Today on Weekend Meanderings an addition to my kitchen, a cute summer dress, and the amazing Ruth Bancroft Garden.
Happy weekend, friends!
It’s Saturday and I’m joining Kim and Elizabeth for Weekend Meanderings.
Our weekly roundup of inspiration and goings on.
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It’s the last weekend of August!
I hope my Southern California friends have recovered from their encounter with a tropical storm.
We’re pretty far north and it didn’t directly effect us.
We did experience bizarrely hot and humid weather.
Including a little rain and a lot of wind.
In other news, it’s game day!
The college football season is underway.
Navy vs Notre Dame is being played in Dublin, Ireland today.
Kick off at 11:30am PDT on NBC
Nearly 40,000 Americans traveled to Dublin for the game.
We hoped to be two of them and had tickets for the 2020 game that was cancelled.
The rescheduled date didn’t work for us.
I don’t think it’s going to be pretty for Navy who (still) has an unresolved quarterback situation.
Are you a college football fan?
Tell me who your team is in the comments.
I should add that Jim went to USC so we follow the Trojan’s too.
RUTH BANCROFT GARDEN & NURSERY
A few weeks ago I visited Ruth Bancroft Garden & Nursery in Walnut Creek. The dry-garden, consisting of a wide variety of succulents, native trees and shrubs, is a local treasure sitting in the midst of a suburban neighborhood. The land was once part of the Bancroft family’s 400-acre pear and walnut farm dating back to the 1880’s. Ruth married into the Bancroft family and created an English garden around the family farm house. She became interested in succulent plants and the rest is history. Ruth started the dry-garden in the 1960’s when she was 64 years old and continued her work well into her 90’s. She lived to be 109 and to see her garden become part of The Garden Conservancy and open to the public in 1992. In addition to the garden, the site includes a small retail nursery and is a popular wedding and event venue.
There’s a small fee to enter the garden and visitors are given a tour book and a guide to what’s currently in bloom. The garden is full of unique and uniquely beautiful native plants and trees … and I wandered around happily taking it all in. After touring the garden I walked through the nursery … a wonderful place to buy plants suited to East Bay gardens.
There are lots of paths, ponds and interesting structures, areas to sit and relax and art pieces scattered throughout the garden that are also for sale.
This was my first visit, but it won’t be my last … it’s a wonderful place to visit seasonally. During the holidays (late November through early January) it morphs into The Garden of D’lights with colorful lights and lasers highlighting the plants and trees for evening tours. It’s very popular and sells out … I’ll be on the lookout for tickets this year. You can learn more about Ruth Bancroft and her garden here.
AN ADDITION TO MY KITCHEN
Last week’s kitchen cleaning frenzy was partly due to a problem with our freezer and partly due to the arrival of our new rolling kitchen island prep table.
I love our galley kitchen. Galley kitchens are great for workflow and I’m told chef’s favor them. I’m not a chef and have missed having an island or peninsula. It’s additional prep space much needed in our kitchen. This year’s to do list included finding a solution … and I did! But it took a while. I had my eye on a small, rolling butcher block island, or prep table, from the John Boos Co. We love their cutting boards. Who doesn’t?! The rolling island is 24 x 36″ and comes in three wood species.
Not surprisingly the islands are pricey so I continued searching for something comparable and more budget friendly. Long story short, I didn’t find anything. In addition to size requirements I wanted a walnut top in order to be companionable with the walnut countertop at the far end of the kitchen. Of course a walnut top turns out to be the priciest option. Oof. I also wanted an island on wheels so it can be easily moved around. I nearly threw in the towel and then considered a less expensive wood choice. Jim wasn’t on-board with that idea and encouraged me to buy the walnut top. Alrighty then!
Our new island arrived last week and Jim put it together and rolled it into the kitchen.
I’m really glad we splurged on the walnut top … it was the right choice. And it’s been a game changer for our galley kitchen. In addition to providing more counter and prep space, it offers mobility, flexibility, and more storage and display area. It’s also great for laying out drinks and snacks to encourage friends and family to keep me company in the kitchen!
These are some other options I found and liked during my search ~
Vintage butcher blocks are also a great option … I searched 1st Dibs, Chairish, Facebook Marketplace and the Alameda County Antique Faire. Many vintage pieces don’t have wheels, but they can be added.
CLOSET CLEAN OUT PART IV
I know what you’re thinking. Will her closet clean out ever end? This week was about selling and repairing.
I posted three dresses to my Poshmark closet. Two Anthropology dresses and one from J.Crew … I wore it recently to a wedding in Italy. Have you used Poshmark to buy or sell? It’s really easy. Take photos and upload them to the site … along with a description of your item. It helps to know the original cost of the piece … and I include a brand photo, if available. The tricky part is pricing. Once you enter the original price Poshmark suggests a sales price range which is generally less than you feel it deserves. I might price a little higher to allow for lower offers. Once your piece is sold Poshmark emails a downloadable mailing label, you package it up and drop it at the post office. Both my Anthro dress sold within hours. The J.Crew is still waiting for a new home.
I also had a few things that needed to be altered. Two belts needed shortening. And a pair of sandals needed to have the straps tightened. I have narrow feet. I dropped them off at One-Stop Shoe Care in Lafayette. If you’re local, A-1 Shoe & Luggage Repair in Walnut Creek is also very good.
Summer isn’t over, no matter what we see on Instagram or at the store (there is a pumpkin display at my grocery store … already), we have many weeks of warm weather ahead. This cute summer dress caught my eye this week. It’s from Rails which has become one of my favorite brands.
I’ve already worn it twice and I plan to wear it a couple of times over Labor Day weekend. And probably a couple more between now and then. It’s as easy and effortless summer dress … made of a lightweight, floaty cotton and fully lined. For cooler the evenings (or air conditioned spaces) I’ll throw on my white denim jacket. I think it has a bit of an island vibe and it’s on my packing list for our cruise in January.
Dress | Earrings | Tote | Sunnies | Sandals
On Thursday, Olivia from Homestead Design Collective was here to do our first edible garden maintenance.
It’s been six weeks since the garden was planted and I think everyone is surprised by how well it’s taken off. It’s definitely over achieved. Olivia spent about an hour cutting back our tomato plants which had taken over the smaller bed. She thinned them out, particular at the bottom so they get better air flow and more sun to ripen the fruit. Now that we have a better view, there are lots of tomatoes and some are ready to be harvest this weekend. She did a better job training them onto the trellis’ then we did. What can I say, this entire process has a steep learning curve.
She also harvested lettuces, mustard greens, parsley, shishito peppers and radishes.
And she planted more radishes, bunching onions and snap peas which will grow up the trellis.
In more exciting garden news, yesterday morning I zoomed with Stefani and her Homestead Design Collective team to go over their proposed plan to replant our front and back gardens. I’m really happy with the direction we’re headed. Stay tuned.
Odds & Socks ~
The Notre Dame-Navy rivalry dates back to WWII and it’s history, and relationship between the schools, is pretty darned interesting. And moving. Notre Dame and Navy: Bond Forged in Blood.
My fairy blog mother, KariAnne Wood of Thistlewood Farms, has a new book coming out! Pre-order now for delivery September 5th!!!
The Lincoln Lawyer season two is out on Netflix. Have you seen it? It’s a great binge.
I bought these basic tanks at Nordstrom Rack this week in white and black.
Current favorites ~
And that’s what I have for you this week.
Let’s see what’s inspiring Kim and Elizabeth …
If you missed my last post, you can catch up here.
You’ll find all my weekend roundup posts collected here.
Any thoughts you’d like to share?
I’d love to hear them and you can drop them in the comments below.
Cheers from Snowberry!