Thursday, January 24, 2013

Dreaming in green...

Every year, around this time, I begin to reflect on what I should have done, should do more of, or not at all!

Inevitably, it always reflects around my surroundings, especially in the garden, when we all dream of what could be, when armchair gardening is so much more entertaining and achievable.... I look out at the snow covered beds,which have taken a bit of abuse from the work which was done to the exterior....I should have planted more trees, in lieu of annuals and perennials, more flowering shrubs instead of capricious climbing vines and more boxwood, never enough boxwood!

....but clarity, promotes wisdom, albeit too late it seems!

The lovely little rose above, The Fairy, has been a consistent performer in my garden, and I wisely chose to include her several winters ago, while perusing the Pickering Roses catalog in January.

She is thriving happily among Limelight hydrangeas in the south west border of the garden.

All manner of armchair pursuits are possible in the gloomy, cold days of January...

Pinterest surfing yields an abundance of inspiration for decorating, with the garden as inspiration.

The photo above has a lovely, soft palette of the colours of Nature....and green which I am currently obsessed with!

The above serving as a colour board for my interiors.....

Beautiful inspiration from This Ivy House......

Shades of green and ivory are the two colours I have chosen as colours for fabric .

With a touch of black.......

I am hoping to utilize all of our existing furniture with just a few minor touch ups, either with paint or fabric...

This is the Fairy in my garden, this summer, in white. It is far more prolific in pink, but the white looks beautiful with all the green foliage in my shade garden......



This is Cinderella Fairy, more of a shrub rose.....again co existing very happily with hydrangea.....

My days armchair dreaming and plotting will soon come to an end....countless boxes are ready to be opened and sorted as we prepare to move back home in mid February.....


The new open concept kitchen, above, courtesy of my husband, taken with his iPhone.

Please excuse the poor quality photo....the marble, honed counter tops in the islands,

have a soft green colour through them....I am hoping to bring the outdoors in....

The wood floor, currently covered in large sheets of cardboard, is dark, distressed hickory.

I thought it would anchor the all white cabinets and trim.....the hardware is oiled bronze.

In the meantime, I am hoping that all my sources of inspiration, years of reading and learning from some of my favourite designers will serve me well over the next few months.....

I admire Bunny Williams, Kate Forman, Lisa Luby Ryan, Loi Tai.....all very different, but classic and timeless.

I hope to post more pictures soon, my severe dust allergy has kept me away from our house, but in the meantime, I wish all my readers a cozy, serene and comfy Winter season!


All the garden photos are my own, rest from Pinterest.




  1. Your kitchen is absolutely beautiful now!!! I love those slabs of marble. Is that the conservatory at the end? Getting soooo close, Nella. Thank you for the kind words, my friend :)
    PS - All your roses are lovely and very healthy.

  2. PPS - I also love the design of your vent hood. The brackets are wonderful!

  3. Thank you...the little light over the sink is an acorn! I am so silly.....

  4. Nella, Another blogger was chatting about garden dreaming today - I thought how funny that we all do that in the dead of the winter. It was in the winter that I made my first garden plan and I'm working on one now for our new house.

    The kitchen looks fabulous. Great cabinets and hardware - love the double islands. And the best part is that in a month you will be in there playing in the new space.

  5. Your kitchen is "superbe" ... I dream to have one like it !!! But at home it's too little ! Beautifull post ... No snow here but I'm thinking also at the garden for spring time ...
    Bonne journée

  6. A perfect way to recover from the chill, inspired by the beauty of your garden...
    There is much progress with the reno and it is going to be fabulous.
    I hope you are feeling better and enjoying some time daydreaming about the gardens in Spring.
    Susan xx

  7. You always share such lovely images! Thinking ahead to Spring .... which will come when our Narnia landscape melts.
    Do adore that quote, it is so wise - and true! ~ Minerva

  8. HERE HERE! I agree that our Loi must be in the ranks of the designers you have mentioned my dear! MAY I SAY THAT YOUR NEW KITCHEN IS MY ENVY!!!

    My kitchen is gorgeous, but about nine years ago, we painted it an ocre color that now clashes with the white dining room. I have got to figure out a way to convince my husband to paint this summer!!

    I am with you on the green dream; our cold but snowless winter has taken the FUN out of winter for me and now I am thinking of how much time I want to spend outside in my new enclosed deck, reading, writing and creating.

    Wishing you sweet dreams as you unfold and unpack your magical home! Anita

  9. You're speaking my language! Love all the garden dreaming that one does in January. :)
    I am so anxious to see the results after you move into your new space.
    I know it will be lovely. You are so right to include LOI in the list of inspiring designers. We are so lucky to have him, who so generously shares his vision of home and garden.

    1. Since I discovered Loi Thai's lovely blog, Tone on Tone, I have become a follower and fan of his design style, indoors, as well as out. Loi, is very generous with his advice and sources. His beautiful photos have helped to steer me in the right direction when in doubt about my own interior design questions. Going back through his previous posts is great armchair dreaming for a cold winter day!!

  10. Beautiful dreaming - soon to become a reality! I am familiar with (and love) all the designers you mentioned with the exception of Lisa Luby Ryan. So I'm off to google her name and learn more. :)

  11. I have to tell you that George was passing by when I was scrolling down and said "stop go back that was really nice". I went yeah that's my friend Nella....isn't it gorgeous? Of course as soon as I say "she's my friend" he usually tunes out:) He doesn't get it! That's alright I do. Your kitchen is my dream kitchen!!! I may have already said this to you in a previous comment but emerald green is the new color so I am looking forward to seeing it at the gift show next week but I have always been drawn to it like you as of course it is the staple color in the garden. Ok sorry for the long comment

  12. Nella, I like the way you are bringing the outdoors IN.. so fresh and you know I'm a huge fan of white. Your kitchen is similar to mine and you will love all that marble. As it wears and etches, the marble gets better by the day. The green inspiration at the top is so pretty and I like all the moss balls and ivy. I've got that in my home now .. it grows well in our climate and looks fresh. White is the perfect back drop for all the different shades of green and blue.. love it.

    I remember when we were doing our kitchen (all the dust) .. it's a pain but worth it. We are tackling a little painting in our great-room and we will finally be finished with the kitchen area.

    Have a great weekend!


  13. Nella, what an absolutely beautiful post. I am dreaming too of what is to come outdoors. It has been so very cold. Not much snow though.
    I think your color palette is gorgeous. Oh, and the kitchen......I could move right in and cook happily! I am so glad that you honed your countertops. So did I, and most people question that. I don't like things too shiny, plus overhead lighting above shiny countertops is hard on the eyes.
    Continued sucess with the remodel. It will soon be over, and then the fun begins.
    Warm hugs,

  14. Evi, I encountered the same opposition when it came to honing the counters, but I preserved and am so happy with the results.....the imperfection in the marble is what I was looking for, and as Leslie says, it will only get better with time.

  15. SO beautiful the kitchen!!!! All your patience and hard work are going to be rewarded! Beautiful garden...and I agree...never enough boxwood! XO Trish

  16. Hi Nella,
    You are so right --" armchair dreaming" while viewing beautiful pictures puts all of us in a serene peaceful place. It motivates , inspires and energizes. Needless to say your garden pictures are a must when needing to find that peaceful space . My poor flowers go into trauma when I approach ---- but one day --- my garden space will thrive ( armchair dreaming)!!
    Missy M

  17. Nella,
    that first photo of the rose is awesome. I love the green Chase lounge.
    Can't wait to do some Gardening, it's snow for now.

  18. Hello Nella !
    Your garden is wonderful...
    Céline, french watercolorist.

  19. Your kitchen is looking gorgeous Nella! I love that the light over the sink is an acorn ♥

  20. Thank you Nella for inspiring with all these lovely images, your kitchen looks beautiful and I adore the little acorn light!

  21. The kitchen looks as if it is coming along beautifully - we have very similar taste!
    Can't wait to see more pictures of your garden come the summer.

  22. Your Kitchen is so inviting.
    I'd love to stop over for coffee. yvonne

  23. WOW quelle jolie cuisine!! J`adore elle est vraiment MAGNIFIQUE!!! J`adore elle est de ma couleur préférée !!

    Bonne semaine!!

    xxx Maria xxx

  24. oh I love your mossy filled urns.....and the pictures of summer gardens...a gentle reminder that it will get day..xx

  25. love the new kitchen look.
    it will be fantastic.

    *i spied an acorn in the garden


  26. Nella! How much I have missed! YOUR KITCHEN IS A DREAM! I'm completely in love with it and so very happy for you. Wow, I can't wait to see more photos of the finished project.

    How are you surviving winter? I am chomping at the bit for spring, trying not to be too impatient. We have been enduring an ice storm since last night, but are looking forward to a break in the weather over the weekend.

    Take care & talk to you again soon. Btw, your designers of inspiration are some of my favorites too, especially Loi.



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