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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... 

Translate to ANY Language | Click on▼ to select, than on ► to translate...

Friday, October 30, 2015

{Digging up Huge Indian Hawthorn and More...}

Little shrubs can grow into HUGE monsters... and often, after some 15+ years we find out that they were planted in the wrong spot!
So we decided to dig up our Huge Indian Hawthorn or Rhaphiolepis umbellate.
In Dutch this is: Indiase meidoorn
In German: Weißdolden, click the hyperlink above to see it.
In my previous post (link you find below) you saw me with my short hair standing in front of this HUGE Indian Hawthorn.
A nice evergreen shrub that blooms in the spring but it was growing inside our precious Fragrant Magnolia Grandiflora 'Namnetensis Flore Pleno', again you can find the link below.
On a damp and cloudy day, husband Pieter started the mega-task. 
Together with also digging up the azaleas and prostrate gardenias that succumbed to the rattlesnake weeds, growing behind this retainer wall.
Spooky boy was always at his side!
Here you can see the Magnolia branches inside the HUGE shrub... They had to be rescued!
Even the drain pipe from the previous water project had to come out....
Supervisor Spooky is right there.
A pile of dug up underground stems from rattlesnake weed with its tubers is to the left and front.
Branches from the Indian Hawthorn in the back.
This is the pesky weed!
Called here in the south rattlesnake weed or Florida betony (Stachys floridana) just click the hyperlinks.
Also seen in the above picture are the other nasty weeds with taproot we got everywhere, the Chamberbitter (Phyllanthus urinaria)... 
Spooky is pondering about those pesky weeds...
Nasty looking all those rattlesnake weeds behind the retainer wall. 
All needed to be dug up and Pieter decided to sow grass seed instead and have the lawn extended.
There was a 3rd pesky weed involved too!
Briar Burl grew from the center of the Indian Hawthorn up into the Magnolia tree.
Spooky too was working hard to kill the pesky weeds.
Those underground stems and tubers from the rattlesnake weeds are shown behind him...
Such a loyal helper; every day he accompanied Pieter!
Pondering how it will look like in the future...
Right in the center of the Indian Hawthorn were these nasty tubers from the Briar Burl!
No way to ever eradicate those, with that shrub sheltering them...
Their branches are full of thorns too!
The Indian Hawthorn had a kind of orange wood and many stems, some thick and hard to cut and dig up.
Hard work!
Now you can see the cross tires that we together did place there 25 years ago!
The shrub also was covering up at least 3 feet of our driveway or 1 meter.
Spooky is seriously supervising!
Huge tubers came out from the Briar Burl
Will show you next how it looks now!
Gardens don't come about easy...

Related links:
{New Hair Style} | previous post by me showing you the Indian Hawthorn
{Our White Pansies & Indian Hawthorn} | previous post by me
{Our Fragrant Magnolia Grandiflora 'Namnetensis Flore Pleno'} | previous post by me
Florida Betony control of pests weeds info

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

{New Hair Style}

Well, here is my New Hair Style!
Quite a bit shorter...
Sunday, September 27... The day after we'd done another Etiquette Class for girls.
When we're outside, our felines always follow us!
Standing now in front of our HUGE Indian Hawthorn.
Husband Pieter standing in front of that HUGE Indian Hawthorn...
For a reason; as it is NO more.
Muscular Pieter did take it out and dug up its roots.
It was growing into the Magnolia Grandiflora Namnetensis Flore Pleno!
Friday, October 24 just before we left for the special Birthday party: 'Strawberry Fields Forever'
Our Magnolia Grandiflora 'Namnetensis Fore Pleno' is visible again.

Yes, cutting back on hair and on shrubs or trees often pays off!

Pieter is wearing a Burberry polo shirt and Alberto Tonal Stripe Five-Pocket jeans in black.
All of my outfits, including shoes are Escada. 

Related link:
{Contemplating Cutting my Hair...} | previous post by me
{Our Fragrant Magnolia Grandiflora 'Namnetensis Flore Pleno'} | previous post by me

Monday, October 26, 2015

{Strawberry Fields Forever}

On August 28, when we went on the sight seeing tour with +OnBoard Tours in New York City, the very first stop was at Strawberry Fields in Central Park!
Just click the above link, to hear Yoko Ono Lennon speak...
Beautiful black-and-white Mosaic was created by Italian craftsmen and given as a gift by the city of Naples.
Based on a Greco-Roman design, it bears the word of another of Lennon's songs: Imagine. 
It was a warm and sunny day as you can see from the shade.
Here husband Pieter walks to the left of the sign Strawberry Fields...
Both of us were so impressed with the sight, size and cleanliness of Central Park and would have loved to walk there and bike...
Very touching...
Yes John Lennon from The Beatles is being remembered in a beautiful area and his widow, Yoko Ono still lives across from Strawberry Fields in the Dakota apartment.
Our dear Dublin Friend Griffin Lovett turned 64 and instead of celebrating big at age 65; his kids organized a big party at age 64. 
Him being such a Beatle fan, this was perfect!
The Food Buffet was all done according to Beatle song titles...
Lots of work and very well chosen!
Strawberry Fields Forever!
Strawberry Fields Forever
'Strawberry Fields Forever' was originally intended to appear on the band's seminal Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album, but was instead released the same year (1967) as a double-A side with Paul McCartney's 'Penny Lane'. Both songs are named after sites in Liverpool and are steeped in childhood and English nostalgia.
It was a lovely evening on Friday, October 24 and the ending of a perfectly sunny day with 29°C or 84°F
Here you see only a section of their back yard with pool and part of the back porch.
They live in a majestic Gone With the Wind style home where they easily can host a a large group of friends inside and outside.
It is pure bliss for living here in the South!
Also we treasure this long friendship of 32+ years...


Related links:

Saturday, October 24, 2015

{Halloween Craze not Eco Friendly}

The POWER people of our World, only 1%, have turned the other 99% into Consumer Slaves. 
With all their propaganda via media commercials etc. they make people work harder and harder for things they don't need!
These Compliant Consumer Slaves are paying taxes to their governments, in the form of Sales Tax etc.
This is me, at Costco where they were/are pushing stacks of merchandise for Halloween...

Indeed, the West is being Controlled and Manipulated to BUY - BUY ever more!
The invention of so many seasonal things for which people are being brain washed to buy, is almost endless...
Halloween is one of them.

How much will end up in the landfill? Not very Eco Friendly!
Don't we think ahead anymore?
What kind of planet will be passed on to future generations... A scary thought!


This is the main reason, aside from the limited personal budget, that we never ever invest in anything like that mass produced 'STUFF'...
How about you?

Related link:
{My Old-Time Spun Glass Halloween Ornaments} | previous post by me showing our ONLY 5 ornaments for Halloween from durable materials

Thursday, October 22, 2015

{Contemplating Cutting my Hair...}

As mentioned in my previous post, this summer I have been Contemplating Cutting my Hair.
For several reasons, being 'UNE FEMME D'UN CERTAIN ÂGE' and considering also the fact that my hair suffered a great deal five years ago from all the Prednisone I took after bing paralyzed...
So, I'm telling you that I'm not as brave as blogger friend Deborah from The Beautiful Matters who showed us her very brave step: Another hair update after she already embraced her SILVER HAIR.
On August 23... Still rather happy with my longer length.
Being almost at retirement age (YEP), it makes one think.
Growing OLD gracefully is not always easy.
I've been blessed for having kept my figure since age 15.
Fitting in a size 4, sometimes a 6, or 34 and 36 European, makes for lots of bargains!
This is one of them, a lovely silk Escada skirt in 3 layers with an Escada Elements top.
Outlet bargains that I treasure.
Shoes are old pumps from the 80s from  Switzerland.
Had those heels cut down as I 'HATE' very high heels...
Here you can see my SILVER HAIR!
Contemplating; YES!
Never opted for dying my hair, due to my dear husband being two decades older.
That would look very odd!
Just trying to keep it healthy and for that purpose at times a generous cut is very positive.

Have you stood before such a decision at times?

Related links:
{Did I loose my strength?... Like in Samson and Delilah?} | previous post by me showing very long hair and my stacked bob...
{Prednisone - My Hair Loss & Mason Pearson Brushes} | previous post by me showing my full hair before Prednisone...

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

{Summer Bliss on our Balcony - Indian Summer}

On September 5, we snapped these photos on the balcony.
The lawn has seldom been this green; true Summer Bliss!
It makes one happy to see a lush garden!
Wearing my green Marc Cain top and green Escada stretch cotton skirt.
We do enjoy our Vintage Woodworks balustrades out of polyurethane. 
Looking at our felines, down on the driveway...
My shoes are also Escada.
Wearing my silver hair barrettes from Bali, Indonesia.
Fond memories!
Showing you my long(er) hair as I have it short now!
Will show you later...

Happy New Week!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

{Black and Yellow Argiope Spider}

When the weather is nice warm and sunny we can admire these Black and Yellow Argiope Spiders in their web. Their latin name is Argiope Aurantia.
They are beautiful and it is sad to know that they live only about one year.
When the first hard frost comes they die...
Here she has a FAT prey!
Seldom to have them eye-level as she had her web in the planter boxes on our driveway's retainer wall.
Here she is mending her web...
And down again...
One last shot early morning with my iPhone 6 Plus.

Happy days with sunshine for humans and for our Garden Critters!

Enjoy your weekend.

Black and Yellow Argiope Spider | about Beneficial Spiders in the Landscape
Black and Yellow Argiope Argiope aurantia | more info 


Friday, October 16, 2015

{The Most Dangerous Mushroom: The Death Cap, Amanita phalloides}

In the fall, when we have had some rain, we often see lots of mushrooms show up in our garden and in nature.
One of those we had in our garden and husband Pieter did make some excellent photos of The Most Dangerous Mushroom: The Death Cap, Amanita phalloides
A beautiful photo of The Death Cap, Amanita phalloides... the alba species
The Most Dangerous Mushroom click on link to go to page with more info and above photo which can be found on Observations Matching 'Amanita phalloides' click and scroll down.
Photo is taken on the driveway...
My husband Pieter, a lifetime Mycologist, wants to warn my readers that ALWAYS when you find any mushroom with such a volva; don't eat it! 
Before, I had taken these photos from a little cluster of Marasmius sp. 
Also seen in the above photo with the Death Cap.
Those are tiny, tiny and I placed $ 0.01 next to it for comparison.
They are so frail looking and are not poisonous, however who would try to feed on them?

Related link:
{Marasmius} | previous post by me

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