how tidy are you?
how much styling do you do before you invite people into your home?  i usually plump up the cushions and clear off the ottoman if i have time.  this is definitely one of the perks of not having kids at home anymore, this is about as messy as it gets around here.   


books pile up and reading glasses are now strewn around instead of toys

biofreeze is an important accessory and is usually within reach for sore muscles.

there really isn't a real point to this post other than a sneaky way to slip in more photos of roses.


you see, i've never experienced anything like this before.
the house smells like a florist shop and we have to put vases on the porch in order to breathe.  i'm not exaggerating.

i cannot keep up with the production.  neighbors are getting these.
i think gertrude and henry would be so pleased with this picture because these are two of the vases that were in the basement.  there are dozens of these down there.  so the rumor of gertrude giving roses away is definitely true.

dear ladies and gents, thank you so much for all the comments yesterday.  every one of them went straight to my head and i have become quite obnoxious.  and while i'm no expert on fashion or anything else really, i can honestly say you guys are the freaking best bunch of commenter's ever.

have a swell easter everyone.



  1. Your home is beautiful. My family room looks like a toy store exploded in it most of the time. Thankfully we also have a formal living room which is off limits to the kids so I can have a pretty white sofa :)
    Thank you for your kind comments on my blog and for adding me to your reading list! I so appreciate it.

  2. I love the Gertrude & Henry story.


  3. Ooh, those roses are yummy and any excuse to show them off is good.

    Happy Easter to you too!

  4. My house is pretty much a disaster UNLESS I have company coming over. Weekends I lose my mind because I've got both of my "boys" home full time. I try to put it all back together on monday.

    I bought some rose bushes yesterday in honor of you and gertrude. Let's home I have as much luck as you ladies do!

    Happy Easter.

  5. Do you mean "more" obnoxious? Just kidding...you know you're my favorite tidy vegan fashionita gardener! :)

    It's all about doing what makes you happy and I think you got it goin on! Lovely roses - could you bring me over a dozen....

    Have a lovely time this weekend! Talk to you later.
    Sarah xo

  6. Your roses are beautiful Janet! Happy Easter weekend to you. I missed yesterdays post so I'll be sure to leave you a comment so you can keep your groove on. ;)

  7. Gertrude and Henry must be very happy...look at the magic that you have worked with the rose rescue and refurbishing of the garden.

    The clear glass vase on the right looks like a perfect rose bowl.

    I love tidy too...Pepper is the only one who makes a real mess here now.

    Have a fragrant and serene weekend Janet.


  8. I'm actually really tidy! That shed is my husbands writing room, how he just wrote another book in that tip I don't know but I now see why he was always yelling "don't come in!"

  9. I've said it before; you're my idol. And you have the best of the mediocre blogs ever. Ever.

    Happy Easter.

  10. I love your house I think it is perfection.
    I am tidy, well except for those times I can't find the perfect outfit and my closet explodes all over my bedroom.
    I hate clutter and I like to have just the right amount of things around.
    I'm reading a really interesting book: The Comfort of Things by Daniel Miller. You might like it!
    Hope your weekend is super.

  11. The story of Gertrude and her roses and vases and your rescue of her garden just puts such a smile on my face!

    My four kids leave evidence of their activities in every room they have been in, guess that is normal but I have to keep telling myself to be calm about it. Nothing looks neat for more than 5 minutes. I clear up and get them to do a bit, when I feel chaos is getting the upper hand! I clear up because I like to say, 'aahh' as I sink into the sofa at the end of the day, and yes, for guests.

  12. reading glasses are now strewn around instead of toys - oh so true

    some days i wish i could jump through the computer screen and see a place in person - your living room pictures made me feel that way this morning


  13. you're awesome - i left a comment yesterday, but it was a short one. i also wanted to share with you that when i haven't kept up to date with my bloglovin - i'll log on and scroll my blogs - yours is one of the first ones i look for to see if you have posted. keep on keeping on. love everything about your blog, home and style. xoxo,Alicia

  14. I have a husband, 3 boys and a dog. Tidy is a word I use loosely. I'm so inspired by your style Janet. Did you always know you would end up there?

  15. Love your blog Janet, keep up with your simplicity, vegan cooking, gardening and style. it's what we tune in for.

  16. I wish I was the neighbor getting one of those. Happy Easter!

  17. marina - i'm so glad you found me. i plan to make the edamane dip tonight, i'm so excited.

    sue - i love them too and i'm so honored to be a tiny part of their story.

    deb - thanks and happy easter to you too.

    julie - i remember those days well. my floxglove via your tiny seeds is about to bloom. so excited.

    sarah - yes, that is exactly what i should have said. answer my email wouldya.

    t - thanks and the groove remains.

    leslie - thanks and i will try. pepper is adorable so he is allowed to make messes.

    tabitha - i had no idea that was his writing room. that is too, too funny. your hands are full!

    steve - thanks and you know i'm just living the mediocre dream.

    dani - thanks and 333 will help for sure. i'm going to check that book out of the library pronto. i'll report back.

    belinda - when my boys were little i was a fan of the 5 minute blitz cleanup. otherwise toys and kid stuff didn't really bother me, although i'm sure they have a different slant on that.

    nj- oh i wish you could just pop in. wouldn't that be nice.

    roseanne - by "there" do you mean tidy now? as a recovering mother of 3 sons/multiple pets i'm just happy to be sane.

    lilacs in may - thank you and i will do my best!

  18. kathy - are you in the neighborhood b/c i have about 3 doz to give away today.

  19. Love seeing your pretty cottage and those roses are the perfect accessory...yes...I wish you lived next door and could share your roses with me. I have one bush that is blooming. The other's I'm still waiting on. I love seeing your's and love seeing your cottage.

  20. Dear Janet,

    Your house matches your personality! It has a bit of the 'Ralph Lauren' feeling to it as well. I like it very much!

    I am a tidy person, but I don't mind piles of books & magazines, pillows etc lying around. I think the most important thing is that a house has to live! It should't be a showroom. I would not feel comfortable in that.

    I wish you and your family a Happy Easter.

    Lieve groet, Madelief x

  21. Even looks wonderful with the books and reading glasses, nice and cosy and comfortable. Janet, you are our 'Rose Queen'. oxo, Joyce

  22. We are extremly tidy.

    Here are a few photos:


    and even the books are neatly stacked:


    and check this out:


  23. I wish I had your problem, Janet. House overwhelmed by the scent of roses? Sheesh. I do have the BioFreeze though.

  24. We have 2 dogs, so when company is coming, I'm vacuuming dog hair and using the lint brush on the sofas.

    Otherwise, the clutter is usually books and mail and coffee cups.

    Love those roses!


  25. Well it doesn't surprise me at all. Even when you where a kid your bedroom was the cleanest place in our sonn what home!! You know my house is a mess with the Carter being there but its worth it right now. He keeps Mike and I laughing all day long. Love ya Sis.

  26. Hi Janet,
    While I sometimes miss all the noise - the singing, the tap dancing, and of course, the giggling, I do not miss the toys strewn all about the house. I am tidy by nature and it makes me crazy to have "stuff" everywhere. Like you, we just have books, newspapers and magazines plus the reading glasses to pick up now, so the place generally stays fairly neat. But then there is the dog hair issue...even vacuuming daily doesn't always keep it under control. While our roses are doing very well this year, I wish I could say we have enough to put them out on the porch, but we don't. Next year! Happy weekend! Karin

  27. nita - i do wish you lived next door. imagine the damage the two of us could do!

    madelief - whenever someone relates me in any way shape or form to ralph i am instantly in love with them. sorry about that but it's true.

    joyce - thank you dearest, happy easter to you!

    bruce - i will check out your images tonight. they are always so beautiful.

    deborah - oh i wish this was my only problem in life! biofreeze is amazing isn't it?

    claudia - your doggies are so worth it though, they are so cute.

    sis - yep, remember i wouldn't let anyone sit on my bed b/c they'd mess it up! haha.

    karin - you are right. i miss the mess but that's about it. i loved every minute my kids were small.

  28. Oh yeah....sane and tidy. Thanks Janet.
    P.S. When I was young I wouldn't let anyone sit on my bed either.

  29. Your room is lovely and simple and loved in. Very cozy. I love the white peices.

  30. Dear Janet, I think you may not be a fashion expert, I don´t know, but I sooo enjoy your posts where you show us how you dress up and I do love to learn from you, nobady else does it as weel as you!!!!! And you are also a great gardener and the roses you rescue are adorable!!!!
    Keep doing whatever you like to do in your blog, it´s yours!!!!!
    wishing you and family a wonderful Easter time.
    hugs my dear

  31. oh, and I love, love what you are wearing in the previous post, you look lovely!!!!!!

  32. I like to see pictures of houses that looked lived in rather than pristine.

    And oh, the roses!


  33. The 333 project. Well, I haven't yet started officially because I had to send back three Lands End Canvas shirts that were too big. Still waiting for the smaller sizes to arrive. In the meantime, I've been trying to stick to the items I've planned out. First thing I've noticed is a lot less laundry!

    Refined rustic. Achieving the look without any money might be hard. Maybe bring in a few terracotta pots and line them with a drinking glass for your roses? How about a natural woven tray for the top of the ottoman or a basket to place under one of the tables for books/magazines? Something galvanized? A collection of straw hats/bags hung on pegs vertically or horizontally? Now for spending more money. Replacing a piece of refined furniture for a rustic wooden one would make a huge difference! I am struggling with going for this look myself!

  34. I'm so long-winded, but forgot to say, that looking at your living room, you already have so many elements in place, right? Leather. Curvy antique. Strong dark/light contrast. Black metal mixed with something gilded, flowers. Check, check, check.

    In my post, there's at least two pictures with a small rustic looking stool...

  35. Janet...I hear you. I have a 20 month old boy. I try to relax and remind myself how precious this time is.

  36. Love your house, O Obnoxious One. Love it. Love your hare prints. Love the middle one. xo Terri

  37. love love love.

    i can smell the roses from here.

    i am constantly picking up after my lovely man. he is in NYC right now. which means house is super tidy (my son keeps his mess in his room, i just shut the door.)

  38. And your blog is the freakin' best~
    I have never heard of Biofreeze before, and I think I do SOOOO need to get some. :-)
    See what a helpful blog you have?
    Oh...and to be showered with roses--How lovely! You've created a home that is so charming yet elegant~~casual yet refined~~cozy yet spacious~~What a perfectly balanced home.
    Happy Easter~
    -Suzanne in Illinois

  39. I love all four of my kids to pieces, but I hated the mess when they were young (teen years were the worst). I'm so happy to see as adults they actually keep their homes neat and clean. My youngest (25) still lives with me as he works towards his doctorate. When it's just he and I things are mostly neat (not including his room!),
    but his girl creates the most incredible mess when she stays with us. I've never seen anything like it! I love your house and decor. So soothing and comfy. Would love to have your rose problem right now ;)
    SF Bay Area

  40. My son's name is Henry, maybe he will find a Gertrude and live in a cottage and grow wonderful roses! Keep posting about roses- I don't tire of it all. I think perhaps I am living vicariously even.So happy to hear that you didn't let that anon get to you! Have a Happy Easter Weekend.

  41. Love love love your roses! the best flowers of all! hope one day my house will be as tidy as yours...Happy Easter Janet xx P.S. you asked about Blighty name, it just means England, as in Back in Blighty..I live in Buckinghamshire, to west of London xx

  42. love these pictures - particularly the third one down with the light streaming in through the window. I have seriously white sofa envy! I used to have an ancient Habitat sofa with white slip covers and you could sink into it and be lost for days. My husband convinced me it was just too tatty and it was replaced by something sleek and dark. Maybe I should have replaced the husband and kept the sofa .......!!!!!!!

  43. Ha ha - Teri is right, your house has always been tidy...and yes everyone, even with 3 boys, my kids, the neighbor kids...believe it. You have always had the most beautiful house, such a great talent and best friend.

    xoxoxo - Margot

  44. Hi Janet!
    Your blog is very nice!!!
    I wish you a Happy Easter!
    Best wishes, *Maristella*.
    (with translator)

  45. Janet, the roses are sooo beautiful! May I add to the comments from yesterday? I love ALL of the topics you blog about, especially the fashion! PLEASE continue exactly as you have been, it is a joy to check in and see what is going on at The Gardener's Cottage. Thank you.

  46. Janet - you even make posts on "tidy-ing" exciting!! I just can't get enough of your house and your outrageous flowers! I think I'm the only one in my hood who's roses are not in bloom right now. But, thank goodness I have yours to look at! : )
    ox Melissa

  47. Im not always the tidiest to be honest children make it hard work but I was a good girl when I put my house on the market & styled it & tidied up properly it makes a huge difference when the house isnt cluttered. Great images by the way

  48. I am not as tidy as I would like to be.

  49. You are my tidiness guru, Janet.

  50. Janet, can you tell me what paint you used in your living room? We're renovating part of our house to put in a B & B and I want to decorate it mostly in white with blue accents. Your walls appear to be a warmer shade of white.

  51. hi michelle,

    the whole house is painted in benjamin moore simply white. walls and trim. thanks for your other v lovely comments.

  52. I like your white cup and saucer. Very chic.
    What is it?


kindness is never out of style.

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