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22 May, 2011

Planning for Paris...and...A Patio Tour!

030 It was so nice outside early this morning that I decided to have my morning cappuccino on the patio and do a little planning for my upcoming trip to Paris with my grandson! Won’t you join me?
(Update...We are now back! Click here to read about our first day in Paris and to see my plan for visiting Paris in seven days! More to come!)

031 I am using my favorite frenchy placemats…half price from the gift shop at Château Élan…a nearby resort and winery…and napkins from market day in Cavaillon, France several years ago. The milk glass sugar is a Goodwill find for 88 cents and I got the creamer for the same price!

034 But what is special is this lovely sugar shell…a gift from my sweet bloggy friend Babs at Upstairs Downstairs! Isn’t it lovely? She knew that my favorite vintage silverplate pattern is Vintage from 1847 Rogers Brothers dating back to 1904! Just look at the details…little tendrils curling all around the handle and even into the bowl of the spoon! What a wonderful treasure!

032 In the background you can see my latest invention…candles in vases! lol It is so hot here that I often have to keep a fan going when I am on the patio…even at night…and this keeps them from blowing out!

027 I am not the only one having my morning drink! Kitty loves to use the little water feature as her personal drinking fountain.  I love the sound of the water…so tranquil!

IMG_2456 In a month or so, it will look like this! The blooms appear overnight and last only one day. Pretty, huh?

IMG_2464Did you notice that my shabby picnic basket planter is back this year? This is how it looked by mid-July last year! The begonias seemed to love it! It got so big that I had to buy it its own little shabby table.  A link for how to make it is on my sidebar.

kitty with lavenderKitty has something else to show you. I try to pretend that my patio is a little corner of France, so I have planted Provence lavender in a big pot! I love the way it smells! It has just started to grow.

019 Also very frenchy…my rooster planter filled with sweet potato vines! Did you know that the rooster (le coq gaulois) is the French national symbol? Yes…so powerful that it can make the sun rise! The planter was a gift from my mom many years ago.

014 Now this one you are either going to love or hate! lol No frenchy patio is complete without an escargot! This guy is huge! He came rusted and has since lost an antenna, but I love him anyway! You can put a candle inside and he casts interesting patterns of light!

040 Also back this year is my flower pot man…but he got tired of standing, so he is seated this time! His moss rose hair is just beginning to bloom! He will have an impressive head of hair in a month or so!

052 On the other side of the patio you will find a little conversation area. It’s very pleasant to sit here late in the afternoon and watch the goldfinches feed! Notice the cushions? They match the placemats…also half price from Château Élan! And…see the fence in the background?

023 I have just had it stained…finally! You may think I am strange, but I like the natural color of old wood. However, the fence needed to be stained so that it would last longer. The color I chose is called Dark Gray by Behr. It was as close as I could find to the color of aged wood. That’s my lace cap hydrangea, which seems to have survived the process and should bloom soon.

020 I always have dark purple petunias on my patio. I love the smell and only the purple ones seem to consistently have it. They remind me of my grandmother’s front porch, where she had two huge planters filled with them!

016 I also always have hanging baskets filled with torenia, since it attracts hummingbirds! I love the purple variety.

024 This one is new for me, though. Pretty, isn’t it? It’s called celosia and the little tag said…prefers warm, dry conditions and easy to grow in any soil. Hmmmm…we’ll see! My berm will certainly test those claims! I’ll keep you posted!

046 Now, if you will excuse me…I need to get back to my planning. I am getting so excited! I have read Rick Steves' guide book cover to cover to be sure not to miss anything and even created a little spread sheet (The teacher in me still lives! lol) for the places I want to be sure to see. It’s not my first trip, but it is for my 10 year old grandson, so it has to be really special! It won’t be too much longer now!
Update! Be sure to join us here to read about our first day in Paris and stay tuned for more about our Paris adventure!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed a little peek at my patio!  Please visit these wonderful bloggers and their beautiful blogs to see what they are up to and to find a list of this week’s participants!
Kim at Savvy Southern Style for the Summer Deck and Porches Party
Stephanie Lynn at Under the Table and Dreaming for the Sunday Showcase Party
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday
Rhoda at Southern Hospitality for Today's Thrifty Treasures on Mondays
Mary at Boogieboard Cottage for Masterpiece Monday
Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick for Before and After Monday (first Monday of the month)
Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday
Linda at Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Kim at Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays
Judy at DIY by Design for Swing into Spring
Kara at Elements Interiors for Whassup Wednesday
Gina at The Shabby Chic Cottage for Transformation Thursdays
Leigh at Tales from Bloggeritaville for Thrifty Thursday
Jill at French Cupboard for Voilà! French Inspiration on Thursdays
Sherry at No Minimalist Here for the Open House Party on Thursdays
Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Courtney at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Diann at The Thrifty Groove for Thrifty Things Friday
Debra at Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Fridays
Sherry at The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
Donna at Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special
See you next time! A la prochaine!


  1. Debbie, I am so excited for you about your trip. It is really coming soon. I know you and your grandson will have the most wonderful time, and he has to be just about to jump up and down with excitement. Your patio and yard are wonderful and love the placemats and cushions. Thanks in advance for linking to TTT. Hugs, Marty

  2. Your patio is just beautiful Debbie! My favorite is your flower pot man, I think I'd like to make one for myself! Your trip will be so exciting, I know you'll both have a great time:@)

  3. Your patio and all your flowers are so beautiful, Debbie! What a wonderful place to sit and plan to your upcoming holiday!

  4. Loved your little corner of France - those linens are special. I've been in planning mode, also; but that is about to end as I leave very, very soon - Germany first than France. Have a safe trip. Sally

  5. You have such lovelies on youe patio Debbie, I wouldn't be able to tear myself away! I hadn't hear about your trip with your grandson, how fun is that! Have a wonderful time!

  6. Sounds like your trip will be so much fun! Love your patio and all the little 'french' touches. hugs, Linda

  7. Have a great trip Debbie... Love the vintage spoon and your potted plants... A lovely place to have endless conversations... Love your outdoor setting.. !!

  8. How exciting Debbie a trip to Paris!! Your flowers and gardens look beautiful! Martina

  9. Ishould have guesses that as a teacher, Debbie, you would have known and loved the way Rick Steve's does his travel recommendations.

    For those who aren't familiar with his travel philosophy - PLEASE - go to your bookstore or library and read about a place you want to visit.

    I've been the family tour guide for several European trips and I used his France travel guide for a 22-day driving circle trip of the country that REALLY WORKED! Then, again for a trip to Italy and returning out of Paris - EXCELLENT - that trip was by train.

    Another trip - England - Belgium - Paris - SW France - we again consulted and used many of Rick's suggestions!

    Thanks for your chart, too, Debbie. I guess I need to get more analytical on my computer. I always just use a pencil and the backs of recycled advertisements - but I like your idea! So many times I hear friends say they arrived at the entrance to a museum only to find it closed for the day. It can still happen, but at least with your chart, not so much!!!

  10. I love your patio....what a nice exciting to take your grandson to Paris....

  11. I am so happy for you that you are headed to France. You will love it!! Your yard looks so pretty, want to sit and enjoy it I am sure!

  12. Sounds like someone is about to experience an amazing summer!

  13. Great patio, Debbie! I still love that shabby picnic basket - so charming! And the lavendar - love it. Unfortunately, mine did not make it through the winter. Can't wait for your trip - it's going to be fantastic! Linda

  14. Oh, your back patio is absolutely darling! I really adore the water fountain, everything looks so very peaceful and relaxing. I hope you have a lovely trip to France!

  15. Your Kitty looks very much like some of the kittens a stray had in our backyard. I've posted pics recently if you're interested.

    I'm loving that sugar spoon! Oh my. That is lovely!

  16. Everything on your patio and yard are pretty. My deck has not been touched yet this year, but I am going to start. I should have done it when it was cooler. Have a great week and I wish I was going to Paris. Oh, how I want to go some day.

  17. Your patio is gorgeous. I still love the basket planter. Have a great time in Paris!

  18. How exciting to plan such a nice trip with your grandson! And in such a gorgeous setting as your patio! So pretty, it's a perfect place to enjoy a cup of cappuccino.

  19. Your patio is gorgeous. I love all of your beautiful flowers. The kitty is precious. Blessings for your trip to Paris!

  20. Love the candles in vases - I am stealing that great idea for our patio!

  21. That sugar shell is gorgeous...I understand why you are so in love with that particular design...its gorg...Wishing you and your grandson a fabulous trip...

  22. Paris! How wonderful! I found it so helpful to buy my museum, boat tour, and hop on hop off bus tickets with my travel agent before I left for Paris. It was a treat to nip in the side door at the Louvre, avoiding the lengthy line up. How I wish I was going with you! :)

  23. You got a gorgeous patio! Loved all those beautiful flowers:) Have
    a great trip in Paris!
    Hope to see you on my blog:)


  24. Debbie, I spent the day visiting with my cousins about Paris. They'll be there in July. It was such fun to pull out my books and journals. I know you are going to have a fabulous trip. You are so organized!
    ~ Sarah
    Beautiful flowers!

  25. Your patio is So Delightful! I love the way you have arranged things. I LOVE your escargot, he is Too Cute! and If I saw him at a shop, he would follow me home! Thank you for sharing SO Many wonderful things.
    Have a wonderful week,

  26. Oh I am jealous Debbie! That trip sounds just so wonderful! And I absolutely love all of your plants, the patio decor, the frenchy tablescape, perfect!
    Everything looks beautiful around your place friend!

  27. Love all your pretty flowers. Portulaca
    (moss rose) is the only thing I can have on the back deck because of the sun I love that they come back!
    Fail to plan, plan to fail the old teacher motto!

  28. Hey Debbie,

    love this post! Your patio and yard invites you to spend time there.

    My deck/yard is still a work in progress. think I'll run out and get some purple petunia's and try them.

  29. What a lovely morning you've had, enjoying your lovely patio and flowers. I can't think of a better way to spend a morning than a latte and a Paris Travel Guide. Oh to be taking your grandson to Paris! Exactly what I hope to do in a few years, mine is almost three. Wonderful post.

    The French Hutch

  30. Debbie - sigh - can I come along with you to Paris and carry your luggage? I know you must be so excited to spend that time with your grandson. Your patio looks lovely. Jennifer

  31. I so enjoy your postings Debbie. Love those linens and you've given me some great ideas for annuals this year. Didn't know hummingbirds loved torenias!
    And of course since I leave for Paris in 2 weeks...I may have to borrow your spreadsheet idea. I am nearly finished with my Rick Steves book too.
    Getting excited for you and for me!

  32. Hi Debbie, Thank you for sharing your patio! You've given me a lot of new ideas for my side yard. I love kitty's personal drinking fountain! It's sounds like your grandson is one lucky boy and I'm sure he's going to remember this trip forever. Have a great week, Mary :O)

  33. I enjoyed your morning post on the patio! I am also reading a blog you would enjoy about France(in fact, you may already be following it.) It is
    and there are several entries before this one, too, although she is not trying to amuse a 10 year old boy....
    Thanks for sharing your garden and planning! What a nice morning!

  34. I am so jealous over your trip. Be safe. Hope it is wonderful, can't waite for you to get back and do a post. Richard at My Old Historic House

  35. Hi there! I tried to email you but it was returned?? Any change of address?? Love the flowers and patio so gorgeous!

  36. What a lovely retreat you've created. I love the purple petunias and shabby chic picnic basket planter. What a lucky grandson to go on a trip with a woman of such great taste and recognition of beauty. Enjoy. ~CJ

  37. What a beautiful place to plan a trip to Paris, Debbie.

  38. Debbie, Thanks for the invitation to have Cappuccino on the patio... how very French.:) love it.
    Your garden looks so pretty and I love the purple petunias. All your flowers and water feature give your patio a very welcoming feeling. I put my lavender in a big pot, too. I was afraid it would dry out on my blast furnace deck.
    OMGosh your placemats and cushions from Chateau Elan are sooo pretty and just perfect for your chairs.
    You are so sweet to mention the sugar shell. I hope you enjoy it with your new milk glass sugar bowl.
    Have fun planning your Paris trip with your grandson,

  39. Such a beautiful patio! Love all your flowers and your pretty cat!


  40. Debbie, I love your begonias in the wicker hamper!! So cute!

    Have a fabulous trip!

  41. Very Frenchy indeed. Thats what I love the most about holidays the planning, where to stay what to see. I'm an organising fanatic! Oh and while the coffee's on I have mine white with 1 thanx :)
    Popping over from SSS

  42. Love the photo of Kitty drinking. So natural. You must be getting so excited to share this experience with your grandson. I think that is fabulous. Hugs, Deb=^..^=x4

  43. Oh mon dieu, je vais en France avec ma peitie-fille aussi! Oh my goodness, I am going to France also with my fact we are going on a Rick Steves tour and then spending some extra days in Paris. We leave on June is so exciting, like your grandson she has never been there. Aren't we lucky?

  44. Wow, you are going to have so much fun!! I hope to go back soon, myself. Love the blog, since I too am a dish addict, I mean appreciator. I just found your blog, subscribed and became a follower. Can't wait till I have time to sit out and leisurely peruse your blog. Love it!!

  45. Oh Debbie, I am so excited for you regarding your trip to Paris! I just can't wait to see all the pictures when you return! Your patio and yard look beautiful. And I really like the gray color of the fence. It is just perfect! Thank you for joining TTF. And have a wonderful Memorial weekend!

  46. I appreciate your comment about the Mont St-Michel pictue. I plan to do a "stoll thru" post when I get around to it.

    Know you are excited about your upcoming Paris trip! (I want to go to!)

  47. Debbie,
    How exciting you will get to go to Paris. I am excited for you. It is a wonderful summer trip. Your patio is very charming. I love your little water fountain. Thanks for linking it up!

  48. I have no doubt that your trip to France will be filled with special places and memories which your dear grandson will cherish for the rest of his life... I think my grandkiddos want to adopt you... yes... Panda says she'll be happy to accompany you and grandson to Paris if you need a witty beautiful 9-year old granddaughter!

    Have a wonderful trip... who's watering those plants while you're gone! Your patio is just beautiful!

    hugs. Dixie

  49. What a lovely spot! I love outdoor seating. And that escargot looks like pretty lighting. Enjoy your trip, Kellie xx

  50. Hi Debbie, I know you and your grandson must be so excited. This is a trip both of you will never forget. Your patio is beautiful and I love the little french corner. Thank you for joining my party and I hope you have a fabulous trip.

  51. Now that is some serious French Inspiration! Please take lots of photos and share them with us. Your patio and flowers are gorgeous! Love the flower pot man.

    Blessings... Polly
    French Cupboard &
    Counting Your Blessings

  52. What a fun time you're having, planning your trip! Love your beautiful patio and lovely flowers. Such a great spot to relax and just enjoy life. Thanks for linking up the inspiration at VIF! xo Debra

  53. I love hearing all about your trip Debbie!! If you need someone to cart your luggage- just let me know :) Your patio is so pretty and inviting- love your darling kitty too- thanks for sharing at my party this week :)

  54. Hi Debbie, I had to come back and look at your basket planter after I saw your comment. It looks almost identical to my plaster one. What a great idea and yours turned out wonderful. Love the begonias. Isn't it great to create something that cost so much less than the original?

  55. What a gorgeous place to sit and plan a trip to Paris! When are you going? Indy and I are going in 2 weeks! I can't wait! J'adore Paris!

  56. I'm loving the basket planter, and the whimsical touches. The little flower pot guy, too sweet.
    Have fun on your trip.


Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment! I appreciate my wonderful readers!... Debbie