Pretty Garden Container #3



Should have cropped myself out of the sidelight—oops.



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Pretty Garden Containers #2


I really fall for a nice urn and the palm is almost too good.




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Pretty Garden Containers

Hi Everybody,

As you might have noticed I’ve taken most of the summer off—but I’m back with some really pretty garden containers.  Just a bit of eye candy to see you through the rest of the summer.  The containers in this series were featured on the 2014 Connoisseur’s Garden Tour back in May (yeah, yeah I’m late).  I hope you enjoy and maybe pick up an idea or two.

This first container was done by David McMillan of New Moon Gardens. (I think he did it anyway, the homeowner might have.)  It’s tall and has presence in the small courtyard garden.





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Million Dollar Arm—Our house is in the movies

FINALLY!!! I can post about the movie.  Million Dollar Arm staring John Hamm, opened on Friday.  You should go see it. It’s heartwarming—no violence, no blood and guts, no language, just a nice story with a happy ending.

Last summer the fine folks from Disney shot some scenes for Million Dollar Arm in our house.  Unbelievable.  It seems the location scout identified our house and the director liked it.  All this started before we bought in May of 2013. But we signed the contract after we closed and in July they went to work.

The first thing was a “small meeting” of the production crew.  What really happened was a tour bus load of folks showed up and started taking pictures and writing on clip boards and waving their arms around like creative people do.  They were all very nice and friendly.

At some point the Board Guys came in and covered our floors with heavy cardboard and wrapped all the corners. Strange, but necessary.




The props people brought in a boatload of “stuff” to give the house a real family atmosphere.


Making movies isn’t all glamorous and exciting—somebody has to iron the tablecloth.  This are props guys.

Our bedroom dresser was staged.  Remember this dinosaur—if you see the movie, and I hope you will, you’ll recognize him. The pictures are of Ash’s twins in the movie, except the one on the far right—that’s Thomas.


Before the day of the shoot, they closed off parking—they closed the whole darn street when they filmed. And we had guards for a week 24/7 sitting in our driveway.  There was a lot of expensive gear around.  We felt very safe.


On the big day, we were sent off to the Georgian Terrace. The filming lasted about 12 hours—you’ll be shocked to see how little our house was shown—oh well.

Here’s what we found when we came home the next day.  Take a very close look at the fridge—it’s easy to pick out in the movie.  This is how they staged the kitchen.  It was supposed to be messy—good job guys.



There’s a good shot of the butler’s pantry hallway with these drawings.  I think the twins did them while they were waiting around for their scenes.


Here are some of the boatload of toys they brought in—some are ours.


The living room—not sure if they shot any scenes here—nothing made it to the movie if they did.


The guest room was the dumping ground—so what’s new.


Here’s the door to the guest bedroom…too funny.


Our bed was in at least two scenes.  It was moved around so that the window was in the background, but the lamps are discernable and Steve’s chest of drawers (it still had his socks and underwear in it).


We thought the cook out scene was going to be included, but I guess it was left on the cutting room floor as they say..  This scene, according to a script we found, was about  the budding romance between John Hamm’s character, J.B. and Lake Bell’s, Brenda.  The whole major cast was in our backyard for these scenes our neighbors tell us (Remember we were going to dinner and staying at the Georgian Terrace on Walt’s dime).


An aside here:  I really liked how the teak furniture looked, so much that when our patio furniture went missing after the shoot (it went to the great storage warehouse black hole I think) that I replaced it with teak. Thanks Walt.


Of course our back yard looks nothing at all like this now with the pool in progress and the master bath addition being built.

As a parting shot, here’s how they stage a refrigerator.  In the movie Ash opens the fridge to get some milk, or something for the twins and it looks like this.





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Another Pretty Old House—Gone

teardown before

Two houses were taken down in the same week. They sat on small lots without driveways—they have an alley in back. Word on the street has it “two friends bought these houses and are building side by side”. I realize this Pretty Old House was small, probably 2 bedrooms and one bath, but it makes me sad to see it go.






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Spring in Atlanta “The Springdale Garden”

This is one of the prettiest springs in Atlanta I can remember.


Last weekend was the first of the Spring Festivals in Atlanta.  It was a beautiful Saturday before a cool and rainy Sunday.  Here’s the sky over the “Festival on Ponce” which is held in Olmsted Linear Park in Druid Hills.


We parked on Springdale Road and had to walk by a particularly beautiful private home that always has a knockout garden.


It was literally stopping traffic—foot traffic that is.  I wasn’t the only one with my cell phone out snapping away.   There were also a couple of professional types or maybe they were serious amateurs with real gear taking pictures.


The house is going to be on the Druid Hills Home Tour this spring.  Wow.  I’m more interested in the garden than the house. Do you think they’d let me in the backyard? I’ll bet it’s gorgeous, too.


Don’t you just covet this snowball bush?


The color combinations of the tulips really blow me away.


And the pink dogwood…later the roses will bloom and there’ll be more magnificent eye candy.


When you’re in Atlanta driving down Ponce de Leon, turn on Springdale—the house is on the right, you can’t miss it.





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My Pretty Old House Update We’re getting a Pool

If you’ve followed my blog for a while or if you’ve peeked at my Pinterest Boards you know I’m all about swimming pools.  So this should come as no surprise…


Yep… we’re putting in a pool  AND adding on to our master bath in the process.  Some people would do these two huge invasive projects one at a time, but NOOOO, not us…we go for it…all at once.

Here’s our previously lovely backyard as of a year ago. Can you find 87 things that are different?  I thought you could.


If you’re having a little trouble let me help.

1.  We took out the gigantic old post oak that was leaning over our house and our neighbor’s. And we had the Stinky Bradford Pear cut while we were at it.

2.  We gave away the hot tub on Craigslist.  “Come an’ get ‘er”   I got 17 calls, emails and texts in 30 minutes and it was gone in a week…in the ice storm.

3. The grass died on it’s own, with no help from me.  I think it was winter rye so what can we expect?


4.  We had the big ‘ol lugustrum  moved across the yard.  The backhoe driver just dug a hole then rolled across the yard, scooped it up and gently placed it in it’s new home.  It took 5 minutes and no backbreaking labor on anyone’s part.

5. The backhoe driver also broke up the rubble retaining wall by the azalea bed.  Ok, so he totally annihilated the azalea bed.  No love lost.

6.  The deck had to go to make room for the pool and the bath addition.


7. The old shed is gone and has been replaced by a new partially finished storage shed (Steve’s dream shed) that’s bigger and not rotten.

8. Our new bathroom is framed.

9.  We have a new roof.

As we speak there’s a plumbing crew working on the pool and a framing crew working on the bathroom.  There’s a 30 yard dumpster overflowing with trash in our driveway and The Rolling Stone’s “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” is playing on the radio.

It’s all good.




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Pretty House Friday #8






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Tearing Down the House

Today, they knocked down the house next door to Holly.

It wasn’t a total surprise since the house sold a few months ago and we knew the plan, but we didn’t expect an excavator to pull up and go to work today.


So we watched.


There was lots of OOOhing and awwwing.






It took about an hour and a half

tear down

except the pretending which could go on for a while.

Ty playing tear down




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Pretty House Friday #7


Love a Shingled Cottage—okay, this one is a little big to be called a cottage.





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