Our Dining Room at Christmas

We are having some family over for dinner this weekend which is the motivation I needed to  finish putting a few holiday touches in the dining room.  My decorating had stalled  after the initial burst of getting it done early.   Is there such a thing as decorating fatigue?  Yes, I think it’s a thing.

But there is nothing like having company to get me going again.

The greenery on the mirror is new this year.  Having that swag on the top of the mirror does draw your eye to this side of the room.

 

And the centerpiece on the table varies from year to year.  This one is more simple than in the past.  I used faux greenery with some pillars and ornaments.  I  dried the artichokes back in the fall which is pretty simple to do.  You basically just leave fresh artichokes out on a counter and they dry, retaining their shape perfectly.  When the Christmas season rolled around it seemed that they needed to be spray painted gold.  What a budget friendly item they have turned out to be!

My sister gave me this Spode Christmas china.  I look forward to using it every year.  Traditions give us the continuity and unity of the past.  But I do like to update and tweak too.

Honestly I did not have much going on over here on the sideboard.  But I decided it would be a good place to stage my dessert plates.  I usually use this area for wine and side dishes when we have guests over.

The chandelier is always the same.  I found that hanging ornament at TJ Maxx a few years ago and this has always been the perfect spot for it.  I keep those gold spray painted hydrangeas from year to year.

 

And here is another new variation: some greenery and lights on the armoire.  This end of the room is always dark and it finally occurred to me that a few lights up here would remedy the situation.  I might just leave those up year round.  I don’t think it would be weird.

What’s on the menu, you ask?  I am making Jamie Oliver’s recipe for lamb shanks.  It’s really good!

Ten days until Christmas!  Are you ready?

Linking with Remodelaholic.

 

 

 

 

The June Garden

During the years that my husband was on active duty and we moved around, I learned a lot about gardening in different regions of the country.  Different regions have peak seasons it seemed to me.  I moved from North Carolina to Boston one summer and I was struck by how beautiful gardens were in August in Boston.  August gardens in North Carolina are usually struggling, gasping for water and relief from the relentless heat.
In the DC area, where I live now, late spring/early summer is the time for our best garden.  We had a nice rainy spring that we humans complained about but the flowers loved.  And, we have not had a lot of super hot days so far.  Those are perfect conditions.

A few years ago I discovered Monarda or Bee Balm.  These spiky flowers provide beautiful color and drama in the shade garden.  They are vigorous spreaders and I have to thin them out or they would take over.  My hydrangea is complaining about the lack of space for her fluffy blooms.

The lacecap hydrangea has shot up also, almost obscuring the birdhouse.  The bird parents like it though, since it provides a little cover as they go to and fro.

I don’t get to sit down much during these busy gardening days.  But I love my time working among my plants and flowers.  It all goes by too quickly.

How is your garden doing these days?