Saturday, May 23, 2015

Happy Memorial Day Weekend ~ 2015

Well!  Here we are well into the month of May already!  The month of May is such a pretty time of year here in the South.  Everything is green, many flowers are blooming and it has not gotten too hot ... yet!  

As I was walking around the yard yesterday afternoon,  I noticed the Day-lilies have begun to bloom.  Of course, I had to run back inside and get the camera.  One day I will learn how to focus my camera better, but you can still get an idea of how pretty the Day-lily blossoms were.

It is such a pretty weekend here in Tallahassee.  There will be many folks enjoying the beaches down on the coast just a short 30 miles away.  There will also be many cook-outs and families and friends having a wonderful holiday weekend together.

On this special Memorial Day weekend,  our hearts and prayers are with the many families who have lost loved ones who fought in the armed forces and who lost their lives for us and our country.  We will always remember what they did for all of us!

I hope you are doing well and enjoying the weekend too.   I hope it is as pretty there where you are  as it is here in Tallahassee.  Wishing you many special blessings wherever you may be.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Tour of Homes in Monticello, Florida ~ Small Town USA ~ Part II

We recently took the 30 minute drive East from Tallahassee over to the neighboring town of Monticello, Florida for their Annual Tour of Historic Homes.   It is always interesting to see old homes and get a feel for what life may have been like in days gone by.

These particular homes represent what life may have been like in a very small town in the deep South many years ago.

Of course,  I took my camera to try to capture some of the beauty from the past.  There were too many photos to share in one post.  If you would like to see Part I you can click on the link below:

Simkins-Kirkpatrick House built in 1854

As we were walking toward the entrance of the home in the above photo, I noticed these huge old Magnolia tree roots in the front yard.  The tree and exposed roots looked like they were as old as this home.

And also in the front yard flower bed, at the entrance to the home,  this pretty little unusual purple flower caught my eye.    It looks like a bulb plant of some sort ... so pretty!

This lovely home was built in the year 1854 by the Simkins family who came to Monticello from South Carolina.  The family continued to live in this home for many generations.

The home has recently been completely refurbished by a builder who has experience working with historic buildings.  As you can see in the below photos they have done a very nice job with the remodeling and the interior has been beautifully transformed as well.

This was such a pretty dining room and the table was beautifully 
accentuated by this lovely live floral centerpiece,  as seen in the below photo.

I thought it was so unusual and interesting to have a table decoration of lemons displayed on each side of the table, accentuated by just a few little sprigs of what looks like Rosemary.

And, a pretty place setting.

And from the dining room we could see the stairway leading to the upstairs bedrooms.

                            All of the bedrooms upstairs had fireplaces as seen in the photos below.

This was such a pretty floral arrangement sitting on one of the bedroom side tables.

  I liked the monogrammed bedroom pillow shams ... A very Southern look!

And, I would never have thought to put the matching bedspread plaid 
pillows with the toile print, but it looks nice.

The next home on tour is this antebellum house seen off in the distance through the stately old Live Oak Trees and beautiful dark pink Azaleas.

Budd-Carswell House

This old home was built in the year 1852.  The architectural simplicity of this home is more characteristic of New England than that of the deep South.

The landscaping around this beautiful old home is definitely that of the deep South 
with the Azaleas, Camellias and Live Oak Trees.

Let's step inside and look to the room on our left.  I loved the color of this room and the soft pastels of the furniture.  What a charming, inviting and comfortable looking room!

What a beautiful natural flower arrangement of white and red Azaleas,
 plus what looks like a Spirea plant. 

In the below photo the color of the marble around this fireplace looks so pretty in this room, 
and matches the walls so nicely. 

And another pretty natural Azalea arrangement.

We walked from the pretty apricot colored living room directly into the dining room.  
The paint color on the walls was similar to the living room,  just a few shades lighter. 

The dining room table was all beautifully set and accentuated with a lovely bouquet of Camellias from the garden outside.  I love all of the Camellias, but especially like the variegated blossoms.  

I would never have thought to put together an arrangement like this.  This is such a beautiful inspiration that I am going to remember this next year when the Camellias are blooming in our yard.

Guests touring the home were invited to walk out back and walk through the garden.

You can see,  many Camellia blossoms have dropped their colorful petals, 
 making a pretty pink carpet down below.

You can see how pretty everything was in the garden.
In the below photo we see the lovely bright pink Formosa Azalea.

Walking away from the home we see this old Live Oak Tree covered with 
Spanish Moss; a very common sight in the deep South.

As  you will see in the below photos there are some interesting Bed & Breadfast homes in Monticello.  Two of these homes were on the tour as well.

This was an interesting old buggy parked in the driveway of this old Bed & Breakfast.

This home is what they call a true Victorian Queen Ann home which was built in the year 1897.

The below home was built in 1890.

The yard and garden of this old home, which is now a Bed & Breakfast,  is so pretty as you will see in the below photos.

Girardeau-Love House

This old home was built in the year 1882.  It is what they call a Classic Revival style home.  It has a traditional Southern style floor plan with a wide entrance hall and four large corner rooms.

I thought these were interesting planters on each side of the front entrance.

This home has an interesting history ... This house originally had 200 acres of farmland.  Mr. Girardeau the original owner of this home,  planted 60 acres of watermelon.  He later invented a machine that separated the watermelon seeds from the melon and eventually sold 75,000 pounds of watermelon seeds each year.

Eventually Monticello became the "Watermelon Seed Capital of the World."   And, the original owner of this home was known as the "Watermelon King of Monticello."

It has become a local tradition to have a Watermelon Festival each year during the last week of June here in Monticello, Florida.   The Festival includes arts and crafts displays, a Watermelon parade, a golf tournament,  a 5-K run,  a rodeo,  a softball tournament,  a Bar-B-Que Supper/Street Dance and the crowning of the Watermelon Queen Pageant.

In the below photo we see one of main rooms in the downstairs of the home.

If you notice toward the back in the below photo,  the foyer is wide enough to have room for a piano.

Lovely flowers on the dining room table.

Pretty curtains in one of the upstairs bedrooms.

And another floral arrangement on one of the bedroom tables.

Bassett-Hanway House

This charming old home was built in the year 1910 and is called Southern French Colonial style architecture.  The original owners of this home operated a local Dairy and were the longest continuous residents of the home until the year 1983.

The original owners of this home came down to Monticello from New York with the thought in mind of planting pecan trees.  And, there originally was a large pecan orchid located out behind the house.

In the below photo we see a 'cotton' arrangement.  Yes, someone picked  several cotton branches with cotton bolls right from the cotton field.  I think it makes a beautiful Southern arrangement.

Such pretty fabric on this chair in one of the sitting rooms.

There were other homes to visit, but we had used up our time for this day.  Beginning our drive home we passed by other interesting old homes as seen in the below photos.

                       And, of course, most small towns have their own interesting water tower.

We had heard about the Monticello Home and Heritage Tour for years and finally decided to go for a visit.  We were glad we did.

We hope you enjoyed coming along with us as we stepped back in time to a peaceful and beautiful time in a small little town in the South.

Wishing you blessings wherever you may be.