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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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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

{CUPID}

Cupid, armed with his arrows is ready to aim at some chosen hearts! The last day of January already and Valentine coming near. This USA made plaque on an red organdy ribbon bow would make a lovely decoration. Available at my Zen Cart boutique Mariette's Back to Basics
The organdy ribbon extends, it hangs from a long loop. I have folded its bow down...
What a cute Angel!
Cupid is looking for his targets...
Love is a celestial harmony of likely hearts. 
- Spenser


Sunday, January 29, 2012

{Our Viburnum Tinus blooms NOW}

It is almost unbelievable to see this Viburnum Tinus blooming NOW in January! Photos are from Friday and last year I posted about it when it was in full bloom on March 14. You find that post below this post. What is going on with mother nature? We will have some night frost this night and the next, but the day temperatures are so spring like. Nevertheless, we enjoyed having a sprig of this sweetly fragrant flower in a little vase. Have a look at it. 
It sure is a REAL blossom!
Basking outside in the sunshine... lovely pink buds opening up into white flowers.
There are plenty of them on that shrub; it is for real...
To the left you can see the tip of the roof of our gazebo. Other shrubs are still 'winter-bare'...


Related articles:

{Our Viburnum Tinus & Viburnum Macrocephalum - Chinese Snowball Viburnum} | previous post by me

Saturday, January 28, 2012

{Our 1939 Sweetness Daffodils}


  • Yesterday we had two big nosegays of fragrant 1939 Sweetness Daffodils. One for a dear friend and one for us to fill a white ceramic vase. What a bliss for having those in January. That is extremely early. Do any of you have bulbs blooming right now? 

  • Fragrant Sweetness Daffodils; Sunshine and Tea...


  • Teapot is a French Pillivuyt

  • The ceramic spoon to the right is an American Favorites Porcelain Spoon from Avon. It is the 1988 pattern with Daffodils.

  • The sterling bon bon or nut spoon is a H44 H J Howe with daffodils.

  • 1988 Avon Daffodils spoon

  • Matching cocktail napkin with daffodil embroidery.

Sorry that you cannot smell their fragrance...


Related links:
{DAFFODIL OF ROYAL ALBERT FRIENDSHIP SERIES} | Previous post by me


Friday, January 27, 2012

{Ducks in Our Pond}

Already in December, the wild ducks were coming to our pond for mating. We had a neighbor that raised a couple of dozen white ducks. They did mingle with the wild ducks and together they were on our pond, playing around on December 30. Still they are coming daily to our pond and having a blast! Spring must be in the air... It is fun watching all our garden critters exist on our estate.
Our semi-evergreen oak near the pond; it is so lovely for having still some 'green' in winter...
Grooming on the ledge of the wooden island we used to have.
They certainly are making some waves!
Are you having any ducks or other water birds near home?


Thursday, January 26, 2012

{Our Leatherleaf Mahonia Berberidaceae (barberry Family)}


  • On December 19, my husband Pieter took these sunny pictures from our Leatherleaf Mahonia Berberidaceae (barberry Family).  
  • We did receive this once as a little plant, from a dear friend in Atlanta, and it has thrived near our creek. A very nice ornamental evergreen shrub. Click on the above hyperlink for more info.
  • Leatherleaf is a perfect name for this evergreen shrub!

  • Zooming out to give you the total picture of the shrub...

  • That was our Leatherleaf Mahonia Berberidaceae...



Wednesday, January 25, 2012

{GIVEAWAY = YOUR Choice of 925 silver Giovanni Raspini Letter!}

Because I got some reader remarks, as to the photographed 925 silver Giovanni Raspini 'M' would be perfect for them, I want to state the following: This Worldwide GIVEAWAY is about a 925 silver Giovanni Raspini Alphabet Letter of CHOICE! If you look at my Zen Cart powered Mariette's Back to Basics Boutique here you can select the one you would want to win. Hope this did clarify any doubts. Wishing you GOOD LUCK! And if you don't win by February 4... you can always order one at my Boutique! Hoover over the red words with your mouse; they are hyperlinks. Right click on them for opening in a new tab. 
P.S. the Dutch chocolate Alphabet Letter is NOT included...
You can order yours at The Dutch Market.

MARIETTE'S BACK TO BASICS
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Thanks for all that already participated!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

{Our Narcissus Cragford blooms EARLY!}


  • Already on January 13, I took this photo from our fragrant Narcissus Cragford.  
  • It sure is a daring daffodil for emerging this early. There are a few more varieties blooming right now but the weather is too dark and dreary for making any photos. 
  • The forecast is not much better for the coming days. We all long for those light days with some sunshine! But enjoy this early spring bode with me...
Plenty of rain and very mild weather, close to 20°C or 68°F is encouraging of course!


Monday, January 23, 2012

{Birdie Berries in our Wood Garden}


  • In our Wood Garden it is hard to keep invasive weeds at bay. We never knew this type of berries till this winter. Turns out they are the Chinese privet Ligustrum sinense Lour and this one obviously escaped its death penalty... 
  • They are also labeled as a Southeast Exotic Pest Plant. Nevertheless, I'd like to show you the dark purple to black berries which are resembling little grape bunches in mid-winter. 
  • Photos are taken on January 13. We love having them for our Backyard Wildlife HABITAT as food for the birds!

  • Chinese privet was introduced into the United States in early 1852 as an ornamental...
  • Now an invasive weed! BUT; heaven to the birds! Look here at: Cedar Waxwing Privet Berries where Cedar waxwings feast on them!
  • Even the leaves of the Chinese privet remain green in winter...

  • Don't you think they look like grape bunches?

  • As it was rather windy and difficult to photograph on the shrub, my husband Pieter held this up for me against the wall to show you the leaves and the berries.

  • Yummy Birdie Berries...



Related articles


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Update on blogger Michiko - She is on the improve!

Would love for you to know, that since I did post about Blogger MICHIKO needs YOUR SUPPORT! she did improve, according to her son Andrew. We ought to keep encouraging her on the slow and difficult way to recovery. So please take a moment and visit her blog here as Andrew will show the comments to her on his iPad. Some Blog-Love is the BEST MEDICINE we can give her. THANKS all so much and have a great Sunday!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

{SAVANNAH SECRET CELLAR - GIVEAWAY!!!}

Just like to announce this great GIVEAWAY from SAVANNAH SECRET CELLAR. This is a newly opened Etsy shop from blogger friend and Georgia neighbor: Savannah Granny. Click on the word GIVEAWAY (than scroll way down!), here above, after you have a look at what you will be winning here below...
You will get 6 Erasable Ceramic Place Card Easels - NEW in a satin lined box!
Wishing you good luck. 
GIVEAWAY ends January 25, by midnight...
Don't forget my Worldwide GIVEAWAY
To the right on my blog at the top...
ends February 4!

Friday, January 20, 2012

{Wedding Elvira & Bob in 1662 Franconian Auberge 'De Grote Waaij'}

Okay, let's continue the 2-day wedding celebration of Elvira & Bob. This time we are with a quite large group of family and friends. We now are at the 1662 Franconian Auberge 'De Grote Waaij' in Well, The Netherlands. This beautifully rebuilt Franconian long façade farmstead, proved to be the perfect choice for having the event. It was a large out door champagne reception with coctails and refreshments. For the remainder of the evening for food, drinks and dance, we all moved indoors. Great ambiance in this 350 year old building, with again delicious food and a perfect taste of the Burgundian hospitality in Limburg! 
Arriving guests (this is my husband Pieter and me...) got all FRAMED, using some funny hats and feather boas of choice.
Auberge de Grote Waaij (sign is on the roof) and here you can see those boas and garments on the hedge for the FRAMING photo... Neat to move for the day into such a building from 1662! 
View from the top on this sunny September 3, 2011. Again 28°C or 82.4°F...
Auberge de Grote Waaij is also a Top Luxe Resort and does also have hotel rooms. Just scroll down after clicking on the Resort hyperlink.
Lovely setting...
Elvira the bride with her maternal Grandma and her Mom Ellie - my dear friend!
By evening we moved inside the Tiendschuur, like in my previous post, Tithe Barn was the original function of this huge room.
350 years of functionality...
A feisty bride: Elvira, dancing her heart out... to the left from her is Mom Ellie (my dear friend), and me.
Bob, Elvira and me...
Elvira, dancing with my husband Pieter...
Elvira's brother Tristan played a solo on his saxophone on top of the table...
He is a great musician, like his Dad and also Elvira was a musician but has no longer time for doing so.
Tristan plays with the group Chantilly Lace as a hobby... 
His sister Elvira loves his serenade!
By the way, their musician Dad has chosen their names on purpose related to the music Tristan & Isolde from composer Wagner. 
Lovely name for a lovely woman!
The end of a lovely two-day wedding with my dear friend Ellie and her family...
Nice memories!

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