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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

the courtyard: in progress and complete!

First of all, thank you so much for all of your support and house-love regarding the Renovation Style magazine shoot!  I can't tell you what your kind comments and emails have meant to me.


the courtyard...

If you'll recall from the last post on the courtyard, this is what the space looked like with the addition of the iron "planter."




Dan then added a stone border around the perimeter.




Big Blue and Dan leveled the terrain.




The iron planter was returned to the courtyard and planted with the Maiden grass.  A vintage armillary sphere (a gift from our dear next door neighbors in Dallas when they moved away) was added in the graveled ac bed behind the planter which will eventually be hidden by the Limelight hydrangeas that were planted between the planter and the house to hide the air conditioners.





Some floats were added- copper and fishing.  You don't see these until you step into the courtyard.  I like a garden to reveal itself as you pass through it instead of seeing everything all at one time.

 
 


Several rolls of grass have been laid in this photo.  Ahhhh.... progress!




This is the "living room bed" (we name everything!) that blooms all-white.  Again, the bare soil will be laid with sod.  Under the bay windows on the right (the living room) are three Annabelle Hydrangeas which will grow to 5 feet (hence the space between them.)  They are an old fashioned mop-head Hydrangea which are often seen around antique homes.  The tall tree on the left of the bed are white Lilacs which were already here at the house.  I thinned them out some as they were a bit out of control.  Plants were planted with a bit of space between them, but once full grown they will fill the bed.  Several of the "empty" spots in this bed are waiting for ferns, but ferns haven't made a big appearance at the nurseries here yet.  I'm trying to be patient!!




 I came back outside after getting us some water, and Dan told me he had left me a "note"..... the heart shaped rock on the left was waiting for me on this larger rock!  The next day I found a similar heart rock and left a "note" for him!
The large rock is surrounded by Liriope, white Bleeding Heart Aurora, and Icicle Speedwell and white Petunias (I've since also added white green-leaf begonias;)










While I was taking photos I realized I hadn't shown you my orb!!   I love this vintage iron orb- it moved with us from Dallas!  I bought it at the Canton Flea Market in Canton, Texas for $50!  It originally had a iron dutch oven hanging from the center of it (which we removed;)  This puppy is big, about 4 feet in diameter, and to get it home we had to strap it to the top of the SUV and drive 30 miles an hour the whole hour and a half it took to get back to Dallas!  We looked like we were trying to communicate with aliens!
In Dallas it was in the backyard path-garden as an object de art... a huge topiary sphere!  It was totally wrapped with variegated Wintergreen Euonymous- I had to cut it free to bring it with us.  The movers loved packing this baby... not!




 This is the view as you drive up the gravel driveway to the house, note the orb.  
(The first bed we designed and planted last Fall was the "front bed" and the stones under the front porch...  here )




Here at the farmhouse the orb actually has a job;  it is hiding the well-head.  It is planted with the same variegated Euonymous Wintercreeper and will eventually cover the orb.




You can see the little branches (and the tip of the well-head) being trained to grow around the orb.




And here is the finished courtyard!
I love the way that this once ugly, wasted space has turned into something so pretty!  It is especially pretty looking down on it from the second story windows.

once again....before




after!


78 comments:

  1. I love this courtyard made from wasted space...what an inspiration for the rest of us to make something from nothing!

    Congratulations again on the magazine shoot! I have enjoyed your blog from the begining and love it, and your honesty in posting the good and the bad!

    Have a great day!
    Elizabeth

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  2. Landscaping always overwhelms me, but you made me think it is possible to create something beautiful out of very little. Thanks for your inspiration. Your planning and work paid off big time.

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  3. Just when I thought your home couldn't become more georgous... you prove me wrong. I love how the courtyard turned out. Love your plant selection, love the nice curvy beds, love the all white idea, and the Orb. I can't tell you how much inspiration you give me each time I view your blog. Thank you!
    Hugs,
    Patty

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  4. it looks beautiful with all the new grass!

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  5. Joan I love it and all the special touches you added with your treasures. I especially love the heart rocks,Kathysue

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  6. Very nice and I love that you have used white flowering plants. It will look amazing once the plants are all established. The orb and urn make for interesting pieces and talking points. Well done. ;-)

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  7. It is just lovely! and I smiled thinking of Mork and Mindy and the orb....smiles.

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  8. Really beautiful, I love your glass floats and that orb was worth the slow drive home, and the mover's angst! Congratulations on the magazine spread too, how exciting!

    Kat :)

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  9. Absolutely amazing! Reminds me of how much work is left for me to do on the gardens at CDLV! :( How dare you remind me of that!? LOL! Love your orb ... I think I might just copy that! xo,A

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  10. What a lovely surprise to see everything in and the grass laid. Next year when the bush plants are larger it will look totally different, very lush. Thank you for sharing.
    - Joy

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  11. Just gorgeous.... I love how it turned out!!!

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  12. Great photos...your courtyard is amazing!!

    Love the Canton story. We used to live in Rockwall, TX (we are in the Seattle area now) and I went to Canton all the time...and I miss it a lot. It's so huge - I haven't found anything even remotely like it around here. Well except for Farm Chicks and that's only once a year.
    That is one long drive with the giant orb on top of your car :)
    Ashlyn

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  13. Just beautiful - and even more so because the hard bits all have sentimental value, as 'found' objects or special family bits and pieces. Well done!

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  14. much older sister SusanJune 8, 2011 at 10:39 PM

    In my wallet, I still carry the tiny heart shaped rock you found and gave me when we were hiking in the Tetons many years ago. Makes me smile every time I see it and reminds me that you are my baby sister.

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  15. Stunning. I love all of it. Everything is just gorgeous and the planters and orbs are beautiful. Such a wonderful area. Hugs, Marty

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  16. Joan... it looks beautiful! I'm trying to pay attention to the garden details, but my eye keeps wandering to the house :) Love your orb. It serves a purpose and it looks great. Definitely worth the long slow drive home :)

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  17. It is just beautiful! I know you must love it.

    Susan

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  18. Wow - I am constantly in awe of your space, your vision, the way you can pull it all together! Lovely! When I was little, my dad and I started a heart rock collection. I love heart rocks. I have a collection started now with my kids. Living here in Montana and being on rivers a lot (my husband is a fly-fishing guide and I whitewater kayak), we have amassed many. I will have to do a post on them! I also love rocks with interesting stripes. We even had a river rock "wishing" ceremony at our wedding- we collected beautiful river rocks, shellacked them to make them shine, and placed them on the guests' chairs. During the ceremony we asked the guests to make a wish for us and "place" the wish into the rocks and then had them put the rocks into a large, vintage wooden bowl that I got from my grandparents so that we could put them in our garden. It was a uniwue ceremony that I think everyone liked. If we had had enough time to collect heart rcks, those would have been great, but if you're a heart rock hunter, you know it's not super easy to find them (usually). Your landscaping is coming along so nicely, you must be ready to enjoy all the fruits of your labor!

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  19. Absolutely GORGEOUS! What a wonderful before and after and now it's a beautiful place to walk around and enjoy. Congratulations on all your hard work! Have a wonderful Thursday.
    Maura :)

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  20. Just beautiful! I especially love your little notes to each other. :)

    ♥ sécia
    www.petiteinsanities.blogspot.com

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  21. All your hard work has paid off, it looks absolutely beautiful. I love your little messages - so sweet.

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  22. You did a greeeeat job! I love it! Beautiful! I'm not sure if I've left a comment to you before, but I had to read your entire blog the other day! What you have done to this house is incredibel! It's so beatuiful!!!

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  23. Beautiful! I love that you name everything ... and, the planter was such a genious idea ... a great focal point. I also love that everything in your home has a story!

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  24. ...what a lovely post to wake up to...everything is beautiful...each little detail adds to a perfect whole...love how you have pieces of texas with you in new hampshire...and love the heart rocks...perfect metaphors for the house...and the owners...and finally you know i love the fact that you have saved the farmer's wife lilacs...she would be proud...

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  25. Absolutely stunning..what a gorgeous makeover! Love how you kept it natural feeling, it looks so beautiful against the white wood of the house. Enjoy!

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  26. Looks wonderful, love that it will look like it belongs to the house, love the grasses....I have been having a love affair with grasses lately, my friend grows 5 acres [Lovegrass Farm] that she digs up to sell...some grow to 8-9 feet high, great plumes that sway in the wind..they are stunning. I have planted many of my planters with them this year and in the fall can plant them in the garden. Win Win

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  27. Lovely!!!! I am still drooling over EVERYTHING you do, and it is really quite embarassing for me......But now for the unsolicited advice...take out the liriope, stomp on it, burn it, bury it 5 miles away, and sprinkle a ring of garlic around your house and MAYBE, JUST MAYBE it won't take over the garden. I have pulled mine out for YEARS after it choked out everything in sight, and I also volunteer at the local hospice and we are pulling it out of there EVERY single day....it is great for a large contained area (like the children's wood edged play area at the hospice, it can take pounding and still springs back) but honestly...SAVE YOURSELF!!! :) Just some unsolicited advice....sorry..I saw that 'L' word and snapped! :)Rosie

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  28. Your life is so lovely. I really enjoy these glimpses in. And the "notes"-- they made me a little teary.

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  29. Hi Joan
    Once this space is grown it should look beautiful and a great compliment to the house
    Kind Regards
    Karen

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  30. Beautiful. What a dear story of hard work and love. Can't wait to see it all! xo

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  31. Brenda- I, too, love grasses! I bet the 5 acres is stunning! A couple of weeks ago I heard this from one of my worker-bees to another.... "What's she got growing in that "flower pot"....GRASSES????" He was so dismayed!!

    Rosie- this liriope is muscari- which is the clumping variety. (also in NH it is a much slower grower than it was in Texas;), but there is also a
    spicata variety, which is a fairly aggressive spreader- which might be the type you have seen in your area?? I do appreciate your concern/warning, that was kind of you to mention it in case I had the bad kind!

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  32. Dream home with a dream garden courtyard. You are so talented! Thanks for the inspiration.

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  33. Hi Joan, Dan, and Ella: Visionary...you take a blank slate and always turn it into something spectacular! I find your courtyard to be very serene and calming. Love the two hearts, the placement of the floats, the new stone border, your white garden....OK, I love the entire area! Cindy

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  34. Lovely. I love reading about you and your home. I may be wrong, but in the photo with the heart rocks, the plant on the left looks like what we call goose-neck loostrife. If it is, I just want you to know it's extremely invasive and you may really want to watch that it stays under control. Everything is gorgeous!

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  35. Pretty pretty! I love the prospect of all those hydrangeas! My favorite! Here in Dallas hydrangea season is coming to a close....it's so hot. I'm guessing your season is just starting?

    God bless!

    Gail

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  36. Absolutely lovely. Love the orbs, the floats, the iron planter...love it all.

    Holly

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  37. BEAUTIFUL! Love the orb and even more I love the visual of you driving with it strapped to the roof of the suv. Hilarious.

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  38. Just when I thought your house couldn't be any more beautiful you find a way to do something else fabulous! No wonder I find myself returning to your blog over and over again! I think you should make your home story into a book! I would love to be able to sit and study all your rooms while sitting on my porch! You are very talented and I have loved everything you have done!

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  39. Oh, I forgot to mention that your heart rocks choked me up! I have always had a soft spot for them,as my kids used to bring them to me. What a sweet,simple, and beautiful way of expressing your love for each other!

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  40. Your courtyard turned out beautiful!

    ~Donna

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  41. Hi Joan- Well not that my opinion matters, but I do approve of everything! I do however feel a need for a tetanus shot when I look at the planter! LOL
    It's a very unique addition. I wonder how white Candytuft would look in there too...in the spring a l show of white flowers and it would probably drape over the edges!
    I showed my Dan what you two have been up to and he enjoyed seeing that piece as well as everything else! Love the sphere with the euonymous... and I love the living room bed- that's my favorite! You've done such a marvelous job and obviously you have done your homework to learn which plants will do well. Kudos- Liz
    I recently did a posting with my fern garden- check it out if you have a minute!

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  42. hi Jo! that plant is actually Veronica "Icicle Speedwell" that was needing a bit of water- hence the droopy heads;)

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  43. Gorgeous! I love your idea of the garden revealing itself as you look deeper into it. I also like how you used the hydrangeas that had been used in times past--that's a great detail. But, my favorite part of the post was getting the orb home. I can so relate to a story like that and it gives you and your husband something to laugh over.

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  44. Congrats. on the magazine shoot. Love your new outdoor space. It is amazing what some rock and gravel can create. I like it so much better than the mega buck projects where they make waterfalls and so forth. Great job.Thanks for sharing. Richard at My Old historic House.

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  45. Joan this is great - the found objects that you repurpose are wonderful. The first heart rock my husband and I ever found was along the North Shore near Duluth, MN. It was much too big to take with us, we have a photograph of it instead that will be finding a home in our house soon. We found a second heart rock (similar in size to yours) at Shady Grove Farm, it has been given a new home next to our front door - they must mean true love and a happy house! Katie

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  46. Oh. My. Goodness. How beautiful. I love your house and yard ... and ...I am fast falling in love with Dan!!! That heart rock did me in. :)
    xoxo Dianne

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  47. Love it all...I was trying to decide on my favorite element but I just can't -
    the metal planter...the grasses are brilliant,
    the floats on gravel...wow,
    the heart rocks...a great way to show them off...
    I'm off to move some things around in my garden.
    Thanks again for sharing your creativity!
    ;)

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  48. The power of beautiful landscaping!! I always get overwhelmed with the outdoor chores.

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  49. Beautiful. In a few seasons of growth, it will be truly amazing. I just love your style. I really think you should consider doing a book. Your images are just lovely.

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  50. Looove your courtyard! It looks fantastic. Makes me want to go home and get landscaping...

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  51. I love the garden space with the mix of treasure objects and fresh new plantings.
    Mostly I love that Dan left you a tug at your heart note, it makes the process of tackling projects even more memorable. Swoon!

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  52. I am impressed with Dan. Not only can he do amazing things on Big Blue, he can make everybody's heart go pitter patter when he finds heart shaped rocks! You two are an amazing team. I have loved following along on your adventure. I, too, would love to see you do a book.

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  53. Your courtyard came out so well, really beautiful. I planted 20 limelight hydrangeas last weekend and would love to water them but we took a direct hit this morning with lightening and it zapped our well pump, no water. Second time this has happened so time to place lightening rods on the house. I love your "planter" look great in the middle. Good job Joan, Dan and big blue!

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  54. Yup! I checked the tag of my liriope (after I pried it off my dart board....) and it is indeed a spicata variety....hhhmmm....I guess the ground cover description should have tipped me off....but the word invasive was never mentioned! :) Thanks for the head's up on that! Maybe I WILL try the mounding type. And once again, I can't wait to see the article, but really, I think that there is a book here, as someone mentioned earlier.....kind of like of Bunny Williams' "An Affair With A House". Seriously! Rosie

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  55. It is just wonderful. What I imagine I would want ... I love white gardens and I love ornaments in gardens and of course, living in a city ... I love the greenness of everything.
    I think you are lucky I live so far away, you would come out one summer morning to find me lying in the yard, just soaking in the beauty of it all. I would be your new lawn ornament lol

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  56. Joan, Joan, Joan, your home stops my heart. It really does. Deep, deep sigh. A-M xx

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  57. Your home and style just inspires me!! Thank you for sharing...I love it all.
    (The heart rocks are adorable!!)

    Jessica

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  58. Oh, wow! What a transformation. Gorgeous!

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  59. OK, its official- I need to buy my own NH farmhouse right next to your so you and Dan can come over and teach me your ways- you two just have this magic touch that turns everything into gold!

    So, if you find me sunbathing in your courtyard one afternoon- dont be scared, its just your creepy blog friend :)

    (totally kidding of course, but I just LOVE what you did here- as with everything in your house of course)

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  60. It looks lovely! The perfect spot to relax in!

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  61. Beautiful landscaping, simple and natural....i love the little touches of the floats and the "notes', thats so sweet!!

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  62. i love an all white garden so beautiful in the evenings too. just wondering though if those begonias are maybe petunias? could be wrong but I did enlarge the photo maybe I missed the begonias.
    Love your artifacts the planter and the orb. your Dan is a saint that's for sure!

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  63. hi Victoria! good eye, and you are so right!! I had added some green leaf-white begonias after I took this photo, right before I made the post and I must have had begonias on the brain;) thank you for noting that I will change it in the text.
    St.Dan appreciates it!! Actually I'm going to have to stop letting him read all these sweet comments about him, or it's going to be difficult to get St.Dan to do his house-projects!! That's it!! Maybe "St.Dan" can be the Saint of "house projects";)

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  64. So pretty, love the combinations of your plantings! Really love the giant orb too!

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  65. Just beautiful. I love the orb. It adds such personality to the space.

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  66. I just feel IN LOVE, with your ORB! It is gorgeous and I will be on the lookout for something similiar! The courtyard has turned out beautifully, just as EVERYTHING you doo!!!! I should say, what you 2 do!!!! XO, Pinky

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  67. Hi Joan, Your landscaping looks wonderful and I love the orb and the iron pot. Everything is beautiful!
    xo,
    Sherry

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  68. I love how you pay attention to even the smallest, charming detail!
    Your metal orb is wonderful!
    Looking forward to seeing your garden mature.
    Happy Weekend in the garden. xo Brooke

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  69. Oh it looks just lovely. The orb was such a clever and attractive solution!! And love your landscaping.

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  70. Your courtyard is, indeed, a lovely place. I studied and studied the gorgeous "after" pictures because something about them just looked a bit off ..... it's your shutters (blinds)!

    May I ask why they are hung as they are? You've got them attached to the farthest outside edges of the window trim. Properly, they should be attached close to the inside edge of the window opening so they can close over the windows (and rest into the window opening like the hinged double doors that they are) as originally intended.

    Nowadays people with fake shutters (sadly, the new norm) have them mounted as you do, but on an old house, with what looks like real shutters they will look much better mounted properly.

    If you move them, even if just by photoshop, you'll be surprised at what an improvement it will make as it will make them seem much more part of the window darkness itself as opposed to just big dark ear flaps stuck on as an afterthought.

    Your lovely house and very interesting blog are on my daily checklist, now. We, too live in a 19th century farmhouse in the northeast. We, too, name things: our Big Blue is actually Snow Lady (a white Bolens/Iseki). Our rennovations are proceeding much more lackdaisically however - we've been at it since the late 1980s!

    I hope you don't mind direct remarks about your shutters.

    M.

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  71. So very pretty! I missed quite a few posts since my last visit. I am so thrilled to hear about the magazine shoot!! I love that magazine.
    I am making my way over to the photo shoot post now.

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  72. If it hasn't been said already, I totally see a gazebo in that space as well! Cheesy perhaps, or possibly perfect.

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