Filoli Gardens and Mansion Tour

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

Filoli Gardens and Mansion Tour

Have you ever gone on vacation and taken way to many pictures?

Filoli Gardens and Mansion Tour

Well that’s what happened when I cam home and noticed I had taken over 400 pictures of an estate named Filoli which sits just 30 miles outside of San Francisco, California in the lovely town of Woodside.

potted pansies

If I was ever going to live in a 36,000 square foot mansion on 654 acres and had a slew of people to help me with a 16 acre renaissance garden, I think I might want to live at Filoli for the rest of my life.

Filoli Gardens and Mansion Tour

This is where I would have my afternoon tea and crumpets.

Filoli Gardens and Mansion Tour

And gaze upon my fresh flowers that Lawrence the Gardener {yes, that is what his name would be}  would clip for me every third day and artfully arrange for me.

Filoli Mansion Tour

Here is the hallway I’d waltz dance down listing to The Black Eyed Peas.

Filoli Gardens and Mansion

This is the main kitchen. Mrs. Patmore {from Downton Abby} and her crew would love the well lit kitchen and cupboard space, don’t you think?

Filoli Gardens and Mansion

I might need to get a few more dishes though.

Filoli Gardens and Mansion Tour

And darrrrling, here is the gate Lucy the puggle dog and I would walk through on our morning stroll to the garden.

garden sign

A sign for visiting dignitaries.

large boxwood hedges

 

I must tell Lawrence the tops of the hedges need to be trimmed.

cutting garden

The cutting garden.

Filoli Gardens and Mansion Tour

The koi pond.

lillypad

Lilly pads.

Filoli Gardens and Mansion Tour

The conservatory.

filoli gardens

This is where I would take my afternoon nap.

filoli garden tour

One of my many orchards

brick garden wall

A girl can dream right?

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.



Urban Garden: Organic Mechanics Garden San Francisco, California

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

Organic Mechanics Garden San Francisco California

A few weeks ago when I was in San Francisco with my buddies Harriet and Ryan, we visited an ultra hip urban garden situated right in the middle of downtown.

garden in containers

The garden itself sits in the courtyard of an old apartment building. When landscape gardeners Sean and James first moved into the building, the courtyard was riddled with trash.

garden in containers

Over the course of a few years, they hauled all the crack pipes and beer bottles away and turn the small concrete courtyard into something ridiculously unique and cool.

garden in containers

Low on money, Sean and James used found objects like old work boots, pipes, colanders and whatever else they could get their hands on as garden containers.

Catholics Light Prayer Candles

There is even an old prayer candle alter in the garden.

succulents

And my favorite succulents were there too.

recycled tire planters

Here is a used tired they turned into a garden small container garden. Pretty cool eh?

ORGANIC MECHANICS

I wish I could have seen what the courtyard looked like before the transformation, but one thing is for sure, I am totally hooked on the idea of urban gardens.
Organic Mechanics Garden San Francisco, California

Because everyone needs to have a little space to call their own.

Don’t you think?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

George Washington’s Mount Vernon

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

George Washington's Mount Vernon

While we were in D.C. we headed over to Mount Vernon {George Washington’s estate} in Virginia.

Potomac River George Washington's Mount Vernon

Let me just say, wowee.  It sits right on the Potomac River, and they fished from extensively to provide food for the entire plantation .  It consists of several out buildings, and the mansion, that George Washington built himself over the course of  21 years {it’s hard to imagine that kind of patience and persistence nowadays}.

Outhouse Privy George Washington's Mount Vernon

During George Washington’s life {and the subsequent generations that inherited the estate until the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association acquired it and restored it} the estate operated as a plantation.

George Washington's Mount Vernon 16 sided barn

The slave cabins have been reconstructed, as well as the 16 sided barn and 4 acres were taken to create the Pioneer Farm–where they show you how a plantation/farm would have operated in Washington’s time.

Slave Cabin George Washington Mount Vernon

The slave quarters were a bit of a sobering insight into our country’s past.  Washington and Martha owned 300 plus slaves during the height of the plantation.

Slave Cabin George Washington Mount Vernon

There’s also a lot of discrepancies as to George Washington’s character as a slave owner–some say he treated them better than typical, some say worse.  Though, by the end of his life, he wrote that he regretted the treatment of the slaves, and wished he had done better–decreeing that the estate would care for any elderly or sick slaves for the duration of their lives.

Pioneer Farm George Washington's Mount Vernon

The Pioneer Farm was one of our favorite areas. It truly shows how innovative Washington was for his time.  He experimented with crop rotation, fertilizers and plows {like, two men holding a plow attached to horses}.  And Washington farmed wheat instead of tobacco–which was the cash crop of the day.

sheep Mount Vernon

Can you even imagine being the President and a farmer?

George Washington Garden Mount Vernon

The upper vegetable gardens take up more than 6 acres of the estate, and I am pretty sure I could have just hung out there the entire time if the HH wasn’t freaking out about us getting in to see the house. ;)

George Washington's Mount Vernon Garden

The garden was  immaculate.

Mount Vernon Garden

During his time Washington used the gardens to try out new varieties of plants, grow his own vegetables and fruits, and for purely aesthetic reasons–there are perfectly trimmed hedges and tons of flowers.

espalier tree

There is even a fruit orchard in the garden.  Washington documented all of his trees and during his life, he had 11 pear trees, 4 apple trees,  3 peach trees, 2 cherries, and several plum trees. I don’t know why but I thought he would have had about four times that amount.

Although I fell in love with Thomas Jefferson’s Garden at Monticello, George Washington’s Mount Vernon was the highlight of my trip.

I don’t know what it is about old homes and vegetables gardens, but I just can’t get enough of them.

~Mavis

dining with the washingtons

Dining with the Washingtons: Historic Recipes, Entertaining, and Hospitality from Mount Vernon

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

Monticello house

During our visit to Washington D.C. last week we rented a car for a day and headed west to Monticello {Thomas Jefferson’s home}.  Be. Still. My. Heart. I wanted to see the gardens, and the HH wanted to go for the house. It was perfect.

Monticello

Monticello was truly an amazing house, which took over 20 years to complete {though he didn’t build it himself}.  The house is filled with his innovations and influences, which he was constantly renovating and adding to {like skylights for natural lighting, a “turning machine closet”,  and alcove beds build into the walls}.  I would have LOVED to have taken oodles of interior photos, but for security reasons we were not allowed {lot’s of items are on display from private collections}.

Because Jefferson died more than $100,000 in debt {that surprised me!}, the house was sold immediately after his death.

Thomas Jefferson's Monticello garden

Luckily, subsequent purchasers took immaculate care of the house and ground before it was sold to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation.  {Even with repairs and upkeep, the 2nd and 3rd floors of the house are not open to the public due to fire codes.}

Monticello furniture

The estate operated as a plantation–growing tobacco, and much later, going to wheat.  Throughout his life at Monticello, Jefferson had a pretty amazing vegetable garden {I wonder if he ever took time to weigh his veggies?}.

bean tepee

He grew several varieties of vegetables {a lot of which aren’t available anymore–man, wouldn’t you love to have some of those heirloom seeds?!}.  He considered himself a scientist and recorded the details of his plants and their growth impeccably, right down to detailing the daily weather and diagramming his plantings.  {I’m seriously starting to think I need to start a gardening journal for my great-great grandkids.}

Monticello garden

Jefferson experimented with horticulture and landscaping–and although they have not been able to replicate his plantings exactly, they have tried {using modern day practices} to include some his favorite plants.

basil plant

Originally, the gardens were surrounded by 10 foot walls to keep deer and pillagers out–only a small part of the fence has been recreated, though.

apple orchard

Jefferson also had a massive orchard, and because the site of his orchard was conducive to avoiding spring frosts, he typically had fruit when his neighbors lost theirs.  He was super proud of that fact.

Jefferson also experience with a vineyard–trying to recreate the wines of Europe, convinced that the United States could compete, but the vines he imported from Europe were not very happy with our soil and climate.  His records show he was constantly planting and replanting vines.

All in all it was an amazing visit, and I wished we could of stayed longer. Heck, I’d move there in a heartbeat if I could convince my husband, even if the only job was pulling weeds.

Ahhh Virginia, I LOVE YOU.

~Mavis

A Rich Spot of Earth Thomas Jefferson's Revolutionary Garden at Monticello

A Rich Spot of Earth:  Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden at Monticello

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Gardens in Colonial Williamsburg, Va

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

garden walkway Colonial Williamsburg, Va

Earlier today I shared some pictures of my favorite homes in Colonial Williamsburg, Va and now I want to show you some of  the gardens The Girl and I spotted during our afternoon there.

garden gate antique lock

I’m no Colonial expert or anything, but I’m pretty sure a 4 foot high fence with a cutesy garden lock isn’t going to keep the pillagers out. Do you think they just put the lock there as a “please don’t take my vegetables” courtesy or is there something seriously wrong with me because my first thought when I saw the lock was “I’d just jump the fence.”

espalier trees on fence

Espalier trees are the coolest thing ever, aren’t they? We purchased 2 this spring and I can’t wait until their limbs are filled with apples and pears in a few years.

courtyard flower garden

Flowers are lovely, but if this was my backyard, It would be jam-packed with vegetables, not flowers.

bean tepee trellis

A bean trellis. I wanted to kiss it.

cold frame

Cold frames. I suppose they were in constant use during the winter months in Virginia. Here they are being used as a raised garden bed for watermelons.

garden protected from frost

I’m not sure what was in the first garden bed, but the second one had horseradish.

Gardens of Homes of Colonial Williamsburg, Va

Ye- Olde Garden Shed. Ain’t she pretty? I wonder what kind of shenanigans went on in there. And look at the old fashioned wheel barrow. I bet they didn’t pick that up at the Home Depot.

basket weaving Colonial Williamsburg, Va

And last but no least, here’s a picture of the town’s basket weaver on her break. The Girl Who Thinks She’s a Bird thought she was texting. I couldn’t tell, but if I had to weave baskets all day in 90 degree weather in a full dress, bonnet and 100% humidity I’d be texting Regis Philbin for a lifeline too.

Colonial Williamsburg, Va was a cool place to visit and I’ve move there in a heartbeat {as long as I could have indoor plumbing, air conditioning and electricity}. ;)

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Homes of Colonial Williamsburg, Va

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

Homes of Colonial Williamsburg, Va

Alright. So let’s talk about colonial houses.

Homes of Colonial Williamsburg, Va

I want one.

Homes of Colonial Williamsburg, Va

Not only do I want to live in a colonial type house, I want the big fat vegetable garden to go along with it.

Homes of Colonial Williamsburg, Va

The HH likes the flat fronted style houses {anyone know what the proper name is?} while I like the tiny {by today’s standards} colonial homes.

root cellar

A root cellar on the side of the house is a must. We saw a bunch of homes with root cellars in the front of the home but I thought that was just plain nuts.

colonial williamsburg homes

I mean seriously, if a root cellar is supposed to store enough vegetables crops, canned goods and meats to get you and your family through winter and well in to the Spring growing season, what the heck happens when vandals bust the lock open and loot the joint. You’re out of luck man, that’s what!

Homes of Colonial Williamsburg, Va

This is the one. This is the colonial house I would love to re-produce someday and live in. I think the only additions I’d make would be some indoor plumbing, air-conditioning, and electricity.

Homes of Colonial Williamsburg, Va

Can you imagine yourself living in a colonial home someday? Or am I a total nut for wanting to move out of my suburban Mc Mansion and move into a tiny house in the middle of nowhere?

C’mon, we can start our own colony. It would be fun!

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

18 Amazing Garden Boxes from New York

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

garden boxes

I love getting garden photos from One Hundred Dollars a Month readers! Not only is it fun to see all the garden photos but I love that we can all glean a bit of garden inspiration from each other too!

Leanna sent in these awesome photos of her vegetable garden that’s growing in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region of New York. Leanna and her husband Dave enjoy living in the country. They are surrounded by many lakes and hillsides with many acres of vineyards.

garden beds vegetables

Here is what Leanna had to say:

I come from a long line of serious gardeners.  I helped my folks with theirs, and when I married (28 years ago) it was a natural for me.  Only a few years in that time I did not have a garden because life was busy with kids, and I have easy access to produce at a local auction. However, there is nothing like growing my own ‘stuff’ and knowing what goes into it.

garden boxes raised garden beds
A while back I suggested to Dave, my husband that I would like to try raised beds.  I did the research but he wouldn’t do it for me.  He thought I should be satisfied with my traditional garden – a worked area of soil where I planted things in rows, like my mom and grandma always did it.  I continued gardening that way, while at the same time reminding him that I would like raised beds.  I think he got tired of me talking about it and researching it.

garden boxes cool raised garden beds

One year he had a local saw mill cut boards and made me 5 – 4 x 8 ft beds – probably thinking I should be satisfied and would find out it’s not so great afterall.  Well – 4 years later I have a total of 18 beds – and the other day he was talking about adding another row next year.  While I love my raised beds, I did remind him that instead of having 5 kids at home to feed, there are only 3 at home anymore (although our daughter and son-in-law will benefit from the extra produce in our gardens).

Dave continues to add improvements to the gardens – including drip lines for easy watering, mulch between the rows instead of grass, a garden shed, composter and table.

outhouse with star cut out

The garden shed is a story in itself.  We needed a major bathroom remodel in our 100 year old farmhouse.  I told him he didn’t need to get me a birthday gift – he could hit 2 birds with one stone by remodeling for my birthday. The morning of my birthday I looked out the window – and there was an outhouse sitting in the lawn.  I got a new bathroom for my birthday!  The outhouse is my garden shed and I even benefited from a new remodel job.  He built the outhouse with ‘junk’ he found around the farm.  His only expense was the nails he bought to put it together.

garden boxes

This year we will benefit from the following produce:  rhubarb, celery, tomatoes (lots of them), cukes, potatoes, onions, green beans, zucchini, a variety of peppers, and a nice selection of herbs.  I have lots of empty canning jars in my cellar waiting to be filled with some home-grown goodness.

So far I either direct seed or buy plants at local greenhouses.  We live in an area where there are lots of greenhouses that sell bedding plants at reasonable prices.  Maybe I will need to convince Dave that his next project should be building me a small greenhouse to start my own plants.

Blessings -

Leanna

mavis-butterfield-ryan-botanical-interests

Mavis and Ryan Visit St. John Bosco’s Church and The Family Renewal Shelter

A big THANK YOU to everyone who has sent in their photographs and stories. I hope by sharing other peoples pictures and stories here on One Hundred Dollars a Month we can all have a rock star garden this summer. Keep them coming!

~Mavis

If you would like to have your garden, chicken coop or something you’ve made featured on One Hundred Dollars a Month, here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Your Garden Pictures and Tips – I’d especially like to see your garden set ups, growing areas, and know if you are starting seeds indoors this year. If so,  show me some picture of how you are going about it.
  • Your Chicken and Chicken Related Stories – Coops, Chicks, Hen’s, Roosters, Eggs, you name it. If it clucks, send us some pictures to share with the world.
  • Cool Arts & Crafts - Made from your very own hands with detailed {and well photographed} pictures and instructions.
  • Your pictures and stories about your pets. The more pictures and details the better.
  • Garage Sale, Thrift Store and Dumpster Diving pictures and the stories behind the treasures you found including how much you paid for them.

If I feature your pictures and the stories behind them on One Hundred Dollars a Month, I will send you a $20.00 gift card to the greatest store in the world: Amazon.com.

Go  HERE for the official rules.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers – Butterfly Garden

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

monarch butterfly on pine tree

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to go to the San Francisco San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers and check out their butterfly garden. It. Was.Amazing. It almost makes me want to move to the tropics and build my own butterfly house.

orange butterfly on flower

I don’t know the names of the butterflies we saw, but isn’t nature amazing?

butterfly house

Inside this little butterfly house were all sorts of chrysalis in various stages.

black butterfly on flower

The Girl Who Thinks She’s a Bird and I always think it’s amazing to see just one butterfly in our garden at a time, but hundreds? But to be able to walk through hundreds of butterflies at one time?

orange butterfly

I can see now why people actually collect dead butterflies and keep them behind glass. They are an absolute work of art.

black and yellow butterfly

The butterfly exhibit will be on display at the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers through October 20th, 2013 if you want to stop by an take a look. If not, no worries, it’s highly likely your local science center or flower garden will have have a similar exhibit going on as well.

Butterflies are cool!

~Mavis

Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden

If you’d like to hatch some butterflies of your own, Amazon sells the Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden. My kids had this when they were young and LOVED it.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Greenhouse and Garden Pictures from Glazov, Russia

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

marigolds in garden

A big THANK YOU to everyone who has sent in their photographs and stories. I hope by sharing other peoples pictures and stories here on One Hundred Dollars a Month we can all have a rock star garden this summer. Keep them coming!

old brick house

Check out these garden photos Anastasia sent in of her parents garden in Russia.

Here’s what’s she had to say:

“My family and I share the same passion for gardening. I have just started to develop my garden here, but my parents back in Russia have had theirs since I was a kid.

greenhouse cucumbers

They need to work almost twice as hard as people here in Washington since the summer is a lot shorter and the ground freezes over for about 8 months. But all of the hard labor pays off.

tomatoes growing in a greenhouse

They never buy any vegetables, rarely any fruit of berries. They live in Glazov, Russia.(Try finding it on a map!) I am enclosing some pictures of their garden and house that my parents built themselves.

greenhouse photos

I am really proud of their garden. Every time I visit my family in Russia I bring my two little kids with me. They dig in the ground next to my mom and I learn something new about growing my own fruit and vegetables.”

onions and strawberries

If you would like to have your garden, chicken coop or something you’ve made featured on One Hundred Dollars a Month, here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Your Garden Pictures and Tips – I’d especially like to see your garden set ups, growing areas, and know if you are starting seeds indoors this year. If so,  show me some picture of how you are going about it.
  • Your Chicken and Chicken Related Stories – Coops, Chicks, Hen’s, Roosters, Eggs, you name it. If it clucks, send us some pictures to share with the world.
  • Cool Arts & Crafts - Made from your very own hands with detailed {and well photographed} pictures and instructions.
  • Your pictures and stories about your pets. The more pictures and details the better.
  • Garage Sale, Thrift Store and Dumpster Diving pictures and the stories behind the treasures you found including how much you paid for them.

If I feature your pictures and the stories behind them on One Hundred Dollars a Month, I will send you a $20.00 gift card to the greatest store in the world: Amazon.com.

Go  HERE for the official rules.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Mavis Mail – Heather Sends in Her Backyard Garden Photos

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

2liter bottles for gardening

A big THANK YOU to everyone who has sent in their photographs and stories. I hope by sharing other peoples pictures and stories here on One Hundred Dollars a Month we can all have a rock star garden this summer. Keep them coming!

Check out these garden photos Heather sent in. I love the hanging herbs she has hanging from the white lattice and the tomato plants in the 5 gallon buckets.

corn field

Here is what Heather had to say about her garden:

This is only our second year gardening at this house and our fourth year gardening ever, with one of those years at another house being very unsuccessful. We have a family of 6 with me, my husband, 2 boys (8 & 6) and 2 girls (5 & 3) and are fortunate to have a little less than an acre just outside of city limits where there are no restrictions on animals or gardens.

chickens and ducks

We currently have 25 young chickens and 4 white pekin ducks, plus our coop in progress. The chickens are staying in a temporary enclosure under the coop at night.

We had chickens years ago but had to sell them when we moved to a rental. Now we are starting over with the hopes of having eggs by the fall. We have a few more birds than we need because we have several friends and neighbors already lined up to buy from us. Our mini-farm, as we like to think of it, is a work in progress and is growing every year.

Next year we are planning to add a couple of small dairy goats, as well. I also have a greenhouse already planned out when we have the money to build it.

green beans

Our large garden has corn (4 weeks between plantings), tomatoes, okra, peppers, green beans, sugar snap peas that have died due to heat, squash, cucumbers, an open row or two for late veggies, more peppers, and potatoes that didn’t do as well.

large garden plot

The smaller garden has sunflowers, watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew.

borage

Raised bed with bricks has thriving strawberries, borage, and an elephant ear coming up in the middle.

squash

Also not pictured, we have a mini orchard with 3 apple trees, 2 plum trees, and a cherry tree; beds bordering the house with very young blueberries and raspberries; 2 grape vines; 2 cherry bushes along the driveway; a pecan tree in the backyard; a Meyer lemon tree; and herbs in various planters around the yard and house. All fruit trees and plants are young and were only put in this year and last.

Wow Heather! Everything looks great. I wish I could grow oddles of corn in my backyard. Your garden is awesome!

~Mavis

cinder block garden cute chicken coop design

Lindsey from Texas Sends in Cinder Block Garden Photos

If you would like to have your garden, chicken coop or something you’ve made featured on One Hundred Dollars a Month, here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Your Garden Pictures and Tips – I’d especially like to see your garden set ups, growing areas, and know if you are starting seeds indoors this year. If so,  show me some picture of how you are going about it.
  • Your Chicken and Chicken Related Stories – Coops, Chicks, Hen’s, Roosters, Eggs, you name it. If it clucks, send us some pictures to share with the world.
  • Cool Arts & Crafts - Made from your very own hands with detailed {and well photographed} pictures and instructions.
  • Your pictures and stories about your pets. The more pictures and details the better.
  • Garage Sale, Thrift Store and Dumpster Diving pictures and the stories behind the treasures you found including how much you paid for them.

If I feature your pictures and the stories behind them on One Hundred Dollars a Month, I will send you a $20.00 gift card to the greatest store in the world: Amazon.com.

Go  HERE for the official rules.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Recipes Garden Frugal Canning Chickens Travel