A Good~bye July Garden Tour

“It was a good time to start something new. We have two lives, and the second starts when you realize that you have only one.” ~Isabelle Dubois-Dumee

Earlier this week my husband surprised me by taking this photo. He was inside our home and saw me taking photos so he snapped one of me as he called out. It was a fun candid moment. real time

This got me to thinking of how sometimes I wait until I think the moment is just right to do something (in an effort trying to capture the perfect moment)

subsequently missing the moment because I’m trying to capture it. does this make sense?

For example waiting to take a photo so I get exactly the picture I’m looking for.

 Hesitating to invite that new acquaintance for coffee because perhaps it’s too soon

or.…holding off to have a party until you get the perfect room all set up to sit everyone

or…. thinking this isn’t the right time to begin a project, class, or even that recipe

which looks so amazing.

 I must admit that I’ve been guilty of all the above and even now at times still forget that (there is no such thing as a perfect moment)  it’s the actual process of doing which is really the most rewarding.

That being said this past week I have been in the process of spray painting a few garden items

I’ve put this project off because the wind on the Oregon coast can be challenging especially when you are trying to spray paint.

However it’s not always windy so I got up a little earlier and worked around the windier times sometimes working a bit later after the wind subsided.

 Similarly like my spray painting projects I decided that the perfect time to have friends over, garden parties, perhaps even a spontaneous lunch gathering is now. 

Putting myself out there to share with others and enjoy the moment. As July begins to disappear I reminisce about the adventures of the month and look forward to heading into August with my heart filled with warm summer memories.

Memories to linger on because they will be over way sooner than we hoped.

Come let’s take a walk around the cottage garden….

Now here is an apple pie recipe in case you missed it that I recently baked for a county fair competition. This recipe is a combination of a few recipes I’ve collected over the years.  (btw as I write this post I’m not yet aware who the winner was for the contest.  However, as you can imagine it’s really not that big of deal to me because I had so much fun baking and entering! )

Pie pastry

This is a versatile pastry and can be used for all kinds of pies. For a flaky, tender crust, chill all your ingredients and do not overwork the dough. (I learned this the hard way) It can be frozen for up to one month if you wrap it well in plastic wrap, then heavy duty foil.


2  2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

     3/4 cup (1 1/2  sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut in 1/2 -inch pieces

1/4 cup vegetable shortening, cut in 4 pieces ( I confess I used lard)

5 to 6 tablespoons ice water

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Using a pastry blender, (or your fingertips) cut in the butter and shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle 5 tablespoons ice water over the top, tossing the mixture with a fork until the dough just comes together. If necessary, add up to 1 tablespoon more water.
  2. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight. Makes pastry for one double-crust 9- inch pie.

While the dough is being refrigerated go ahead and prepare the pie filling.

Apple Pie filling


6-7 cups sliced peeled tart apples ( I used a combination of 3 green Granny Smith 3 fuji )

2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon salt

In a saucepan, combine apples, water & lemon juice & cook over medium-low heat until apples are tender. (don’t over cook) Remove from the heat & cool. ( do not drain) In a large bowl, combine sugars, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt; add apples & toss to coat.

Line a 9-in. pie plate with bottom pasty; trim even with edge. Add apple filling. Rollout remaining pastry to fit top of pie/ place over filling. Seal and flute edges. Cut slits in top. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350; bake 35-45 minutes longer or until golden brown.  Enter in your local county fair. (just kidding) Enjoy!

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6 Responses to A Good~bye July Garden Tour

  1. Joe says:

    Wow, great post and the quote was very inspiring! Hope you win the pie contest!
    Your husband is lucky!!

  2. Marcia Ren says:

    Hey Joe YOU are correct!

  3. Jane says:

    Hello Marcia,
    Happy August 1st! Can you believe how fast this year is passing? It is scary!!! Your post is so fitting to all of our lives! Time is passing quickly and do not put off what you want to do because we may not be blessed with another day…. We all tend to procrastinate as you so eloquently put it in your darling posting… We need to do all the things on our to do and bucket lists.. I so enjoyed your garden tour… my how you keep making it so fun and lovely…. I saw so many new additions and each one dearer than the last. I love, love the weather vane!!! I need one!!!!! Too cute!!! Your wicker seating is so inviting that I would just love to plop down with one for a fun visit with you… I need a real in person tour of that darling shed… Something else I would love to have… my own playhouse!!! I could not hear your tour very well so I wanted to ask you, are those your chicks and did you get them from a neighbor? Do you have a hen for eggs? There is nothing like fresh eggs!!! I don’t recall you telling us the name of your darling black and white kitty… I always had a black and white kitty.. but not at the moment….. Boo hoo, sniff, sniff…. Also, I enjoyed the photos of your darling posh Cami have you un-poshed her yet for her debut as Toto? Too cute!!! I loved her little outfit…as well as yours!!!
    How did you do at the fair with your pie? It looked scrumptious!!! Nothing like a homemade apple pie to curb the sweet tooth…
    Well, sweet friend I am going to end this little note… thank you again for another thought provoking, fun and beautiful to the eye post..
    Since we both live along the seacoast… I will end with this…
    My heart will always be in my cottage by the sea…….
    Blessings XOXO

  4. Marcia Ren says:

    Hello Jane,
    No doubt about it the older I get the faster time goes and making time to do those things we desire and enjoy is what becomes important as time goes on. I did get all the wicker painted white and everything is ready to enjoy for the remainder of summer. Oh and sorry about not speaking louder on the video. I was trying not to disturb the chicks. When I got close to them they made all kinds of noises because they thought I was going to feed them.The chicks belong to my neighbor & she has brought me eggs. They are so yummy. Who knows perhaps one day I will have my own. Not sure how my sweet cat (Darjeeling) will take to having a chick or two around though.
    As for Cami she is posh during the day and then becomes a farm dog for evening practice. Just between us I think she is a star! (spoken from a stage mom) I did not hear from the apple pie contest which means someone else’s deliciousness won the judges ♥️ hearts. I must admit I’m not disappointed because now I’m qualified to enter another year. (Benefits of not winning) Thank you for all your sweet and very flattering words. Your visit makes me smile. Take care my friend and enjoy this last full month of summer. Xo

  5. Jenny Bonynge says:

    Thank you for the tour of your garden and yard. It has been fun to watch as it progresses with the changes you have made. I am quite sure your neighbors are very pleased with the care you have given your sweet cottage. The back porch must be fun to sit in during the winter…seeing the outdoors is always good for the soul…

    • Marcia Ren says:

      Hi Jenny!
      I’m sorry for the late reply. I’ve been living in another time zone with Cami in the Wizard. Yes, the little cottage garden changes just a little each season. I’m sure you are well aware of this with having your own new garden and yard. I am enjoying the back sun/sitting room, and am so glad to have it. It’s a perfect spot to sit and enjoy the changing weather. Take care.

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