Posts Tagged ‘Spring’

Shakespeare Under the Stars

March 13th, 2014 by carriagehouse

By the Light of the Moon!

Shakespeare Under the Stars

Celebrate Spring 2014! March 20, 21, & 22 @ 7:30 PM
The magic of Shakespeare is presented by East Texas Performing Arts, Inc. Directed by Sara Whitaker.
Tickets: $15 available at

Or call 925-497-3915 or 847-722-8798.

Beloved scenes from Romeo and JulietRichard III, and
A Midsummer Night’s Dream featuring talented actors, an exciting sword fight, beautiful costuming, and wonderful small town ambiance at the bandstand in Otstott park.

A special treat for Jefferson residents is Pastor Jeff Taylor portraying Thisbe, the fairest maiden in all Babylonia.

True love, murder, reconciliation, family rivalry, fairies and sword fighting only begin to describe what audiences will experience.

Spring Twilight Cemetary Tour at Oakwood Cemetary

April 17th, 2013 by carriagehouse

Have you ever wanted to hear Diamond Bessie tell her own version of what happened to her when she was murdered?  Ever been curious as to what those last few minutes were like on the Mittie Stephens as it caught fire and sank in Caddo Lake.  This Saturday, April 20 from 5pm to 7pm, come on down to Oakwood Cemetery and watch four vignettes from some of this historic graveyard’s most famous residents.  A donation of $10 per person is being requested and the tour should take an hour.

Perfect Time of Year to See the Critters

April 10th, 2013 by carriagehouse

Alligator at Caddo Lake

One of the questions we often get is “When is the best time of year to see the wildlife on Caddo Lake?”  The answer is right now.  In fact both Spring and Fall are the best times of year to see the wildlife on Caddo Lake.

When the nights are cool and the days are warm, the gators, turtles and other critters are pulling themselves out of the water to warm themselves.  You can often see them laying on the beaches and felled trees sunning themselves.  The handsome gentleman in the picture is a well known local named “Fraidy Cat”.

The birds are changing out season right now as well. The Winter birds are flying north again and the Summer birds are just arriving.  In early spring, many of the animals are waking up from their long winter naps and are hungry and frisky.  It is a busy active time in the swamps of Caddo Lake!!

If you are interested in getting up and close with nature, just give us a call at 903-655-9511.  We can suggest several different types of tours on Caddo Lake.  One is sure to be just the adventure you are seeking.


Spring Break Bookings Going Fast

February 19th, 2013 by carriagehouse

Piney Woods Wine Trail

If you have not done so yet, you need to book your room for Spring Break soon.  Our rooms are going fast and you do not want to miss out on all of the fun things going on in Jefferson and Caddo Lake this Spring.

All of the boat tours and train rides will be ramping back up the first weekend of Spring Break after being closed for inspections and repairs during the Winter season.  Ten new paddling trails were recently opened by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department on both Caddo Lake and the Big Cypress Bayou.  If you are looking for something more low-key, then visit one of our local wineries and sit back and enjoy some East Texas sweet wine and dine at some of the best restaurants that East Texas has to offer.

The Carriage House is located in downtown Jefferson, Texas and is walking distance from all of the shops, tours and restaurants.  In fact we are so close to all of the shopping, that we are between two antique stores! We are also the only pet-friendly bed and breakfast in Jefferson. So bring your best buddy for a $50 non-refundable pet fee and feel completely at home.

I would love to tell you more about what this beautiful area has to offer.  Please call me at 903-665-9511 if you need any assistance with planning your trip or would like to hear more about some of the tours and activities in the Jefferson/ Caddo Lake area.

People Judge You by the Hostas You Keep

April 14th, 2011 by carriagehouse

I feel gritty and dirty and sweaty.  I also have a Bug on me.  Not the type that you will see here and call your pest control guy over. Read these ant tips from Pelican Pest Control that are very effective for any kind of pests. This one has a cold wet nose and a wagging tail.  I promised myself that I would get this blog out tonight before I jumped in the shower and called it a day.  Once again, I have spent the entire day working out in my gardens…mulching.

A friend of mine calls his gardens, the Gardens of Weedin’, and I think I need to come up with something equally as clever.  Joe, like almost everyone else in Jefferson’s Historic District, takes incredible pride in his gardens. Living in Jefferson is a little bit like living in a botanical garden.  Every garden here is amazing!

When we lived in McKinney, I had the nicest gardens in our subdivision.  People would drive by and slow down just to study my front yard.  Our HOA stopped giving me the Yard of the Month because it wasn’t fair to everyone else. People would stop me while I was out walking the dogs and ask me plant questions.  I had the yard that all others were compared by.

Until we moved to Jefferson.  Now I have met my match.

Of course, I did start out with a few disadvantages.  The first was my yard.  You could not stand in the courtyard and see the street because it was so badly overgrown with weeds and those stinky, smelly palms.  We had an overgrown Wisteria bush that was choking one of our Elm trees.  In case you don’t know, Wisteria is a horribly invasive weed here in the South.  As pretty as it is when it blooms, I hate the stuff.  We had Wisteria growing into our attic, into our neighbors attic, into his neighbors attic.  You get the picture.

The other disadvantage was that I did not understand what grew here in this climate.  In the Dallas area, you plant anything that likes the heat and never wants to be watered.  Although, we are currently in a severe drought, I have to keep in mind that I now live in a wetland and plant accordingly.  In fact, moving to Jefferson, I changed an entire growing zone.  I went from 7b to 8a.  I recently had to explain to a nursery up north, where I had ordered some plants, that when the gators wake up, we stop worrying about a freeze.

I have had a lot of fun picking out plants. Gardening purists would tell me that I need to have a plan.  That I should have a blueprint of what my gardens will look like.  I should have a chart of what plants I will plant where. I should know my theme and stick to it.  That has never been my gardening style.

I have planted several Azaleas, Gardenias, and Camellias because I believe that every Southern garden should have these.

I have enjoyed looking through catalogs and picking out unique plants.  That is how the Pitcher Plants ended up by the AC condensation hose.  These strange plants love to eat mosquitoes and that area is real boggy.  I was so excited to put something there that would take care of my real pest problem. Pest problems can get gotten rid of with the help of pest control ft wayne. You need to take the help of a pest control service that offers healthy, comfortable, and clean environment solutions like pest control puyallup, which will provide the best solution to your problem and provide excellent customer service.

I have also enjoyed listening to my guest’s thoughts and ideas.

Last year, I had a lady come to me and remark that my gardens were lovely but were missing some Hostas.  She was very much bothered by this fact and brought it up several times during her visit.  So this year, I planted three  to honor her.  Of course, I did not buy any ordinary Hostas.  I special ordered a variety called Stained Glass Window.  They are right there…in the shade and under the Elm tree.  When she comes back to see me again, she can sit in the Garden Courtyard and drink her morning coffee and enjoy her Hostas.

Photo Contest Winner Announced

April 4th, 2011 by carriagehouse



Congratulations to Sam Wilson!

Sam is our 2011 Spring Photography Weekend Photo Contest winner.  Diana Check’s photo took second place and Marie Hansen-Lai’s photo took 3rd place.  A great big round of applause to all three of these fine photographers and to all of the photographers who entered the contest.  You are all winners to us!

Once a quarter, the award winning Carriage House Bed and Breakfast in Jefferson Texas hosts photographers of all skill levels and all equipment types for a weekend of photography demonstrations, photo walks, and tours with plenty of time in the schedule for sight seeing and exploring.  Our  June Photography Weekend is scheduled for 06/10/11 through 06/12/11 . We will be posting the agenda for the June 2011 Photography Weekend in a few weeks.  So that we can take advantage of the longer days and the magnificent summer light, we will have a brand new agenda for both the June and September events.  We will post these agendas on our Photography Weekend website page as well as send them out by email.  If you are interested in being added to our email list, please click here.

Voting for Photo Contest Started – Vote Now on Your Favorite

March 29th, 2011 by carriagehouse

Photo Contest Award


Voting for the 2011 Spring Photography Weekend Photo Contest at the Carriage House Bed and Breakfast in Jefferson Texas has started!   These photos were taken during the 2011 Spring Photography Weekend that took place March 18 -20 2011 here in Jefferson Texas and the Caddo Lake area.  Each photographer was allowed to submit one photo to the contest and our winner will be based on popular vote.  So if you have not voted yet, please do.  The pictures can be found at

Each quarter, the Carriage House Bed and Breakfast in Jefferson brings together photographers of all skill levels and equipment types for a fun filled weekend full of photographic technique demonstrations, photo walks and opportunities for networking.  Jefferson is a beautiful old antebellum Southern town preserved to a period in the late 1800s.  The brick lined streets, buildings and Greek Revival homes are conserved from the town’s rich steamboat days.  Caddo Lake is the most photographed lake in Texas and is a collection of swamps, bayous and sloughs.  The entire area is a protected wetland under the U.N. Ramsar Treaty and is filled with birds and critters of all types.  Our photographers are always amazed by this target rich environment.  The Photography Weekend is kicked off with a wine tasting and finishes with a photo contest.

We will be hosting our next Photography Weekend June 10 -13, 2011.  Please check back often for our sumemr agenda.

Spring Flower Bed Cleaning at the Carriage House Bed and Breakfast

March 28th, 2011 by carriagehouse

Spring Flowers Blooming along Fence

Uugghh!  I give up.  I just can’t keep a manicure this time of year.  Not that I am a pretty, pretty princess.  I couldn’t pull it off if I tried and no one would let me get away with it any ways.  But seriously, I have spent the last week with black dirt under my fingernails …oh and dirty knees.

I have been in the gardens cleaning out weeds, dead plants and old moldy leaves for the last week.  The weather in Jefferson has been just  fabulous and I completely ran out of excuses for not getting my gardens back in shape.  I will admit it.  They really needed the attention.  Fall kinda snuck up on me this past year and I didn’t get everything prepped like I usually do.  So the gardens were begging for some serious attention.  My goal was to have them done before the Photography Weekend but that didn’t happen.  Too bad though,  I had a house full of photographers.  I bet I could have gotten some great shots of the place.

So I went to Lowes this past week and picked up a bunch of flats of annuals and talked to all of my fellow innkeepers there.  Seriously, Pam from the Delta Street Inn and Donna from the Benefield House were doing the exact same things as I was.  So I knew I was in very good company.  I started planting those flowers over the weekend and finished them this morning (in the cold no less).

Then Tom and I made a road trip to Tyler yesterday to buy some miniature roses.  I have one garden that Dixie and The Bug use as a cut through to the yard.  My thinking is that if there were some thorny roses there they might find another path into the yard and quit using my gardens.   I will let y’all know how this works out for me.  So far, the roses have not been a deterrent.

I placed a huge order back in February for some cool plants from my two favorite nurseries, Plant Delights in North Carolina  and Lazy S’S Farms (you had me at lazy) in Virginia and everything is supposed to be here by Friday.  So I have my work cut out for me getting this place ready for all of the baby perennials coming in later this week.

So if you are going to be in Jefferson this weekend, stop by the Carriage House Bed and Breakfast.  I will be the one in the yard with dirty fingernails and muddy knees.

Is it spring yet…please??

February 4th, 2011 by carriagehouse

It has been yet another cold blustery day here in Jefferson, Texas.  We have taken all of the precautions that we can here at the Carriage House Bed and Breakfast to keep our pipes from freezing.  We have all of the faucets in the cottages dripping and have the heaters on in all of the rooms.  So far, so good.  We have not had any catastrophes.  I know that many people in these old historic homes have not fared so well.

Winters are supposed to be mild here in North East Texas.  I promise you that is what it says in all of the literature and I do have palm trees in my front yard so it helps further the myth.  In truth, it was in the 70s last weekend and we were all feeling sorry for the folks up north.  But since Monday, we have been bundled up and shivering just like they are.  Brrrrr.  It is not supposed to be like this.  I think my toes have gone numb.

I am a member of the Jessie Allen Wise Garden Club and enjoy every one of our monthly meetings.  We do have really interesting speakers come in and talk to us about gardening, history, and preservation of this amazing old town. Today’s topic was on Butterfly Gardening.  A topic near and dear to my heart.  I had to giggle at the program name, “Don’t Kill Your Dinner Guests!”  That is some sage advice I think. 

I got heartsick looking at all of the beautiful pictures of the pretty plants and my fingers got itchy to get into the dirt and plant something.  When she put up pictures of our native dogwoods and redbuds, I had to take a deep sigh and ask, “is it spring yet”?

I put a ton of time and effort into the Carriage House gardens last year.  You couldn’t really tell because they are young immature gardens with baby plants just struggling to get established.  My mother always told me that the first year your new plants sleep.  The second year they creep and the third year they leap.  In other words, I can’t expect much from them this year either.  I am sitting in today’s meeting and dreaming of all of the new plants that I want to plant this year.  Aaahh.  Thoughts of Milkweed, Indian Blanket and Black Eye Susan’s are dancing in my head.  My desk is covered with plant and seed catalogs just waiting to be perused and dog-eared as I begin to make my landscape plans. 

Although it is the first week of February, I think it is safe to say that I have caught spring fever.  The cold is only frustrating me as like all Southern Belles, I anxiously await for the day that I can get back outside and into my gardens.  It won’t be this week though.  It is supposed to snow tonight.

Is it spring yet?

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