Posts Tagged ‘Gardens’

Spring is on its way!

February 5th, 2013 by carriagehouse

Although it is only the first week of February, it is obvious that spring is on its way!! The Tulip Trees are all blooming. The Azaleas are setting their buds and there is new growth on all of the rose bushes.

I have already started to work on cleaning out the gardens to get them back in shape for you to enjoy. As a preview of what is to come, please enjoy this video taken from last year’s blooms.

A Beautiful Plantation for a Better Way to Stay on our Wedding Anniversary

July 2nd, 2011 by carriagehouse

At the insistence of our BFFs, Joe and Vickie, we booked a room at the beautiful Monmouth Plantation in Natchez, Mississippi for our wedding anniversary trip.  We knew we were in for something special when we drove up and saw the impressive Greek Revival Mansion sitting on the hill overlooking the town surrounded by huge old trees draped in Spanish Moss. 

We checked in and were immediately greeted by Hal who went to great lengths to make sure we knew how to use the TV remotes and where the best places to eat in town were.  To be honest, Hal was one of the reason this place is great.  Every time I saw him, he was smiling.  Hal always went out of his way to say Hi and greet us.  At one point we were loading up the car for the day and he offered to get us a bag of ice for our cooler.  Score one for the BnB.  That is not something you ever see at a hotel.

The Inn’s property is just amazing with incredible gardens that go on forever.  That is one of my musts for a B&B …beautiful gardens.  I think when people come to stay at a Bed & Breakfast or in this case an Inn, they expect to be surrounded by beauty.  It doesn’t matter whether the BnB is a an old historic house or a trendy bungalow, people want amazing gardens.  Monmouth Plantation did not disappoint.  Both Tom and I wandered for hours through rose gardens with angels keeping watch, and over walking bridges that provided safe passage from fountained duck ponds.  The walking paths seemed to lead to every part of the property… even an old cemetery.

Hotels often talk about service with a smile but let’s be honest, that is just marketing speak to try and get you to book a room with them.  A BnB or an Inn lives customer service.  It is what we do every day for every one.  We don’t just talk customer service, we live and breath it every moment just like our friend Hal does in Natchez.

Hotels are sometimes beautiful stately properties but just as often dingy buildings along the side of the highway.  B&Bs are almost never anything but amazing properties with the owners taking great pride in every detail of your stay all the way down to the flowers out your window.

These are the things that distinguish us from them or a Bed & Breakfast from a hotel.

That is why we say that we are a Better Way to Stay.  The hospitality industry should be about providing gracious, courteous service to every guest that walks through the door.  At a B&B or an Inn every person is treated special and with personalized attention.  When was the last time you can say that about the big chain hotel on the highway?

So next time you are looking for someplace to stay, chose a Better Way to Stay.  Choose a B&B or an Inn.

Water Fountain

Walking Bridge

The Moy Grande Hibiscus Blooming at the Carriage House Bed & Breakfast

June 27th, 2011 by carriagehouse

Moy Grande Hibiscus

This is one of my favorite flowers and it is putting on it’s annual summer show right now in the gardens of the Carriage House Bed & Breakfast.   This showy flower is a great perennial for our hot and steamy summers in East Texas and has caught the attention of many guests the last few weeks.  Heck any plant that can hold up to this summer is worthy of my garden! 

This huge bloomer has been deemed a Texas Super Star by the Texas A&M’s AgriLIFE Research & Entension Program.  This is one of the many plants that we have planted in the newly restored gardens here at the Carriage House B&B.  We have spent a ton of time ripping out the all of the weeds and invasive non-native plants that the previous owners had planted and have replaced them with native or hybridized plants that want to live here in this soil and climate.

The thing that makes the Moy Grande Hibiscus such an interesting and fantastic plant is it’s blooms which are the size of dinner plates and are a very vibrant hot pink color.  Trust me, you will notice these flowers when you are in the gardens.  The plants at maturity are huge at seven foot tall and wide so you have to give them a lot space for them to be happy.  They usually start blooming around July 4th but got an early start this year because of the early and hot summer.  These big bloomers will keep up their show until early fall.

My favorite photographer, Tom, took this picture early morning recently.  He was as happy as a school boy to see the Moy Grande Hibiscus had started it’s summer show and had put on it’s first bloom.  He ran back into the house and grabbed all of his camera gear to get set up for just the perfect picture.  I hope you enjoy this picture and it brings you as much joy to look at as the plants in my garden do me.

Dinner Plate Flowers and Hungry Hummers

June 11th, 2011 by carriagehouse

It was such an exciting morning here at the Carriage House Bed and Breakfast!

Tom came bouncing into the kitchen with the giddiness of a five year old with a lollipop. “I just saw a hummingbird”, he blurted excitedly while rummaging through the cabinet for a mixing bowl.  For some reason, all of our hummers came, spent about a month with us, and then took off again.  We’ve missed having them here.  Tom more then me obviously.  Tom busied himself with refreshing all of the feeders because “hummers don’t like stale juice.”

No sooner then he finished that project, he noticed that his favorite plant in the whole world had bloomed for the first time this summer.  One of our Moy Grande Hibiscus put it’s first bloom of the summer season on this morning.

Back in McKinney, I had planted a Moy Grande Hibiscus behind our swimming pool.  I had seen a write up about it in a magazine but couldn’t find it in a nursery or store any where.  Finally, I found one at the Wild Seed Farms in Fredericksburg and had a great excuse for a road trip. We planted it, and in June of that year, it put on it’s first bloom.  Tom was in love.

The Moy Grande’s blooms are the size of a dinner plate.  When it has it’s first flush of flowers, there is nothing like it in the world.  They are big and beautiful!

When we purchased this place and started restoring the gardens, Tom insisted that we plant some Moy Grande’s. So I ordered them (too busy for a road trip) and we now have three of them on the side of the house. Today was the start of their summer show.

Now that I think about it there is no better way to start the day then seeing little birds dart around and feed with giant flowers in the background.  It was such a great morning!

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