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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international consultants. About living in Italy, the Veneto area near Venice; in Indonesia, central Java. Why we love the southeast of the United States and moved back from Italy. Our love for gardening, the botanical way. Sharing with you our manifold treasures from exotic places and even offering several in my Mariette's Back to Basics LLC Boutique, for others to enjoy. As well as high end silver items from Giovanni Raspini, Italy |  google.com/+MariettesBacktoBasics 
I also do classes and consulting... too much to list here! Check out my google.com/+MarietteVandenMunckhofVedder ABOUT page, where you see my other LINKS and email address; you just scroll down.Thanks!
Love to bring back some romance and quality to the daily life of others... 

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

{Our Viburnum Tinus & Viburnum Macrocephalum - Chinese Snowball Viburnum}


  • This year the Chinese Snowball Viburnum is blooming a lot earlier than last year. But since the photos from past Sunday turned out too dark due to the rainy weather I will post last year's for you to have a better view. Their huge and pure white balls are stunning, provided that the weather is cooperating...


  • On March 14, I took these photos from our Viburnum Tinus. This is an evergreen shrub with rather leather like leaves, that produces pinkish white blossoms in early spring. This one is available from the Durio Nursery.



Wednesday, March 30, 2011

{Our Cornus Kousa (Japanese Dogwoods) & Spiraea Cantoniensis (dbl Bridal Wreath Spirea)}


  • March is yielding so many blossoms in our garden that it is hard to keep up with photos and postings. This week, since Saturday, it is rather wet and a lot colder too! But I got some shots from a week ago and some from Sunday. 
  • Just between heavy showers, with wet blossoms and also some rain damage to our Cornus Kousa Flowering Dogwood and Cornus Florida.

  • This photo is taken a week ago in the late afternoon with the sunlight just right. Huge blossoms as we selected varieties with pure white and large blossoms. This is a Cornus Florida Cloud 9.

  • This is the tree, in our wood-garden. The beech tree in the back still wears its winter coat with the old leaves. They are the very last ones to produce new leaves, together with one late oak variety. 

  • What a beautiful branch with flowers on! The sunlight is perfect for shooting such photos. These Cornus kousa trees do produce fruits in winter for squirrels and birds to feast on. You can find those Dogwood trees at Durio Nursery, just scroll down to Cornus kousa. Also at Woodlanders you will find different Cornus kousa varieties as you scroll down.

  • Below I will show you an exotic double variety Cornus Florida Plena Alba, that we lost last year; the photo is from spring 2009...

  • The creek runs right behind this double blooming dogwood and the azalea shrub behind it. 
  • We have three bridges that do connect the garden around the house to our wood garden. We do live in a neighborhood that is called 'Holly Hills' and you can see that our property is on a slope, which makes the landscape more interesting.

Lovely in front of our gazebo...

  • The above photo I snapped on Sunday after lunch in-between thunderstorms with heavy winds. You can see the flower petals partly on the ground and the rain did also damage the blossoms. No longer pure white...
  • Our pond is visible in the back as well. Pieter got so lucky for having mown the lawn on Saturday before the tornado and thunderstorms came. 
  • Oh, I did have a  question in my comments about having to 'rake' a lot of leaves. Our John Deer lawn mower has a mulcher so all the organic material from grass and leaves is being recycled. 
  • We never have raked up leaves, as those are the best nutrients that mother nature is giving to us. And what do you think who is raking the leaves up in all the natural woods? The deer and the squirrels? 
  • Nobody is removing them from nature so why should we. It provides a perfect blanket as well, for all the bulbs and perennials that are dormant throughout winter. Further it keeps the moisture in the soil far better and thus creates a welcome buffer for dry spells. 
  • Let's try for Going Green instead of bagging those leaves up and trashing them.

  • Now we're inside the gazebo with its gingerbread, looking uphill to the house. The pink you see now, that is the other pink Cornus kousa 'Satomi' (pink Chinese dogwood) and available from the Durio Nursery, from the above link. That is the walkway for bringing the tray down to the gazebo with  breakfast; lunch or your coffee/tea. Sure, we can barbecue there as well and serve you a drink...

  • This is the Cornus kousa 'Satomi' (pink Chinese dogwood) and another detail of its blossom.

  • Now let's have a look at the Spiraea cantoniensis 'Lanceata' or double Bridal Wreath Spirea. That one is available at Durio Nusery, see link above.         

  • Wet shrub from the rain on Sunday...


  • Blossoms are really 'hanging' so heavy from the rain.

  • Okay, let's end with some previous photos from last year without rain drops...

  • They are a perfect double Bridal Wreath Spirea indeed.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

{Our Japanese Somei Yoshino Cherry in Bloom + Hummingbird Hawk Moth}


It is now one week ago that I took these photos of our Japanese Somei Yoshino cherry in full bloom. The blossoms don't last that long and as the wind blows, they soon end up under the tree as a pinkish white carpet on the ground. These Somei Yoshino cherry blossoms are slightly pink, almost white and 5-petaled. You can read more info Cherry Tree Varieties as it is also by far the most numerous cherry tree in Japan.
Bumble bees feasting on the pollen of this gorgeous tree near our pond. Scroll down below to see also a Hummingbird Hawk moth (Macroglossum stellatarum).
Petals already floating in the pond...
The gazebo is in view from this angle of the pond.
This is towards the wood garden.
A carpet of petals on the ground...
Hummingbird Hawk Moth (Macroglossum stellatarum) is feasting on the pollen here. For more info click Hummingbird moth.
Would make again for an interesting Garden Tour from Book an Event with Mariette's Back to Basics.

Related link:
Hummingbird Hawk-moth Macroglossum stellatarum | info about the Hummingbird Hawk-moth as immigrant in the UK
Hummingbird Clearwing - Hemaris thysbe | Butterflies and Moths info

Monday, March 28, 2011

{Our Cercis canadensis 'Apalachian Red' & Cercis chinensis 'Avondale'}

This time of the year is really peak season for our garden. It is hard to capture it all on camera as the weather is also ever changing. But the Cercis canadensis 'Apalachian Red' (Apalachian Redbud) and our Cercis chinensis 'Avondale' (Chinese Redbud) did make it digital for you to enjoy. We also do have several native Cercis canadensis (Eastern Redbuds) but they are not that exotic. Let us begin with the 'Apalachian Red' below, which is available at Wayside Garden Apalachian Red Eastern Redbud.

Too bad that we've failed to propagate this one, as the seedpods are empty. But with very dense flower clusters in brilliant fuchsia they are a lot showier than the Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis).
Let's now continue with the Cercis chinensis 'Avondale' or Chinese Redbud. Which is a lot smaller and compacter but we've been able to propagate them very successfully. That is rewarding, once you invested in the first one, you can multiply them. The 'Avondale' is available from Durio Nursery, just scroll down for its name.
These two species are a showcase for our Garden Tour from Book an Event with Mariette's Back to Basics. When the blossoms are gone, the leaves appear! You can see already some green coming in the photos below. Most early blooming shrubs and trees produce that way; blossoms and than the leaves...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

{11 Giovanni Raspini Charms & Co 925/000 silver Angel Pieces from Italy}

 Giovanni Raspini Charms & Co, Italy

Today I want you to get to know the upscale jewelry from→ Giovanni Raspini Charms & Co. For me it is equal in quality to→ Tiffany & Co as you will soon learn after the first purchase. The High End items below are available for purchase on my Zen Cart powered on line boutique→ Mariette's Back to Basics.
But, let me show you first some info about their company nestled in Tuscany, Italy in the heart of Val di Chiana, between Arezzo and Siena. They manufacture silverware since 1972.
Just click on the image to enlarge it for easy reading!
Above you also read about their markings. As of 132 AR:132 stands for their own unique marking for the silver and AR is for the Province of Arezzo and all the items I will introduce you to, do bear also the 925 marking.
Giovanni Raspini is about my age and one day I hope to meet him in person and tour his fascinating silver workshop. Italy does have a soft spot in my heart as we both worked and lived there in the Venice area... Well, it makes you at times a bit homesick for several reasons. But having access to these treasures does more than make up for that.
 Let's open the treasure trove...
Angels all around!
Here they come...very upscale silver jewelry. These darling angels will make the perfect gift for a loved one; a symbolic Guardian Angel given to someone very special in our life...
Label with Angel - See my (click here→) my on line boutique: Mariette's Back to Basics for more info.

 Heart with two Angels - See my (click here→) on line boutique: Mariette's Back to Basics for more info.
Heart with Angel - See my (click here→) my on line boutique: Mariette's Back to Basics for more info.
Moon with Angel - See my (click here→) my on line boutique: Mariette's Back to Basics for more info.
Angel - See my (click here→) my on line boutique: Mariette's Back to Basics for more info.
Angel on Swing - See my (click here→) on line boutique: Mariette's Back to Basics for more info.
Climbing Angel - See my (click here→) my on line boutique: Mariette's Back to Basics for more info.
Angel on Trapeze - See my (click here→) my on line boutique: Mariette's Back to Basics for more info.
Angel Upside Down - See my (click here→) my on line boutique: Mariette's Back to Basics for more info.
Angel Upside Down Backside...
Acrobat Angels - See my (click here→) my boutique on line: Mariette's Back to Basics  for more info.
Star with Angels - See my (click here→) my boutique on line: Mariette's Back to Basics for more info.
These Alphabet and Number Angels are also available.
What I don't have in stock, anything you see from the website from Raspini, I can get for you.
Just ask... It is a pleasure for being able to deliver such high end beautiful jewelry!
LUXURY LIFE

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