Saturday, July 31, 2010

Summertime Blues

Here are a couple of height-of-the-summer blooms in the garden these days.  There's just something about blue flowers, don't you think?  We get lots of questions about blue hydrangeas.  Like, how to make them blue. Some varieties are bred to be pink and only pink, but some can be either blue or pink depending on the acidity of the soil. 
Blue Mophead

To get the blue color, the soil needs to be more acidic.  One way to make this happen is to add coffee grounds to the soil around the plant.  If you're not a coffee drinker (or if you just want to get a jumpstart on the project), stop by Starbucks and ask for a sack of coffee grounds.  They'll give you as much as you can carry.
Varegated LaceCap

And if you want to make sure you get every bloom of the season, check out Gail's video about pruning hydrangeas in the spring.
Dried Arrangement at the Workbench

Even after all these years of practice, we find the art of drying hydrangeas tricky.  We'll show you how we do that one of these days too!  In the meantime, stop by soon to see them,  fresh in the garden,  and also worked into arrangements throughout the shop. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Vintage linens at The Farm.

Do you have a linen collection stashed away at your house? Pillowcases made gorgeous with  lace or fancy embroidery. . . tablecloths. . . doilies. . . all made by hand with love by someone way back when.    Why is it that we keep them hidden away in  our closets and cedar chests?    Our display here at The Farm features multiple pieces, but it's okay to show off just one or a few at a time too.    Hang them on a ladder,  across a towel rack or a curtain rod;  insert a little one in a picture frame . . .   Cheryl suggests changing out our linens to match the seasons--much  more economical than buying new lamps or other home decorating accents, and then we get to enjoy them again and again.  So what's your favorite way to display your linens? 

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Note From Kynda

I'm stepping outside  the blogging voice today to say that  our blog is a whole year old!  Like many of you, I've been visiting The Farm for that unique country shopping experience for years.   Going to The Farm feels a little like going on retreat.  There's always something new to see--thanks to Gail, Cheryl,  Barb, and Sue who make it fresh and new  every season. But no matter how many changes you find, there's always that warm, friendly welcome that's at the heart of The Farm experience.     

A big thank you to Gail for giving me this opportunity.   I hope you're all enjoying this way to keep in touch between your visits to The Farm!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


  Here's an easy-to-make yummy chocolate cake recipe that's one of our favorites.   Try it next time your friends are coming over.  Or maybe you don't even need a special reason--just make it a cake day!

Cheryl's One Bowl Chocolate Cake
2 cups flour,  2 cups sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa
2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt
Combine these dry ingredients and stir in:
1 cup oil,  1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk + 1 Tbls vinegar)
2 eggs, 1 cup hot water
Batter will be rather thin.  Pour into a greased  9 x 13 pan and bake 350 degrees for  35-38 minutes.  Let cool and frost with:
Gail's Chocolate Mocha Frosting
1 stick butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa, 1/4 cup brewed liquid coffee
dash of salt
Beat til light & fluffy.  Add more sugar or coffee as  needed for consistency.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Summer Scenes

Lots of activity among the flowers in this high summer gardening season.  Here's a couple of gorgeous butterflies, and below you'll see Fred, who has made his summer home in the watering can on the front porch!

Monday, July 12, 2010


Gail says if you're only going to grow one herb, make it chives.  They're easy to grow and need hardly any care at all.   In the spring, you get these sweet little pink flowers.

And these overwintered in a particularly hardy strawberry jar.  Didn't bother the chives one bit.  Not recommended for the jar, though!

Using  fresh chives is easy too.  A few snips and it's amazing how much flavor is added to that classic baked potato with butter & sour cream!   Or maybe fresh chives mixed in with your hamburgers for the grill . . . how about with some cream cheese and your favorite crackers. . .  So easy, and you look like a pro in the kitchen!  If you're using chives, we'd love to hear your ideas too.  

Monday, July 5, 2010

Christmas in July

Only 173 shopping days til Christmas!  If you're really organized and know exactly who's on your list--or if you made a resolution last year NOT to wait til the last minute again--or  if you fall somewhere in the middle, here's a chance to get a head start on Christmas now.  We'll be joining several shops in Petersburg for this event, so come on over Friday and Saturday, July 9th & 10th, for a bit of Christmas in July!