Petal & Pins

Tag: gardening

A New Flower Blooms Every Day

At this time of year I love to walk around my garden each day just to see what is newly in bud, has flowered or where hints of green have appeared, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this spring ritual.

Over several recent posts I have shared the early blooming blossoms in my neighbourhood and the exquisiteness of my pink tree peony. They have been just wonderful this year and inspired some new designs for my Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe.

The colour (and inspiration) has been abundant this spring and I have designed a whole collection of dresses with the grape hyacinths and the purple iris too – I was pleased to see my efforts in dividing the iris have given such splendid results and added new colour to a previously rather neglected area.

We’ve had rain and some unseasonably warm weather so I’ve had to be quick thinking to photograph those that flower fleetingly.

Before a trip to Sydney last week the cherry tree was a mass of white blossom, freesias scented the air and the lilacs were just starting to bud. I returned to a heady scent of lilac as I walked in the gate, roses flowering, apple blossom, and the cherry tree the bright green that comes with new leaves – so plenty of colour to pick for a bountiful spring vase.

‘A new flower blooms everyday’ – it could be a proverb to inspire optimism and isn’t that something spring always brings.

daffodils and grape hyacinthspurple irischerry blossomyellow lillycrabapple and japonicacamelliaspring flower arrangement from my garden

Happy First Day Of Spring

camellias and blossoms

Last week started out sunny in Hobart, there was even enough sunshine to decide to eat lunch outside and linger but by the end of the week Winter wanted a last hurrah and it rained, hailed and howled.

More snow fell on the mountain and my early flowering camellias dropped on the ground.

They are too pretty to leave languishing so I brought a few inside to enjoy before the petals had a chance to brown. Combined with a few pretty pink blossoms on a vintage plate I think they look rather scrumptious.

It could be reinterpreted into a dessert – meringue and raspberries perhaps?!
Instead I created a confection of a dress for my Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe.

Spring dress

© Sandra Alcorn 2015  petal & pins

All words and images on this blog are my own work (unless otherwise credited) please respect this and contact me before reproducing elsewhere.

Early Signs Of Spring

© Sandra Alcorn 2015

© Sandra Alcorn 2015

The Spider & the Snake

hellebore vasehellebores and cobra head lilybeaded spider & cobra head lilyI love the painterly petals of the crimson hellebores in my garden and they have provided inspiration for many a Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe dress.

The word I would use for the cobra head lilies though would be intrigued!

Moving to a house with an established garden unveils many surprises through the seasons and even over several years and the cobra head lilies were certainly one for me.

I had not come across them before and was slightly startled when I glimpsed one out of the corner of my eye when weeding one day.

I’ve added one to my hellebore posie with some cyclamen leaves in an old brass vase which is the ‘sister’ one to that which I used in my In A Corner post.

My beaded spider bought from the little craft shop on Magnetic Island seemed the perfect addition to the arrangement – the only kind of snakes and spiders I like to encounter!

 

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

A String Of Pearls

rowan tree berriesautumn hydrangeaOn a Sunday morning walk I came across a Rowan Tree. I didn’t know that was what it was at the time and needed to do a bit of sleuthing when I got home.

It was the pink tinged white berries that caught my eye. I immediately thought of them as perfect for strands of ‘pearls’ for my garden fairy and picked a few sprigs to bring home to play with.

Walking back down my path to the front door I passed the hydrangeas, they too are tinged pink and the russet tones they start to turn as they dry out with the onset of Autumn.

I decided to  combine them in a floral arrangement using my ikebana vase and included some cuttings from one of my plum trees.

ikebana flower arrangementikebana and velvetInspired by a  post on the blog pbm Garden for ‘In A Vase On Monday’ I twisted the plum stems into a knot, soaking them in hot water to soften them up beforehand.

plum knotIt’s a while since I’ve used this vase – it requires such a different approach to flower arrangement so I experimented with several ideas and I think this one is my favourite.

ikebana arrangemnet twodetailAnd then I got a needle and thread to string some garden pearls.
rowan berry pearls‘In a Vase  on Monday’ was started by Cathy. She invites you to join her challenge to find something from the garden to put in a vase each week – what ever the season. So why not get inspired and share your vase arrangement in the comment section of her blog Rambling In The Garden.

 

Our Day Of Flowers

Mr Petal & Pins, Agnes and I took a little road trip last week and ventured up to Stanley which is in the far North West of Tasmania in a region aptly called ‘The Edge of The World’.

Stanley Tasmania

It was incredibly windy during our stay which we weren’t expecting but was not surprising since this neck of the woods gets the brunt of the Southern Hemisphere westerly winds known as the Roaring Forties. Luckily we had both thrown scarves in at the last minute when we packed.

When we toured the historic Highfield House which was built in the 1830’s I took a photo of some sheet music thinking the name of the hymn would make a lovely title for a blog post.

sheet music 'our day of flowers' hymn

Highfield House

We called in to The Brown Dog Stanley which stocks my Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe cards to meet the owner Maddie and finally see the gorgeous shop for ourselves.

It’s a treasure trove of lovely and stylish things and a cafe as well so we bought some takeaway sandwiches and parked on the foreshore to have our lunch. Agnes got her promised and eagerly awaited frolic on a beach and then because of the persistent wind we decided on going for a drive to Smithton.

Agnes loves the beach!

Agnes on the beach

Over breakfast, Mr Petal & Pins had read about Allendale Gardens at Edith Creek and suggested we take a detour to see them on the way back.

In the Autumn of 1980 Loraine and Max Cross started to plant the gardens in a grassy field. They wanted their garden to be “first and foremost a place of peace and tranquility – in tune with nature” and they have certainly achieved that, there are now 6 acres of landscaped gardens and 65 acres of rainforest.

As you will see ‘our day of flowers’ was to be the perfect title for a post about our little adventure north.

And I suspect it might have a part two with all the photos I took!

Allendale Gardens

Allendale Gardens

Allendale Gardens

Allendale Gardens

Allendale Gardens

Love-in-Idleness

in the palm of my handOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA© Sandra Alcorn 2015

 I know these tiny tri-coloured violas as heartsease.

You may know them by the name tickle-my-fancy or come-and-cuddle-me or jack-jump-up -and-kiss-me or love-in-idleness.

Or perhaps another name?

Apple Blossom & Rose Petals

© Sandra Alcorn 2015

© Sandra Alcorn 2015

© Sandra Alcorn 2015

© Sandra Alcorn 2015

© Sandra Alcorn 2015

© Sandra Alcorn 2015

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