garden

A Magical Garden

Hi friends! How's life? I hope all is well. We are preparing for our trip to Disneyland to celebrate Grace's 8th Birthday! She is beyond excited! Claire on the other hand, has decided that sleep is rather over rated and has nightly parties in her crib - laughing, talking and calling out to me. I'm exhausted, to say the least! I'll be glad when this little night owl phase passes. Anyway...A couple of weeks back we visited a magical place right here in Lake Oswego - The Elk Rock Gardens. It was a gorgeous Spring morning, so Grace and I headed over there to stroll the many paths that crisscross this enchanting place. I, of course, took a plethora of pictures, so I thought I would finally share them with you...

into the gardens

pink glow

forest child

flower in hand

grace

blossoms

little girl big trees

memorial

rhody

grace2

yellow blooms

view

What an amazing morning we had exploring this wonderful place! As Spring comes into full bloom, I encourage you to check out local gardens in your area! It's so easy to forget about these precious places and just get caught up in our day to day tasks. So much inspiration can be found in nature!

Have a beautiful rest of the week!

xo,

Ivy

Friday Escapes: Ireland

Happy Friday! With yesterday being St. Patty's I thought it only fitting that we journey to Ireland today. I can't wait! Let's go...

Speaking of castles...you know I have a thing for them...what girl doesn't? So of course, I found a gorgeous one for us to stay in! We are headed to Lismore Castle just outside of the town of Lismore in County Waterford. Map. If you want to stay at Lismore Castle you have to rent the whole thing out...it costs a fortune but I managed to pull a few strings and got us a deal. ;)

Oh and I have a surprise - I arranged for a coach to pick us up. Why? Because arriving at a castle in a horse drawn carriage is perfectly dreamy...

[audio http://graceandivy.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/53377__dobroide__20080504-horse-drawn-00.mp3]

There is the castle up ahead!

Let's check in and take a peek at our room and then we can explore the gardens.

So beautiful! Don't you feel like a princess? Oh let's stop in the drawing room and have tea and treats before we venture out...

image

Let's go for a stroll through the manicured grounds...

[audio http://graceandivy.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/23131__pcaeldries__countrysidesummerevening.mp3]

Well...I must leave you now my friends. Have a rest on this bench, smell the roses and breathe in the gorgeous fresh air of the Irish countryside. Hope you enjoyed our little trip to Ireland.

Have a fantastic weekend!!

xo,

Images via here, here and here. Sounds via here.

Flowering Branches

We've been a having a lot of rain lately and well...honestly... it's getting a little tiresome but I am taking great pleasure in witnessing the slow bloom of all the flowering trees. Dogwoods, cherry blossoms, camellias. I'll take them! Give me some brightness and beauty amidst the gray! This weekend, I plan on going out into the garden and bringing in some of these gorgeous flowering branches. They make the most beautiful display. Inexpensive, dramatic and inspiring you can't help but want them in your home. Check out these gorgeous images via Style and Home.com...

Don't you love the deep shades of navy, teal and amethyst and how they contrast against the lightness of the blooms? So lovely!

What spring blossoms are you enjoying where you are?

xo,

I heart my camera

Hi there! Hope your Monday is going smoothly. On Saturday, I took a fantastic photography workshop with Peter West Carey and I'm completely in LOVE with my new camera (now that I understand it)!  I look a little silly walking around the house and yard in my yoga pants and sweatshirt with my Canon around my neck but I don't really care. Every time the sun peeks out behind the clouds, I squeal and run outside desperate to capture the beautiful light.  Here are some of my humble attempts. I'm learning and loving it.

This lovely camellia is the first bloom in my garden. I was so happy to see her.

My poor kitty has been very patient with me...

I will leave you with another pic of my beloved camellia. I played with some filters on this one. So much fun!

Have a fabulous afternoon and thanks for having a look.

xo,

Texas Garden Delights

Just got back from The Little Winter sale! It was such a beautiful show. I even got to meet Abby from Abby Try Again! It was so nice to meet her after following her blog this past year. She was super sweet and I purchased a print that I fell in love with ages ago. Looking through her gorgeous photos inspired me to post some pics from our recent trip to Texas.  Although the trip was for very sad reasons, I am happy to share these shots from my mother-in-law's lovely garden. After all the tears it was wonderful to play in her whimsical yard. Grace especially had a blast... She has these huge old oak trees that seem to watch over the garden like gentle giants...

This little stage is actually a vintage day bed that my mother-in-law found on her many antique shopping adventures. Like the old red doors above, she collects precious treasures and finds the perfect spots for them. Grace adored dancing around on "her stage" all afternoon and into the night.

Hope you are having a lovely weekend.

xo,

p.s. If you live in Portland, do not, I repeat do NOT miss the opportunity to check out the incredibly talented women at the Little Winter Market. Tomorrow is the last day!

Rainy Thursday

It's the July 1st and here, in Portland....guess what? It's raining. I could be bummed out (and I am a little) but instead I decided it would be good to get out into the garden and take some pics of the flowers, delicately bejeweled with the summer rain.

The rain is supposed to clear up for the holiday weekend, so I guess I'm okay with it for now - like I have a choice in the matter.

Hope it's sunny wherever you are on this first day of July!

xo,

The color of a Rose

With Valentines' Day just around the corner the Queen of flowers is getting her yearly worship as roses are shipped all over the world, their prices skyrocketing. Why? Because this eternally romantic flower holds us in thrall with its curvaceous ruffles, heavenly smell and of course it's rainbow of hues.

It may be referred to as being old-fashioned or unoriginal but no matter what your view is on the dear Rose, you can't deny it's beauty or symbolic power of love.

I'm a sucker for random information so I thought I'd share the hidden messages behind the color of a Rose. Make sure you give according to your heart...

Red Rose: Love, Beauty, Courage and Respect, Romantic Love, Congratulations

Deep Burgundy Rose: Unconscious Beauty

White Rose: Purity, Innocence, Silence, Secrecy, Reverence, Humility, Youthfulness, "I am worthy of you", Heavenly

Pink Rose: Appreciation, "Thank you", Grace, Perfect Happiness, Admiration, Gentleness, "Please Believe Me"

Yellow Rose: Joy, Gladness, Friendship, Delight, Promise of a new beginning, Welcome Back, Remember Me

Orange Rose: Desire, Enthusiasm

Peach Rose: Appreciation, Closing the deal, Let's get together, Sincerity, Gratitude

Lavender Rose: Love at first sight, Enchantment

If you love the smell of Roses check out our lovely Floral Garden Body Lotion. It's light, fragrant and luxurious, leaving your skin silky soft. A great treat for Valentines' Day.

p.s. If you happen to find yourself in Portland don't miss our internationally renown Rose Gardens.