NIBLO’S GARDEN

According to Wikpedia, “Niblo’s Garden was a New York theatre on Broadway, near Prince Street.[1] It was established in 1823 as “Columbia Garden”[2] which in 1828 gained the name of the Sans Souci and was later the property of the coffeehouse proprietor and caterer William Niblo.”

(Photo Courtesy Google)Niblo-sm

Sadly it was destroyed by fire, but I am continuing the legacy with my own garden, now in the early stages at The Money Pit.

When we applied for a Certificate of Occupancy, the housing police told us  we needed to get rid of all the rocks on the property that were leftover from excavation. Our choice was to bury them or spread them out. So, $12,000.00 later, we chose to spread them out.

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As the saying goes, “If life hands you lemons, make lemonade”.  My life gave me rocks, so I will make a rock garden. And a very large one at that. I spent every day last week at the garden store and have purchased every early blooming perennial known to mankind. I am so happy to be outside, in the sun and getting dirty. I have buried 40 pots of creeping phlox in the front.DSC02248

One day, I will come down my driveway and will have an expansive sea of pink flowers. On the side of the house are the perennials.

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I brought a sundial from the old house and positioned it to work with the sun. Around it I planted “Strawberries and Cream” hydrangeas.

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The window boxes are also from the other house. By the summer these will hopefully triple in size!

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The balcony flowers will cascade downward.

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The entry is shady so beautiful peach/pink begonias will work well.

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These are awaiting their burial…

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Over the years, one of the things I have always wanted was an antique wellhead. Wellheads originated in Venice, Italy as a source for water for drinking and cleaning. To walk the streets of Venice and see such beauty in the stucco buildings, wrought iron terraces and ornately carved wellheads is so inspiring. To think at one time these alleys were used for household chores is hard to believe. (photo/Pinterest)

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Today these streets look more like this- (photo/Pinterest)

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This past week, I was browsing through all the upcoming auctions. I clicked on one of my usuals, and there it was! A photo of a wellhead that would fit perfectly over the ugly sewer cap in my driveway. I HAD to have it!!!! The auction was to be held outside on Saturday at 12p.m. The preview was before then, so Hubby and I went up, coffee in hand. We were happy because it was not very crowded, so that was a good sign. I started to imagine the bidding war that was to be….how high do I go?? how many people will be bidding??? do I jump in last minute??? People started to trickle in, notebooks in hand. I couldn’t believe this was the personal collection of one person. He obviously loved garden ornaments but only stored them in his yard. We walked in and started the hunt.

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Planters everywhere!

Growing up,I think everyone in my neighborhood had this swan in their yard!

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This guy was one of a pair. I almost took them home.

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This 3′ high planter was made of copper and had a beautiful green patina. I thought for sure it would go for a lot of money. It sold for $175. I am kicking myself.

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The village clock sold for only $300.

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These lanterns were a bargain

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I was picturing these in my yard, but couldn’t imagine getting them home. They were about 4′ high and all one piece.

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Mannequin Pis!

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These stately pieces were close to 7′ tall. They went for $200 each.

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And for the pool, there is Neptune

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These were fun for a vintage feel

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There was also a big selection of seating pieces.

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And then…THERE IT WAS!!!!!

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The Holy Grail of garden pieces! I HAD TO HAVE THIS!!!!

The auction began and the crowd gathered around.

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We took a seat and patiently waited as the people enthusiastically got a lot of really great bargains. We were pleasantly surprised and relieved to see that the prices were not over the top.

Hubby and I agreed on our max bid and when the piece came up for bid, it was just us and a phone bidder. I am extremely happy to say we won and for a fraction of what we expected to pay! The best part was that it came apart into pieces that we put into our truck and went home to assemble it.

Having laid a lot of patios our lifetime, it was pretty easy to install. We unloaded all the pieces and started our base.

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We used some blocks leftover from the house to frame the sewer cap

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Poured gravel, tamped it, then covered it with sand. A piece of 2×4 evens out the surface. Tamp again and repeat.

While working, we noticed we had an observer….

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This brave fox sat on the hillside the whole time. We called the police in case it was rabid, but they said nowadays even the bears are so accustomed to humans that they are not scared away easily, so we let him keep watching.

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The base was in 12 pieces.We put them down and centered them

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Then simply dry stacked the rest of the pieces.

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Next, we will make a wider circle with Belgian block and make a wide planting area to complete the turn-around in the driveway. I absolutely love it!! I hope the housing police do too!!

From High Point to the Hamptons

In March 2014 I wrote a story about a trip to High Point, North Carolina to furniture shop with my friends, Pat and Pete who had just purchased a second home in the Hamptons.

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We shopped endlessly for two days and bought everything on their list of priorities. We took photos to keep track of each room and kept our fingers crossed when the shipment finally arrived. Everything went without a hitch.

The Dining Room rug..

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The Dining Room chairs…

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A really great propeller coffee table for the family room..

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The Master Bedroom..

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Sun Room..

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And Entry.

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Knowing the weather would finally cooperate, Hubby and I made plans to go to the house this past weekend. Did we ever luck out! The weather was perfect!

We went on a bike ride,

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And ended up at the beach.

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It was SO wonderful to see water, hear the surf and seagulls, and feel the warm sun. I now believe that this past winter has finally gone away..

Our hosts treated us to a delicious gourmet dinner. (in their new dining room, of course) The menu was gorgonzola and candied pecan salad, cajun sweet potato fries, grilled asparagus, steak, onions, mushrooms and an incredible chocolate mousse for desert. Fortunately, the bike ride was the next day.

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I also was able to see all of the furnishings in place. All that is needed now are some accessories and window treatments.

My favorite purchase is the coffee table in the family room.

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It is close to 5′ square and fits perfectly into the room with the sectional  that spans the width of the room. The t.v. unit was built by the previous owner and covers the entire wall, so the obvious choice was lots of nautical and beach themed accessories. The family dog “Brock” also approves.

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The room was already painted the soft blue color and we decided to work with it, being a beach house. We are on the lookout for a large piece of art for the wall.

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The Sun Room is off to a great start with the soft beige and yellow color palette. The previous owner had installed a beautiful coffered ceiling which adds architectural interest. We would like to add some valances to soften up the windows and shutters.

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The entry had a striped beige and white paint finish so a settee and the painted chest liven up the welcome area.

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For one of four guest rooms, the previous owners had a young daughter whose room was done in pink and brown. Again we decided to work with it and luckily found bedding which was bought right off the showroom floor.

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The quilt and shams are hand sewn applique.

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The Master Bedroom also was purchased as was displayed in the showroom. There are a lot of black accents in the room and master bath, so the black trimmed bedding was perfect.

Notice the “Madame” and “Sir” pillows that give a fun touch.

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It was really exciting to see everything in place. The best part is every time I go back, I know I will always have a delicious meal and can FINALLY sit outside by the cabana and look forward to a great weekend!

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