Saturday, November 29, 2008

Poinsettia Topiary!!

What a beautiful holiday topiary! Many, many thanks to Sheryl at Klepac Greenhouses. What's more, there's no need to experience botanical envy; you too can grace your home with your own poinsettia topiary from Klepac - available for a limited time from your local HEB grocery. A simple, yet gloriously beautiful holiday accent, grown and nurtured in the Texas Hill Country!
What do you think... Dining room table top or fireplace?
This native wildflower and grass bouquet that I cut and arranged early Thursday morning remains fresh and beautiful on Saturday!

Friday, November 28, 2008

A day off...

Scenes from around Poggio Secco. The flowers are Meyer Lemons.

Views from our morning tour of Klepac Greenhouses in Blanco. Klepac is a family owned and operated wholesale nursery that supplies poinsettias to HEB, Whole Foods, and commissaries in the southwest. Many of their plants arrive as cuttings or plugs first imported from Holland then potted and grown in two campuses in Blanco. Christmas and Easter are two of their busiest seasons. Klepac is not open to the public, so it was a rare treat to have the opportunity to tour their facility. We had lunch at the Uptown Restaurant on the Square in Blanco with our friend Sheryl and she saw us off with a special suprise.... more on that in a later post!

In and around Johnson City by day.

And by night, at the Festival of Lights.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

We Gather Together...

Scenes from the day. Click photo to enlarge.

On the menu:
Rosemary Roasted Turkey, Smithfield Smoked Ham,
Candied Yams, Creamed Chive Mashed Potatoes,
Whole Wheat Rolls,
Grean Bean Casserole, Pea Salad,
Fruit Salad, Orange-Infused Cranberry Sauce,
Homemade Pickled Beets & Cucumbers,
Pumpkin Pie, Orange-Pineapple Pie,

We too much to eat, too many leftovers, and too much fun!

Giving Thanks!

For the hay and the corn and the wheat that is reaped,
For the labor well done, and the barns that are heaped,
For the sun and the dew and the sweet honeycomb,
For the rose and the song and the harvest brought home --
Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!

For the trade and the skill and the wealth in our land,
For the cunning and strength of the workingman's hand,
For the good that our artists and poets have taught,
For the friendship that hope and affection have brought --
Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!

For the homes that with purest affection are blest,
For the season of plenty and well-deserved rest,
For our country extending from sea unto sea;
The land that is known as the "Land of the Free" --
Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!

~Author Unknown

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Piano 0

Some shots of the first floor including the great room, the guest bedroom and bathroom, and a single shot of the kitchen backsplash. The mood is restrained yet comfortable; no need to put on airs. The earthy decor and largely unadorned walls fade into the background while the outdoors provides an ever-changing art exhibit just beyond the windows. Click to enlarge.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Days end.... no words.

Tonight, the view is stunning. No words can discribe...
(click for a larger view)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunny Sunday

The wildflower garden covering the septic tanks was grown from a seed mix from Wildseed Farms in Fredericksburg. It's now mid November and the Indian Blanket and salvia are still blooming like crazy. There are also a few horsemint, quite a bit of what looks like allysum, and a few other species. This garden gets no supplemental irrigation and a good portion of it is growing in 100% caliche. We are amazed!

Look at the pollen sack on his back leg! He's been a busy little ... well, you know what!

The strong afternoon sunlight washes out some of the vibrancy as it filters through the monarch's wings and the flower petals.

Foley peeks out from a twist-leaf yucca. Foley is 8-months old and is in quarantine for sarcoptic mange, a very contagious skin disease caused by a small mite. He's been a very good boy despite being locked in the laundry room 24/7. Foley came to Cocker Spaniel Rescue from the Waco Humane Society where he was surrendered by his owners because of his veterinary needs.

TLC's Home Made Simple

Casting people for Discovery Network, TLC's "Home Made Simple" came to audition us today to possibly appear on one of their upcoming episodes to be shot in January. It's a fun show where you have three "Mavens" that come in and help you do any number of things that need finishing up, fixed up, or created in the home to make life better. Kind of a cute show. We watched an episode before the producers came over. Here's Peggy below being asked questions. They shooed me away to ask her questions, then did the same to me and shooed Peggy away. Payback! :)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Interno; piano 1 & 2

Jim noticed that we haven't published many photos of the interior of the house since we've moved in. So here are a few shots I took between 9:30 and 10:00 this morning. Shots 1, 6, 8, 12, 14 are of the tower bedroom & bathroom. Shot 2 is in the master bedroom. Shots 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 13, 16 are in the master bath. Shots 4 and 15 are in the second floor stairwell.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What we've been up to...

Autumn is coming to Il Poggio Secco.
There are fewer flowers this year because it's been very dry.

The shed and fence are almost done.
One gate down, two to go.

The fenceline had to be stepped to follow the slope.

Front view with the now bermuda-free bed.
The circular concrete slab in the foreground is for the fountain.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Press the flesh, our story in print!

Looking back over the past posts, I forgot to post the story that the Austin Business Journal did on our build, and the unique story of our very Tuscan farm house in the Texas Hill Country. Peggy wasn't home from work when the photo guy came to snap some pics :( , but they did a fun two page spread on our story which can be found HERE.

Recently, trade publication Radio and Production interviewed Jim for the September 2008 issue. Il Poggio Secco was also featured in that article as well. The teaser is HERE, and we'll post the pdf of the article in October after it runs this month in print.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008

Cielo rosso alla notte

Nightfall at Il Poggio Secco.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Much Ado About Sumac

This weekend, the Flame Leaf Sumac began to bloom and we've been getting some rain and cooler temperatures. The high temperature today was 20 degrees cooler than this same day last week! We rented a bobcat over the weekend to drill some holes for the backyard fence posts. We only got half of them done and will need to rent a jackhammer for the others as they will be placed in what turns out to be solid rock. While we had the bobcat, we moved out the rubble along the back side of the house, smoothed out the driveway, and brought up some mulch for around the shed. Let's just say we were a wee bit sore the next day!

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Hard to believe, but the grass and wildflower seeds we planted earlier this summer have already made themselves at home along the back of the house. Butterflies and hummingbirds have become our most frequent and welcome guests!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Molto secco... e caldo!

Another weekend of fun with the shed. This week was finishing calking, priming and 1st coat of paint. This will be a multi step process that will have many layors of paint. Peg's job is the subsquent faux layors, Jim will prime and paint eves and facia with dark brown to match trim on house. We are locating the same tiles for the roof as the house, and trying not to order new ones. Maybe recycled from other house projects??? HHHmmmmmmm.. THAT is very green! Until then, it is dried in and ready for some interior electrical, lights and HAULIN' IN THE STUFF! WOO HOO! A WORKING SHED!! ok.. sorry. paint first... then we pack it!!!!!!! ;)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Panini for your pleasure, please!

Panini's from a local Chef and Spokesperson
for the Texas Beef Council, Tiffany Collins.
This recipe is from Tiffany's new book,
200 Best Panini Recipes. Excellent Book!
Get it HERE.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Don't Worry, Be Happy

Got the shed dried-in just in time for Hurricane Dolly to deliver some much needed rain.
Here's a photo of the shed with the door painted and the trim complete.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Hothouse Flowers

The shed is taking shape.
Clad in OSB sheathing.

Set amid Texas Hill Country natives.

Perched on the hillside.

Strong enough to take the heat.