Petal & Pins

Tag: trees

Renegade Luxe

Jean Paul Gaultier catalogue prêt-à-porter S/S 08Some fashion collections stay with you long after the season has past and the designer has presented others.

It could be the silhouette, the fabrics or the combination of colours – which is what it was for me with Jean Paul Gaultier’s prêt-à-porter Pirate Collection from Spring/Summer 2008.

We were in Paris that Spring and went to the Gaultier boutique on avenue George V.
I lingered at the pieces that caught my eye to drink in the details and gently run my fingers over the cloth. Khaki, brown and olive green in plains, stripes and camouflage prints were given a touch of renegade luxe with the combinations of fabrics and embellishments.

This summer, while looking out my sunroom window down onto the plum tree and the ripening elderberries that memory was stirred by the similarity in colours and contrasting textures.

I pulled out the catalogue brought back from Paris to revisit the collection and was also inspired to design some plum leaf and elderberry dresses for my Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe.

plum tree foliageelderberriesinspiration from Jean Paul Gaultier's prêt-à-porter collection S/S 2008petal & pins Garden Fairy's Wardrobe dress

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

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

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!

A Lovely Reminder

If you joined me on ‘A Twilight Stroll’ you will have seen some of the blossom that is out at the moment in my neighbourhood.
blossom dress detail
The other day I created a blossom dress for my Garden Fairy’s Wardrobe from the first of our plum trees to flower.  I don’t harvest a lot of the fruit from this tree as it is a small variety of plum and the birds are quick to feast on them.

blossom dress bodice detail

In the past I’ve made a sweet chilli plum sauce, a rather laborious process I must confess, but a delicious result. Perhaps it’s the year to make the effort to do so again.

I do however always pick some branches of the blossom to bring inside. They don’t last long but are such a pretty thing to have in a vase – and a lovely reminder to savour life’s fleeting moments.

My great aunt passed on her secret of spraying blossom with hairspray to make it last a little longer. Practical tip or old wives tale who knows, but I like to believe it does work not least for the fond memories it conjures up of her!

With guests for dinner on Saturday night, naturally at least one of the many vases I filled featured blossom.

Our other plum is now flowering so I combined branches of the two. The one I created my garden fairy’s dress with has lovely deep reddish brown leaves and the softest of pink blossom and the other has light green leaves and a pure white blossom.

plum blossom

I put this arrangement in the bathroom (with a squirt of hairspray!) and I’m sharing it as my ‘In A Vase On Monday’ – started by Cathy from Rambling in the Garden she invites you to share what you gather from your garden each week.

By the time I photographed it this afternoon the warmth of being inside had unfurled most of the leaves…meanwhile outside one tree is a fairy floss like froth of blossom and the other just a sprinkling of blooms.

Is it any wonder they have inspired a Garden Fairy’s dress!

petal & pins plum blossom dress

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

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

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.

Jewelled Webs

misty morning

I woke up this morning to a view of fog and only the tops of the bare branched trees visible. Walking down the street the city and river were also blanketed in white.

After raining most of the night everything glistened with raindrops and I decided when I returned from my morning walk I would go looking for ‘raindrop beaded’ spiderwebs in the garden.

cobweb series

cobweb series

cobweb series

cobweb series

spiderweb series

On the weekend I discovered snowdrops in flower and one or two early blossoms on the plum tree but this morning’s fog showed there is more winter to get through yet.

snowdrops

And beauty to be found in the garden whatever the season.

birds in cherry tree

cobweb in the lilac treeAll photos © Sandra Alcorn 2014

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