I’m a little late with my first blog post for 2019, our January trip to exhibit at Top Drawer London S/S had us on the go from day one.
But as February starts to disappear the beginning of a new week has spurred me to dive back in and what better inspiration for a post than participating in Cathy from Rambling in the Garden’s In A Vase On Monday!
I have a small clump of Amaryllis belladonna growing in my garden but this big bunch I was given by my neighbour.
These lillies are a bit ‘now you see me now you don’t’ – with warmer than average weather this summer and everything looking a bit dry and a little jaded, suddenly in gardens and paddocks up pop the ‘naked ladies’, prettiness that belies hardiness.
This time last year we were excitedly planning our trip to Japan and on the weekend we finally hung the beautiful drawings we bought at the Oedo Antique Market in Tokyo.They are actually technical drawings – designs for obi, the sash worn with a kimono. The market seller had a large pile of them with other trinkets laid out on a cloth. I hovered rather impatiently as someone before me went through cherry picking a lot of the most beautiful ones!
Of the two we chose I had thought the other one – a lush arrangement of peonies and chrysanthemums was my favourite but now hung, one each side of the fireplace, the simplicity and serenity of this one beckons me to pause, imagine myself on a river bank, glance through the over hanging branches and watch the ripples dancing on the surface of the water.
I’ve been procrastinating writing about our trip to Japan – where to start? A place of contrasts and beauty couldn’t be contained in one post.
There is intricacy and simplicity.
A riot of colour and then a tonal quietness.
This morning I decide to start with the leaf sweepers at Meiji-jingū, Tokyo’s largest and most famous Shintō shrine. The sprawling forested grounds contain some 120,000 trees collected from all over Japan.
I was facinated by the simplicity and make shift look of the brooms, they reminded me of the ones I’d seen street sweepers using in Venice, Italy.
They obviously do the job they’re designed for well – perhaps a reminder that sometimes we can over complicate things.
Besides they have such charm don’t you think!
Here is a link for making a Japanese broom for sweeping your own cobblestones, gravel path or moss garden.
Let me introduce you to Maggie Hannaford a fairly recent addition to my garden and a bit late to the party flowering but I’m not complaining – isn’t ‘she’ a beauty!
There are enough blooms this year for me to pick for my botanical art and still have some in the garden to admire.
I’m joining Cathy from Rambling in the Garden for In A Vase On Monday albiet with one I arranged on Saturday night as it’s raining this morning.
It’s been raining on and off for the last four days – not that I’m complaining because the garden needs it and it’s the perfect excuse as the mornings get darker to pull the quilt up tighter and ignore the alarm clock for a few minutes more.
I love this time of year when summer gives way to autumn, it feels like life slows a little and reminds you to take a moment to just breathe and be still – which is funny really because as the days get shorter you would think it woud bring a sense of urgency that you have less time to do all that needs to be done!
The hydrangeas have just about finished for the season but their late season faded colours are a favourite of mine and I’ve been leaving them to dry in vases around the house.
On Saturday evening after a day of grey skies and rain I decided to add a bit of autumn style to the mantle piece by filling a large cylindrical glass vase with dried hydrangea heads intertwinded with fairy lights.
Want to try making your own ‘Flower Lamp’ vase? This is what you’ll need.
I have used Down To The Woods battery operated LED string lights that are on malleable wire that can be twisted and scrunched. The small battery box can be neatly tucked out of sight behind the vase so you can easily turn it off and on when you want!
I love the soft cozy effect the twinkling vase creates and I’m now keen to try out the idea with autumn leaves.
I must confess I had to google Galentine’s Day to know what exactly it was when it started popping up in my instagram feed and on the artwork of fellow card designers.
Was it a fancy pants way of saying Valentine’s Day? a Galician or Gaelic tradition?!
Having never watched the television show Parks and Recreation I was in the dark to the 16th episode of the second season (first aired in 2010). Amy Poehler‘s character Leslie throws her annual “Galentine’s Day” party for her female friends, celebrated the day before Valentine’s Day.
Like so many things Galentine’s Day has apparently transcended from the television screen into everyday culture. While it started out with the character Leslie going to brunch with her female friends, the unofficial holiday is now not just celebrated by fans of the show, it has turned into an optimistic celebration of friendship to be celebrated on the 13th February.
Yesterday I received a Valentine’s card in the mail from an admirer – a fabulous female friend, I doubt she’d heard of Galentine’s Day either and I love that over the years we’ve found our own ways to celebrate friendship with no popular culture prompts needed.
So happy days of love and friendship to you, whether you’re choosing to partake in old traditions or new or blissfully ignoring them!
The big voluptuous blooms from the tree peony started to slump in the cut glass vase and as the petals started to dry the colours intensified.
I left the vase sitting on the cocktail cabinet and every day more petals gathered around the base of the vase looking like a decadently dishevelled ball gown discarded by my garden fairy.
When it became more mess than beautiful I scooped up the petals to design with – their texture like silk paper taffetta and each one uniquely shaped and coloured I almost got lost in admiring their detail.
There is beauty in decay.
When winter is at its greyest the bergenias add a much needed spash of colour in my garden and the rusty coloured stems make a striking contrast to the dusty pink petals.
Massed in a bed on a gentle slope in the middle of the garden, come spring the odd jonquil will poke its way up. Most things have been flowering late this winter – I only noticed the first of my violets today and not many at that but I can always depend on the bergenias to show up as a pretty visual antidote to the cold and grey.