News From Tahilla Farm: Gardening, Books and Shopping Tips

Hello! Hello! and Happy Weekend!

It was a busy week around Tahilla Farm, as I dug my way in and out of pots and into the herb gardens. I was fortunate to spend some time on Monday with a very talented plantswoman and garden designer, Maude Odgers, who guided me in the plant selection. We went along to a wonderful nursery, Walkers Farm in Dummerston, Vermont. 

The plants lined up on our stone wall have been spread between the raised garden beds which I am turning into a flower cutting garden this year. They have been scattered in and out of garden beds and a few pots from our Chateau Mango days in Vietnam. 

I love them all but my favorite has to be the one I placed near the entrance to our home. Maude taught me three principles of garden pot design. Featuring the 'thriller" for height, the "filler" to spread around the base of the "thriller" and the "spiller" to spill over the sides of the pot. It keeps it simple which works for me and it's easy to remember! 

'Star Dust Super Flash' euphorbia
'Silver Falls' dichondra
'Raspberry Twizzle' geranium 
'Silver Sage' salvia
Red coleus

I added a succulent pot to the garden as well, 
one that I am still playing with. 
Do you think I need more soil in it? Can't decide...

Last November, as we were finishing up the construction of the carriage house,  
an early snowstorm blew in which threw off the rest of our plans. 
We are now getting back into the swing with the completion of our entrance, 
building an outdoor shower and finishing off the landscaping. 
AND THEN...we are DONE!

Nearly there!


Thank you!
Thank you all for your very kind comments and answers to my question of which one?  Hands down, the warm green was the favorite. Interestingly, family and friends selected the cooler grey tone, saying "it looked more like me". I will continue to ponder that one for a while. ;)

My Favorite Gardener's Favorite Plants
Maude was recently featured in New Hampshire Home magazine talking about her favorite plants. Two other very talented gardeners are featured as well. Michael Gordon who happens to be an extraordinary gardener and my optometrist as well as Marc Hudson, the uber-talented plantsman behind our garden. It is fun to note that Joseph Valentine, is the feature photographer in the article. We truly like to keep it in the "gardening family" around here! You can read all about their favorite plant choices  HERE.

Did I tell you the one about the sheep?
Back in December I wrote about Thelma and Louise. It was a mystery, two sheep appeared our of nowhere and then disappeared without a trace...until now. I found out that "Louise" was actually "Nellie" who has a temperament for being stubborn and prefers the "born free" attitude in life. She has a history of "bolting" and was seen on a few occasions in different properties in the area. She eventually found her way home. "Thelma" is in fact "Oreo"...who is a character and resides a few doors down. I was glad to have that mystery solved!

Blogging Friends...Sharing Friends
I love when people send things my way. My first thought is that I need to share it on the here goes. With thanks to all that share....

An interview from Oprah's SoulSoul Conversations Podcast with New York Times Op-Ed columnist David Brooks in reference to his new book, The Second Mountain. I have since bought the book, adding it to another I have of his. You might enjoy this too... HERE

Maria Shriver's interview with author, Mary Pipher of Women Rowing's fantastic! HERE

For those of you with a "complex family dynamic" or if you know someone that does...check out the Terri Cole podcasts. I thought it might be a little to "woo woo" for me...but I can't stop listening. Not for everyone but if you have nagging questions in your life, you might find a few answers HERE

Just when I needed it most after a long hot day in the garden, I received an email from a blogging friend who thought I might enjoy a post by Susan Branch. I did! You can read it HERE. Some of you are familiar with Susan Branch and her books. Heart of the Home is a classic.  It was lovely to open this email and feel a kinship with a fellow expat and gardener. Thank you Penelope!

Shopping Tips
I love to shop...especially for small appliances. Call me crazy, it's ok, I know I am! If you are in the market for an electric tea kettle (because in my mind every kitchen should have one) I LOVE the Smeg Variable Tea Kettle in Cream. Mr. H likes the temperature control...because he likes his green tea heated just so. I also have the simpler Smeg version which I have popped into the Carriage House for gatherings. Both are 1950's Retro Style in cream. This all came about with thanks to Annie at Most Lovely Things when she wrote about her coffee station HERE.  Thank you Annie!

My sister-in-law raved about her toaster which prompted me to investigate. I did and I am happy with the upgrade. If you are in the market for a new toaster, check out the Magimix Vision Toaster  Browned to perfection! Thank you L!

It's the little things that make all the difference. I picked up this little iPad stand and it has made my life so much easier for writing and reading via my iPad. If you need a stand for your tablet, check it out HERE

Happy Weekend!
Wishing you all a happy weekend, the weather is absolutely GLORIOUS! Gotta get back to it. Hope you are doing something you love...

Jeanne xx
Feel free to write to me....

PS...just started Elizabeth Gilbert's new book City of Girls 
Is it on your book list?

Hammock Time...Tahilla Farm


  1. You have the most magnificent reading view Jeanne. I wouldn't move out of that hammock. Your garden is looking absolutely stunning. I can tell that you've been working hard on it. We have gone from mild temperatures to full-on summer. I had to water the pants twice today. I am already looking forward to the cosy, cooler months.

    1. That was quick Lorna! Have to say, after two hot sunny days (nothing like what you have) I was over it. Couldn't keep my plants watered fast enough! Raining today...phew!

  2. I like the succulents in the dish planter the way you have them.

    And OMG that toaster!!! I have toast everyone morning, that one is amazing.

    1. Thank you Lisa...and I know...the toaster. I love watching my toast color to perfection. Making raspberry jam today...just to keep up! ;)

  3. Jeanne, I love to see what you are up to at the farm. Happy to hear the mystery of the sheep is solved, maybe they can come over to visit and "mow the grass."

    The succulent pot looks beautiful, I do not know much about them so I think the dirt looks good. If you want excellent advice about gardens and posts, aside from Joe, Debra of 5th and State has beautiful posts of the containers and landscapes that she has created.

    Thank you for sharing all of the podcasts and small appliance ideas. I have the Breveille tea kettle and I love it. My most recent small appliance is a Phillips Air Fryer, I LOVE IT! My husband gave it to me/us, and at first I was skeptical but I have to say that I was wrong. I use it all the time for vegetables, chicken and one day I made a burger in it. My favorite things to cook are butternut squash, tomatoes, and crispy potatoes.

    Off to explore your finds.

    Have a great day Jeanne!


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