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?
March! March! March! OR This Is What The Flower Show Does To You!
Hi everyone! Well, I haven't been hibernating or snuggling in bed! Oh No! I have been working on our Philadelphia Flower Show display! We are counting down the weeks until the Philadelphia Flower Show and there are only 5 weeks left before judging! Even though our display will be concentrating on the outside of our house, I have to make sure that there is furniture and interesting things inside the little house because you will be able to see inside the windows of the first floor. We will have a huge library room and a big kitchen with a walk-in fireplace that all need to be designed and then put together. For the last three days (OK-probably more than three days!), I have been working on the library wall, including the books for the library shelves, the fireplace surround and the pictures to go over the mantel. The kit that we bought as our starting point for the display included some of the interior details; one of which was the paneled library wall. I assembled the pieces and then started to re-work the design to fit our historic home. After assembling the wall and adding my own touches, the entire wall had to be stained - that was a BIG job! No really, it was! I had to pick a stain color that would not overpower the tiny wall but still be the correct color for an old wooden surround that had mellowed over the years.Then I had to 'build' the firewall for the fireplace and as you can see in the picture - I did! The wall was built with individual tiny bricks in a herringbone pattern and when completely finished, will have a dark black 'smokey' stain that goes up the back of the fireplace in a pattern that shows that this fireplace has been used for the past 200 years. You can also see the black andirons in the fireplace and I am working on the stack of logs that will go in the fireplace. They will go in at the last minute when we get everything up to Philly on March 6th. There will be some trinkets on the fireplace mantel, along with a clock and maybe some candlesticks. Still haven't picked them out but there is time for that decision.I also added two pictures to the area over the mantel and they are of real early American portraits from the 1800's. The library also has to have books! Lots of leather bound books of all description! Don't they look great? I will let you in on a little secret! They are pictures of books that I printed off and then put on wood backings! I love doing this kind of stuff! And last but not least! I am adding a picture to show you the actual size of this 'library wall'! It really only stands 9" tall and 13" wide which would be 9 feet tall and 13 feet wide in a real house - remember - this is a 1'/1" ratio so we have to be careful of our sizes. Now it's back to the workbench and the next project - the kitchen!
Things have changed quite a bit in the last two years since I last posted a blog here at Winterberry Farm Primitives. My oldest grandson is now in college and my daughter is finishing her RN in her new home up in New York City. I have had four fantastic years as an antiques dealer and have met some wonderful people. Now it is time to get back to blogging about what I love - antiques and native plants! My blogs on antiques will be companions to my monthly shop updates and my gardening blogs will try to follow the seasons, so here we go! I am a wife to a great hubby, mother of two wonderful people (both of which served their country - AF & Army) & grandmother of three great teenagers. I am also a plant scientist with a masters in science. I developed a vegetative propagation method for Spigelia marilandica as my undergraduate project & worked with three species of trillium, for my masters thesis. That said - after several years in the ag/biotech field, I find myself drawn back to my first love of antiques & gardening.