Fred Gonsowski’s garden at his home Whimsey Hill House… August 2016

A view of the front garden at Whimsey Hill House, looking toward the road.

A view of the front garden at Whimsey Hill House, looking toward the road.

Gardening has always been my passion or some would say one of my obsessions. My interest love  of gardening, I think, was the result of three different people’s influences. My first person of influence was my maternal grandmother. Every Sunday we went to her house and she was always showing us what was blooming that week. Grandma had an old Brownie camera and almost weekly, wanted us to take her picture next to what was the most showy blooming plant of that moment. My second person of influence was my mother. Every weekend while visiting grandma’s place, my mother would go through the pile of plant material that grandma pulled out or divided, bagged it up and we took it home. Every Sunday evening, after we returned home, mom would have me help her plant the things in our back yard garden. My third influence was my father. My father grew up on a farm and as a child never went on a vacation; as an adult he wanted to see America. Two of the many places that he took us  were Mount Vernon and Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. Seeing those garden fascinated me, and I thought, when I grew up, I would have something like that. Little did I know, as a young kid, that not one, but many people tended those gardens. This blog post shows the current results of how childhood experiences and a hopefully healthy obsession turned out.  In this post you will see  how my garden looks now, after what has been the 2016 rehabilitation of some of the beds and borders. I hope you like my little tour (click on photos to enlarge). Continue reading

Posted in Fred's Garden at Whimsey Hill House, The Summer Garden | 10 Comments

Pool losing one fourth inch of water at night with Pump and Filter turned Off

A clear glass vase, on the first step in the pool, used to determine if it evaporation or some other kind of leak in the in-ground pool.

A clear glass vase, on the first step in the pool, used to determine if it was evaporation or some other kind of leak in the in-ground pool.

The square, clear glass vase that I used for pool water-loss testing.

The square, clear glass vase that I used for pool water-loss testing.

Recently I had my in-ground pool relined, and the plumbing from the skimmer to the pump and filter was also replaced. A few weeks after I had that done, I noticed that the water level in the pool had dropped drastically. I thought that it could be evaporation because the weather here in up state New York has been really hot. I filled the pool again, turned off the pump (so that there was not too much water movement) and marked the skimmer with a few pencil lines so I could see where the water level in the pool was. After doing that I still noticed that my pool, which doesn’t have a heater or any kind of water fall feature, was loosing about one fourth inch of water, every night, with the pump and filter turned off. After many days of seeing the water level drop, I called up the owner of the pool service that installed the liner, and he came back to take a look. The pool liner is guaranteed, by the manufacturer, for structural flaws such as holes and faulty seams so I thought it might be something like that. The pool man came back, did some different tests, and it was suggested that a diver come in and take a complete look over everything. Continue reading

Posted in How-to, The Spring Garden, The Summer Garden | 7 Comments

Bunny Williams new Studio at her Falls Village, Connecticut estate

Bunny's new studio on her and husband John Rosselli's Falls Village Connecticut estate.

Bunny Williams’ new studio on her and husband John Rosselli’s Falls Village, Connecticut estate.

Bunny Williams, author of the iconic coffee table book " An Affair with a House" and me, on the day of the Garden Conservancy's Open Days 2016 tour.

Bunny Williams, nationally known interior decorator and author of the iconic coffee table book ” An Affair with a House” and me, on the day of the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days 2016 tour at her home.

Throughout the year, taste-makers extraordinaire, Bunny Williams and her husband John Roselli graciously open up their Litchfield County estate to help a number of charities. Recently my friend Marguerite and I visited Bunny and John’s bit of paradise, called the “Manor”, in north-west Connecticut, through the Garden Conservancy. For this blog post I will show you the “studio” which is the newest addition to their already spectacular property. Continue reading

Posted in Arranging Living Room Furniture, Garden Visits (Road Trips), Hanging Pictures and Mirrors / Arranging Knickknacks and Collectables, Interior Decorating Principles | 1 Comment

A Way to Garden…A Tour of Margaret Roach’s Columbia County Garden in Copake Falls, NY

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Margaret Roach and me at the June 2016 Garden Conservancy Open Day garden tour at her property in Copake Falls, NY.

Margaret Roach and me at the June 2016 Garden Conservancy Open Day garden tour at her property in Copake Falls, NY.

Since 1995 the Garden Conservancy has providing entrée into some of America’s most beautiful gardens with their Open Days Program. One of their most popular east-coast garden hosts is plants-women, author of three books, lecturer, past garden editor for Newsday magazine and then first garden editor, and later editorial director of Martha Stewart Living’s magazine, books and internet, national public radio talk show host and blogger, the multi talented Margaret Roach. For years now, on specific days, Margaret has opening her Copake Falls, NY property to garden lovers from far and wide. Recently my friend Marguerite and I made a trip to see Margaret’s 2.3 acres of paradise. I hope you enjoy my little tour. Continue reading

Posted in Garden Visits (Road Trips) | 1 Comment

Today Fred Gonsowski Garden Home.com reached the point of having TWO MILLION page views/articles read

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Two photos of my computer screen showing the dashboard of my WordPress website.(click on photos to enlarge)

Two photos of my computer screen showing the dashboard of my WordPress website.(click on photos to enlarge)

Today, after 5 years of writing articles about gardening and interior decorating, my blog reached the point of having over 2 million page views/articles read. Looking at the above photos you will see that 1,133,893 visitors, over the past five years, looked at one or more of the 173 posts that I wrote, which when all added up by WordPress (I counted nothing) got me over the 2 million point.

Reaching the 2 million point for articles read was an interesting climb. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 16 Comments

An Easy to Make and Inexpensive Trellis for Clematis, Morning Glories and other Vines

An Easy to make Trellis for Climbing Vines

An Easy to make Trellis for Climbing Vines

A few years ago I was invited to friends’ house for supper. Before the couple started the barbecue, they gave me a quick tour of their garden. The husband had started a collection of clematis vines and planted six or more of them in a row along a wooden privacy fence that separated their land from the neighbors. The clematis were all growing fine, but the thing that disturbed me most was that each of the clematis was planted along side a decorative trellis. Each of the trellises that they chose would be a welcome addition to any garden, but having all of those different styles of plant supports in a row was just too much of a good thing to see (very busy looking).

Here at Whimsey Hill, I have a dozen or so clematis and some decorative trellises that I’ve picked up over the years, but most of my vine supports are much less fancy. To me, a fancy trellis is fine in certain places in the garden, but most of the time I think it should be about the plant, not what it grows up on. This post is about how I make my inexpensive trellises for the clematis and morning glory vines I grow in my garden. Continue reading

Posted in The Spring Garden | 2 Comments

Arranging furniture TWELVE different ways in the Same Room

Some ideas about arranging furniture

When it comes to arranging furniture in a room, most people will come up with one or two ideas about how they want the furniture placed. Sometimes with a little extra thought, and some imagination a person can come up with a few extra furniture arranging options for the space. This post was an exercise for me, and I came up with Twelve Different Ways of placing furniture in the same room. I used the information I presented in my Sept 7th post titled Arranging Living Room furniture, so sofas talk to chairs, like the pros do to make the different groupings in the spaces. I hope after looking at what I have come up with, it will inspire you when it comes to placing furniture in your own home. Continue reading

Posted in Arranging Living Room Furniture, Interior Decorating Principles | 47 Comments

Arranging Living Room furniture, so Sofas talk to Chairs, like the Pros do

Grouping Living Room furniture to promote Good Conversation

When it comes to arranging furniture in a living room, most people really don’t think much about balance and that sofas should talk to chairs. Furniture is placed in the room with no thought about making it easy for seated people to have conversation. The two topics covered in this post are balance and grouping furniture. Continue reading

Posted in Arranging Living Room Furniture, Interior Decorating Principles, San Francisco Chronicle / eHow references or resources | 31 Comments

It’s Easy to Grow PUSSYWILLOWS

Growing Long Branched Pussywillows

Over the years both my parents and I have had pussywillow trees at our houses. Our pussywillows came to us, via my Mother’s sister Mary’s garden. Aunt Mary, garden maven that she was, most likely started her own tree from a branch picked off of a pussywillow tree, that grew at the edge of the woods, by Grandma’s house.

To get some pussywillow branches to start your own tree with, Continue reading

Posted in Bushes, Shrubs, Trees, The Spring Garden, The Winter Garden | 8 Comments

Coloring pages for Adults… Some Drawings of Living Rooms for Adults to Color.

Some Fred Gonsowski drawings of Living Rooms for Adults to download, print and then color.

Some Fred Gonsowski drawings of Living Rooms for Adults to download, print and then color.

Recently adult coloring books have become all the rage. Some people feel the process of coloring is the perfect way of showing their creativity side, while others think it’s great for unwinding.

If you are a follower of this blog, you know that I’ve made many drawings that are seen as the cover and companion illustrations for the posts. I’ve now decided to let you have the ability, for free, to show your creative side, or just relax, by coloring my original drawings, which were made especially for the readers of Fred Gonsowski Garden Home.com. Continue reading

Posted in Fred Gonsowski's Drawings for People to Color | 6 Comments

It’s REALLY EASY to fill a Glass Dome with Easter Eggs, Christmas Ornaments, etc.

Arranging Easter Eggs and other things under a glass dome.

Arranging Easter Eggs and other things under a Glass Dome.

For the last few years glass domes have been all the rage. Whenever you pick up a shelter, gardening or cooking magazine, chances are that you will see one protecting, or should I say, showcasing something. It is easy to figure out how a dome was placed over a freestanding single item or two, but what if you have a bunch of Easter Eggs, or fancy glass Christmas tree ornaments that you want to display under a glass cover. This post tells how easy it is to do that Continue reading

Posted in CHRISTMAS / Easter, How-to | 2 Comments