Tuesday, June 30, 2009

July 2009 Cover story, "Taking It Outside," featuring two Mississippi homes

Our featured families this month have taken it outside—their living and entertainment space, that is. Cindy and Al Windham in Vicksburg, Mississippi, have landscaped and decked their living areas outside under shady oaks and rolling hills. Tim and Samantha Porter live in Jackson, Mississippi, on two-and-a-half acres in a suburban neighborhood where their beautifully landscaped grounds offer activities for all ages. A couple of weeks ago, I visited with these families to get the inside scoop on their outside lives.

The Windhams enjoy gardening and flowers. Al acquired his green thumb from his mother, who all day, every day spent time gardening at their Edwards, Mississippi, home. Al’s sister, Kay Turner, is also a gardener, meticulously tending her old-fashioned tea roses. Both swap gardening tips, plants, and creative gardening ideas. Cindy Windham learned to arrange flowers from her mother, who was a florist. While Al is in charge of the landscaped grounds, Cindy arranges their home-grown, cut flowers and places them as fragrant, colorful accents inside and outside.

Recently, the Windhams hosted a family reunion with family members filling the home and meandering throughout the home’s spacious wrapped decks. The dining area is covered with a pergola whose plant chandelier offers blooms and greenery overhead. For early morning breakfast, brunch, lunch, or supper, this area is a refreshing place to dine. Off the master bedroom is a sitting area with a fireplace for added warmth and coziness on cool evenings. This area is shaded, but speckled sunlight dances in and out as the wind moves the leaves overhead.

The sunny side of the deck welcomes visitors who enter through the back, and below the drive are the Windhams’ cutting beds and herb garden. Al and Cindy created their landscaped gardens with inspiration from various other gardens they had toured and from a number of books and images, but they tailored the areas to suit the terrain and climate of their home.

One of the latest additions to the Windhams’ outdoor living and entertaining space is the pier deck that leads to the outskirts of the grounds and offers color from mid-May until the first frost. In our southern clime, such shade with its accompanying breezes in the midst of summer makes outdoor amusements and entertaining a pleasure; certainly, this was the case for me and accompanying Bluffs & Bayous staff and photographer.

Just down I-20 from Vicksburg, the Porter family was relaxing at home after a rigorous morning of summer camps and classes. The children welcomed us at the door as we took in the panorama of the Swiss-chateau-styled, six-bedroom home stylishly situated on two-and-a-half acres in north Jackson. Lisa Palmer, the decorator for the interior and exterior living spaces, and architect Tim Taylor understood Tim and Samantha’s vision while designing the family’s living spaces. Tim was working at home the day we stopped by, and he and Samantha offered us a tour of their custom-built and designed home. Tim is the cook of the family, and the home offers ample areas for all moods of cooking and dining.

As we entered the covered patio off the family room, we noted....

For more of our cover story and other insight, visit www.bluffsbayous.com

Friday, June 26, 2009


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Natchezian, John Burns, authors "Personally Yours"

John Grady Burns, a native of Natchez, Mississippi, currently residing in Atlanta, Georgia, recently staged a kick-off book signing for his newest publication, Personally Yours, during the Natchez Garden Club’s Party for Preservation, held at The Towers, home of Ginger Hyland and James Wesley Forde in Natchez.Burns graduated with a BS in Horticulture and Retail Floral Management from Mississippi State University where he studied under Professor Emeritus Ralph Null, internationally recognized leader in floral arts and retail floriculture. Upon graduation, Burns was selected to go to Washington, D.C., to work with the White House and Blair House (home of the Vice-President) as well as with several embassies and dignitaries.Since the 1980s, Atlanta, Georgia, has been home for Burns, his skilled floral designs and prestige attracting such famous clients and accounts as the Ritz Carlton Atlanta and the Atlanta Symphony. He has carved an impressive niche for himself as a premiere designer of weddings and special events. Formerly, Burns also has taught the art of floral design at Kennesaw State College and presently teaches at Halls Atlanta Floral Design School

For more of Burns visit http://bluffsbayous.com/feature1.htm