February 18, 2019 · 9:50 pm
There’s nothing quite like waking to freshly fallen snow. That gentle blanket softening the edges and muffling the usual sounds of daybreak.
I dressed quickly, wanting to be out and explore before anyone corrupted the perfection. Down the lane, a camelia blushing in the cold dawn light.
On, past the Bookshop, and down to the harbour, an unusual peace, no birds, traffic or schoolchildren, just a gentle hush .
The little nursery, hibernating for the winter, glistening in the first rays of morning. Ominous clouds building on the horizon. More snow on its way…
Filed under antiques, Gardening, home, home decor, Lifestyle, National Trust, Scotland, Snow, travel
Tagged as countrylife, memoir, morning, Scotland, Snow, snowday, snowfall, villagelife, walking, Writing
August 21, 2016 · 9:00 am
How many gentle flowers grow
In an English country garden?
I’ll tell you now of some I know
And those I’ll miss I hope you’ll pardon
Daffodils, heart’s ease and flox
Meadowsweet and lilly stalks
Gentain, lupine and tall hollihocks
Roses, foxgloves, snowdrops, forget-me-nots
In an English country garden.
Nana Mouskouri, remember her singing this?
Globally speaking the biggest selling female artist of all time. As a multi linguist she sold all over Europe, America and Asia. Quite surreal to think of this young woman from Crete singing about native English flowers and gardens.
This garden is in Cheshire. Very close to home. The Dower house to a big estate, and open annually for charity. I love it here. An oasis of tranquility, adjacent to a beautiful boating lake swamped in yellow lillies, and overlooking a village green opposite a cluster of ancient cottages reserved for estate workers.
The garden to be absolutely frank, isn’t the most cultivated or colourful or groomed, but I like it for those reasons. The English love a good nosey, and here is the perfect excuse, pay a couple of pounds, wander round the borders and the arboretum, and pretend, just for a short while that you are Lady of The Manor, about to disappear indoors to prepare for dinner, you’ve maybe been out earlier with your trug, collecting rose blooms for the table, not it’s time to break out the pearls and enjoy a glass of chilled champagne in a crystal coupe.
If you’re going to have a dream, have a big one!
Filed under england, English Countryside, flowers, Gardening, home
Tagged as antique, architecture, culture, family, garden, homes, mansion
October 19, 2015 · 12:22 pm
‘Love is the flower of life, and blossoms unexpectedly and without law, and must be plucked where it is found, and enjoyed for the brief hour of its duration.’ Quote by D H Lawrence.
Stunning embroidery by renowned artist Alison Holt. Take a look at her website, really interesting work.
Her work is a marvel, at first I thought this recently acquired piece was a painting, but it is in fact stitched. So clever, such talent. Alison’s work is sold for thousands of pounds.
I have this fabulous garden embroidery by her for sale in my shop.
This is a rare, collector’s item, and won’t be around long. I’m very tempted to keep it.
What do you think?
“Each piece is a combination of silk painting and stitch. The painting creates depth, perspective and richness to the work and combines effectively with stitch to give detail and texture
I started to explore my love of the countryside, flowers and gardens through the medium of embroidery finding it the perfect vehicle to express the colours, textures and shapes I find so fascinating. I try to combine in my compositions a sense of light and an interesting juxtaposition of colour, shape and texture. I aim to capture moments in time as an artist who has colour, line and texture to play with. I consider myself a painter that uses threads, an artist that draws with a sewing machine.”
Filed under blossoms, collecting, Craft, fine art, flowers, Gardening, Interior Design, Knitting, life, Lifestyle, love, Musings, painting, Textiles, Vintage
Tagged as antique, embroidery, fine art, gardening, hobby, knitting, sewing, stitching, textiles, threads, vintage
I met a lady from far away, whom, whilst showing me her wares, (a cardboard suitcase oozing vintage scarves) whispered I should visit a market in a Northern town.
Two scarves (one polka dot polyester, one lilac silk) and 47 miles later I park here:
Hope Mill. Or rather Hope Mi.l, according to the sign on the fir green door, not so much dark and satanic as dank and sagging.
The smell was overwhelming, growing stronger as I paced towards the bustle of the Market Hall.
Fish and Chip Shops. Attacking from three different angles. Enough vinegar to pickle the whole town.
Stalls set out in a square grid. Anything from armless Action Men to rampant bronze lions. With a great deal of CD’s, chipped plates and Chinese fakery in between. But it was good. Interesting. Very busy, and shouty. Lots of activity; banter, buying, bartering. I bought. Earrings, cufflinks and two bulbs of smoked garlic. I put back a Losol jug. Which I now regret of course.
It began to rain. I asked a woman with dreadlocks and creamy cappuccino skin to suggest a decent cafe.
And did she:
The Bear. Deli downstairs, eatery upstairs via a staircase Scarlett O’Hara wouldn’t sniff at. Was once The Co op, when once the Co op stood for Caring and Sharing. Unlike now. Help yourself why don’t you?
Pink lemonade in a silly ballon and celeriac soup in a bowl with basil and bread like this:
They like their chow in this Northern town. And they’re happy to share it. The ‘Incredible Edible’ project plants orchards and vegetables in unused spaces around the town. For everyone to partake. Cherry trees in the car park, and flocks of herbs along the canal.
What a marvellous idea. Prettify brown sites, rally a community, eat your greens.