Hearts in the Yard

Rusty wheel barrows, angels, bird houses, gnomes, mosaics, shells, flea market finds of old garden tools – don’t you just love the effect of collections in a garden? Great conversation starters, these salvaged pieces, collectibles, crafts and gathered items found in nature all tell a story and make our spaces more interesting. They give visitors to our gardens a greater sense of who we are, and I know mine bring a certain comfort to me as I’m out in the yard. Vintage European watering cans, nests, heart art, and yes, no surprise, heart shaped rocks…why, these are some of the treasures you’ll find at my home.

For many years I have collected heart shaped rocks found on hikes and walks. I’ve brought them home carefully wrapped in my luggage from my travels. Some are from Ireland, Scotland, England, Mexico, British Columbia, beaches and forests and sometimes even on a crowded street. These little love notes from nature are everywhere. Sometimes I’m surprised to find a gift of a heart rock waiting for me on my porch from neighbors who spot one and feel they belong with me. I try to remember to write on the back of each with a sharpie of where they came from, but I have a long way to go with this goal. These love rocks of all sizes fill various vessels scattered around my outdoor rooms. The heart art, along with all of the heart shaped rocks nestle in window boxes, garden beds, and pots, hang from trees or fenceposts. Who am I kidding? You can’t miss them!
Many of my heart treasures were either hand made (a few by me) or by my loved ones and given to me as gifts. To be reminded of the gift bearer as I wander and work in the yard makes the gift that much sweeter.

Even the dog kennel get’s decorated with heart art!Whether your collections and garden art are fanciful and fun, eclectic, or on the romantic side (or maybe a bit of each), I hope you display them and let your beautiful personality shine through amongst the flowers, plants and trees. I know I’d love to see your treasures!

Gentle Days of January

Hello and welcome to the gentle days of January! After all of the hustle and bustle of November and December I’m thriving on these slow, quiet days. You’ll find me mostly in my happy, little house working on organizing, cleaning, and writing; in general I’m catching up on projects and hobbies that haven’t gotten much attention lately. Dinners are made in the crock pot. Oh, January does feel so cozy, so hygge-good.

Our still-mild winter season is allowing me to put down the home project du jour for a bit, leash up my sweet furry companion and get out in nature regularly. All of these heart rock treasures were found during one morning hike recently.

I’m wishing you the gift of a cozy, quiet, heart filled January too!

Naming My Blog

IMG_4388Why the name Hollyhocks and Heart Shaped Rocks, you ask? Well, I love all kinds of gardens, but my all time favorite type is a cottage garden just bursting with blooms. No cottage garden is complete without the old fashioned charmers, Hollyhocks to add color, height and even a bit of dancing in the summer breeze.

IMG_4812As for the heart shaped rocks — I first started collecting them many years ago. I find them often on walks and hikes, but sometimes they’re right in my path on a busy sidewalk, just waiting to be picked up and treasured. Some have even come home with me from as far away as Ireland, Mexico, and British Columbia! I also have dear friends who’ve given me their found rocks to add to the collection. I’ve never counted them all, but their numbers are perhaps as many as 100. I’ll get back to you on that someday. I have them displayed on window sills, in window boxes, some mingle in a tray or dish together, while others are placed around the gardens on our property. They really present themselves everywhere. Their message? Love is all around us. It’s up to us to open our eyes to nature’s masterpieces and receive her bounty.