Saturday, 9 July 2011

The Garden Fairy

I am just so glad about our vintage value system & the inexhaustible urban food basket that surrounds us. It is quite literally mid-winter here & yet we are still able to, daily gather all that we need for the sustainance of body, mind & soul. At our wonderful organic shop Cornucopia I found purple sprouting broccoli, yacon (root vege tastes like water chestnuts), early broad beans, celeriac & local feta. I found cheap grapefruit at an op shop & free grapefruit in a box on the side of the road.  
My lovely vintage basket was only $2
We are a little behind here, but that doesn't worry me a bit. I do love this magazine.
I did have to giggle when I saw this picture. I was initially drawn to the bunting, but then noticed the poor unsuspecting granny scoffing her cake.  
At the Salies I found this New Zealand magazine for 20c. I rather smugly feel that pretty much offsets my retail outlay for the Country Living mag quite nicely?
Inside I found this rather intriguing article..
I think that Pomona at Little Cottage Comforts might rather concur (in her own way) with this philosophy after her post this week "Knitting in the Memories Stitch by Stitch"
Well said..wouldn't you agree.
This little Portugese plate that I found at Connections is such a pretty green.
A little more subdued than my shelled broad beans..which I made in to the most delicious green dip along with baby peas & avocado.
I came across the recipe for this in a Dish magazine in a cafe & held the general gist of it my head until I got home to have a go at making both the green one & a spicy roast carrot & chickpea job. Pop in here if you'd like to see how I made them...
or not, as the case maybe!
I also came across this skinny wee "Better Cooking" recipe book for 50c.
And what should I find within it's covers, dear Pom Pom, but a Victoria sponge! Even looks nice & light & fluffy but I dear say the proof is in the eating ; )

While out walking on Thursday we came across an early Kowhai (native tree) already flowering.
And just around the corner in Cornwall road, we discovered large wool phages sitting on the grass verge. I presumed that they were full of oak leaves from the park..we had a wee peek & looking up discovered a man watching us..oops. So I went to explain & he said, "Yes. I know you're the Garden Fairy. Once seen never forgotten!" We both nearly burst out laughing. Apparently the leaves should have been picked up by the council but were still sitting there day after day. I could not let such an opportunity slip through my fingers so I whipped home for my car. Loaded up my boot with all that I could manage to stuff in to it & eventually returned to ask about the last two bags, only to find a very disgruntled Ngaire (we know her) wondering why her leaves alone had not been collected!! She's much happier now. And how glorious it is to have 5 enormous bags of leaves to mulch my garden with. You see, another kind of urban harvest..for free!

It's so good for the winter soul to have this glorious sunshine yellow in the centre of our winter garden..precisely why I planted it there.
I sprinkled some Hearts-ease (Johnny-Jump-Ups) seeds in a warm dry spot at the letterbox a month or so ago & have been rewarded with these dear little faces at front reception.
Another pretty camelia.
I love the stark limbs of the resting trees against the moonlit sky in this season.
The pink tinged sky coloured our front door leadlight with warm soft colours one evening as the sun went down.
I have been buying the last of the tree ripened apples on way home from "Garden Fairying"
They looked so life-filled & nourishing in the late afternoon sun.
I literally took three steps away from the apple bin to snap this photo of Mount Kahuranaki
and Te Mata Peak.
I also called in to the second hand shop in Havelock North.."The Mart" I think it is called. I hadn't been there in months & months. How perfect to find this vintage 40lb apple box. I wonder if "Fancy" was a variety of apple back in the day or just what they called the ones good enough to export? Well they can't have mine! 
It's so nice to figure out just exactly who you are in life sometimes ... I am a Garden Fairy & A Fruit Person..An angel in the garden and that's exactly where I feel right at home. 
I hope you've been able to do some lovely gathering of your own this week.
 Come on let's run through the dandelions..ready?



  1. What luck you have had this week. I love the apple box, the graphic are just fantastic!

    Country living mag is one of my favourites too. Have a lovely relaxing Sunday, Tam x

  2. Dear Catherine
    Just before I climb into bed I've enjoyed reading about what you've been up to this week.
    How resourceful of you to grab the fallen leaves - so good for the soil and most people just want to get rid of them!!

    Oh ok I'll do a quick run through the dandelions with you before I turn in!!
    I'm full of cold so I've dosed myself up - mayube I should make a pot of dandelion tea (or was that for upset tummies - Peter Rabbits mother should know) LOL!!!

    Shane x

  3. I love the Country Living magazine too but I've still not seen the June edition in the shops here.
    Loving all your photos, such beauty to look at. Thank you for sharing.
    Anne xx

  4. Those are two very good things to be: garden fairy, fruit person.
    Fruit is good, sweet, beautiful: You.
    Fairies are romantic, original, and pretty: You. So, there you go! Thank you for the Victoria Sponge photo. I'm going to try again. I simply have to get the craving for cake. It'll come. Oh, I do love the British Country Living. I find it only sometimes. It is so worth the extra pocket money required to take it home and savor it's glossy pages, isn't it? I wish you lived by me so we could have adventures in thrifting or urban fruit gathering. When I was in Sydney, I loved the piles of fruit. I took photos of all the fruity beauty. I went to Granny Smith's grave and admired the tiny orchard there. Oh, Catherine, YOU are so fun!

  5. What glorious photographs.

    Yes, I love winter veggies and, yes again, I love Country Living.

    Heart's-ease make my heart sing too.

    I too have made reference to Pomona's blog in my post tonight.

    I have dipped into your blog and relished the joy within. I would never have suspected it was the depths of winter in your world.

  6. beautiful post, the apples look delicious and the johnny-jump-ups make me smile.

  7. what a lovely post, thanks for sharing your fruitful week.. and gee your produce sure looks yummy.

  8. your posts never fail to lure me in. i love how you combine the inner soul (food) and the outer bemusement (vintage, e.g.). just lovely.

  9. Thank you for the mention, and for giving me yet another reason to knit! If anyone tries to distract me, I shall asset that I am undergoing important psychological therapy - I just knew that knitting was good for the psyche ... And as for the granny and her cake - do you think the photographer did it deliberately? I am sure s/he must have spotted her through the zoom lens - perhaps she is actually a famous celebrity?

    Pomona x

  10. that funny i was just wondering if the june country living was out here the applebox, and the dips look divine, have a lovely week x

  11. Like you, I thought the photo of the granny scoffing cake was hilarious.

  12. Hello Catherine, google didn't tell me you had a new post and I nearly missed it! what lovely pictures, I love the apple box. You asked recently if I have made anything with elderberries - I haven't but my granny used to make a cordial for sore throats. I might try and find a recipe this year for it. The UK should be in the height of Summer but everything in the woods is going into Autumn very early so I will have to be quick if I am to use these lovely berries I am finding - they will be ripe very soon. The victoria sponge picture looks good - I am not a cake expert but I know you need to fold a lot of air in to make it light and not use too many eggs. Maybe will make one this week as that picture is making me feel very hungry! BettyX


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