Tag Archive | garden

Spray-Paint Graffiti-Sniffing Moms Anonymous Club

Recently, I was shocked to discover that you need ID to buy spray paint. Naturally, after purchasing the illicit spray paint, I started to think what else (besides my planned project) could I do with it? What actions would justify needing to show ID to buy spray paint? The temptation to casually spray paint a plant as I was leaving Home Depot was great. Fortunately, I remembered in the knick of time, that I had just flashed them my ID and refrained.

Now the wheels were turning and I decided to spruce up a rusty old birdbath that was hanging out in the Fig Tree garden.

Rusty, old birdbath.

Rusty old birdbath.

I sanded and wiped out the inside of the bowl and thoroughly dried it. I removed the little bird on the edge, so it did not get painted and would remain the rusty-brown color of the base.

Little rusty bird.

Removing the little rusty bird.

Then I sprayed the bowl with turquoise colored spray paint called Lagoon for wood, plastic or metal finishes. I did this while wearing the best graffiti-artist look I could muster.

Spray-painted birdbath.

Spray-painted birdbath.

The new color reminds me of the bottom of a fountain. It will keep the water looking nice, instead of the rusty, dirty-brown color the water was before.

Back in the Fig-Tree garden.

Back in the Fig-Tree garden.

This was a fun and easy way to add a pop of color to the garden. Now the birds can bathe after they feast on the figs from my tree.

A Pop of Color.

A Pop of Color.

Of course, I can’t stop thinking about spray paint either. This could be dangerous, and may lead to some sort of Spray-Paint Graffiti-Sniffing Moms Anonymous Club, coming soon to a location near you.

© copyright 2013 Mariam d’Eustachio.

Snoopy Comes To Town…

Today, my dear readers, I have a treat for you. A peak into one of my dearest friend’s homes. This home was built by her husband, board by board, bit by bit, and is custom throughout.  Over the years, they have added touches of exotic flavor everywhere through subtle details. Even their two little French doggies are a perfect match for this home’s somewhat formal style.

AKA Chazaford and Foxanne.


The breed: Coton de Tulear. (Yup. Go ahead and google it too.)









However, the dogs sort of fall into the category of “form over function” as they are cute but not so useful. Unless you are a burglar, in which case they will bark at you until you go deaf.

Every piece of furniture is carefully placed. The mix of antiques and casual comfort lends it a formal flair, without being stuffy. In the corner of the Family Room, old photos are hung to make up a “tree” of family.

Family Room.

Ceramic Side Table.

The retro touches here and there add a bit of fun.

The colors are soft and neutral, easily blending from one room into the next, with the occasional accent that says, Pop!

Wall Detail.

Recently, my friend stenciled an entire bedroom wall with a Moroccan pattern. The effect is gorgeous.

Moroccan Stenciled Bedroom Wall.

Dining Room Ceiling.

Dining Room Ceiling.

Paint is used throughout the house to accentuate the details and the craftsmanship. It brings attention to the moldings and here in the dining room, it draws the eye up.

However, my friend’s real passion is the garden. If you have a plant that you love, Beware!  It may go missing in the night! She will stop on the side of the road, get out her shovel, and dig up anything of interest.

Herons. One of many garden details.

This house is a unique blend of formal and casual style. It brings antiques into a comfortable setting and is unlike any other home I have been in. Even though it is relatively new in age, it retains the charm and elegance of an older home. My friend and I have been friends for nine years now and I have learned so much from watching her style evolve over the years. We have grown up together.

© copyright 2012 Mariam d’Eustachio.

The Garden of My Dreams

Spring flowers in a pitcher.

I don’t know what causes creativity, but sometimes it is a curse. The monsters under the bed can be so real! A creative person might be willing to believe any story they hear because for them, it is not necessarily out of the realm of possibility. As a child, I may have held the world record for being the most gullible and I had a hard time sleeping at night. My dad had me convinced for more than a year that the stains on the carpet came from our pet monkeys. I do not need to go into the details of this, but needless to say, I think I can blame at least part of my creative streak on him.

It is ironic that I don’t like to garden. I am fond of gardens in general, and when I was little and had a bad dream, I would run to my mom’s bed and we would talk about “my garden”. She neglected to mention how much work it is to have a garden and it was just somehow always beautiful and serene. She would describe the climbing roses and the flowery scents wafting by and how much fun I would have with my monkey (this one stuffed!) together in our garden.

Tamarins, Cape May Zoo, New Jersey.

One night I was terrified of some shadow in the room, and I was at my dad’s house instead of my mom’s. I ran to his bedroom and curled up between him and my stepmom and wondered how I was going to calm down because this was NOT the routine. My stepmom just rolled over and went back to sleep and my dad said, “What does your mom do when you can’t sleep?” So I told him about the garden. I went into great detail because he had never been in it before. Finally, he says….“Where are the cows?” and I said “What cows?” “Cows are smelly and leave piles of manure, why would I want those?” He said, “Don’t you need manure in a garden?” Funny thing is I was so distracted by all of his silly ideas that I eventually drifted back to sleep. From then on, I ended up with the occasional cow popping through my garden.

My house here in Beltsville has a wild sort of garden. I think the official title for that type is “cottage”. We have all sorts of interesting plants because the original owner was a botanist at the nearby Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. He is responsible for poinsettias lasting through Christmas and other magnificent plant-type contributions.

Here are a few highlights from my garden, the one I am in no way responsible for. I hope to one day tame it a little.

Momma Red Maple. She produces many little seedlings.

Spring flowers in the garden.

The ivy is hiding a root cellar.

Spring is a beautiful time to be outside. Take your allergy meds and appreciate the beauty unfolding before you. Cut some dogwood, lilac, camellia or quince and bring a little piece of spring inside.

© copyright 2012 Mariam d’Eustachio.