Welcome to Le Beau Paon Victorien! I'm so glad you stopped by!

Here you will find a variety of things that might interest you: food, books, house decor, crafty things, random thoughts, dishes, gardening and more!

Spend some time with us and happy reading!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Today's Spotlight On: Happy Vernal Equinox!

I came across these delightful Easter decorations on Martha Stewart's website.
For directions on making these doily baskets, visit here.
Click on the Entertaining tab, then the Easter Party tab and view the gallery for Easter decorating tips.

This clover filled basket with a chocolate bunny in the middle would make a delectable and stunning table centerpiece.


This and That

Today was a typical Wisconsin March day. The sun was out this morning and gave the appearance of being warm, but it was all a cruel lie. By noon the sun had disappeared behind clouds that were now hanging overhead like the world's most depressing curtain. A chill wind sprang up as well, just to make it more "pleasant".

I went to a garden center near my house to see if they had mulch out for purchase. I was the only person crazy enough to be buying garden mulch. No other patrons were outside with me. They were all inside the store, wisely, where it was warm.

Still, I felt it neccessary to work a little outside. A new planting bed that I started last fall had to be amended with compost and mulched over before stuff started growing and I had noticed just a couple of days ago that the spring flowers I planted in fall are starting to come up. I hate trying to mulch around existing plants, so I like to rake and refresh my mulch before the plants start coming up.

Officially, today is the first day of spring, but you'd never know it. On a more cheery note, E and I will be celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary in a little over a month. How time flies! We talked about it the other day and wondered if we would still be considered "newlyweds". Does newlywed status disappear after reaching the 1 yr mark, or is it 2 yrs? E seemed to think that you were no longer considered a newlywed after 2 yrs, but I disagreed. Nobody has said, "Hey look, it's the newlyweds!" when we came into a room in a very long time. I don't think anyone has referred to us as 'the newlyweds' since we were married about 6 months, actually.
What a gyp! 
Right now, we have no plans for our anniversary. We have little money to spend on luxuries even in the best of times and with the economy the way it is now, we are feeling the pinch a little more than usual.  I'm sure we will think of something nice to do together; we always do!
Just being together, actually, is more than enough!

Here's to Spring! I hope it gets here soon!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Today's Spotlight On: Container Gardens

I'm planning on doing more containers this spring and summer to place on the porch and in the back yard and also amongst my planted beds. 
Containers give great color to your yard and can create visual impact amongst other flowers or to dress up a walkway, patio, porch or seating area. Best of all, they can be moved around to suit your needs! 
I planted a couple of them last year myself, in addition to buying ready-planted hanging baskets from my favorite nursery for the porch. Some of my containers I over-wintered to use again this year. The flowers in the hanging baskets I did not save; but I saved the baskets so I can plant new flowers in them this year. Most people use annual flowers in their containers, but many perennials can be grown in containers also. 

Here's a picture I found of a really attractive container that I am going to try and duplicate this year.
The container "recipe" for this one includes coleus (Red Ruffles,pictured)  calibrachoa (Superbells series) and ivy (hedera helix). 
Calibrachoa is a small, fast-growing flower, similar to petunias and they bloom all season, making them a popular choice for containers. It makes a great filler, but is also commanding enough to stand alone too.

Some other great container annuals: annual phlox (phlox drummondii), lobelia, begonias,candytuft,verbena, dead nettle, licorice plant, sweet potato vine, lysimachia, angelonia,nemesia, sweet alyssum, euphorbia, lantana and flossflower.

I certainly have the gardening itch already! 

Monday, March 16, 2009

Today's Spotlight On: Spring!

There hasn't been too much excitement going on here lately, so I haven't put much into my blog. E and I are just chugging along, as usual.

Spring in Wisconsin is fleeting and chameleon-like. You never quite know when it's going to get here and when it does, it seems to contiunally tiptoe close to you and then dance out of reach, like a mean-spirited child teasing a hungry dog with a bone. The weather changes abruptly and drastically. One day there's snow on the ground, the next day, it's 67 degrees and you have your windows in the car rolled down to catch the breeze and you find that the woolen pea coat you donned that morning before work is now roasting you alive.

But any true Wisconsin-ite knows that you can't predict our spring by any calendar; nor does a warm day guarantee that you will have a warm day the following day. You might be shoveling snow the next day or throwing an extra blanket on the bed that night as the temperature plummets back down to our average winter temperatures of 10 degrees.

Eventually, Spring in Wisconsin officially arrives at long last ;usually long after it's been fervently hoped and desperately looked for.
Usually we enjoy about a week or so of spring weather (if we're lucky) before the heat and humidity of summer muscles it's way in.

I'm looking out now for Spring....hoping it's just around the corner!