Spring Inspiration at earthegy

   Posted by: earthegy   in All Posts

I love living in the south.  I have lived at some point in just about every coastline state between North Carolina and Maine, and most of my later childhood through college was spent in Connecticut.  But nothing compares to the country pace and friendliness of Virginia for me.  It’s a state of big breakfasts, dripping with sausage gravy, biscuits, and grits.  It’s a state with a vineyard around every corner, open daily, waiting for you to drop in and taste some of their fruits.  A state with great diversity…with beaches and mountains and lakes, with kite flying competitions and tractor show and country fairs.  I admit, I used to be a Yankee.  I never knew what a “barbeque” was at a street festival until I was offered one.  My response was “barbeque what???  Chicken?  Pork chops?”  Followed by, “ Oh my God, they put coleslaw in the sandwich!”

I promptly recovered from my shock after eating my first barbeque, and now I know well enough to ask for extra napkins.

My first house in Virginia was a monstrous thing, built back in 1870.  It had low ceilings, a maze of additions added on with no logic or order, and a overgrowth of boxwood hiding the paint peeling siding and broken porch steps.  But it also had heart pine floors, a huge kitchen, three fireplaces, and a big barn in a field showcasing two mulberry trees.  The trees offering our horses some daily shade, perhaps placed there to feed the birds their sweet fruit.

That first house taught me how to turn a house into a home.  It taught me to cook and garden and paint.  It taught me how to be a hostess for visiting family.  It taught me to slow down from the fast northern lifestyle, and appreciate the slow rocking of a porch swing on a hot summer day.

I ripped out the boxwood and replaced it with daylilies spilling over a rock wall.  I gave away all my northern contemporary furniture and found a new appreciation for quilts.  I went strawberry picking and soon discovered that I was a master of strawberry pie making.  I made ice tea with mint and drowned it with sugar, in true southern style.  I planted an herb garden, carefully at first…trying to emulate the formal gardens of Montpelier and Monticello that I’d visited nearby.

And I promptly gave up on trying to maintain its sense of order and renamed it a “cottage” garden, planting rose bushes and tulips everywhere they would fit.   If there was a bright flower to be found, I bought it, and planted it, and crossed my fingers it would live.  Some things died, I’ll admit it.   I have a black thumb, and houseplants are doomed in my care.  I didn’t know anything about zones and shade and sun when I first planted my gardens.  I just liked the plants I saw and wanted them.  But I learned each time, and found out what works and what doesn’t.  And I was always surprised when the next spring something I’d completely forgotten about or given up on came back to life to bless me with another season of color.

I am long gone from that house, and although I miss it tremendously, I now have a tiny yellow cottage on 5 acres with a creek.  I gave up the horses for pet chickens, and I gave up the maintenance of an older house for one that I can manage to afford to repair.  My gardens are small, and better planned now, though equally colorful when in full bloom.    Deer roam my back field, and the neighbor’s guinea hens often visit, strolling around the yard eating bugs, chattering to each other the entire time.   My home now better suits my informal cottage style, with glass bird feeders and grape plants winding up my pergola.  Rose bushes are still planted, but I’m more discerning with my choices now, and I buy for color and hardiness.

It’s been a long, cold, never ending winter, and I have spring fever.   And I hope to bring you the bright colors of my favorite flowers in my upcoming work.  I have a hankering to see fuchsia pink and lemon  yellow together.  Peridot and  jade will be my foliage, garnet and chalcedony may be my beloved tulips.  Amethyst may be my iris, and coral agate may be my  cosmos.     It’s time for spring.  And I’m feeling inspired.


This entry was posted on Friday, April 15th, 2011 at 11:29 am and is filed under All Posts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 comments so far


Beautiful place! You have infinate sources of inspiration! April 15 today, my tomatoes are ready for the cold frame and its blizzarding!
Enjoy and keep going Bob

April 15th, 2011 at 1:48 pm

You ae such a talented writer. You should do more of it and add it to your income producing ideas! I gotta think Southern Living or the Yankee Magazine would love to hear from you…………… 🙂

April 15th, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Wonderful blog, makes me homesick!

I agree, you have a wonderful warm style of writing and this kind of mentallity transcends all your work.

Keep it up, and best regards, Kurt

April 15th, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Love your vision. You make me smile on such a dreary morning!

April 16th, 2011 at 9:09 am

Chrissy, your blog is wonderful. Have not finished reading it as yet, but am planning on getting back to it really soon. What a great first home you had. I love the pics of the gemstone jewelry paired with the flowers. Brilliant! The South has always interested me. This year we will be visiting Ashville N.C. Cannot wait! Thanks for sharing. Rosemary, Garden Gate Designs

April 16th, 2011 at 10:21 am

Great post, makes me want to leave the big city, but not the endless sunshine.

April 16th, 2011 at 4:25 pm

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