Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Christmas Jar of Twigs

After a lovely day off, I returned to the shop in the stillness of the morning to find a dear friend had dropped off a wonderful bags filled with treasures. Nestled proudly into a brown bag was a trove of eyes delight. Savoring the moment, I pulled the polka dot glittered tissue aside.... my eyes smiled. I lifted a well loved Kerr jar from the bag to rest on my desk. Filling the jar were Hollyhocks stems dried lovingly by the sun. Their creamy fuzzy pods cracking open while still holding the desired seeds of one of my favorite flower. Birch twigs held tiny images of blue birds and smaller wires wrapped tightly around branches held miniature silver snowflakes, now dancing in my vision. Old ephemera books laid under the treasures. My eyes focused on the many findings entrapped with in the jar....shells, leaves, more seeds and small terracotta pots began to blur as my eyes, now swollen with tears, blended them back to their watering home.
I was taken back by my response to the little jar filled with the promise of Spring....but moreover the thought and action from which it came. I have been blessed by some truly lovely friends.... I added a few tiny rose hips and some stray pheasant feathers to the already brimming jar of Christmas cheer. Bits of drift wood and shells, pods and leaves took my thoughts back to where they came from...the garden now at rest! The sender knows me well and she captured the art of giving more then she knows. This simple jar....what a JOY! Bound with a sumptuous striped ribbon, I will enjoy and await the moment this Spring when I can once again return the gift from the Christmas Jar of Twigs.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Traditions....Simply Abundant

The Thanksgiving cornucopia, spilling over with the fruits of the harvest, reigns an icon of autumn. Derived from the Latin for "horn of plenty," this basket is the most traditional of Thanksgiving centerpieces. Classically, it overflows with fruits, vegetables, gourds and Indian corn. But don't confine this iconic embellishment to the dining table. Cornucopias are warm, welcoming arrangements in a front hall or guest room or on a broad kitcken window sill. Smaller versions.... loaded perhaps with cookies, jams, chocolates, teas or coffees....make a much appreciated gifts.
Although the tradition of the cornucopia is ancient, it's meaning is still relevant today. Because it symbolizes the bounty of life, it can help remind us of the bounty of blessings we've received throughout the year.
I am blessed to be able to do what I love.
Blessings find you this coming season of Thanks. Todd @ Bountiful Home

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Although the calendar still says it's fall, by the time Thanksgiving arrives the chill of winter has usually settled in. And we have done the same. Thanksgiving always draws us close to home and family. The day itself finds our homes dressed in full finery. Candles lit. Silver polished. Center piece built. Linens pressed to crisp perfection. Amid the fall splendor, there's also a nod to winters pending appearance. We draw the drapes at night to fight the evening chill. There's a quilt on every bed and a warming fire crackling in the hearth.
Sandwiched between two spirited holidays, Thanksgiving is the quiet reflective one. Ideally it involves no major agendas or grand performances, save that of the cook. Rather it gives us that rare relaxed moment to focus on the blessings we've received in the past year and to welcome family and close friends for the sheer pleasure of their company. Before time consumes me again....Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Beautiful Hydrangeas

Well, its been some time since my last post. Life here at Bountiful Home is moving forward with many new prospects and events that have carried me to this Fall. After a very successful retail show at Ruffles and Rust in Monroe, I returned to the shop to begin the Holiday Decor set up. But it is this season of repose, one of rest and change that I really crave. Autumn is truly my favorite of all seasons. Rich color floats under foot and the rustle of the leaves make the walks in the park more desirable. In my garden, it is the hydrangeas that were spectacular this year. Today before the rain set in I clipped and bundled the beauties so to share them with those who desire the same. Grab a cup of tea and go for a stroll in your own garden....You'll be amazed at what beatiful treasures you will find...perhaps even some Hydrangeas.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Silent Beauties

I'm not sure how often we really slow down during our days, and recognize that we are people with great passions and loves. What are your favorite things? Some will acknowledge foods or sports but I will always tell you that my favorite things lie in the garden, the earth, surrounded by growing plants and flowering trees and vines... These are my silent beauties!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Gardening as Outdoor Theater

Some gardeners, I believe, use gardening as outdoor theater, with themselves as directors. Some prefer the security of repeating a similar production year after year. Others prefer the challenge of new tableaux each year: the thrill of learning about new plants and how to fit them into the gardening environment is what gives them satisfaction. Some in order to understand the plants who are the players imbue them with human characteristics. They talk to them, praise them, interact with them, move them around the stage, changing the lighting....but, ultimately, if they fail to perform, they reach for the stage hook. I love this idea of gardening and I find myself very much in the midst of this thought. This is a wonderful season we are approaching, Fall. Embrace the season of change.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Re-purposing Furniture

For several years now, I have watched and marveled at my dear friend CoCo, as she loved on cast off furniture. Schlepping old chairs and tables into her garage, only to emerge from an ugly duckling as a swan, these new found pieces would sing. Hundreds of objects would enter her sanctuary, disappear for a time and then debut as wonderful old world treasures. Book shelves, Hutches, Tables, Chairs, frames, to name a few, have been given a second chance at dwelling in someones home as a loved object. Soon, I became infatuated with the process and time that goes into these pieces. I was bitten! I now have become someone who sees things, not for what they are, but what they can be. And oh the joy that comes from watching these forgotten loved ones, transform before my eyes. Such joy that comes to the finder of these newly refurbished pieces of furniture. So let the art of re-purposing begin, continue and live on. Happy hunting

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lavender, Lavender Lavender!

This is one of my favorite times in the gardens at Bountiful Home. 54 steps off Main street, this is Garden and Nursery is known to some as Edmonds 'Best Kept Secret.' Greeted by a rose-line walk and arbor heavy in rose petals the sweet scent of the day follows your footprints. Passing through the second arbor covered by Cecil Brunner roses, you'll brush a hydrangea that will take your breath away. Pure White blossoms with a tiny azure blue eye, smile back as you pass this old growth wonder. Previously formal gardens have fallen into a more 'informal' setting as your view widens into the Nursery behind the shop. It's a confetti of color everywhere! And the voices who see it speak, "Look at the Lavender." Huge mounds of Hidcote and Grosso lavender flank the entry of the side gardens which house numerous types of Succulents, Sempervirens and Sedums. The white bells of the Kiwi vine dangle freely over a newer plot of gardens boasting a study of Lime green, blue-green and Burgundy. Then the row of hydrangeas under the apple tree, scream out in shades of blue to whitish-green. It's Stunning.... if you slow long enough to take it all in. Perch yourself on a bench or step in the garden and breathe deep, and watch for the bevy of dragonflies that sporadically fly through the Nursery darting after bugs and each other. Its Lavender time..... and I'll see you in the garden.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Rose on the arbor!

  So many passerby's have slowed their walks to admire this great beauty. Flourishing in blush pink roses, this nameless rose speaks volumes of her time here on the property of Bountiful Home. Planted by the former tenant, lovingly known as The Weed Lady, this rose has been moved, chopped, hacked, picked and neglected. Planted some 30 years ago, she has seen customers grow and bring their children back to admire. Drought tolerant, this rose rambles up from the soil to be seen. Over night this rambler springs forth with smaller canes, then over night rockets higher and higher setting bud and getting ready to show off. Then as the summer heat sets in, utter joy is spoken to those who walk by and bend long enough to smell her lovely scent. What a welcome! What a rose! the sweet remembrance rose on the arbor.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The French Dress Form

I hit this great estate sale last weekend and found this wonderful young lady standing on the grass. I had received a tip from a great customer and friend of Bountiful Home, so I hurried to the address and found a treasure. Elegant and stately, this dress form from the 1920's has everything going right for it. Her gears that moved the bodies form worked.... her metal skirt was working and her cloth covered body was well aged but lovely. Cloaked in a bit of rust, she sparkled!! I had to have her. Among some other goodies, she rode back to the shop in my truck, then proudly perched in the entryway, greeting customers with delight and surprise. I felt like she'd be a great addition to the shop for the coming seasons. Then only a day later this beauty found a new home. Loading her into the car, I told the new owner that I had named her Cozette, a fitting French girls name. So thanks for the visit Cozette, It was nice to meet you!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Joanies Cecil Brunner Rose

Approaching this glorious climbing rose, one might view it as a thug, a tangled bevy of thorns, or simply spectacular! I am of the latter thought. When I started my biz here in Edmonds this climbing rose was swallowing the back porch with its layers of greens. Its companion in the knot garden was closing in on the bathroom window, perched on the second story of the house. Joan, the Weed Lady, who planted this rose, would pick these precious flowers in bud form and string them into garlands, make potpourri, and shared them willingly with those who stood long enough to admire it. The rose is scented unlike any other....Some mornings, it's scent captures my thoughts before I am even through the gate. Sweet yet peppery, this tiny, thumb-nail sized pink rose will steal your heart. Perfect in bud, smashing in mid blossom, and even wonderful in repose, Cecil Brunner is a rose to complete any garden. But I will warn to respect this beauty. Cecil is a harsh mistress. Today I enjoy the tales told about this rose and giving her away to those who pause long enough to enjoy!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Meet "Quiz"..........

Meet "Quiz", our new shop cat. This little tommy arrived on the property with sad green eyes and a cry to melt the coldest heart. He quickly liked to torment me but not letting me touch him. But I quickly realized that maybe not touching this little guy was for the best. As the days slipped into weeks, I saw signs of malnutrition and loneliness. Customers would try to catch him and his little back legs weren't working well with his front legs. I had had enough. I stopped by the store and picked up good soft cat food and grabbed a blanket to make him a bed. Soon this little cracker with waiting for me in the mornings as I'd drive into the Nursery. He's a good little eater and his little body is slowly filling out. I'm not sure where he came from or where he is going....he is a riddle, a puzzle or a Quiz.... our new addition to the shop.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Herb Lovage.

A tall harvest for the timid gardener. To be known as the grower of the "love parsley" might give you an interesting reputation. It is not a common herb. Grow Lovage as an extra herb and to prove that you can really grow something BIG. Giant sized Lovage is a native to the Mediterranean. In Britain it grows wild in the country sides. Greeks and Romans considered it a pleasant medicinal herb. When herbal perfumes were the rage, it was an enjoyable bath cologne. Lovage has beneficial effects and soothing qualities during intestinal upset. But I like it best plucked from the plant and popped into my mouth. It has a celery flavor with a peppery back. Mature leaves are best on a pastrami sandwich and can reach the size of a small leaf lettuce. Its a back of the border perennial reaching 6 feet tall. Available in 4 inch containers. $3.95 each

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Antique Rose 'La Marne"

The rose that greets every customer entering the shop is known to few as La Marne. This antique cultivar is one of those heirlooms that is lost to many but found by those seeking it's beauty and hardiness. A transplant from Europe in 1915 is the perfect hedge rose. It has a neat and erect bush habit, heavily covered in healthy, shiny foliage. It's a constant bloomer. Not a technical term by any means, but the truth! This little cracker has bloomed well into the first snow and photographed by Joannie the Weed Lady who loved and sold this rose and its buds for years. La Marne flowers are born on loose cluster and its color shows best in morning light. The shrub responds best in open, sunny areas vs shade. I defoliate this shrub in early winter on one of those incredibly sunny winter days in Seattle/Edmonds. Then early Spring I prune it to a stout "V" shape and sit back for the show. Blooming now along the walk up to the shop, I'd challenge anyone to resist this little charmer. Cuttings of this rose will arrive at Bountiful Home this Summer for purchase. Get one!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Junk Fence

A little more then three years ago, as I was dreaming of opening Bountiful Home, I had many sleepless nights. Tossing and turning, I'd wake to rethink the dreams I was actively dreaming. On one of those crazy sleepless nights I woke up to see the image of a fence made of other folks cast offs. I saw old bed springs as arbor roofs, glass doors, windows and screen doors as fence sections. Light fixtures turned up on end became planted containers, now adorning the fence, boasting sedums of many sorts. Pickets, lattice, drip pans and mirrors found new homes on the fence. The found objects have become signature in the shop as well as around the gardens. So one man's junk can be an other's treasure. Looking to make something wonderful out of the ordinary, can be an art and a joy. The experience of building it was wonderful and the garden that sits in front of the junk fence is a treat. Wine bottle borders, rusty bolts bouquets and metal rings from broken down whiskey barrels find themselves nestled into a hardy bunch of my favorite plants. The junk fence offers inspiration for all who seek greater joys to live by.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My May Day ....

Saturday morning I got to the shop a bit earlier then usual to find a timeless greeting hanging from the front door knob of the shop. It stopped me in my tracks and then I smiled knowing exactly who it had come from.
A May Day basket is a .... simple gesture of "Hello," or "I love you"...."I'm thinking of you!" This tradition of greeting Spring, adorning someones door knob, and passing on good wishes is a fleeting art. Growing up I remember my great Aunt lived next door to us and every May Day I made a construction paper basket, and then race home to fill it from Mothers rockery now blooming with endless color. Forget Me Nots, Scillia, and Basket of Gold would fill the flimsy paper basket now drooping with wet stems. I'd race thru the garden gate and sneak towards Auntie Cecil's door. Sliding back her screen door I would proudly hang this funny little basket of love on her door.
Saturday, as the day went on, several customers who I have come to know from the shop entered bearing small gift from their gardens or sharing seeds of joy. "Love in a mist" seeds and "sweet pea" seeds accompanied warm thoughts of kindness. And if you think you missed it?.... Think again. You still have time to adorn and surprise an unsuspecting friend or neighbors door with flowers and thoughts of Spring.....and Oh, by the way! Thank you Joannie the Weed Lady for the May Day Basket!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

New Stuff

This past wee
k new merchandise came pouring in as the furniture went flying out. So a trip to one of my favorite antique haunts and BAM... shops full again. With a bit of shuffling and finessing, the shop filled up with a wonderful garden feeling followed by PARIS. Not sure where that came from but there it is... Here's a picture.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Oh My...Look whose on Face Book!!

Just to let you know that I am getting more connected. You can find Bountiful Home on Face Book at Bountiful Home and Nursery...stop by and become a fan. T

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Indeed

Coming this week is one of my favorite perennials, Dicentra spectaballis Alba, White Bleeding Heart. Truly, the first promise of Spring. This woodland wonder is a sight to behold. Dangling delicately from long pendulous, leafless stems are small white hearts that open. The pink is equally as beautiful yet a smidge more common. These silent beauties seek shade and rich moist soils, but not soggy. Available in gallons this week, this special perennial will please and delight you for years to come. $8.95 a 6" container

Friday, March 19, 2010

Yellow Lavender

The name itself seems to be a dichotomy, a yellow lavender? How can this be? Welcome Lavadula viridis, Yellow Flowered Lavender. This little charmer can grow into a monster if left to ramble. Short, dense flower spikes with creamy yellow to greenish top bracts and pine scented green foliage and attracts butterflies and bees. For the gardener who wants the unusual, or the weird and the wonderful, Bountiful Home's Nursery is starting to fill up with hard to find plant material and unusual specimens. Visit soon before this Ornamental Herb/ Tender Perennial sells out for the season. Great in containers...Full sun, avoid over watering and protect from hard winters. $4.95 4"pot. Welcome Spring!

Friday, March 12, 2010

My Friend the Weed Lady

Many of you know the story and the iconic woman behind the business and the house. Thirty five years ago, Joan Searle was ahead of her time, making a business off gleaning and gathering weeds then spinning them into wondrous wares to sell and to be cherished for decades to come. Daily I am reminded that Bountiful Home and Nursery exists in the shadow of this creative woman. It was here, at the shop, when I was 14 yrs. old that I learned to appreciate the beauties of nature, the sound of trickling water and the flicker of crickets legs on the porch. This shop was a delight to the eyes and senses.

Joanie, as I call her today, is still a favorite in the shop, proudly perched on the window seat sipping tea or dispensing kind words to the shoppers who are surprised to see her. To me she is a friend and teacher, a creative mind and heart, an artist, decorator, gardener and lover of birds. She is an example I enjoy on a regular basis...Lucky me! So today, before the shop opens and I get wrapped into the business of the day.....I'd like to say, " Thank you" to Joanie.... my friend. Isn't she lovely?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Marshmallows are Here

Last year "Swallow" Vintage Pantry and Gourmet Foods opened in the kitchen of the Bountiful Home. Happy Birthday Girls! But what you might not know is that the girls have cultivated quite a following of certain foodie items. So if you are reading this and are might want to leave the room...hahahaha but better on!! Returning this Spring for its second Oscar nod is Butter Baked Goods Flavored Marshmallows. 4 flavors arrived and are selling fast for Easter and to those who love a good s'more! Raspberry, Passion Fruit, Chocolate and Toasted Coconut are here to tempt you. $8.95 a bag. More vintage inspired kitchen products and yummy foods, jams and honeys arrive this month. Stop by for a taste!

Spring is Coming

After a brief hiatus, of inventory and painting, cleaning and dreaming, I'm back and ready to keep you posted on all the happenings with Bountiful Home and Swallow Gourmet Foods. The days will grow longer this Sunday and the Spring light will fall harder upon us. Soon the Nursery will spring open and the unique and hard to find plants will start trickling in....So stay tuned. In the mean time there lots of eye candy inside the shop. This sweet little Sparrow Time Piece is cast iron with roman numerals and retails at $24.95 .

Dr. Dandelion Soap in Lavender and Peppermint Scents ($5.95) have just arrived and Mistral French Milled Soaps have returned with some new scents for Spring. South Seas, Grapefruit/ Red Currant, Blackberry, Lilac of May and Verbena are among the favorites for me. Bars are retailing at 7.95.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Winter Morning Walk

I entered the shop this morning to find several new nose prints smudged onto the window of the doorway. I smiled, thinking, "I hope they enjoyed the simple and quiet view" that is now in the entry way of the shop. This curious space is a delight and a thorn in my side at the same time. The foyer sets the scene, the face and the feeling for the shop.
But it was the garden that I experienced as I approached the front door that stopped me. Talk about a mood setter! Tender green shoots were forcing their little heads surface side to glance back at me. Towering over them were the remnents of the Mother plant from last season, now needing a strong and swift pruning. I pinched myself to think that this is Winter and not a Spring blast! I dropped my bag inside and headed into the garden with a steamy cup of joe and my thoughts. Wandering down into the side garden I was encounraged at the specimens that wintered and looked great. The shockingly bright orange Heuchera Marmalde paired with the leafless branches of the Barberry now hanging heavy with little red berries stopped me. There is color all around me. The lime green trumpets of the Daphe boast bright yellow centers. Old Hydrangeas planted years before now weather any type of sun or shade are forceing brilliant new growth and promise a bumper crop of blossoms this season. And yes, even the weeds that visit my garden are showing color.
In these short winter days, as the light falls low in your garden, get out into your plot of soil and look.....listen....even sit still and enjoy it. You will find life stretching forth. A little clean up and weed pulling and you'll be ahead of the game once the Nurseries start to fill up. Do some arm chair gardening and dream! Dream about setting the mood.... a simple, quiet view, or a brave new face to the world.