Wednesday, September 21, 2016

tea time

Tea time is treasured in our home.
It is a special time to pause and savour the simple treat of sipping hot tea – real tea in a pot – and nibbling a sweet little something.
China teacups are not reserved for “special occasions. 
Every day is special!
These past four days have been busy running a (very amateur) tearoom in a beautiful display garden open to the public during Toowoomba’s Carnival of Flowers. We transformed an open shed with pretty bunting, flowers, pink tablecloths, classical music and more flowers.

It was very wet weather this year which put a dampener on visitors out and about.
The customers who did come were pleasantly surprised by the experience of being served “real tea” in the proper tradition with home baked scones.
Teabags? Sacrilege! Styrofoam? Never!
We borrowed beautiful vintage tea sets from a friend.
Many commented that they felt spoilt and the highest compliment was from an English lady who said it reminded her of Home.
The highlight though, was the delight to observe a mother with her three sons.
It has become tradition for them to visit the garden and then share a special teatime. The boys would have been early teens and obviously enjoyed their mother’s company and the whole experience.
They shared a pot of tea – served in a beautiful antique silver teapot with delicate china teacups.
 I think the scones and cake were a bonus!
We spoke briefly about mothers taking daughters out to “play ladies” but how important it is to train young men to be gentlemen.
This mum is doing a fine job!
My daughter, her friends and I raised $1000 for the Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia from our little endeavour.

 I have written more about that over here 

If you are the mother of boys – make time for tea. 
A little civilitea goes a long way.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

wedding snippets

I had fiddling with flowers for a wedding this week! 

  The first wedding I have been involved with in a flowery way. 

snippets of creamy photinia buds
'bubbles' magnolia blooms and buds

                              sweet peas & stocks mixed with Irish bells and Queen Anne's Lace                              

 blushing bride & jonquils with a couple of the last of the snowdrops tucked in 

and roses - of course!
photos taken by my daughter Hannah. 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

planting time

It's time to tuck in some new little babies.

Fresh seedlings. Full of promise and potential

The earth here is del-ic-ious!
Truly - it is so good. We really are blessed to live here.
I pinch myself some days.
And I am very thankful.

I'm not that flash at straight rows, but they don't mind.
I think rain is coming to settle them in tomorrow. 
Perfect timing.

I am only a tiny little humble flower farmer.
Maybe I'm naive. Maybe I'm lazy!
I prefer to keep things simple and down to earth.
These flowers are out in the open. Vulnerable, yes, but 
I think they smell better out in the fresh clean air here at Ravensbourne.
Grown naturally out in the garden just like flowers are meant to grow. 
I am very aware of how fragile we all are. 
I can plant the seedlings, but only God can do the rest.
It makes me realise how very vulnerable we are to the mercy of God's provision and protection.
The day after I harvested last year's beautiful bountiful crop of flowers, we had a hail storm in the neighbourhood. 
My heart goes out to farmers.
Not only does nature assail their crops, but the majority of the money made goes into everyone else's pockets.
I absolutely love being a small spasmodic part of the Toowoomba Farmer's Market
They only kicked off one year ago. Three cheers for farmers' markets!
See you in the spring :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

beautiful imperfection

In a world striving for pinterest perfect, I find it a relief that all sorts of beauty can still be had right under our noses.

Ugly beautiful.

Like this little lilac blossom.
It's quite deformed. I don't know why, but I can't seem to get my lilacs to look natural. They seem stunted somehow, like they're holding back and afraid of running amok on their privet root stock. I've planted an assortment of different species on their own root stock, but keep wanting to persevere with the grafted syringa.
I adore the fragrance. I think it is one of my favourites.
Can't you catch a whiff of the delicate scent?
Even though the leaves curl up and the flowers brown off and seem weird and wonderful, I still enjoy the fragrance. 
I'll take loveliness as I find it and make the most of it.

This malformed old rose still has the most gorgeous scent. It is all weird and wonderful too, but so pretty and happy to be appreciated in its imperfection. Black spot and all.
Why do we reject the imperfect? Flowers don't abide by rules in our garden.
Who says I have to prune back the hydrangeas after flowering? The plants get pruned in due course and they're always prolific.
I can still enjoy the surprise of a cheerful blue blossom long after summer. 
The winter light caught this one amid the spent old brown heads and mottled leaves. 
A moment to stop and savour the late afternoon sunshine catching the pretty petals in hues of blue. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

scents of adventure

What fragrance stirs the hint of adventure?

Beckoning us out the door for a change of scenery

prompting road trips and picnics

driving off to explore new territory 

                                            and camping?

Autumn has a distinct fragrance.

The scent of a campfire
pine cones.
the smell of the bush after a fresh fall of rain
smoky billy tea

frying onion on the barbecue
cinnamon and apple
pure wool jumpers and blankets
cool, crisp air with the promise of starry nights.

'Tis the season for expeditions!

Friday, October 9, 2015

pretty poppies

Peter didn't pick a pickled pepper...
but there are lots of pretty poppies popping up in the potager at present!
I just love seeing these ruffly pink poppies self seeding in the garden. 
They are part of my "trowel and error" journey to hitting the jackpot when I finally discovered the success of those previously mentioned gorgeous stocks.
I bought a selection of various poppy seeds from this cottage garden in Victoria and scattered then about, looking forward to harvesting all the different coloured flowers.
Purple ones, dark burgundy ones, stripey ones, ruffly blowsy pink ones, red ones and frilly ones!

Alas, I am a naive flower farmer.
I didn't realise they don't last long once you pick 'em. 
The grey green seed pods are striking though and the seeds are happily springing up all over the place.

The bees are quite beside themselves, gorging and tripping over each other in the pollen. 

Self seeded plants are the best. Strong and hardy, they don't need mollycoddling, even as tiny seedlings emerging out of dry soil.
They are very welcome in all the nooks and crannies.

Thursday, September 17, 2015