Sunday, 15 July 2012

I'm late, I'm late...

for a very important date..
Can you guess what I'm creating?
Have you ever grown hyacinths inside before?
I just adore their fragrance & their pastel promise of spring.
They're really easy to grow in small containers, like teacups & jugs, but there are a few tricks to growing them that I have discovered along the way.
When you buy the bulbs you can pop them in the fridge for a few weeks to give them the message that they are having winter, then when you come across them again & decide that it's time for them to flower, they don't actually need soil to grow in, which is quite tidy of them really.
It's an idea to set them on to washed stones (curtesy of the patch up job out on the footpath) or use a holder of some sort like this glass flower frog, then set them aside in a dim place to encourage their roots to go down (for a week or so) before bringing them in to the light where upon the flower will begin to emerge.
I decided that two were good for company & support in the floral cup.
The roots went deeper with the frog arrangement but so did the flower stem grow taller, so there's then the dilemma of a support system for the duration of the flowering.
All you have to do is top up the water from time to time & breathe in the divine fragrance everyday...don't forget them because...they've kindly flowered just for you!
 This little parma violet is one of my favourite flowers & if I could invent my garden again I would just plant this little darling (in the violet department). It stays compact & neat & the leaves are smaller & the fragrance is stronger than any of the others.
 Dunking their pretty little heads in water is the best thing to do for a freshly picked violet, not only is the resultant water utterly fragrantly divine to drink but the little blossoms will then last longer in the vase too.
 Since I have a variety of colours in the garden I picked a few of each & some sprigs of the dwarf lavender dentata called "Monet".
 I know she won't necessarily appeal to everyone in her earthy style but I adore Susun Weed & her passion for herbs & life. She is such a lovely teacher & has a wealth of knowledge to share with woman all over the world. I love her video on how to make violet honey.
I am adding more flower & more honey as I go...oh the flavour!
I was so thrilled to come across this wonderful vintage bedspread on Trade Me last week.
Such delicious violet bouquets & I love the wee spot in the background.
 The camelia that grows the best of all for me is this delicate little Quintessence. It grows for years on end in large pots & flowers from May til September. It doesn't go brown very often either & is really great in shady spots.
We have vintage cars at our house too. No not really...we are so glad to have our own cars but they are both aging & have developed their own particular quirks along the way. They both now leak when it rains. Rob had been trying to dry his interior out over the last few days & had left his doors open...alot. So he shouldn't have been terribly surprised when (last minute of course) his car wouldn't start & had developed a decidedly emphysema-ish whir. Fortunately he works not far away & his bike tyres were pumped & ready to go.
The following morning we jump-started his car & he took it for a spin out & about to recharge the battery. In the process he found a new part of the iway (a new district project to create cycleways & encourage people to get out & about in our lovely land), so we went back together for a walk. 

 I love the old willow in the middle of an orchard, happily stretching out it's roots to drink deeply from the near by water supply.

I thought surely not, but yes it's true, these nectarines (at a guess) are beginning to blossom & showing signs of brand new leaves!
 We don't have a lot of history around us..we're pretty new in the scheme of things, especially after the 1931 earthquake decimated the area. It can really redefine the flavour of things..disaster.
The railway line has been here a good while though & this amazing old lichen encrusted post..probably made of  Totara, I expect.  
 These guys came rushing up hoping for morning tea.
 There's a lot of moo in such a small bovine.
On Thursday afternoon I was just heading out the back door & didn't quite look up in time to stop..bother!! But what I should I see flying up & away over the back wall but a heron much like this one. He had spotted the chicken bones (from my stock making) that I've been leaving out for the tragic stray Tom cat that creeps around ever hopeful of a few scraps.
It was such an astonishing sight & of course I didn't have time to grab my camera.
 Coco & Co has moved in to the main street in town, opposite Cornucopia, the organics shop.
They sell such clever & fun things. 
Coco & Co:
"The crazy lovechild of Jo Pearson and Jess Soutar Barron, Coco and Co. has grown out of a passion for hand-made, design led, found, upcycled and recycled objects - the beautiful, the useful, the interesting, the obscure, the nostalgic, and sometimes - given the right light - the grotesque. The divine detritus of domestic life".
  I have rummaged in my sunroom & unearthed the crochet hooks that I found at Peachgrove Antiques last time we were in Hamilton.
I found the instructions for making these sweet little flowers again..
 Of course my craft wool was in the bottom suitcase of the stack.
I love all the colours...kind of like a tin of new coloured pencils.
 And I started a new little project. I'm having so much fun.
I'll show you what I'm making next time.
 Meantime, giving one another a hand, in friendship & support is always a good way to live, don't you think?
We all need someone to like us, to believe in us, to be a friend & to love us.
I love this video that I found this week..the best of messages.
Hope you have time to watch it. 
I know it'll bless your heart.
You may have to follow the link to YouTube itself.

Thank you so much for visiting. It is so good of you to take the time.
Hope you have a lovely week.


  1. Hi there, a lovely long post. I love violets too - my granny wore only that colour and used violet perfume. In our family we always gave each other violet posies, so they are very special for me. I will remember the fridge tip for hyacinth - very clever! of course we are in the height of Summer here but experiencing adverse, continuous day in day out rain and no sunshine for weeks - very depressing so my thoughts are turning all autumnal. Bettyx

  2. A wonderful post Catherine - that video clip bought a lump to my throat :-) Thankyou for the hyacinth tip - I have some in pots poking their heads up but not the beautiful rich colour you have grown - love the idea of them in cups. You amaze me how you manage to pick such an array of flowers all year round from your garden - I only have camelias at the moment & nothing else.
    My Dad was a young boy in the 1931 earthquake living in Napier & he used to talk of it occasionally - he has been gone 10 yrs now.
    I have shopped at Peachgrove Antiques - a lovely shop to browse. A friend is coming tomorrow to teach me to crochet!!!! so maybe I can do some flowers eventually??!! Your project looks beautiful. Have a creative, happy week dear friend. Love Julie X x x x

  3. Hi Catherine,
    Another beautiful post about beautiful things. Thank you. I always forget to do lovely things like growing a hyacinth inside. Yours look so healthy, such a gorgeous colour.
    The vintage bedspread is gorgeous, such a pretty pattern and I love this little dots in the background too.
    I love the colour contrast of the lichen and the post near the railway line. I'd have fun painting those colours.
    Those cows look very healthy, I've found them to be quite curious animals. I love them.
    Have a wonderful week ahead,
    Anne xx

  4. Hello Gathering Katie!
    Hyacinths smell so springlike. Mmmmm. I have a few vases made for hyacinth growing. I'll have to remember this in February.
    You always find the loveliest things. I'm going to check out the herb link.
    I like the video very much, too!
    I hope your cars are buzzing along well very soon, but in the meantime I bet the biking is a lot of fun.
    Oh! The yarn colors ARE delicious. I can't wait to see what you are making, friend!

  5. What a lovely post with beautiful photos.
    I adore starting hyacinths and they smell heavenly; what a wonderful harbinger of spring. That green frog is fabulous; really admire it greatly.
    Catherine, the photo of the two children is heart tugging; LOVE it!

  6. Such a pretty post! I love those photographs. And violets too. That rabbit is so wonderful, I really want him! x

  7. Hi Catherine, Hyacinths are one of my favourite flowers. Thanks for the tips on growing them indoors,I may give it a go next year.

    Gorgeous photos of the countryside, it has given me a boost to go and do some more research into our maybe vacation in October, take care, Tam x


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