Category Archives: Memorial Day

Mandala Monday: Tradescantia … Oenothera speciosa and Cherry Tarts

Virginia Spiderwort T. (Tradescantia) virginiana  can be an invasive plant but it is one I enjoy having in the garden since it is a Virginia native (at one time we had it in pink and magenta too)…

Patty Szymkowicz Spiderwort Evening Primrose MandalaI also let the pink Evening Primrose come up pretty much wherever it pleases as I like a bit of “wild” surprise in the garden and the pink blooms have a delicate fragrance…

Patty Szymkowicz Spiderwort Evening Primrose Mandala (1)I used a pretty gold scalloped piece of cardboard to build the mandala on…

Patty Szymkowicz Spiderwort Evening Primrose Mandala (2)

the cardboard originally came under a most delicious Cherry Crostata

Wegman's Cherry Crostata

I won’t tell you how many cardboards we have collected…

joining Dawn of Girl Unwinding for her Mandala Monday on this Memorial Day remembering with gratitude all those that have served helping keep America the land of the free…

T … T and “Tea”

Happy Tuesday which really feels more like Monday after our three day weekend here in the states…

T for Tillandsia which was going to be the topic of my tea post today until we added the…

T for Tarte more on that later

our actual“Tea” was a bit of bubbly and not tea at all as a reward for our hard work in finally getting our back porch scrubbed for the season…

Mr Magpie also replaced the ceiling fan and light fixture which was a feat in the heat as it felt more like the 4th of July than Memorial Day here in northern Virginia…

VERY hot and humid…

so about our Tillandsia tenufolia which is a type of Bromeliad air plant…

it seems that some species of Tillandsia bloom only once in a lifetime…

 so imagine my thrill in stumbling upon this little plant that had been all but forgotten out on our back porch as it must have blown out of the fairy garden into the garden bed going completely unnoticed…

after the bloom fades the plant will make “pups” giving us more little air plants…

what an unexpected surprise that was…

now on to that gorgeous tarte which was a really lovely treat from the freezer section of Trader Joe’s…

it says on the box that a serving size is 1/4th tarte

we decided we could handle that as it had to hold us over until dinner and we didn’t even need to turn on the oven…

Mr Magpie found a setting on our camera for photographing food…

we still need to experiment and see if it makes a real difference in the photo quality…

our weekend was full of surprises including the fact that it is Lavender picking time again a good two weeks early

won’t you join us over at Kimmie’s Art in Red Wagons for more tea tales…

all are welcome to join in with or without tea

Simply Splendid Sunset Celebration


summer unofficially begins in these parts … end of May …  on the Memorial Day weekend …


it certainly feels like summer with a bit of relief  in the shade … still 80+ degrees (27 celsius) at dusk


we have wanted to visit George and Martha Washington’s home for some time now (it so happens it is open seven days a week, each and every day of the year … even on Christmas Day)


… coming for one of the special sunset events was a great idea …


imagine our delight to discover “Martha” … with a lovely view of the Potomac River …  chatting and stitching away on the porch … the hammer dulcimer and harp lilting lightly in the background

not sure where America’s first hero was

amazing really that it has taken us this long to get ourselves to  Mount Vernon

with its lovely gardens

music and frolicking

wagon rides and lots of out buildings

a perfect place for lingering on the lawn

I told Mr Magpie we need never return as this visit was idyllic from beginning to end

seeing the estate by candle lit lantern light certainly was magical


here is a quote from the proud home owner himself:

“No estate in America is more pleasantly situated than this …” George Washington (1732 – 1799), speaking of his eight-thousand acre home. Mount Vernon has changed little over the last 200 years, although now it has been reduced to five hundred acres.