Winterberry Farm Primitives

This blog is now devoted to gardening with native plants with a focus on those species native to the east coast of the United States. With an MS in Agricultural Science from the University of Delaware and my love of native plants, I hope to help folks see the beauty and necessity of using native plants in your garden instead of exotic plants. Did you know that our native song birds and native insects are disappearing as our local environments continue to change?
For those who come to this page to see my 'Winterberry Farm Primitives' blog can now be found at where I will post new additions to my online antiques shop at and discuss various subjects about primitive antiques.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Finding Treasures!

Hi everyone! I got a wonderful email yesterday from Sue in North Carolina. Hi, Sue! She moved to North Carolina from New England two years ago and has found that there is not a lot of colonial or primitive style stores around her new home. I have heard the same thing from other new cyber-friends and I just have to say Wow! - living here in Delaware and surrounded by so much colonial history (Philadelphia is only 30 minutes away) - I guess I just never realized that decorating in the colonial or country style was something that would be difficult to do! She uses Country Sampler as her inspiration and when she saw my house in the August/September 2010 issue, she sent me a picture of her newest find - a set of wonderful chairs in a pattern similar to my chairs in my greatroom. She found these wonderful chairs at the Raleigh Flea Market for $200.00!! I have got to go there! Wow! Sue is a woman with a great eye for bargains! Here is an excerpt from her email: "I was having a hard time decorating my colored walls and white woodwork home. I had painted each room a different color and was so "afraid" to paint my woodwork and doors a country color...which I had done in New England...was afraid I wouldn't be able to sell the house if I decided not to stay here.
But last Fall, I read an article in CS of a woman who built a new home to look old and she said she believed in painting the entire home one color and all the doors and woodwork one color. SO....I took her advice...and now I love love love my country home. Instead of painting a dark country color on the woodwork, I painted them the same color "parched grass"...kind of an 'antiquey' looking color. I used the flat on the walls and the semi-gloss on the woodwork..again, afraid of going too Colonial in case I wanted to sell. I did end up painting all the doors in the house Barn Red. I'm so thankful to CS's featured home owners for all the inspiration I get from them."
You go girl! I agree with Sue and have painted my entire downstairs and upper hallway one color on the walls and one color on the mouldings. The color I used on the walls was Colonial Cream from Lowes (it's an older color and no longer available) with an historic Williamsburg color for the mouldings - Nicholson Store Red. The dark red-brown color of the mouldings, brings out the 'buttery' color of the walls and the entire house looks 'old' when we turn off the electric lights and just use candlelight. We tend to do this in the late fall and winter - it makes the house feel so warm and inviting. In another excerpt from her email, Sue talks about her chairs and their possible fate until she picked her her August/September issue of CS! "I do see my chairs are slightly different than yours...but almost the same. I was going to sell them until I saw yours...but not anymore!" Thank goodness you are not selling them, Sue! The one chair that I can see in the picture looks fantastic in your home. I also notice that you have a lot of red in the room - I love the look you have created! Another thing that people email about is the high cost of antiques and that a lot of times they can't afford them. I agree! Twenty-five years ago when we were buying our antique furniture, it was much easier to find good deals and even though we were all making less money back then - there were a lot more out there. One solution might be to buy antique 'smalls'; a lot of these items are still reasonable. One good way to buy your antiques is the internet and online shops! You now have a much larger selection out there and can find more things to add to your collections without having to travel. Let me give you an idea of what I mean.... Here is a wonderful one drawer apothecary that we have for sale on the website. I don't just put things away that are for sale - I use them (and sometimes keep them!). The apothecary is affordable and has great color - I love red paint- so it can help to make your home look 'old' by just adding it to your room. I have it in the kitchen holding my kitchen junk including everything from take-out menus to my safety glasses for work! You don't have to have an entire home filled with antiques to get the look you want - you just need to add a few things here and there to add to the warmth that is already there. Caring about your home and family is the first step towards making your home warm and inviting. Although...there is something about the color of a 19th century piece in original paint that can just make you smile, BUT it doesn't have to be a big piece of furniture or a house-full of antiques! Start small - check out internet stores - wander around your hometown flea markets (Sue did!) and you might be surprised at what you find!
Until next time - Stay cool and come on back tomorrow for a posting on Baptisia australis - a wonderful indigo blue flowered native for your garden!


  1. Hello Susan. I just came back from shopping at Walmart and got my Country Sampler. As we were driving home, I was busy looking through the magazine..and low and behold I found you. Well now that the groceries are put away I had to come and find

    Will be back later to have a look around. Loved the delightful write up they had and the beautiful pictures that were featured in the magazine.

    Enjoying the soothing music also that is playing at your blog.