Tuesday, 21 June 2016

An Abundance of flowers

Hello lovely blog friends. The first official day of summer greeted us Monday morning with a downpour of good old English rain! Fortunately the sun made an appearance late afternoon. 

Even though I'm not much of a gardener, I really love visiting beautiful gardens and nurseries. I have wanted to visited Petersham Nurseries ever since I saw a photo of their lifestyle shop and since it was my birthday I thought it would be a good place for hubby to take me to lunch (sometimes one has to subtly steer in the right direction) and a browse around.

The weather was perfect for a day out, the only day last week it didn't rain! We drank Assam and ate delicious coconut cake in the glass tea room, a beautiful fern filled tropical oasis in the middle of London – who would have guessed? I dreamily re-imagined all the rooms in my house to look like those in the shop with vintage French chandeliers dangling amongst fragrant twisting greenery and lovingly aged painted chairs and forget carpets, I’ll just go with the mud floors, that’ll do me.

The nursery itself isn't large by nursery standards but it is exquisite in every other way. 

We enjoyed a delicious lunch at The Cafe which I had heard about in various reviews. I sipped my homemade lemonade seated next to a fragrant star jasmine whilst the bougainvillea offered up a brilliantly bright display of shocking pink and purples. It has a lovely relaxed atmosphere although the starched white monogrammed napkins give a hint that they take the service and the food very seriously. My dessert was served with pink rose petals and a single pink candle, what's not to like!

I bought a beautiful David Austin Rose, called Gentle Hermione and a few other plants, and some lovely pots and I could have shopped wandered all day, but instead we took a walk along the river before driving home.

So enjoy my little excursion and if you have the opportunity, do visit.


Have a great week!

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Seeds and Summer days

It’s finally here, warmer weather that is. About time. Beach picnics have been plentiful. We've loaded the bicycles up with blankets, baskets and sun hats and lain like beached whales on the pebbly beach, but it’s been bliss to have the sunshine beat down on one’s brow.

I'm somewhat of a maverick gardener when it comes to planting seeds, tossing them all together regardless of type and scattering them on the soil and hoping for the best.  I've planted lots of seeds this summer, ammi visnaga, dill, sweetpea, cornflowers, cosmos, and a few others which I have already forgotten, but they’re growing in abundance and I forgot to take photos to show you! No flowers yet so unsure if weeds, of which I am sure there are plenty.  I managed to revive my strawberry plants, which were all but left to die under a broken and weather beaten little plastic greenhouse. Somehow they survived and I nourished them, fed and watered them and finally repotted them. They were so happy they started to grow and now I have little fruits popping up all over the plant. I have wanted agapanthus since forever, and I finally bought two plants. Fingers crossed they will flourish.  I also bought the biggest poppy plant I have ever seen. The flower head was bigger than a side plate! (see my IG Feed to see the photo). Unfortunately, these fragile petals don’t last for too long but they are beautiful nevertheless. My first David Austin rose has just flowered, as well as one Iceberg rose. For someone who isn't a gardener, I am always fascinated and somewhat surprised when something in my tiny garden actually grows to resemble something I recognise as a flower!

I can't wait to eat my home grown strawberries!
Have a great week!

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Decorating with plants

Hello again lovely people, I don't seem to be able to do more than one post a month lately and you might have noticed I've lost my list of followers on my sidebar. I was fiddling with my layout and oops, something went wrong and I lost them all, only to be replaced with my google followers, and I'm not sure how to get them back again.

I'm really challenged when it comes to growing plants, especially those of the indoor kind. I should mention that even my small courtyard like garden is laid with faux grass and I've just managed to revive my maiden hairs ferns I bought at B&Q last year. Somehow they all but died off, not moist enough and not enough sunlight, so I moved them to a south facing windowsill and started spraying them with a light mist every day for weeks on end. Suddenly these little brown dried out twigs started sprouting green curly fern like stems. They now look almost the same as when I bought them. My other foray into plants is my luscious fiddle leaf fig tree I waxed lyrical about here.  He dropped a few leaves in winter, but he’s good.

I've now added a few plants to my dining room which doesn't get any direct sunlight. It’s north facing, not too dark but not bright either even though I've painted it the most delicious of pinks and so far they are fine (read still alive). I've mixed them with a few faux plants which unless you’re up close and get touchy feely with my greenery, you wouldn't know the difference and I love the contrast against the walls.

Here’s a few plant loving interiors I'm liking at the moment:

Carlos & Laura's Stunning Spanish Home — House Tour:

charming bohemian green:
fig tree in living room, modernist living room, velvet sofa:

Eye For Design: Tropical British Colonial Interiors   love the console and plants- hate everything else.:


Plants and pictures on a low bookcase ...:

California bungalow:

Red and white wallpaper with big bunch of pink tulips and a gold mirror in the bathroom:

Melbourne home of Alex Kennedy:

Obsessed with the dark walls in this bedroom.:

david netto design.:

Anthropologie Nomad Duvet #AnthroFave:

Until next time

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Dining tables

We had the strangest weather this week, hail, rain and then sunny blue skies, more rain and more cloud.  Incredibly weird weather for this time of year I remember back in 2008 on 6th April  ( which just happens to be hubby’s birthday that’s how I remember) we had snow. By midday looking out to sea from Still and West, it had all but melted and the sun was shining with bright blue skies! Anyway talking of mealtimes …

It’s no secret that I love vintage and antique pieces of furniture. As much as I love contemporary pieces, when it comes to larger pieces of furniture I always resort to vintage or antique. For me dining room tables are both personal and sentimental pieces of furniture. They matter. Memories are made around a table, joy and heartache as well as huge life changing decisions are often made around a table.

When we moved to the UK, I was on the hunt for another table more suitable for the smaller space so I browsed eBay to find my table. I knew what I was looking for and when I found it up in Kent I was thrilled, unfortunately hubby didn’t share my sentiments. He didn’t think the trek to Kent was worth the price of the table.  A few weeks later over one weekend we bought two tables, both of which were returned within a day of purchase because I knew in my heart they didn’t have the character I was looking for. My advice is don’t settle for less but persevere until you find exactly what you’re looking for – that goes for all things in life I guess!

A trip to Ardingly Antiques fair a couple of weeks later and I found my table as I walked through the covered sheds to the open stalls. There he was in all his battered oak glory; solid, dependable, handsome but it a rugged sort of way, with lovely turned legs. I touched him, inspected him, got right up underneath him and gazed lovingly at his maker’s signature dated 1932……this was my table!

Apparently my table came out of an old pub. I can just imagine these working men and women sitting in a smoke filled pub, ruminating on their troubles and the threat of war as well as celebrating happier occasions. What I love about my table is the patina of years of wear and tear. But that’s not for everyone. I like to have contrast in my interiors, so a slightly rustic beaten up table teamed with sleek Philippe Starke Ghost chairs and a few odd wooden ones is a match made in heaven - I don’t want a table I have to be too precious about. Your choice of dining table will depend on a lot of things, how you live, if you like a formal or a more casual feel, whether you entertain a lot or not at all, even children and pets, they all play a role.

If you are looking for a table with character, then a visit to a few antique fairs is a good place to start. You’ll find plenty of tables from the more highly polished and refined to those like mine with a few knocks and dings of life etched on it.  Take a day trip and visit a few towns that are known for their antique stores like Petworth.  You can also look on eBay and even ask your local antique store to look out for a table for you.

A round up of a few tables I found online: slightly rustic, formal, french country, mid-century and industrial style.


or you might be looking for a table worthy of a banquet and fit for a king, in which case you might like this. 

Have a great week!