I’m Not Proud Of What I Wear In The Garden

I don’t really think about what I’m wearing when I’m in my garden.  I want to be in clothes that are comfortable, but other than that, I don’t really care what I look like nor do I have any other requirements.  My clothes don’t need to match (and usually they don’t), they don’t need to be designer (I mean, I’m rolling around in dirt) and the more holes in the cloth, the better (I think of the holes as added air conditioning).  There are a few things I always wear or have with me–my plastic gardening clogs, my wide-brim hat with its SPF of 50, light-weight gardening gloves and I always have my foam cushion handy for my knees when I’m down on all fours digging or planting.

Yesterday was no exception.  I had on my wide-brim hat, a purple t-shirt, my blue gardening gloves, charcoal sweat pant cutoffs (to accentuate my pale white legs), dress socks and my gardening clogs.  What was different was that I had a friend stop by who walked into the back yard and surprised me.  He looked at me with a horrified, yet amused, look on his face and told me that I was some gardener.  I said thank you as I took off my hat and ran my hand through my thick and sweaty hair that was sticking four inches up into the air.  You know the look….the one that looked like you curled your hair with dynamite sticks.  This was not one of my more handsomer days.

After my friend left, I got to thinking that most gardening blogs that I read never really show the actual gardener in all of his or her glory, unless the picture is a staged one taken by a photographer.  You don’t really see what the gardener looks like or what the gardener is wearing in the many posts that are out there from our vast gardening community.  Do we not show ourselves very much because, like me, we tend to look a little on the crazy side?  Or perhaps, unlike me, most gardeners look great and wear nice polo shirts, jeans and comb their hair before spending the day out in the garden?  So my fellow gardeners, it is time to confess…..what do you look like when you have a long day of gardening ahead of you?

Hats Off To Magar Hatworks

This is a Fascinator made for the Kentucky Derby.  What is a Fascinator, you may be asking?  It is a hat that has gained in popularity since Kate Middleton began wearing these precariously perched feathered creations on her head.  The Fascinator is a particularly ornate accessory that can feature feathers, beads, flowers and other fancy trimmings.  Fascination over the Fascinator is growing in the United States, with Google searches up 50% for this style of hat since January.  Hats–that’s what brought us to Magar Hatworks in Charleston–and we weren’t disappointed.

Leah Magar has been described as a 21ist-century hat maker.  She uses old-fashioned hat making techniques with a fashion-forward vision in creating her quirky, Sunday-best hats.  She uses the technique of blocking to make and stitch hats by hand.  In fact, she has a collection of museum quality hat blocks lined all around her showroom.  Here are a few examples of the many hat blocks she owns.

But my friend and I were at Magar Hatworks to buy some hats.  You see, I am obsessed with hats and when my friend talked about the hat shop, we knew we had to go.  Honestly, even though I love men and women in hats, I only own two hats and they are recent purchases.  The reason?  I believe that I have the biggest head in recorded history.  There were signs of this before I fully realized it myself.  I have an aunt who says that as a new-born baby I was “all head”.  I could never, ever wear a baseball cap without it squeezing off my head.  Sporting ventures like football required the school to special-order head gear.  However, it was call outs from folks in college and then in the work place about the hugeness of my head that made me finally get the measuring tape out and take a reading.  I am proud to communicate that my head is approximately 26 inches in circumference.  It was confirmed by a measurement at Magar Hatworks.  For the most part, that is a very small person’s waist.  After my initial measurement, Leah Magar said in astonishment that she didn’t have a hat form big enough to block out a hat for me.  After she saw my sad eyes and face, she relented.  She knew how bad I wanted a hat.  You know how it is when you want something so bad and you are told that you can’t have it.  She is now making three for me!

Here is a view of some of the hats that Leah makes.  The straw hats are there for the end of the Spring/Summer season and the others are for Fall/Winter.  For the colder season, there were hats of felt, wool and cashmere that were all dyed in great colors and adorned with various notions.  I ordered one straw hat and two heavier wool hats for the Winter.  My friend bought two straws and is throwing serious hints to her husband about this wonderful Winter hat she needs as a Christmas present.

I have to believe that old-time hat making like what Leah Magar of Magar Hatworks is doing is a dying occupation.  When my friends and family see me walking around with my hats on, I want them to know it is not so much for the fashion statement but more about the fact that an art like this can’t cease to exist.  What a skill!  Oh, and by the way, if anyone laughs when my big head puts a hat on, I may just have to strap on that big Kentucky Derby Fascinator instead.  That will give them something to laugh about!  When was the last time you wore a hat?

Summer Update….Warts And All

This is a Summer update to some of the stories we have posted earlier this year on Acorns On Glen.  Can you believe it is the middle of July?  It doesn’t seem possible until you go outside and the hot sun beats down on you while you are gardening or messing around on the patio.  Time goes so fast.  I am remembering a saying that seems to hold some truth for us this year–the older you get, the faster time flies.  That sums up 2011 so far for us even though I am not admitting to getting any older.  On Sunday, we posted a virtual garden tour on what was blooming in our garden.  While we were walking around the garden, there were so many times we stopped and remembered that we had done a post on a certain flower or a certain plant earlier in the year.  So we came up with the idea of doing a post to show what has happened since we first posted the original garden or everyday life story all those months, weeks or days ago.  Some of the stories show progress and some show a different picture.  In the spirit of open and honest communication, we are going to share the good with the bad.  It’s what’s going on at Glen Road….warts and all!

In June, we posted an article entitled “Another Post About Legal Pot“.  We thought the title was funny as the post was about potting plants that we had purchased from White Flower Farm and not about the happy weed that most people would think about when they read the title.  Can you believe that it is one of our most visited posts?  We get it, it’s not the gripping story that unfolded, but the provocative title.  In our story, we show two collections of annuals that we received and planted in pots around our pool.  At the time we wrote the post, the pots looked pretty empty with the little plants placed in them.  Here are the pictures that showed the planting of the ‘Sunny Summer Annual Collection’ and the ‘King Tut Annual Collection’.  Pretty meager to say the least.

Well, we hoped in our post that our two collections would take root and grow and grow they did.  We have been lucky to have some long spells of sun interrupted by a few days of rain and this has been the perfect trick to grow our two collections into some impressive potted displays.  Here are the same two pots still sitting around the pool, but look at how well the plants have filled in.

Sometimes your best intentions in the garden turn out to be disappointments.  Take our story in April on Grace Kelly coming to see us on Glen Road in the post entitled ‘Grace Kelly Moves To Glen Road‘.  If Grace Kelly visited or moved in that would be news to us because we missed it.  Our post was about a tree rose where a Grace Kelly rose bush was fused to a tree trunk and the small tree would bloom with Grace Kelly roses all Summer.  Here are a few shots of the tree rose that we planted and placed on our patio.  So full of potential at the time!

So to be honest, things looked great at the beginning of Grace’s growth.  She pushed out a few leaves on the top branches and hopes were high.  Then she just stopped, dried up and died…or so we thought.  At about the time we were ready to give Grace and her soil a final resting place in our compost pile, we noticed that she decided to change her mind and grow from the bottom of the container and not from the top of the branch like she was supposed to do.  So we have left Grace in her same spot to see what she produces from the rose branch that is growing from the base of the pot.  Do you think we will get a pretty pink rose by the time Fall comes to visit?  Look hard at the base of the pot and you can see the spindly little rose branch growing.

Remember when we were ‘Hot For Horseradish‘ and ‘Raising Rhubarb‘ in April?  We planted some horseradish and rhubarb at about the same time and we were so excited for them to grow and then come back in 2012 for some harvesting.  Well, we will have some rhubarb, but the horseradish had other plans.  Here are our horseradish and rhubarb plants from back in April.

Needless to say our horseradish patch is now a nice little track of dirt and mud.  Did the plants just pack up and leave?  Maybe they didn’t want to live by the sweet and sour goodness of the rhubarb?  Whatever the reason, our horseradish struck out while our rhubarb hit a home run this season.

There are even updates from our post on Sunday ‘What’s Blooming – Another Virtual Garden Tour‘.  In that post, we talked about our best garden buy ever, which were the long-blooming day lilies from QVC.  Well since that post where we showed two blooming varieties, a third one has opened its buds to display a brownish bloom that will last for a couple of months.  Maybe it’s the child of the original yellow variety and the coral variety that we showed you on Sunday.  Remember them?

We are not sure we remember this variety from previous years.  Can that be possible that it just came out of no where?  Doubtful, but stranger things have happened in our garden.  Again, notice the almost brown color of the petals.  As well, the dark purple middle is a killer.  So gorgeous and, best yet, long lasting.

Remember this little stunner from our trip to Christie’s auction house in June in our post ‘Lots Of Bling – Christie’s Important Jewels‘?

This little diamond ring set with an oval-cut diamond, weighing approximately 46.51 carats, flanked on either side by a pear-shaped diamond, weighing approximately 1.01 carats, mounted in platinum was estimated to go for anywhere from $2,500,000 to $3,500,000 in auction.  Guess what the final bid price was when the dust settled at the auction?  $4,226,500!!  A steal (or to steal it is the only way we would ever be able to own such a gorgeous diamond!).

Lastly, we had made a smart little comment about our Asiatic lilliums being some of the first flowers we planted at Glen Road and, while we were excited that they came back year after year, they were not the most vivid colors we had ever seen.  We tried to get out of putting them down by saying we weren’t the most vivid color either after six years on Glen Road, but it didn’t work.  Here is what we snapped on Sunday in ‘What’s Blooming – Another Virtual Garden Tour‘.

Well this morning on a little garden stroll, another Asiatic lillium had shown its face.  Guess what?  The blooms match our embarrassed faces.  How dare we make fun of our lillium tribe.  Our new bloomer is a dark red.  We may be less than vivid in our six years here on Glen Road, but don’t bring the lilliums down.  They are a diverse nation if we have ever seen one.

So we hope you enjoyed our little update of what’s been going on here at Glen Road.  The garden and everyday life are amazing and fun things.  With every great story, there is another one where things just didn’t go exactly as planned.  That’s life!  Well, for all our less than stellar performances, we guess there is always next year…or the year after….or the year after.  You get our drift.  What good or crazy things have been going on for you this Summer?

Lots Of Bling – Christie’s Important Jewels

This is some major bling.  We were invited to a private viewing event for Christie’s Important Jewels auction before the auction takes place on Tuesday, June 14 at 10:00 AM.  We have always like jewelry.  Both of our mothers love to wear jewelry and they both own a lot.  We like the beauty, but also like how fine jewelry is made.  You need to have quite an intricate construction if you hope to hold onto your massive stones.  We also like the history of jewelry.  Pieces like we saw at Christie’s auction house have a story.  Whether it is suppressed emotions that come out in Victorian jewelry or Hollywood-style sex and glamour that come out from more recent pieces, finding out who wore it, how it was made and why it is being sold is always a great story.  The auction contained 125 pieces….some more understated than others.  The pictures were all taken from our i-Phone.  They aren’t too bad considering they were taken with a phone through glass viewing cases and bright lights.  Here are a few photos of our favorite pieces we wanted to share with you.  Enjoy!!

This is an emerald and diamond ribbon bow, designed as a cluster of marquise and pear-shaped diamonds and emeralds.  The bow is enhanced by calibre-cut emerald detail and is mounted in gold and platinum.  The bow is signed by Sabbadini.

$7,000 – $10,000 (or as high as the bidding goes)

This ring is set with a pear-shaped diamond, weighing approximately 10.01 carats, flanked on either side by a pear-shaped diamond, each weighing approximately 1.02 carats mounted in platinum.

$1,100,000  – $1,500,000

This is a diamond, ruby, onyx and gold cuff by Verdura.  The wide onyx cuff centering on a sculpted gold plaque, set with cabochon rubies and circular-cut diamonds, mounted in gold.  Christie’s research has found that this cuff is the widest onyx Verdura cuff to be offered at auction.

$20,000 – $30,000

This diamond bracelet is designed as an openwork circular and single-cut diamond wide band, set at the center with a graduated series of baguette-cut diamonds, mounted in white gold.

$10,000 – $15,000

Stunner alert!  The necklace is set with a graduated series of five cabochon emeralds, each within a circular-cut diamond surround, spaced by circular-cut diamond swags, to the circular-cut diamond scalloped backchain and cabochon emerald clasp (which you can’t see from this photo), mounted in platinum and 18k gold.  The ear pendants (not earrings I guess if you are loaded) each suspend a pear-shaped cabochon emerald, within a graduated circular-cut diamond surround, from a circular-cut diamond link, the surmount set with a cabochon emerald, with a circular-cut diamond surround, mounted in platinum and gold.

Necklace $60,000 – $80,000

Ear Pendants $10,000 – $15,000

The star of the show!  A diamond ring set with an oval-cut diamond, weighing approximately 46.51 carats, flanked on either side by a pear-shaped diamond, weighing approximately 1.01 carats, mounted in platinum.  The catalog from Christie’s says it is the property of a distinguished lady.  We’re thinking Elizabeth Taylor’s estate, but who knows??

$2,500,000 – $3,500,000 (wrap it up….we’ll take two)

We hope you liked our little virtual jewelry show.  If you can afford a majority of these pieces, please let us know so we can adopt you as soon as possible.  It’s fun to do something different and we wanted to share this night with you.  Let us know if you would like us to place a bid for you.  You can trust us with your cash.  Have you ever seen bling like this before in your life?