Monday, May 11, 2009

Mish-Mash Monday

Here we are on Monday again and I've got more bits 'n' pieces for you! On Saturday, I took my mom to a Mother's Day Tea at the Octagon House in Washington Township, Michigan. The house was built by Loren Andrus between 1858 and 1860 in Italianate style. Apparently five men in the area had a bet going as to who could build the most unique house, and Andrus won! (The bit to the side was added later, by another owner.) It had a cool winding staircase that led way up to a cupola with windows on all sides, which had a nice view of flowering spring trees and shrubs.

Yep, that's my mom in one of the children's bedrooms. (For a little game, can you guess how old she is? I think she looks a lot younger than she is, but because she's my mom, I may be biased!) For more photos of the home, click here. The tea itself consisted of tea (amazingly enough), scones with Devonshire cream and jam, tiny quiches, finger sandwiches, and little desert tidbits. My favorite was a tiny chocolate cup filled with chocolate mousse and topped with a viola petal! (Nom nom nom.) On June 19, they're hosting a Mid-summer Night's Faerie Tea, which sounds right up my alley, so to speak.

The lilacs there are just starting to bloom (here, some 70 miles south, we are in full bloom, but I don't have a lilac of my own to show you.)

But I do have stuff to show you in my own garden, like two native wildflowers: this very sweet Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)...

...and this equally cute squirrel corn (Dicentra canadensis).

I bought two shrubs over the weekend: a native chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia, waves to Gail) and the gorgeous pieris (Pieris japonica x floribunda 'Mountain Fire') pictured above. It's an evergreen with leaves that turn red. I just missed its cute white flowers. I learned about this wonderful plant on one of your blogs, but I don't recall whose! The only problem is I have to play Twister to plant it. (I have to move two other shrubs to make room for its perfect place, but I only know where to put one of those two shrubs. Hmm, left foot yellow!)

Its prefect place, in case you're wondering, is between a good-sized red twig dogwood (Cornus sericea) and this dwarf fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenii), which is blooming its heart out. It, too, is in its second location, the first not having been sunny enough. Ha!

And finally, I'm happy to steal Esther's wonderful idea participate in Esther's Monday Maths. Which I don't think was intended as a meme, but I liked the idea so much, I asked her if I could try it, too! (She said yes.) I used to be quite handy with scissors and paper, but I'm out of practice.

Happy Mish-Mash Monday, y'all!


  1. Oh I'm thinking of cakes and chocolate now!!! Sounds like a lovely place you visited with your mum. Will you be posting about the Mid-summer Night's Faerie Tea? Some venues here do Teddy Bears' picnics - I'll have to suggest a Faerie Tea to them!

    Trilliums always look magical to me.

  2. Hi Monica, I love your mish mash posts! Happy day to your mother, how lucky you both are to have each other. That was a cool house too. The little dicentra is a noog worthy individual! :-)

  3. That house looks way cool and Happy Mother's Day to you mother! She looks most happy. Tea and scones sound really good.

  4. Fun post Monica! I love the house, sounds like you and your Mom had a great time. She looks like she was enjoying herself. That's a very nice-looking Pieris specimen. I had one of those at my last house - loved it! Pretty natives!

  5. It looks like the kind of house one would dream of living in but which might turn out to be completely impractical in practice. (Though not quite as bad for putting furniture in as a round one would be.)

    The fothergilla looks very pretty. Like an elegant bottle brush!

    And so glad you've done a mathematical collage. Calculus next week?


  6. Love those old house with all their extravagances. We had a similar restaurant but it fell victim to the economy.

    I've never seen a trillium with huge white blooms. Didn't realize there were so many species. Lilacs are just beginning to bloom here too.

  7. Your Lilac is a bit ahead of mine. Did you know it's telling you that it's time to go out Morel hunting?

  8. That house certainly is unusual, I've never seen one like it. Pieris japonica x floribunda 'Mountain Fire' is gorgeous!

  9. That sounds like a scrumptious tea you had with your Mom. What a lovely way to celebrate Mother's Day! I love your new additions, can't wait to see their new homes as soon as you get everything moved about. ;) I do the same thing, the twister bit, lol.

  10. That looks a fine venue for a spot of afternoon tea on Mother's Day. It's sounds like a bet when everyone was a winner for once. You have made my mouth water with your description of that chocolate cup cake :)

  11. Hi Monica.....firstly I am so envious of the Trillium......I can never get mine to flower, I always end up with just the frustrating......I think they are exquisite.....

    Tea sounds lovely....I bet your Mum had a wonderful time......

  12. Love the Mish Mash Monday meme! I am so glad you and your mum had tea and an outing for Mother's Day!
    The house and the spiral staircase to the spring view sounds like a good place to visit...exactly the way my mom would have loved spring...through a window!

    Thanks for the shout out...Monica...the chokeberry has the sweetest flowers and best fall coloring! It's hard to beat natives. Gail

  13. What a fun day, Monica. You are so lucky ... your mother looks so young and perky! I'm enjoying my daughter's lilacs, a bouquet cut from her garden on Mother's Day. I have lots of red twig dogwood (Cornus sericea) at the lake and 3 dwarf fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenii) surrounding my Kousa dogwood in the bed by the front sidewalk. More white in the front yard (looks good with the sea of pachysandra surrounding my old hay colored house/cranberry door) ... my dogwood is in bloom and white azaleas.

  14. What an interesting place to have tea; the Mid-summer Night's Tea sounds perfect, Monica!
    I, too, have often played Twister trying to stuff one more plant in an overcrowded front garden:) I'm usually thankful when I manage to stay upright and not land on a rosebush by mistake.
    I'm really enjoying your mish-mash Mondays, Monica; perhaps when things slow down here a little, I'll join you. Love the collage!

  15. Monica what a wonderful idea!
    A mish and a mash of this and that!
    Great idea for a may have started a trend!!
    What a wonderful day spent w/ your mom!!
    My ears are perking up w/ hearing about the mid summer tea!! Hummm...should I take the time and come for that one...just a few hours from me!!
    Crossing the border of course.
    Have a wonderful week enjoying your garden!

  16. Happy Birthday to your Mom! I live in an octagon house but not two stories and not so palatial. What a nice birthday celebration for your Mom. I am guessing 39 for the 30th time.

  17. Hi Monica, Your mom is fortunate to have such a daughter! It sounds like you had a great time!! (I'm not going to venture a guess about her age... but she looks as though she'd be a lot of fun! :-)

  18. Love the mish-mash...I am no good at ages, but your Mom looks beautiful for any age....