Pulling out all the stops, and using cheerful colors and patterns is a wonderful way to set a joyful Easter table. When I do, I like to keep the flowers simple, so that they don’t visually compete. A few bunches of white tulips fit the bill beautifully. Arranged in a variety of vintage pitchers and…

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One of the first trees to break bud in winter, usually in February around here, pussy willows are iconic harbingers of spring. At the market, buckets of branches appear and beg to be taken home. Soft, fluffy, silky catkins, march like silvery bunnies along twiggy branches. I just love the contrast in textures. One of…

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This weekend, when you’re out and about at the supermarket, don’t just do a drive-by of the floral department. Stop. There’s a lot of affordable pretty to be found! Pick up a pair of cyclamen of the same size and color. When you get home, re-pot them into matching aged clay containers. Place in a…

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Our latest issue, Seasons at Connecticut Country House, has arrived! We’ve created 200+ pages (274 to be exact!) filled with our original, beautiful photography and smart, new decorating, gardening, and entertaining tips that I hope you’ll be inspired by. Please go to noramurphycountryhouse.com and view our fabulous new magazine! Welcome to the Connecticut Country House…

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When the snow is covering the ground, and the plows haven’t been through, sometimes it’s the best time to get cozy, kick back and catch up on a little light reading. If you have a hankering for design inspiration and fabulous recipes, or just craving eye candy (our photography is all our own), dive into…

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Interior design sounds…imposing to a lot of people. If you think design is beyond you, I have one question: Do you like fresh flowers? Of course you do! Cheerful or romantic or exotic or rustic—flowers are an instant mood changer. They add color, texture, maybe even mass, like armloads of forsythia in an overscaled glass…

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When it comes to growing paperwhites, people always ask me how I keep them from flopping. To be honest, I don’t. Within reason, I let them naturally do their thing. Initially staking the emerging plants with twigs and twine works – to a point. One day they’re casually elegant, and the next, they’re arching over…

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Thanksgiving dinner is always pretty amazing, but, I have to say, the leftovers from the feast are just as highly anticipated. The same goes for recycling the floral elements from my holiday table. The post Thanksgiving centerpiece can be just as wonderful. This year it was dressed with creamy white pumpkins entwined with bittersweet and…

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Decorating for Christmas wouldn’t be the same at Connecticut Country House without containers full of fragrant, blooming paperwhites. It takes about 4 to 5 weeks for these papery beauties to flower, so now’s the time to start potting them up. It’s easy. Choose a container – I love to set them into an assortment of…

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As I was shopping the aisles of my local garden center a few years back, searching for flowering plants that would keep my cutting garden going until frost set in, I spied this lovely variety of Boltonia asteroides, ‘Pink Beauty’. Named after the English botanist James Bolton, boltonia asteroides, is also sometimes referred to by…

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I love to dress both the front and back entryway doors at Connecticut Country House, to reflect the beauty of each changing season. Taking my cue from the still flowering (yay!), potted lavenders that have flanked the doors all summer, I decided to replace the traditional warm hues associated with autumn, with a purple, gray-blue,…

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The season is changing, and the blooming is beginning to wind down in the gardens of Connecticut Country House. Instead of relying on flowers for an arrangement, I often will gravitate towards using the rich colors, wonderful textures and sculptural beauty of produce. Taking one of my larger harvest baskets, I’ve layered in a variety…

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I love sunflowers; they make me happy. When cut and used for decoarting a table or a room, this flower can project 2 very different looks depending on the season. Summertime I love the bright whimsical vibe it adds to my table when using solo. While in autumn, when mixing with other flowers they bring…

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The chartreuse flowers of my bed of lady’s mantle, have been in all out, full bloom, fluffy mode for a while.  Time to encourage new growth by cutting a bunch, or two.  Oh, if I must! Deciding to go monochromatic, my vessel of choice is a vintage, hand blown, bottle green vase.  (A score at…

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The gardens are just exploding with color at Connecticut Country House!  Everywhere you look, something is in bloom.  Whether making a bouquet to brighten someone’s day, or putting together something for the house, these casual arrangements are overflowing with nature’s bounty. Here’s what’s in my bouquet right now: Day Lilies Feverfew Wild ‘Lipstick’ Roses Fairy…

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When I see a gorgeous flowering plant, I can’t resist taking her home with me. A couple of my faves that are sporting glorious blooms right now are the delphiniums and foxgloves. I always look for the most spectacular one of the bunch. When I get home, I find just the right container – my…

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She’s in full bloom, my beautiful Eden. We’ve been together for a long time now, ever since I first planted her at our former home. When we moved to Connecticut Country House, it was only natural to bring her along to her new home. We found the perfect spot for her down by the old…

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The rhodis (rhododendrons) at Connecticut Country House are on their final burst of the Spring 2015 season – and I think this year they’re definitely bigger and better than ever! (I probably say that every year!) One of the largest, and pinkest of the bunch was severely damaged a few years back from a really…

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A simple way to freshen any sightline is to fill an antique basket with potted annuals or perennials. Here in the parlor, I stuffed my old whitewashed basket with potted Lavendar that I had just brought home from the nursery. Until I’m ready to plant them, I keep them watered, and housed in this spot…

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Marrying two simple things…is almost too simple! The perfect springtime marriage for my doors is made up of large wicker or rattan hanging baskets and hanging potted petunia plants from the nursery. Keeping petunias in their original pot, I add some filler (old plastic containers) inside the basket to lift the pot and keep it…

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If you were to ask me what one of my favorite plantings at Connecticut Country House is, I would have to start with the forsythia. I think my love of forsythia started when I was growing up on Melville Avenue with my dad planting a long row of them as a natural fence between our…

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This weekend, all our Easter festivities will be based in our hub, the kitchen, where we’ll be initially gathering, while enjoying nibbles and sips as we’re cooking. The keeping room (a.k.a. dining room) will be set for 15 (!), and with the chilly temps in the forecast, I’m sure Murph will have a toasty fire…

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I love those “Aha!” moments….don’t you? There I was standing in a long check out line at Home Goods, pretty much obligated to look at all the little odds and ends that lined the shelves, when I spotted 4 little glass cylinders filled with faux grass. Now, it’s one thing to look, and it’s quite…

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Setting a table for St. Patrick’s Day is the best way to kick off spring (or at least puts me in the right state of mind!). For the NoraMurphyCountryHouse.com spring issue (due out on-line early next week), we’ve been buzzing around in overdrive. For photography, I set two distinct tables for spring entertaining – one,…

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To kick-off December I’m starting with wreaths and keeping them green. Maybe I’ll dress them up as we get closer to Christmas, but for now I’m loving the entrances to Connecticut Country House simply adorned. Just because they’re simple, doesn’t mean they need to be skimpy. I personally prefer big fat wreaths! Last week was…

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