Petal & Pins

Tag: Sydney

Little Joys

At the top of the hill there is a roundabout that peels off in several directions past which my street becomes a dead-end.  If you walk right down to the bottom you will discover a path that follows a creek bed.

It feels like you are in the countryside, not a city suburb with all the hustle and bustle that entails, and so it is a favourite route when walking with Mr Petal & Pins and Agnes.

At this time of year a pink hawthorn tree adds an extra air of romance to the entrance, the flowers are so pretty they look like bunches of miniature roses and I can’t help but dream of garden fairy dresses when I walk by.

pink hawthorn tree

petal & pins dress from pink hawthorn flowers

Walking somewhere regularly I think you discover a favorite route that isn’t always about the shortest way but more about the little joys that things along the way can bring.

In primary school I would cut through a vacant block that had wild freesias growing and my sister and I would often stop to pick them.

In high school it was walking past a large overgrown garden with a mysterious old house that you could just glimpse through the corner gates that fed my imagination (helped along with a few urban myths).

Passing that garden nearly everyday for five years felt like a glimpse of  ‘otherness’ – how I would have loved to explore it.

These days it is home to the Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre  thanks to the generous bequest of the original owners and so it feeds the imagination and brings joy in other ways.

On Sunday I am taking petal & pins to the Wild Ones Art & Design Market held at Hazelhurst and a little smile of joy is bound to cross my face at the memory of those days peering in.

Wild Ones Market

pink hawthorn flowers

Four Seasons

Autumn
Winter
Spring
SummerRoyal Botanic Garden, Sydney Australia © Sandra Alcorn 2015

Rock Pools & Moonflowers

I’ve recently been up to Sydney for a holiday.

I don’t normally use the word holiday when I make trips to Sydney as it’s my original ‘hometown’ so in a sense it feels more like returning.

But this trip Mr Petal & Pins and I played tourist with a visit to the Botanical Gardens, the Art Gallery of New South Wales and a day exploring the coastline in the Royal National Park.

Knowing that when we got back to Hobart the cooler nights and crisper mornings of autumn would have set in, we were determined to take advantage of Sydney’s still summer like temperatures to spend lots of time at the beach swimming and lazing in the sun.

We spent several afternoons exploring around the rocks and venturing as far as we dared to watch the waves breaking. I’d forgotten how wonderful the rock pools in Sydney are with their miniature sea gardens. It brought back memories of exploring them as a child, eyes on the lookout for red centred sea anemone, crabs and the notorious blue ringed octopus.

Sydney rockpoolssydney rockpools Sydney rockpools

With Blackwoods Beach on our doorstep, we wandered down at dawn for me to draw in the blank canvas of sand left by the tide while Mr Petal & Pins took photographs. We were treated to a colourful sunrise and a double rainbow.

sunrise Blackwoods Beach Sydneyrainbows over South Cronullasand drawing
It was so much fun we decided to do it again the following morning, inviting a friend to join us. Marg turned up with a rake as her drawing implement and a bunch of Moonflowers that had opened the previous night for me to turn into Garden Fairy dresses.
Collaborating with her on the beach drawing proved to be even more fun. Our activity piqued the interest of early morning walkers on the cliff top path above and Mr Petal & Pins photographed our progress.

dawn at Blackwoods Beachsand drawing at Blackwoods Beachsand drawing at Blackwoods Beach

Sweetpeas

© Sandra Alcorn 2013

© Sandra Alcorn 2013

I love the scent of sweetpeas and the abundance of colours they come in.

I came across some growing in a park in Sydney – warmed by the sun the sweet smell permeated the air and drew me to where they were growing –  reminding me I must find a sunny spot in my own garden for them.

The Enchanted Florence

For ten days at the beginning of September the David Jones department store in Elizabeth Street Sydney celebrates the arrival of Spring with a fabulous flower show, now in its 28th year. The whole of the ground floor and all sixteen of the stores windows are given over to exquisite themed displays of flowers.

By chance in one of those earlier years I happened to be strolling past late at night with my ‘serendipitous’ friend when final touches to the displays were taking place. We stayed and watched, mesmerized by the activity within as three metre tall branches of magnolias were put in place.

The last two Septembers I have visited Sydney perfectly timed to see the David Jones Spring Flower Show – this has been purely coincidental but I’m now planning to mark it permanently on my calender.

This years theme – ‘The Enchanted Florence’ – takes inspiration from the iconic colours and patterns of the designer Florence Broadhurst. More than 300,000 flowers from all over Australia were used in the display and the result was magical.

These are just some of the photos I took – maybe you will be inspired to plan a September trip to Sydney too.

David Jones Flower Show

Spring 2014

Spring Window 2014

DJ's Spring Flower Show 2014

Spring Window 2014

spring window 2014

Snowballs In Spring

© Sandra Alcorn 2012

© Sandra Alcorn 2013

As a child a small Snowball Bush grew in our garden, it’s white flower ‘snowballs’ never lasting long – too tempting for my siblings and me to pick – the closest thing to a snow ball fight you could have in Sydney.

I now have one in my garden that is big enough to call a tree.

I love the soft green shades of the flowers before they turn completely white – and I still can’t resist picking the odd one to throw!

Slightly Defiant & Carefree

© Sandra Alcorn 2012

© Sandra Alcorn 2012

Nasturtiums make me think of Sydney, summer and lazy days.

Growing up, a patch grew by our front fence, the bright orange flowers a happy exclamation mark amongst the wonderful round green leaves.  My mother would often arrange some in a vase that was like a large white shell, an apt choice since you often see them rambling on the fringes of beaches on Australia’s east coast.

I recall a friend telling me of her summers filled with days at the beach where they would take fresh buttered bread and make wild nasturtium sandwiches for lunch.

I love how you find them growing in unexpected and unintentional places – slightly defiant and carefree – a colourful reminder not to be too rigid and to celebrate the simple joy in the everyday.

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