July 31, 2009

After the Rain

There was so much rain yesterday, then later in the afternoon the most gorgeous sunshine, that it felt quite tropical in Cottage Garden, with lots of lush green foliage.

This lovely grass must be teeming with life amongst its dense, abundent leaves ...

A lone poppy, the result of some late-in-the season sowing, has raised its pretty little head...

Whilst another late developer will not be too far behind ...

After a slow start, Butterflies are now a welcome sight in the garden ...

and this Shu-fly has been doing a valiant job all season!

Regardless of my cutting them down severely after a nasty blackfly and ant infestation, these lupins are great - they have continued to throw up their poker-like blooms all summer - and looking much healthier too.

I'm pleased to say this morning that in our neck of the woods at least, the sun is shining and the birds are singing - I do hope the same goes for all of you, wherever you are!

Have a wonderful weekend.

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July 30, 2009

Creativity : furniture painting

I really like taking tatty or boring pieces of furniture and transforming them with a lick of paint, and in the case of the bedside table above, lovely new handles.

We had some pine bedroom pieces which were begging for a make-over. I started with a French-style carved chair and a small bedside table, progressing to a larger chest of drawers, mirror and wall cabinet which will, in due course, be placed on the wall above the chest of drawers. The colours I used were Clunch by Farrow & Ball and Duck Egg by Laura Ashley. Gentle, soothing colours - perfect for a bedroom. However, I cannot decide what to do with the pine bed. I think the room needs a contrast from all the painted furniture but what to do? I recently came across a beautiful antique cane headboard at a local antique shop - reasonably priced, just a good and thorough clean required. Hopefully, it or something similar will be in situ and gracing the bedroom soon!

The room is now tranquil and peaceful ...

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July 28, 2009

Creativity : sewing

I'm always impressed with the wonderful creations put together by my fellow bloggers, most notably Nina at Tabiboo and Anna at Annas Daag. My idea to make some cushion covers was hatched a few weeks ago, so, duly inspired I went rummaging around at various craft stalls and vintage textile shops but could find nothing suitable to match or enhance the colour schemes in our sitting room and master bedroom. However, while I was in town on Saturday I popped into Laura Ashley and came across the most wonderful remnant piece called Kimono Mauve; just enough fabric to make one cushion cover and a cloth to drape over an old circular wine table that I'd had for ages. By this time my creative juices were flowing and I decided to buy 2 metres each of the Shoreham and Summer Palace fabrics - very nice, good-quality linen. The Shoreham fabric is so versatile that I have used it with blue in the bedroom and with the stone/neutral tones in the sitting room. I had enough of the Shoreham fabric to make a "runner" for our old leather chair (see picture at the top).

Here is the Summer Palace fabric on a cushion in the bedroom ...

the Kimono fabric ...

and the Summer Palace fabric again but this time in the Sitting Room with Shoreham behind ...

I will show you my endeavours with a paint brush tomorrow!!

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July 27, 2009

Orange and Purple ...

I seem to have an orange and purple garden at the moment which is creating an exciting contrast, not to mention a shot of well-needed zing and colour to these often grey overcast days.

I love this Crocosmia Lucifer...

We had annoyingly squally winds on Saturday and torrential rain on Sunday so we decided it was a weekend for doing those little jobs around the house that we tend to put off in favour of going out and enjoing the lovely summer weather!

The other half managed to do very little, whereas I did some furniture painting - more of which tomorrow when I have had the chance to upload the photos. I have also been inspired, by the very talented and crafty ones among you, to make some cushion covers - more of those tomorrow too.

By way of a diversion here are some photos of a Sunday afternoon spent in Orford a few weeks ago.

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July 23, 2009

A Wedding

I wouldn't normally post about anything as personal as a family wedding mainly because I think there is a place for everything and my family may not want their lives laid bare in this blog, however lovely and kind my readers!

However, I cannot resist posting just a few photos from my niece Sarah's wedding to her partner Charlie last Saturday. A lovely day was had by all. Not least their beautiful daughters Ella and Lily Mae... don't they look both sweet and ladylike ...

The beautiful bride with her step-father Pete ...

The happy couple after the Registry Office ceremony ...

The cake was a work of art and deliciously chocolaty too!

Ella and Lily Mae - disco divas in the making!

Normal service will be resumed soon ...!
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July 20, 2009

Allotment woes!

This is what happens when you don't have enough time to manage your allotment!

Sue and I decided that we really must do something about tidying up the allotment so on Friday I took myself off round there with every intention of knuckling down to some serious hard work.

Everything has just gone berserk - the Jerusalem Artichokes are about 7 ft tall and potatoes are hidden somewhere under this lot!

However, the courgettes are delicious ...

and these Rubekias look really pretty ..

The tomatoes and peppers in the greenhouse are coming along nicely ...

And the grapes on the vine are doing very well too.

I would love to be able to show you some "after" photos but unfortunately there aren't any because after precariously stepping around raspberry canes and narrowly avoiding the rhubarb to pick a colander full of gooseberries - we gave up and went out instead!

Our port of call was Peacocks, a lovely tearoom by the River Ouse in Ely, conveniently placed between Babylon Gallery and Waterside Antiques Centre.

I saw this in the antiques centre and thought it would make a nice feature for the garden. It may be an old milk pail.

I think it looks rather nice in Cottage Garden ...

While we were enjoying our cream tea at Peacocks it absolutely bucketed down and we turned to one another almost in unison saying "oh look at the rain, we couldn't really have done any work anyway"!

Have a lovely day.
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July 15, 2009


I have been in reflective mood this week.

Sometimes it's good to step back, appraise your life, come to terms with loss and appreciate the wonderful things that you do have - your soul mate, a home in which you feel safe and secure, the love of family and friends - the kindness of strangers .....

Nature always heals and rejuvenates the soul and I took a walk through the woods this afternoon. I lay on the grass in a clearing and listened to the silence, watching the clouds scudding across the blue sky ... it felt so therapeutic.

Stunning scenery always fills my heart up too - the photo below was taken on an idyllic holiday in Lake Como in 2006 - a wonderful cherished memory that I can bring to the fore whenever I feel down. How amazing is our capacity to remember - to have memories.

I came home from my walk and did a little bit of garden planning, making notes and jotting down some ideas for the new bed I'm planning at the far end of the garden. More of that at a later date.

My gift from lovely Diana's giveaway arrived in the post today - some beautiful cards that I will take great pleasure in sending to friends and family on special occasions. Thank you Diana.

Have a good rest of the week.


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