'Landscaping'

Enjoying The Crape Myrtles

July 31, 2017

By Tab Byrum

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not a great lover of all things Summer. I don’t enjoy the heat, I don’t enjoy the bright sun or the hot wind that often greets you as you step out of the house but one thing that I do enjoy this time of year are the flowers and especially here in Oklahoma, the Crape Myrtles. Sometimes we have a hard time getting anything pretty to bloom in this part of the country during this time of year, but this year we had a wet Spring and have had some occasional showers during the Summer and the Crape Myrtle bushes and trees are beautiful. I recently drove around Oklahoma City taking photos of Crape Myrtles that I can share with you, I love all the colors they come in. For years the bright, dark Pink variety was what you saw the most of but now you see a lot of a lighter Pink color as well as a light Purple, and White. I’ve noticed that many people are planting them to line either side of a walkway forming an allée which I really like. I recently shared our beautiful new fence so now we are looking at how we can improve our backyard, especially around the perimeter and I definitely think Crape Myrtles will be a part of it. Until I get my own planted and growing we’ll just have to enjoy the photos I’m sharing today, let me know your thoughts on Crape Myrtles and what your favorite color is. Enjoy!!!

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A House For Dior

July 28, 2017

By Tab Byrum

The south of France has always been a place where people go to escape, whether it’s to escape a busy city life or just to escape, the south of France is a place we’ve seen depicted in movies and read about in books where people want to get away from it all and just relax. That’s how it was for famed clothing designer Christian Dior, and when you have the means to buy a home in a place you love maybe you do, and if that home is in the south of France it might be a castle and this one is. Christian Dior purchased the Château de La Colle Noire in 1950 and truly felt at home here. After buying the home Dior immediately set about restoring it to original glory but sadly he died in 1957 and his sister, who inherited the home, was unable to keep it. Today the house has been reclaimed by the Christian Dior empire and has been fully restored to the way Dior wanted. The home is decorated with beautiful fabrics and antiques from floor to ceiling and a new book has been published focusing on the beautiful end results of the restoration of De la Colle Noire, today we are going to take a look at images of this beautiful home that inspired Dior’s iconic perfumes like Miss Dior in 1947. Enjoy!!!

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Getting Galvanized

March 21, 2017

By Tab Byrum

One current trend in decorating both inside and outside the doors of our homes is using galvanized metal, which is metal that has been treated with a zinc coating to prevent it from rusting. During my life and growing up among farmers and ranchers, galvanized metal was mainly used for buckets and large horse tanks to hold water for livestock, and chicken feeders, there were many summers we got in the horse tank to cool off in lieu of a swimming pool. Today you can find galvanized metal being used for all manner of home decor and even lighting. Over the next few weeks, we are going to take a look at galvanized metal and just how it’s being used. Today we are going to get an overview of its use and see what great craftsmen and designers are coming up with for this metal that’s usually been deemed usable for “lowly” purposes. Enjoy!!! (above image via)

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day ~ Irish Castles

March 17, 2017

By Tab Byrum

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to one and all on this beautiful Friday, and if you’re not Irish join in the fun anyway. Instead of looking at something to do with the holiday I thought we would take a virtual trip across the Atlantic and take a look at some beautiful castles on the Emerald Isle. Castles are very interesting, they come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and they usually have wonderfully interesting histories. Ireland is high on our list for places to visit and this small country holds some amazing castles with a wide range of histories. So, join me for a tour as we lower the drawbridge and climb the turret steps to check out these beautiful Irish homes that just happen to be fit for a King or Queen. Enjoy!!! (above image via)

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Visiting Sandringham House

August 9, 2016

By Tab Byrum

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Back in April, I did several posts focusing on the houses and castles Queen Elizabeth calls home, Sandringham House is one of those homes and we were able to visit it in person during our vacation in England. Our friends, the Potts’ were visiting the Harry Potter exhibit north of London so Michael and I took a train out of London also headed north to Norfolk and the village of Kings Lynn. We traveled for about an hour and a half then took a short walk from the train station to the bus station where we caught a bus for the 20 or so minute ride to the Sandringham estate. Sandringham House sits on a 20,000-acre estate and it’s beautiful, everything is lush and green with huge ancient trees forming a canopy over carved out trails leading you to the house. The house is privately owned by Queen Elizabeth and is where she and the rest of her family traditionally spend their Christmas and New Year’s holiday.

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Balmoral Castle

April 20, 2016

By Tab Byrum

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Balmoral Castle is Queen Elizabeth’s “vacation home” of sorts, it’s located in Scotland and has been owned by the British royal family since 1852. Every year the Queen and other members of the royal family retreat to Scotland and Balmoral for much of July and August, this is a tradition the royals have followed since Queen Victoria and Prince Albert first bought the Scottish estate and built the castle. Initially,  there was another castle on the property but Victoria and Albert found it too small ( 9 children) and decided to build the castle that today stands on the 20,000-acre estate. According to everything I’ve read the castle is very traditional in design and the interiors are done very Scottish, with tartan plaid making up the basis for a lot of the decorating scheme. It’s hard to find very many photos of the interior of Balmoral, which tells me that her Majesty hasn’t allowed a lot of photos to be taken of her private Scottish home. Here are some images I’ve found of Balmoral, both inside and out. Enjoy!!!

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Sandringham House

April 19, 2016

By Tab Byrum

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We continue our look at castles, palaces and houses Queen Elizabeth calls home and today we are looking at her house in the country, Sandringham House. Sandringham House sits on 20,000 acres north of London near the village of Sandringham in Norfolk, England. The current house was built by Queen Elizabeth’s great-grandfather Edward VII, it was started in 1865 and finished in 1870, at the time of its construction the red brick house was way ahead of its time as far as amenities since it had gas lighting, indoor flushing toilets, and showers. One thing I find interesting when reading about Sandringham House is the mention of how small the bedrooms are in the house, especially since Sandringham has been the favored retreat for the Royal Family since the reign of Edward VII. Today Sandringham House is where the Queen and her immediate family retreat to for the Christmas holidays, the Queen usually arrives a week or so before Christmas and stays there until February 6th, her father died at Sandringham on February 6th which is also the day she became Queen of England. Sandringham House is a privately owned estate by the Monarch and is not a “Crown Property.” The house is open to tours during the times of the year the Royal Family are not using the house, definitely on my list to visit sometime. Here are some images and more facts on the Queen’s favorite country house, Enjoy!!! ( above image via )

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Spring Blooms ~ Lilacs

April 14, 2016

By Tab Byrum

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One flower that blooms in the Spring that I love their scent is Lilacs, I recently read where the scent of a lilac bush was described as haunting, I’m not sure about that but I know it’s distinctive and lovely. Lilacs grow as a shrub or bush and they remind me a lot of the Crape Myrtles we have here in the Southern parts of the U.S. Lilacs are probably known best for their purple color, known as Lilac, but they also come in 6 other colors including white and pinks. Everything I’ve read says that Lilacs are a sturdy plant that’s easy to grow and low-maintenance, Lilacs only bloom for about two to three weeks, but there are different species you can plant that bloom at different times of the spring, this will enable you to get about 6 weeks of blooming time if you mix the different types. I love bringing Lilacs in the house and using them in arrangements or just a container full of the fragrant blooms, one other nice thing about Lilacs is that butterflies love them. I definitely would like to plant some Lilacs in the backyard. If you’d like more information on Lilacs read these 12 Lilac Facts from Country Living, Enjoy!!!

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Spring Bloom ~ Hyacinths

April 13, 2016

By Tab Byrum

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So many blooms that we love in the Spring come from bulbs like Tulips and today’s flower, Hyacinths. Hyacinth bulbs usually produce several upward growing leaves and from those leaves come anywhere from one to three flowering spikes. Often times the flowers are pink, purple, red, orange, white, yellow but Hyacinths also produce a beautiful blue color, which is hard to find among flowers naturally. The flowers of the Hyacinth look very delicate but have a strong fragrance, one thing to note from such beautiful blooms is that their bulbs are poisonous, so if you decide to plant your own be sure and wear gloves. I recently saw buckets full of Hyacinths at Whole Foods, they are such a gorgeous flower and a small, beautiful container full of them makes a big statement. Enjoy!!!

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Spring Blooms ~ Muscari

April 12, 2016

By Tab Byrum

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Day 2 of Spring Blooms and today we are going to talk about Muscari, a flower that comes in the hard to find naturally occurring color of blue as well as other colors. The common name for Muscari is Grape Hyacinth because the blooms resemble bunches of grapes, like so many other bulb plants Muscari originated along the Mediterranean. I really like Muscari and using them in arrangements with other Spring flowers like Tulips and Hyacinths, they have a delicate look to them and their color is always a nice compliment to the other bright pinks, purples, and yellows of other Spring blooms. To be honest I haven’t seen a lot of Muscari (moose-car-ee) in the floral departments of grocery stores but this time of year it’s readily available through flower shops and floral wholesalers, Enjoy!!!

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