Lewisia Cotyledon

March 25, 2015

Lewisia cotyledon is a species of flowering plant known by the common names Siskiyou Lewisia and Cliff Maids. It is an evergreen perennial of magnificent beauty and well-balanced proportions. It is native to southern Oregon and northern California where it grows in rocky sub-alpine mountain habitat. Its foliage can reach up to a foot high and 10 inches wide, can grow well in rock gardens but would need excellent drainage.

This species of flowering plant is one of the most treasured rock garden plants. They form low, fleshy rosettes of tough spoon-shaped evergreen leaves bearing large star-shaped flowers in late spring and early summer. The Sunset strain features clusters blooms in sunset shades of yellow, peach, salmon, orange and pink. The true species has candy-striped pink flowers and the hybrids bloom in shades from white to magenta.

Image Source: http://www.gaiser.org/plants/Lewisia_cotyledon_red2.jpg

Lewisia plants are deeply tap-rooted so they do not require a lot of water. They can also benefit from some dryness so you can plant them in a clay pot with some gravel added or stick them in the cracks of a rock wall or enjoy them in a well-drained rock garden. They will typically begin blooming in Many and continue to put on a display of flower clusters clear in to early Fall. It is drought tolerant once established and quite possibly hardy in Zone 3 or colder. It is the winner of a Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit and was originally developed by Jake Drake of Scotland.

Lewisia cotyledon ‘Sunset Strain’

Image Source: http://www.anniesannuals.com/plants/view/?id=591

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Jadeite has a rich history and has been manufactured by several companies in the United States, each company having their own style, opacity and shade of green and is known by several names one of which is Jadeite also known as Fire King. Jadeite is a glass tableware made of Jade green opaque milk glass. There is another variety in blue called Azure-ite and both glass tableware (in green and blue) were produced by Anchor Hocking.

Anchor Hocking is said to be the most well known manufacturer of jadeite with its Fire King line displayed various designs such as “alice”, “restaurant ware” and “charm”. Anchor Hocking was founded by Isaac J. Collins, in 1905, near Lancaster, Pennsylvania started manufacturing Fire King Jadeite in the 1940’s producing the most output between 1945 and 1975. Jadeite is very durable, functional and fun looking making it the most popular product Anchor Hocking has ever produced.

Image Source: http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4091/5031794920_f2f2ce9f4d_b.jpg

Fire-King Jadeite debuted in 1942 is the company’s wildly successful line of ovenproof glass and was made of 30 years. One of Fire King’s designs called Alice features a delicately embossed floral pattern. It came out early in the 1940s and is the oldest Fire King style. Only cups, saucers and dinner plates were made with the cups and saucers made much more plentiful than the plates. They were given away with Quaker Oats crystal Wedding Oats while the plates were a move goer’s premium. Charm is a square Fire King pattern produced from 1950 to 1954 and is the hardest Jadeite style to find.

Image Source: www.thethriftshopper.com

Restaurant Ware was produced from 1950 to 1956 and is the most well-known and collected pattern. This pattern was once used in diners all over the country, it was sold in five and dimes and was produced in a wide variety of tableware objects including mugs and bowls, different sized cups and partitioned plates.

Image Source: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/ae/ec/31/aeec319503fc178e196bb1caf043f9af.jpg


Today jadeite green is a popular term for the soft green color when describing other kitchenware such as Tupperware. In 2000 Fire King introduced a new line but quickly stopped as it didn’t meet the standards of the older glass. Fire King didn’t mark all of their pieces, they produced pieces for brand name companies as giveaways for department stores. Fire King Jadeite can be found in antique shops and in auctions sites like eBay.

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The Kaffir Lily (also called Clivia Lily or Bush Lily) is a fantastic container plant for shady balcony gardens. This flowering plant is native to damp woodland habitats in South Africa as well as in Swaziland.  It is also reportedly naturalized in Mexico. The flowers are generally a delicate pink or orange red in hue, and seem to be completely at ease with whatever autumn weather is thrown at them. The flowering clusters look so fragile as to be non-hardy, but hardy they are, and should find a place in any border or garden bed. The kaffir lily is an undemanding and easy-to-grow bulb. While it is generally a slow grower, the plant will eventually become quite large, reaching around 2 feet tall. They grow wll in indoor gardens and should be kept in 12-inch or larger pots and be a few years old before they are expected to bloom. While the plant is not blooming, its fascinating thick, dark green leaves still make for an attractive display in the balcony container garden.

Plant Kaffir Lilies in masses beneath trees or on the shaded side of your home as these plants prefers areas of shade and will thrive in even the darkest corners of the garden. They are suitable for growing as houseplants in colder and frost free areas. They can also be grown outside and when they are they should be placed in a shade.

Image Source: https://pegasusproducts.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/kaffir-lily.jpeg

Kaffir Lily is the one most commonly found in cultivation in many gardens  in the United States. In late winter or spring, tall stalks shoot up from the leaves and bear crowded beautiful clusters of brightly colored blossoms, after reaching 3-5 years of age. These evergreen plants typically have a large head (umbel) of between 12 and 20 trumpet shaped flowers on top of a thick stem.

Expect Kaffir Lilies to bloom in early spring although some growers can get them to produce flowers at other times. Planting Kaffir Lilies require patience for this is a slow growing plant where the first bloom would take approximately 2 -3 years. The flowers last for a couple of days and then they should be removed (when they are deteriorating) to allow new growth and others to bloom. When they are in bloom, do avoid moving the plant.  The plant contains a substance called Lycorine which is poisonous, please keep them away from cats and pets that like to nibble plant leaves.

Image Source: www.indoorflowers.net

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French Lace Rose

March 15, 2015

The French Lace Rose also sold in plant nurseries as Jaclace rose has delicate ivory buds with a slight apricot tint open into very full, classic  fully cupped white blossoms. French Lace is a popular variety of Rose, which belongs to the Rosa genus (Rosa ‘French Lace’) and is classified as an upright floribunda rose with well-branched growth producing high-centered, fully double, fragrant white flowers with mid-green leaves. The tall, upright growth habit makes for a statuesque appearance in the landscape.

The flowers have up to 30 petals with a mild, fruity fragrance. It has good disease resistance, ivory flowers with a pale creamy apricot pink center, very elegant looking. This variety is a flower that typically grows as an perennial, which is defined as a plant that matures and completes its lifecycle over the course of three years or more. French Lace is known for its shrub habit and growing to a height of approximately 6.50 feet.

Image Source: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v115/HoovB/Garden%202010/FrenchLace4691.jpg

This rose is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its average texture works beautifully into the landscape, and can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition. This rose requires regular care and upkeep and is ideally pruned in late winter once extreme cold has passed. Gardeners plant this rose to attract bees to the garden. It is recommended for general garden use, mass planting and for hedges / screening.

Take note that this rose should only be grown in full sunlight and does best in average to evenly moist conditions. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and can be planted in city environments.


Image Source: https://c1.staticflickr.com/7/6164/6215162880_dfe1682e31_b.jpg



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Mason’s Vista Ironstone China was made by the English pottery of Charles J. Mason after 1813. Mason was given a patent for this improved earthenware, it is usually called Mason’s Patent Ironstone China. Some experts believed it was named ironstone because of the slag it came from but others think it came from the fact that the ware was as hard as iron. Mason’s Patent Ironstone China resisted chipping and breaking so it became very popular for dinnerware and other table service dishes.

Of the patterns Mason has produced, Vista the most popular amongst serious collectors and novices alike. It is easily recognizable by its castle and park like scenes with oak leaf borders. The Vista pattern started production in 1890 until 2000 and is attributable to Francis Morley who purchased from Charles Mason his business and factories in 1848. Mason Vista is available in several different colors, the most popular being the pink / red vista followed by the blue vista. The pattern was also made in green and black but they are less common. Dishes manufactured before 1921 had the back stamp “England”, those made after shows the back stamp “Made in England”.

Image Source: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-hdjsIC7mVoM/U6V0rpJ8oqI/AAAAAAAABHM/O-ikuEQjOlQ/s1600/IMG_1940.JPG

The ironstone was decorated with orange, blue, gold, and other colors, often in Japanese inspired designs. Over the years Mason’s experienced financial problems and the company was acquired by many buyers including Francis Morley, Taylor Ashworth, George Ashworth and John Shaw and these owners continued to use the name Mason in the products. When Mason joined the Wedgwood group in 1973, the name is still found on dinnerware.

The Vista pattern was largely made for export to the United States beginning in 1890 with brown coming first and then followed by blue. The pink / red color is most sought after, the most common and the most produced color. The green color had a short lived production dating to about 1900, purple and multi-colored ones were also produced dating approximately between 1918 and 1944 however these colors are very hard to find these days.

Image Source: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v298/chabbysmom/dishes.jpg

Gloriosa (Flame) Lilies

February 26, 2015

Gloriosa Lilies also known as flame lilies and glory lilies thrive in fertile, well as drained soils and in full to partial sun. Gloriosa Lilies consist of 5-6 tender climbing vines which are native to South Africa. These tender bulbs are also a vine that climbs by means of tendrils at the tips of their leaves and are quite poisonous when ingested. These specialty flower bulb is quite a mystery to many but they have been grown and distributed to gardens across America with astonishing success. This climbing bulb will grasp at anything for climbing up so it is ideal that you provide support to vines giving its tendrils something to cling to as well as for showing off its beautiful foliage.




Image Source: www.floridagardener.com

Gloriosa lily bulbs are hardy in zones eight and nine. In cooler climates the bulbs will need to be dug up in fall after full senescence and stored in moist peat moss over the winter. Gloriosa lily bulbs require at least 6-8 weeks rest period, so it is important they do not dry out during storage. Gloriosa lily bulbs cannot handle a freeze, either in storage or down to bulb depth during their growing cycle. In the northern hemisphere store through the winter and plant again in the spring with warmer temperatures. These exotic-looking lilies produce an abundance of yellow and red flowers with petals that curl backward to resemble a flash of brilliant flames. Those big, crimson-red flowers are nothing short of glorious. Their unusual and exotic flowers have been featured on US postage stamps, and are the national flower of at least one African country. They make an outstanding cut flower in arrangements, and the configuration of their stamens and pistil has been compared to a clock and a minute hand.


Image Source: http://www.myclimatechangegarden.com/blog/glory-lily

Gloriosa Lilies can be grown indoors, plant them in pots 2-4 inches deep in a mixture of two parts rich potting soil, one part builders sand and one part peat moss. Place in indirect light and keep soil evenly moist. After blooming, withhold water and fertilizer, allowing the plant to go dormant. In the garden, plant gloriosa lilies in well-drained, organic soil in a location that receives full sun or light to medium shade. Gloriosas prefer warm temperature and to extend blooming period start the tubers inside in late winter and then transplant them to the garden in spring.

Gloriosa Lilies can reach up to 8 feet in height and would require support with a trellis or other suitable object is recommended. They can be left in pots of dry soil after blooming and should be replanted in fresh soils in spring. For those with pets please be mindful that the Gloriosa Lily is poisonous when ingested.

Image Source: http://mardeross.com/tag/gloriosa-lily/

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Gladiolus ‘Zizanie’

February 24, 2015

Gladiolus is a genus of bulbous flowering plants in the iris family and is sometimes referred to as Sword Lily. These flowers are easy to grow and are especially valued for use in floral arrangements. Gladioli produce tall spikes of large blossoms, in a rainbow of colors. Only clear, true blue is missing; white, pink, red, purple, yellow, orange, salmon, and even green gladioli are available, along with many bi-colors. These classic flower spikes have been adorning midsummer gardens and bouquets for generations. Today’s gardeners can choose from a wide range of flower forms, colors and heights, so there’s certainly a gladiolus for everyone’s taste. Gladiolus is generally grouped by flower size into classes from miniature to giant.

If planting gladiolus primarily for cut flowers, they would be best planted in rows. Prepare the area, stake and tend the plants and harvest flower stalks when they grow in neat rows. Glads can also be used to provide color in annual beds and borders, planting them in groups of seven or more is ideal for achieving the best effect.

Image Source: https://brentandbeckysbulbs.com/Bulbs/

The ideal location for planting the Gladiolus is an area where the soil drains well. If the area still has water puddles 6 hours after a hard rain, scout another area. Plant the gladiolus where they will receive full sun. Dig holes and plant the corms 7 inch deep and about 8 inches apart. After planting, water generously soaking the soil to settle it around the corms. During the growing season if rain does not occur, water them regularly. Weekly deep waterings are better than light watering every day. About 1″ of water per week is a good estimate of the water needed during the active growth periods.


Image Source: http://www.eutopiamall.com/

Gladiolus is only completely hardy in zones 8 to 11. In zones 6 to 7, they thrive if the bulbs are protected by a thick mulch throughout the winter. Use fertilizer in the care of your gladiolus, as they come up, you can fertilize the new gladioli batches when you see the flower spikes start to show. After you pick the flowers, you can fertilize again.

During the winter instead of leaving the gladiolus in the ground you can dig the corm up, shaking as much soil as you can from the corm. Trim the leaves back to within an inch from the corm itself store it in a dry cool place in a mesh bag. You can replant them when spring arrives. Gladiolus plants are a lovely addition to any garden. Knowing how to grow gladiolus and proper care of gladiolus will ensure that these delightful flowers will grow well in your garden.

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Radiant Perfume Rose

February 21, 2015

Radiant Perfume Rose is a medium yellow grandiflora bred by Dr. Keith W. Zary and was introduced by Jackson & Perkins in the United States in 2005. This award-winning floribunda rose bears beautiful 4-inch-wide, strongly fragrant, apricot-yellow blooms that appear in clusters. It’s compact and offers good resistance to powdery mildew and rose rust. The large double flowers (17-25 petals), borne mostly solidary bloom form and blooms in flushes throughout the season.

Image Source: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/c3/85/c0/c385c01aebd840b8452a14b9f60296bd.jpg


Radiant Perfume can be used as a cut flower or in the garden; it is quite a looker in the landscape with its graceful form and richly golden color. This hybrid tea’s combination of spectacular color, tantalizing lemon fragrance, and glossy green foliage is sure to add impact to your landscapes and bouquets and grows to up to 5 feet.


Image Source: http://d24hmuzuqtr8sm.cloudfront.net/media/catalog/product/cache/3/image/372x/17f82f742ffe127f42dca9de82fb58b1/r/a/radiant_perfume_rose.jpg


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Purple Emperor Butterfly

February 19, 2015

The purple emperor is one of the rarest, most elusive and most beautiful of the UK’s butterflies.

The size of a small bat, fearless and aggressive it’s a butterfly that has inspired legions of followers of “the purple persuasion” to travel miles in the hope of catching a glimpse of it.

And the Savernake Forest is one of the very few hunting grounds in the country where this “connoisseurs butterfly” can actually be seen.

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/wiltshire/hi/people_and_places/nature/newsid_8576000/8576445.stm

How to see them

Purple Emperors are at their best on sunny days from mid-summer through to the end of July when they can be watched by scanning the tree tops with binoculars.

The best places in Wiltshire to see them include Bentley Wood in South Wiltshire and around the Ailesbury Column in the Savernake Forest where a colony is known to exist.

Image Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/life/Purple_Emperor

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Bleeding Heart Flower Plant

February 18, 2015

Bleeding Heart Plant is a species of flowering plant native to Siberia, northern China, Korea and Japan. This plant has attractive mounded foliarge with arching stems of delicate, heart-shaped flowers in spring. It thrives in moist woodland gardens along with ferns and other shade-lovers. Bleeding Heart grows best in cool, moist conditions, it will grow in full sun, but in warmer and drier climates it requires some shade.

Flower colors include yellow, pink, red, and white. It blooms in spring and may rebloom sporadically throughout the summer in cool areas. Height ranges from 6 inches to 2 feet, depending on variety. The outer petals are bright fuchsia-pink, while the inner ones are white. The flowers strikingly resemble the conventional heart shape, with a droplet beneath – hence the common name

Image Source: http://georgeweigel.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/bleedingheartatminter.jpg

For care and maintenance, apply a thin layer of compost each spring, followed by a 2-inch layer of mulch to retain moisture and control weeds. Water plants during the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week. After the first killing frost, cut stems back to an inch or two above soil line.

Image Source:  http://eyeonlifemag.com/static/500af2aac4aa3053c4fc5ae1/500b3b86e4b02ad5a4c5fd57/500b3b86e4b02ad5a4c5fd85/1330814822088/1000w

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