The Kitchen Window

The Kitchen Window
Antique Milk Bottles with Herbs and Flowers


Welcome to the Frog Hollow Farm blog! I've been blogging since January 2010 and have switched from Blogger to Word Press, but I'm back to Blogger because, for me, it's easier to use. My husband and I live on a little farm in Northwest New Jersey. We have some chickens and a very large vegetable garden with asparagus and raspberries, and rows and rows of sunflowers, snapdragons and zinnias. Traveling, entertaining, gardening, spending time with family, studying Italian, blogging and reading keep us busy and happy. With all of this going on, moving towards a simpler life seems almost impossible but it's definitely a daily goal.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Back Porch and Transformation Thursday

Our back porch is just a couple of years old.  We demolished an old deck and built a wrap around porch that connected our back door to an old side door on the conservatory.   For the past couple of years we've been working with various peices of furniture, trying to find the best way to use the space on the porch.  This past spring we moved our hammock and hammock stand to the corner of the porch. Although the hammock stand is way to big for the porch, we like having it here because the porch roof protects the hammock fabric from the rain and wind, making the hammock usable virtually all of the time. 

Yes, these are my size 9 feet stretched out on the canvas hammock.  I love laying here during the afternoon.  Right now I can only slow down for about 20 minutes, but I'm working on making it up to an hour on that hammock!

Here are the furnishings and set-up before my re-arranging on Monday afternoon.  I liked how the bench looked in front of the window, but the sitting area didn't seem to work when friends were over.  There was no place to put a drink or appetizer plate.  We were just too spread out over the porch for any type of coziness.  You can see a small round table with a checkered green tablecloth to the left - this table was placed against the porch railing, overlooking the pond. Two people could sit comfortably with this arrangement.  I wanted to create a space for four people to sit comfortably.

Here is the same window, with the small round table moved away from the porch railing and nearer to the window, allowing for four chairs to fit comfortably around it. 
Here's a view of the 'before' arrangement from the other side.  You can see more clearly where the table was set up. 

Here's the seating area now, set away from the table area, but still cozy enough for conversation and places to put down a glass or small plate of food, but separate from the small table area. 

Here are a few other additions I made to the porch:

A sign that FHFB painted for our fresh picked raspberries.

Phlox from the front garden.

Sunflowers and Zinnias from FHFB's gardens.

It's not a major transformation, but significant enough for me to feel happy and settled now whenever I walk outside onto the porch.  For me, the porch is more functional and also more clearly delineated, without being too structured. 

FHFB hasn't embraced this change - I'm hoping it will grow on him, like many of my furniture re-arrangement projects :). 

Thanks for visiting - I'm linked on to Transformation Thursday.  If you have a minute or two, stop by to see all of the wonderful blogger transformation postings!!

Ciao, bella!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Butterflies, a Monstrous Zucchini and a Delicious Pasta Recipe and Summer Sunday #8

We have been seeing so many beautiful yellow butterflies the last few weeks at Frog Hollow Farm.  Once the butterfly bush and phlox were in bloom there seemed to be an abundance of butterflies all over the gardens.  FHFB took these photos for me - take a look at the butterflies in the front garden at Frog Hollow Farm.

Here's a picture of the phlox and black-eyed susans in bloom, with a couple of butterflies resting on the phlox on the left side of the photo.

A close up of two beautiful golden butterflies - just look at those bright blue markings.  According to my research on Google and Wikipedia, these are Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterflies. The blue tail markings indicate that this is a female butterfly.

I love this photo because of the blurry movement of her top wings!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Weeding (or lack thereof) and Summer Sundays #7

I always start out the summer with the best of intentions, particularly when it comes to the design and upkeep of my little garden that is located right outside the front of our stone farmhouse.  In the spring we weed, turn the soil over, plant new perenniels, divide some perenniels and add lots of nutrients to the soil.  Over the next few weeks I check on the garden daily, always happy to see more bulbs and early spring flowers in bloom. 

Things looked pretty much under control back then. The flowers and plants all had room to breathe. 

Everyone was pretty happy way back then...

However, this is what the garden looks like today - I was going for that unkept, cottagy look but I think things have gone a bit to far in the unkept realm.   

If you look closely you'll see black-eyed susans, phlox, and impatiens.

I need to get out there and do something about this!!

Hope your day is going beautifully!

I'm linked in at The Tablescaper's Summer Sundays!  Please stop by and see all of the folks who have posted about what summer means to them. 
FHFB and I are heading down to Cape May for a few days, celebrating my birthday with my birthday sister Carol!

I hope to post about that beautiful little town in a week or two, with all of the interesting shops, spectacular beaches and absolutely wonderful restaurants.
Ciao, bella!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Flower Guide Book

This past spring FHFB and I went on a short road trip down to Red Bank, NJ.  I picked up some Hemmingsley china at the antique stores down there, and mentioned a little flower guide book that I found as well. 

Since it's summer and so many bloggers, me included, are posting wonderful photos of their beautiful gardens, I thought I'd revisit the little flower book and show some more pictures of the beautiful watercolor drawings that must have been inspired by exquisite gardens and gardeners such as the ones I've loved looking at on so many blogger's pages. 
The book is about 3" by 5" with paper pages that are a bit discolored around the edges, just as you would expect with an antique book.  The binding along the spine of the book is a bit worn and broken in one spot. 

Title Page and Front Cover

A.  Wintergreen:  Checkerberry
B.  Trailing Arbutus:  Mayflower

Bull Thistle

Black-Eyed Susan

Butterfly Weed - Orange Milk-Weed

Cardinal Flower - Lobelia Cardinalis

I could look at this little book forever.  Hope you enjoyed seeing these pages from the flower guide. 

Ciao, bella!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dinner and Dessert Menu for the Weathermen on the Porch at Frog Hollow Farm

It's raining outside - and I'm supposed to be on my way to my yoga class but I've decided that I don't want to get wet, so I'm here posting Part 2 of the Weathermen's Barbeque menu.  Don't get me wrong, I love yoga and feel great whenever I practice either in a class or on my own, but today is just not a yoga class day for me. 

Okay, now for the dinner menu from our gathering on Saturday here at Frog Hollow Farm!!  Several of these recipes are from Ina Garten's collection.  I just love her style and everything about her!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Appetizer Menu for the Weathermen's Barbeque on the Porch at Frog Hollow Farm

On Saturday FHFB and I hosted a barbeque for FHFB's office staff - 9 meteorologists and their families.  Everything turned out wonderfully, however, it was absolutely pouring that morning - a real deluge - FHFB promised me that it would clear up by the afternoon and he was right - there wasn't a drop of rain the entire afternoon and evening. 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sunflowers and Summer Sunday #6

Summer and sunflowers, the perfect combination.  I just love these magnificent flowers!  We have several varieties here at Frog Hollow Farm, with colors that range from lemony yellow to a russet burgundy.  The volunteers from last summer are flowering first, with the remainder of the flowers ready to blossom in the next week or so. 

I'm linked over to The Tablescaper's Summer Sunday - please take a minute to stop by and browse through all of the wonderful summer inspirations.

Ciao, bella!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Raspberries and Summer Sundays

Frog Hollow Farm's raspberries are just beginning to ripen in the garden.  Our raspberry bushes take up three rows and are placed between the asparagus patch and one row of blackberry bushes.

FHFB has two varieties of raspberries planted; the traditional red berries and a pretty golden yellow berry.  The golden berries seem to be ripening first, although I did find a few of the red jewels while picking today.

This berry bowl is from a potter in Asheville, North Carolina.  It has holes in the bottom of the bowl and a little dish that it sits on to collect any water after washing the berries.  I love the colors that the potter used in this bowl - all berry colors: raspberry pink,  deep blueberry blue. a dark blackberry purple and green.   

Hope that you are enjoying this holiday weekend.  Join me over at The Tablescaper's Summer Sundays to see all of the wonderful blog posts about what summer means! 

Ciao, bella!