Petal & Pins

Category: Plants

Oh So Pretty!

tree peony

Following on from my last post I thought I’d share some  photos of my tree peony – aren’t they just the most gorgeous of flowers!

There are a lot of this variety in gardens around my neighbourhood and I am lucky to have two growing in mine.

Just like when the blossom is out they make a Springtime stroll a very pretty one indeed!

The Second Act

It is a year since my far North Queensland holiday and there are still things from that trip I haven’t shared with you that I wanted to!

Tropical flowers that offered new inspiration for garden fairy dresses – some realised, some just conjured up in my mind while admiring them (it’s not always appropriate to be a flower thief in someone else’s garden), or the romantic story behind Paronella Park and it’s decaying beauty and lush gardens.

I did share my Tropical Ballet which features Barringtonia Asiatica – a night flowering tree whose flowers by morning have fallen to the ground.

So without further ado here is the second act…

barringtonia asiatica flower dressspent Barringtonia Asiatica flowers on Radical Bay beachI like to think you will add your own imaginative take on the storyline of  my tropical ballet but take a look at the beautiful nighttime costumes in act one before you do!

Early Signs Of Spring

© Sandra Alcorn 2015

© Sandra Alcorn 2015

A Twilight Stroll

It’s a pretty time of the year to walk around my neighbourhood with lots of  blossom trees flowering. Yesterday I took my camera with me so join me on a twilight stroll…

blossom treesblossom

blossom trees and wattle

twilight and blossomblossom in July

walking the dog

twilight strollBlossom in July

twilight in Hobart

Subtle Shading

The japonica is just starting to flower in my garden and I picked a few sprays to put in a vase with the buds still closed.

japonica sprays

In the warmth inside they opened into lovely tones of cream and peachy pink instead of the usual bright colour that punctuates the bareness of my patchwork hedge in winter.

japonica flowers
The colours remind me of a hat that once belonged to my grandmother. I think the delicate layered feathers would have once been a more uniform tone but I like the subtle shading created by the passing of time.

vintage hat

That faded glamour also inspired me to create this dress for my Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe with the japonica flowers.

japonica flower dress

After the Solstice

winter vase

vase of bergenias, hellebores, jonquil and camellia buds & leaves

 

For a couple of weeks before the winter solstice my garden seems devoid of flowers and then after it seems like each day something new appears in bloom.

It starts with a smattering of jonquils and then a patch of snow drops. I can begin to gather tiny bunches of violets and the hellebore buds start to open.

But it’s the bergenias and swamp iris that make a real statement with their pink and purple splashes of colour throughout the garden. They invoke an air of anticipation although there is a good two months to go until Spring.

When the sun’s out and the temperature agreeable it’s a great time to be in the garden which is just how I spent my Saturday with Mr Petal & Pins.

swamp iris garden fairy's wardrobe dress by petal & pins

swamp iris dress for My Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe

Embroidered Light

Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens trees lit red for Dark MoFo

illuminated trees

trees lit red for Dark Mofo

trees illuminated for Dark Mofo

illuminated trees

Last night we went to the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens  to see artist Tyrone Sheather’s sculptures as part of the Hobart Dark Mofo festival.

The trees along the avenue to the gardens were lit up red and the effect was very beautiful, it reminded me of oriental embroidery or brocade.

 

all images © Sandra Alcorn 2015

Other Places & Sunny Faces

The heartsease seeds I planted in summer are thriving.

Even with our cold start to winter they are still flowering and I find myself wandering down to where they’re growing just to see their ‘sunny faces’ –  such a simple thing always makes me smile and lifts my mood.

I’ve been picking some and letting others go to seed so I can scatter them in other places.

You may remember the tiny no bigger than a thimble vase I use for them in Love-in-Idleness – just one of the other names they go by.

I have been contemplating designing a dress with them for My Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe but so far have just picked enough to create this delicate bodice.

© Sandra Alcorn 2015

© Sandra Alcorn 2015

In A Corner

© Sandra Alcorn 2015

© Sandra Alcorn 2015

Since it was cold and drizzly  it was a quick sprint outside to pick something to use for joining in with Julie’s ‘In a Vase on Monday’ meme today.

At this time of year I can always find some bergenia flowers in my garden. I chose an old brass vase which I don’t usually use for fresh flowers and its oriental style has influenced the style of the arrangement.

The plum sticks I used in my ‘String of Pearls’ vase have dried nicely (as have the rowan berries) so I decided to make a lattice like element with them.

Combined with the bergenia flowers are three bergenia leaves in graduating sizes, a piece of clematis vine  and a sprig of a variegated ground cover that no matter how much time I spend pulling it out of the garden it persists!

I have also added one of my silk butterflies – you can see how I’ve used them before in my post Butterfly Wings & Other Things.

© Sandra Alcorn 2015

© Sandra Alcorn 2015

I have photographed it in the corner of the fireplace bookshelf near a lovely embroidered panel my sister bought me on a trip to China, it’s not a spot I usually sit a vase but it works rather well so perhaps it’s time to rearrange a few things.

© Sandra  Alcorn 2015

© Sandra Alcorn 2015

© Sandra Alcorn 2015

© Sandra Alcorn 2015

I have made several dresses for My Garden Fairy using bergenia flowers that you can see here and here .

If you have been enjoying seeing My Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe designs I have three new card collections available from my new petal & pins shop and I’m offering free shipping worldwide on the card collection sets until the 30th June 2015 with the code FREESHIPPING615

An Autumn Afternoon

Autumn in my Hobart gardenAutumn colour in my gardenAutumn colourThe late afternoon sun shining through the trees in my garden is like looking at stained glass windows.

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