summer garden castle), I realize the contents fall mostly into three categories. Linens, paper, and pottery, things I love, are casually scattered around the garden shed amongst companion items.  

Everything, it seems, has a story. Big, small, but a story. 

L I N E N S 

Hydrangea kitchen towels lie in a French style wire basket along with paper plates and a glass soap dish. Nearby a hydrangea candle comes in a keepsake decorated box that will hold treasures long after the candle has burned out. 

What comes first? Love for a color OR love for a flower? Blue hydrangeas filled my mother's flower gardens around her home, and she lovingly stripped her bushes of all their blooms to send home with me. 

I can't convince my sister to do the same with the hydrangea plants she transplanted from Mother's garden. 

One summer Mother traveled to my sister's house in California and had a couple of hours layover at the Dallas/Ft. Worth airport to change planes. We met in an airport lounge to visit, and she greeted me with a huge shopping bag filled with blue hydrangeas cut from her yard that morning before she left for the airport. 

I was wearing a hydrangea blue linen sleeveless blouse, matching mid-calf skirt, and summer sandals. As I walked through the airport with the masses of hydrangeas peeking out from the shopping bag, everyone I met smiled as they looked at the flowers. Many made comments about how beautiful the flowers were. 

I don't have a photo of me in the blue linen outfit carrying the blue hydrangeas, but I do have a vivid memory of that summer day, of visiting with Mother, of our shared love for hydrangeas, and of remembering her love for me.  

Blue and white linens hang on a rustic homemade display ladder. All of these are part of my private collection of linens. 

A vintage bleu and white checked silk/cotton blend tablecloth hangs on the second rung.  The tablecloth came from an antique shop in Florida during a trip to see the next-to-last space shuttle launch. The vintage bleu and white dogwood tablecloth is 100% cotton (third rung) and came from the same Florida antique shop. The new bleu and white plaid kitchen towel (hanging over the dogwood cloth) is linen and came from a Hico, TX shop.  

Preserved boxwood wreaths add a little je ne sais quoi (I don't know what) to everything. This new blue striped heavyweight linen table runner came from France, but was found one year in the Hico, TX Spring Antique Show. 

The 100% cotton kitchen towel is a Michel Design pattern available in the French Country Christmas Event and my online Square shop. 

A vintage American grain sack came from a small antique store in the middle of nowhere along Highway 72 in northern Mississippi. My car knows how to brake for junk stores and antique stores along the lonely stretches of highway between Texas and Alabama. 


Vintage French paper ephemera really has no practical use... other than to add a touch of France in a beautiful way. 


Have nothing in your houses you do not know to be useful, 

or believe to be  B E A U T I F U L ... 

William Morris


Do you suppose all the old French papers written by people with poor penmanship ended up in the trash? For it seems, every scrap of vintage French handwriting is exquisite. 

A page from an antique French book has a handwritten note at the bottom. 

 Sometimes I create my own little bits of script for a card by using rubber stamps. 

P O T T E R Y 

Rustic rose clay pots and vintage French seed pots rest on a vintage French document found in a Paris flea market. 

In just a few weeks, these small pots will be planted with paperwhite bulbs being forced into bloom in time for Christmas. 

Tall gray concrete French urns with garland will hold evergreens this winter. 

This summer I started a white flower garden on the hillside in the back yard. Fingers crossed that white echinacea will bloom next spring. 

A large piece of handmade paper protects a wood table from possible scratches caused by flower pots and a concrete bunny. 


Garden Shed Summer View Part One has photos of the structural design of the interior of the garden house. 

See my Pinterest Board Jardin Chateaux for garden houses that are in my dreams... exteriors, interiors, designs, potting tables, tools, furnishings, decor... 


Summer comes to a close, and the garden shed begins getting ready for the holidays. 

Special events take weeks and months of preparation, planning, and advertising for them to be successful. I visited my first wholesale market in March to get ready for this year's Christmas sale. Most vendors are already sold out of their most popular things for retailers to offer. 

Since July, parcels have been arriving filled with wonders for the French Country Christmas Event, and today a truck is delivering a huge order that includes two beautiful French-style furniture pieces for the Christmas sale. 

As you read today's post, I am busy, busy, busy rearranging and moving furniture to set up displays for Christmas. Wait until you see the beautiful gold, glittery crystal trees reflecting in a gorgeous French mirror... 

Start making YOUR plans to attend. I would love to meet you in person and would love for you to see the garden house in its best Christmas finery. 

Opening day for the French Country Christmas Event is Saturday, Dec. 2... 
More details to come in November. 

For now, enjoy the cool days and 
colors of Autumn.