It All Starts Here

Sometimes our ideas flow from an existing kit to bash, a house style to scratch (aka custom) build, or from an interesting doll who needs a place to live. Our settings are always modern-day (ca. 2001 when we started this hobby). We try to create things that will make people smile and feel good.

We think that if we had to build the same house twice, we literally could not do it! Fortunately, we have very unique little people who have definite opinions and so far, no one has wanted a house “like so-and-so” has.

We work as a family unit: my wonderful husband, my beautiful sister, and I. We don't always agree as to the direction of the build, but I think that we end up with a better dollhouse because of all our grumblings -- and we do have a lot of fun!

The Purpose of this Blog

We needed a place for all we wanted to say about the background of the build and the nuts and bolts of the design and build process. Thus this blog.

All our dolls' homes have families living in them and a story is built around their personalities and lifestyles. This story is an integral part of our building process. We would like to share these stories -- actually, the little people insist upon it!

Many of our houses are located in Fredericksburg, Virginia because that is my sister's favorite place.

Also, we have started a Rouges' Gallery with photos of our little people and information about the dolls.

If you would like to start with the dollhouse that "started it all", it is the Original Rowbottom Manse; if you would like to see the scratch-built Georgian that our first build gave us the confidence (or fool-hardiness) to do, it is Sunnybrook Farm.

Let the stories begin!

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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Down the garden path, tra-la!

Ascelpias tuberosa - Butterfly weed, my favorite perennial
I have noticed that I have not posted for quite a while—the weather has been pretty darn good (except for a couple of monsoons), and I have been outside gardening and sometimes just watching the grass grow. My little people are unhappy but are trying to bear up. I have been reading your wonderful posts and I would usually feel guilty about not working on minis and blogging—but not this time.
Since I have no mini-talk I will tell you something about what I have been doing in my garden which,I guess, tells you a little about me in my non-mini persona. I used to have a large garden area but some years ago, I stopped gardening. A couple of years ago, my husband and I decided that we should bring back the gardens and what a lot of work (and money) that turned into. But we enjoy it, and that’s important. The pictures in this post are from various times during the season. I didn’t take all the “in-progress” pictures that I had planned. I will take pictures before I close down for the season.

Cardinal Shrub (Weigela), my favorite shrub
My Cottage Garden is (and most of my gardens) based on the English cottage garden and the traditional perennial garden (some of the best gardens in the world) with a slight difference: I read that a cottage garden is defined as “controlled chaos”, mine are a “wee bit” uncontrolled in plant selection and placement while my outlines borrow from the traditional perennial garden. I strive for a somewhat romantic, somewhat unexpected, vista. By the way, the "cottage" of the cottage garden is the gazebo.

One of the first things that we had to face was a deer who decided to lunch in my nascent perennial garden. We decided that we would fence the main perennial garden (the Cottage Garden) this year to get it started, and next year we would look into the effectiveness of deer repellents (I’m thinking …moat with alligators). That is why you see that temporary fence in the picture. I think of this garden as a “zoo for flowers”—calling it this makes the fence seem less tacky!
Bird's eye view of the Cottage Garden early in the season

Bird's eye view of the Copper Beech Garden

Out the French doors and into my special place which needs lots of work in all directions, but we are getting there!

The Cottage Garden as "zoo for plants" with its tempoary deer deterrent fence

At the far end is the gazebo, which for this season became the garden shed-- next year it will be a place for relaxing and sipping ...
There is still tons of work to be done here into next year, but we have made great progress.

It’s been a fun time in the garden, but I am starting to get thoughts on the things that I want to do for the many dollhouses I have “in progress”, and besides, soon it will be time to clean up the garden for the year. Of course, now I have to save up money for minis since I spent all my mad money on plants!

I do have a garden blog if anyone is interested, although I have been negligent with blogging for this one also this year.
Gardening with Gertrude, Jim, & Grandmother named for my favorite gardeners: Gertrude Jekyll, Jim Crockett, and my maternal grandmother Giuditta, the best teachers a person could have -- truly a garden of memories.

I hope you all enjoy it.