Thursday, 6 June 2013

The Sock Garden & Other Things

Only last week, while buying some perfectly tree-ripened apples from a road side stall I looked up to see the late afternoon light glowing through this ornamental grape growing on the fence.

 A few days later we were walking past Clive Square in Napier (on our way to retrieve the mended presser foot for my old Bernina sewing machine), when the beauty of the light of winter sun caught my attention near this Victorian fountain.
 They used some unusual "things" the Victorians in their outdoor memorials.
 I guess it would take a very long time for these palms to grow this tall. You'd probably have to actually be Spiderman to do any trimming on them nowadays!
 There's a tiny shop called Caravan down the other end of town.
 It is in  a very slim slice of a building with a set of particularly steep wooden stairs leading to a small mezzanine floor. Such lovely old windows..makes me think of lots of angels being silly, or performing synchronised gymnastics.
 I have made Lucy a new vintage Sanderson cushion ( a fabric that I didn't really imagine that I would ever use).
 The backing is the striped fabric you can see in the bunting that I made over the weekend.
It was Queen's Birthday weekend 
 & we had the most beautiful sparkling days.

 We've had our first big frost that crumpled all the impatiens (I love their common name: Busy Lizzies)
& other tender things.
 When I saw that these jonquils had sprung forth in their pot I carried them to the front steps so that we could admire them as much as possible. Their scent is so heady.
 The days are so short in winter, it'sdifficult to get very much achieved before the day closes in again on us. We decided that we would put this pretty oilcloth on to my $10 table on the front porch.
 It was a nice job that didn't take long & made us both smile.
 A while back I came across this little wall posy. I'm not sure I've ever seen one quite like it before.
 It's very cheerful & kind of more three dimensional than a picture.
 I also found these in an op shop in Napier. They are so cute & beautifully crafted. I feel certain that I will find a wee person to give them to in the near future.
 This is the tiniest little book that lives on my dressing table.
Yesterday I picked it up..
 and opened it's dear little, weathered pages..
 Do you feel sweet & pretty when you look in the mirror? I really, really hope so.
 Oh don't we all need friends & hugs & sunshine to flourish.
 I am really enjoying my Kim Jacobs calendar this year.
What a lovely little spot!
Would you like to join me here for a wee picnic? I love the pretty lupins & the box of pastels right beside the chair.
This week when I needed to find a new story to read for our local phone news service for the blind, I came across this sparkler. It's so much fun, I just had to share it with you. This is how life ought to be! Fun & happy & full of generosity of spirit.

The Sock garden
"Some people grow corn.
Some people grow roses.
But whoever heard of growing socks?
I guess you have to be a special kind of gardener-and a special kind of dad!
One day last fall, Dad said, "Go get your oldest, rattiest wool socks!"
My sister, my brother & I thought this sounded weird. But it was better than sitting around until mum got back from the store.
When we all met outside with our socks, I asked, "What are we doing?" We're making a sock garden of course!" Dad said with a smile.
We carried our socks & hiked down the road. I wondered where we were going. But then we stopped at an old field. Dad looked out at the dead, gray weeds. "Remember how this field was full of flowers this summer?" asked Dad?. We all nodded. "Good, he said. "Pull your socks over your shoes & follow me."
So we did, feeling silly.
Dad walked. We walked.
Then my sister Sara hopped. Dad hopped too.
I liked that. So I stomped. We all stomped & giggled.
Dad pulled a seed pod off a plant. It snapped just like a bean. He touched a pod of another. It exploded with a noise-tssk!- & flung out seeds. Soon we were all touching the popping plants.
We found a plant with tiny cups. We tilted them sideways & out poured seeds. They fell with a hiss like cereal pouring from a box.
Then we got really wild. Dad taught us a kooky dance, the Woodchuck Waddle. He said his aunt had taught it to him as a kid. I made up another: the Squirrel Skip. Sara invented the Deer Dance. David twirled around until he was so dizzy he fell over. We danced & laughed some more. By this time we were sagging in our socks. Then, "All done ", said Dad. "All done?" I wondered out loud. Dancing is never all done. Then I realised Dad was looking at our socks, but I was still clueless. On the way out of the field we played follow-the-leader. I was in charge. I pulled the white stuff from some milk pod seeds. "Whoosh!" I yelled as I let it go free. We watched the seeds on downy parachutes, float & fly away in the wind. Then we took off our socks & carried them all the way home. Back at the house Dad plopped down on the ground in the backyard. He held up his socks for us to see. They were covered with dirt & plant bits. But there was more...there were prickly seeds: little ones & big ones in all kinds of shapes. Finally I understood. While we'd been playing with seeds, our socks had been collecting them. Dad told us that animals caught seeds in their fur, just like we caught them in our socks. When the seeds fall off the fur, they grow in a new place. And that's what our seeds would do too. 
That afternoon, we buried our seedy socks in the yard. "Let's make it a secret!"said Sara. We didn't say a word to Mum.  But when the next summer came , we had flowers growing in funny, sock-shaped clumps. The flowers were pretty. Mum bought in jars full of them, & even put some in her hair. "Where did they come from?" she asked Dad. We all stayed quiet. "The rain & the wind must have brought them," said Dad, trying not to grin. David & Sara hid their faces behind pillows but I couldn't keep quiet. I giggled. Soon we were all laughing....& our sock garden secret was out for good.!
Some people grow corn. Some people grow roses but my dad grows socks- & a whole lot of fun!

April Pulley Sayre 

It's freezing & raining & wintery here now, only a week after my pictures were taken. Poor Lucy!
 I've been making lots of chicken soup & Rob says it smells so good you don't even have to drink/eat it to feel all warm & loved.

Thank you so much for visiting.
Have a heart-warming week.
 I hope that you bump into kindness wherever you go...all week long (she's very nice kindness).



  1. Hi Catherine!
    I love the idea of planting seed-filled socks! What a great story!
    Your sailboat pillow is wonderful! Lucy has such an abundance of great pillows!
    Chicken soup DOES sound good. Chicken soup with rice. I should make some for our supper.
    Everything around you is lovely, even in winter.

    1. Thanks so much for visiting my friend & for your kind & encouraging comments. Much love GK x0x0x

  2. I am in a hurry today - I hate being in a hurry when I read your posts. So I won't comment on everything I loved. :o)

    I have never heard impatiens called Busy Lizzies before! So sweet.

    Please, tell us more about the local phone service for the blind? What is this?

    Wish I weren't in such a hurry - I love every post I read here.

    1. I am so glad of your visits Jenny in a hurry : )

      Yes Busy Lizzies & Johnny Jump Ups & Kiss Me Over The Garden Gate are all SO sweet!

      The local phone news service has been running for about 30 years here, set up by a blind woman who had 4 children! I have been reading at least once a week for over 10 years now. I never actually see our listeners...kind of weird. I do the "inspirational section" & since not many people want to read that section & there's not much in the paper that fits inspirational!! I get to use whatever material that I like. Mostly, I read a huge variety of chicken soup stories. I ring a number & record my message for the listeners to phone in & listen to when they are ready. The service is for those people who are blind or cannot hold a newspaper.
      Have a lovely week my friend.
      Much love Catherine x0x0x

  3. Hello Catherine, I loved the sock garden story - thanks so much for sharing it :-) Also I particularly love your new cushion & bunting - yes the autumn/winter light can be quite stunning at times I agree.
    Do you ever come out in the mornings I wonder ... and your pink flamingo's have moved to another spot in the garden?? They make me smile when I see them :-)
    You & Rob have done a great job on the table makeover. Have a lovely weekend, sunny here today but Oh so crisp. much love, Julie x0x

  4. Hello dear Julie, yes I thought you might enjoy the sock'll have to remember that one for the grandchildren ; )
    Ha ha actually some mornings the flamingos have had a wee wander. I wonder how that could happen? We bought 6 pairs from get flocked & sold 3 lots. One pair being sold to a lady who just lives around the corner, so we are populating our neighbourhood with pink birds!
    Thank you for your generous comments about our creative activities. We've not really worked with oilcloth before but it's quite a nice textile. That lot came form Cambridge : )
    Much love for a nice week in the Waikato. x0x0x

  5. So much loveliness I hardly know where to start! Your photos of the winter sunshine and your garden are beautiful and the little shop (with the angel windows) is just adorable! I’ve also fallen in love with your bunting – happy memories of village fetes always spring to mind when I see bunting.
    I love the story about the sock garden, and from that another memory springs! We used to have two dear little Cavalier King Charles spaniels who collected seeds on their long curly ears. Our garden was full of forget-me-knots all collected by Patch and Albe!
    I’ve just mentioned your blog in a post on my blog – you can read it here it’s not even close to being lovely like your post, but I hope you enjoy it anyway.

  6. I am a bit slow on it this week Barbara but am so glad of your visit & comments..thank you.
    I love the Patch & Albe forget-me-not story!! I also adore forget-me-nots even though they get pretty bossy sometimes..there is nothing else quite like them. Mind you, I remember their seeds getting embedded in the cats fur years ago & creating many a "will not" (will NOT come out!) Amazing really that we didn't find little plants in odd places on the cats come spring : )
    Happy memories, lifted spirits & bunting certainly belong together don't they.
    Much love Catherine x0x0x


So lovely of you to leave a comment. Thank you!! So sorry if you've tried to leave one & it hasn't worked. You are welcome to email me at instead, if you'd like to, much love Catherine♥

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