Holiday Decorating Ideas, Part I  

This week I enjoyed a visit at the Caroline House, a lovely house used for women's ministry at Briarwood Presbyterian Church. Every room of this beautiful old home was filled with wonderful ideas for Christmas decorating. I thought I would do a quick post but soon realized I could never put everything in a single post. So here is part I. I will publish part II in a couple of days. I saw a number of ideas I plan to incorporate into my own holiday decor. Study the details, and you may find inspiration for your own home. Enjoy!

Here in the main room is a spectacular Christmas tree:

A close-up of some home-made holiday wrappings:

The piano:

Looking back toward the main entry of Caroline House:

A manger in front of the fireplace:

The fireplace:

Above the fireplace:

More holiday vignettes:

There were several dining areas throughout the house. Here are ideas from one of those dining spaces:

A children's table set for Christmas:

Decorations for another fireplace:

More beautiful ideas:

Finally, here are some images from the sunroom:

More great ideas from other parts of the house are coming up in Part II. You don't want to miss the kitchen!



Fall Colors Peak in the Garden

I am listening to the steady drum of rain. It has been constant for hours. I am not complaining, because we need the rain; but the garden today was a sodden mess, cold and inhospitable. Autumn the cat was meowing to go outside and ran past my son when he came in for a visit. She halted at the edge of the carport, tested an icy puddle with her paw and then promptly turned around and came back inside.

The rain should stop by tomorrow, but temperatures will fall to frigid levels tomorrow night. This will be the third hard freeze within a few days. Sometimes autumn will linger into December here, but winter's grip is early this year. A few days ago I caught the garden's fall colors on camera at their peak, but the brilliant leaves you see in the following images will soon be fallen shells.

So here is my farewell to fall. It was glorious!

A view of the Jasmine arch with a Japanese maple in the background:

A blazing dogwood tree with the golden leaves of Chinese Pistache on the lower right:

A view from the patio:

A view of the garden in front of the parking court:

A young hickory tree with brilliant leaves:

Views of a Japanese maple with golden fall foliage - this was one of the unnamed seedlings I planted in 1990:

More colorful Japanese maple leaves:Clockwise from top left: 'Vitifolium'; 'Orangeola'; 'Aconitifolium'; "Seiryu.'

The bronze foliage of a White Oak:

We are blessed with many different oak trees. This is the bark and fall foliage of a Burr Oak (Quercus macrocarpa):

Here are a couple of views from the front lawn:

This is the birdhouse between the drive and the side of the house:

More fall colors; note the arbor that we recently painted. It took a lot of courage for me to do this!

'Waterfall' Japanese maple in the woodland garden:

It was a great autumnal celebration, but the party is coming to an end as grim winter arrives to put all to bed. Sleep well, and we will have another party come spring!