Saturday, 21 September 2013

Rusty Knobs & The Big Book of Little

Hello dear friends!
Living in the Land of the Garden Fairy as I do, I am rather firmly of the mind that the Little Ones should not suffer, be thoroughly & robustly loved & that Little can indeed triumph over Big, so, when I came across The Big Book of Little with a Margaret Tarrant picture on the front cover I was quite sure that I would like this book...and I do, very much! 
"The garden of beloved children's stories is full of small characters: the Little Mermaid, Tom Thumb, Little Red Riding Hood, the Little Engine That Could. That's not only because children themselves are small. Audiences old and young, for generation upon generation, have cheered the triumph of the little over the big. Here, then, is a collection of tales that delights in everything small...these classic stories will enchant & entertain, & remind us that sometimes it is the little that make all the difference"
So much lightness & joy!
 I also came across one of my other favourite things..vintage Sanderson fabric, this pattern came in the form of a bedspread via Trade Me & from the care of a lovely lady called Andrea. Thank you Andrea!
 This gentle spring Saturday morning we managed to get ourselves out of bed & off to an early morning small Church fair & at lunchtime a school Gala just down the road. There was little of the usual jostle & pushing, I think most people stayed home, glued to the Americas Cup yachting race.
I found some lovely things: this hand painted Art Silk tablecloth has clearly never been used & is so pretty.
 At St Mary's, trestle legs were being dragged out by the armful & instantly snapped up. They are exactly what I have had in mind to use with this old scavenged, lounging-in-someone's-garden door.
Out came the door, which was repaired just a little,
 various cloths draped & fiddled with,
 including the Spring Lilacs Sanderson. (Do pull down your skirt dear!)
 I found a vintage basket at each venue. They are so useful...& charming.

 The good old door is particularly large & doesn't fit as a replacement for the garage doorway.
I love it's chippy paint effect..
 the patina of age & history
 & the lovely rusty doorknob & key hole.
It was most handy indeed that I spied an old forlorn wheelbarrow at the school. At first I was sure that someone else had already parked it over in the corner, but as I admired it this way & that no one came rushing to claim it so...I just wheeled it away!
 I think that I might plant geraniums in the pots, for bright summer colour.
 The garden is rising in to spring..
I do love my faithful friend Herbert Stevens pink, grown from a cutting from my first garden mentor.
The simplicity of quince blossom is arresting.

 I've come to rather like these poppy's.
 But I am so utterly thrilled to have an abundance of bluebells in my garden for the first time.
 They are so English & sweetly scented & perfect happy day, sky blue.
Lucy loves them too.
 After all these years I have just discovered that this is called Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’, commonly known as honeywort (I did know about the honeywort bit). It is a relative of borage & it very much likes to grow in my garden. It is gently self seeding & is nicely contrasting to other foliage, with it's grey & indigo hues.
 But the best moment of my week (absolutely!!) was discovering that this pot of lily of the valley had survived through the year, & even better than that, it was flourishing...look at all those flower buds!!
I have come to the conclusion that if you cannot grow them in the garden that they like to be squished up together & planted in very deep pots.
 Nina came to meet Jane & tiny Violet
Someone has to be the runner around the circle while others fix the brick edgings.

I'm always alert to sweet innocence, rainbows, loveliness
(Look at the baby pixies being pushed up on to the mushroom & the little mite to the left sniffing the babies dummy!)
and I am continually drawn to opportunities to show & celebrate kindness.
I first "read" this story in one of my Chicken Soup books. It is one of the very, very best!

I bought these lovely roses on Etsy from Tattered Vintage recently, only they came with "friends", all on the one page. I persevered on Pixlr & finally learnt to "cut" out pictures (this time round anyway) What a triumph!

Much love to you all & thank you so much for popping in.
May you find much loveliness & kindness in your coming week.


  1. Beautiful! Beautiful! (I cried when I watched that video, too)
    Your fabric favorites always delight, GK.
    I do love books that feature fairies and toadstools.
    Happy SPRING!

  2. Another thoroughly beautiful pick me up post full of delight Catherine, thank you.

    Your garden is looking beautiful. I so hope we get to meet one day when I am in NZ!

    1. Thank you dear friend.
      Yes it would be just grand to meet up when you return...little dreamer ; )
      It must be very difficult being straddled as such. I would always miss "home" as you do. Much love Catherine x0x0x

  3. It's so fun to read 'gentle spring Saturday' while we're enjoying a gentle fall Saturday. :o) It's a glorious day here.

    I saw this video posted on Facebook this past week. I cannot watch it without tears - it is beautiful. Thanks for sharing your beautiful garden.

    1. Hello dear Jenny,
      How are you doing this week?
      Yes I like the gentle seasons..both, best don’t you.
      It was a marvelous day here again too. I got so much done in the garden.
      Shuffling my compost around the place & repotting dozens of buxus..a fish knife is very useful for the roots!

  4. Oh Catherine ... my eyes are very watery from that delightful video clip - I have read quite a few chicken soup stories but not come across that one, thanks so much for sharing.
    Your garden is looking beautiful with spring showing its lovely face ... is that plant Honeywort by any chance?? I think your new finds ... sanderson bedspread, trestle legs, cane baskets & wheelbarrow are all amazing finds & will be much loved at your home.
    It always amuses me how Rob wears shorts all year round just like Graham does.
    Hope you have a great week ahead dear heart, much love, Julie x0x

    1. Hello my friend, yes I thought you might "like" the video too being of of the soft & generous heart sort yourself.
      There's actually a great many chicken soup books in the library here but I have picked up a large number for home whenever I see them, through the years.
      Thank goodness that you came by..I knew that I knew the common name for the Honeywort but it had quite escaped me. Do you grow orlaya at all? It is lovely white & lacey & might be quite useful to you. I can easily pop some seed in to the post if it appeals.
      I forget about Rob's idiosyncratic short wearing. He mostly even wears shorts to work! He says his legs get too hot otherwise!
      I hope that you can manage to pace yourself nicely from here until exciting. Goodness I was doing all that work for the garden tour this time last year : 0
      Much love & happy days in the garden.
      Huge relief your mulch is all down.
      Catherine x0x0x

  5. What a beautiful post, I don't think some of us ever stop believing in fairies do we. Thank you for the clip, the beautiful visit to your garden and the chance to relish the pages of the book.

    Peg xx

    1. Hello Peg, no I certainly hope not! That would make the world a very dull place indeed.
      Thanks so much for your kind words & for visiting. Much love Catherine x0x0x

  6. Hello Catherine,

    I have decided to run away from home and come and live in your garden.
    Thanks for sharing what is growing and surprising you in your garden, bulbs are the best plants for doing that.
    A wonderful video.

    Enjoy the week ahead.

    Happy days.

    1. Oh you made me laugh least you could sleep in Lucy at night.
      You are quite right bulbs are most surprising & just quietly get on with their own business year after year. they have been very happy with our wet winter/spring they seem to much prefer the rain than being too dry.
      Glad that you watched the video.
      Lovely to see you. Hope your week is going well. I keep thinking of your lovely garden quilt. Much love catherine x0x0x

  7. The video was so beautiful, I really enjoyed it. I like chicken soup books, they are a little hard to find here - the fusty old library has a few. I first found one on holiday in Florida in a thrift shop and was hooked. Your fabrics are pretty. We have new cat neighbours x 3 - I am having tea in the garden with them and my Ambercat, friends already.

  8. The Big Book of Little looks so pretty I love anything illustrated by Margaret Tarrant.
    The Sanderson fabric (with the lilacs?) is tugging at my memory – I know I’ve seen it before, but I just can’t think where. Someone, somewhere, sometime had curtains or a bed spread in that exact material – it will come to me – probably in the middle of the night!
    I laughed when I read about you wheeling away the wheelbarrow – I can imagine the school garden scratching his head trying to remember where he left it! :O)
    Your garden is beautiful and how lovely to see bluebells when it’s raining outside and autumn has taken the place of summer.
    Another beautiful post Catherine, thank you for sharing so many treasures.

    1. Hello dear Barbara,
      What a joy it is to share the love of children’s books with you...I thought that you might like Margaret Tarrant too.
      Funny how fabrics can be so familiar like that. My grandmother used to have Sanderson “Chelsea” & it has always stayed with me.
      I was intrigued to discover a few years ago that her mother’s name was Grace Sanderson...
      Yes they are lilacs in the bedspread although not terribly typical lilac colours. I suspect that the cotton isn’t terribly robust as there is some tearing but then
      I won’t have to agonise over it if I decide to cut it up!
      Thank you for your lovely comments & for visiting.
      Talk about rain...what a deluge over night here...spring rain & some but at least the bluebells love it!
      Much love Catherine x0x0x

  9. My oh my, how gorgeous does that Big Book of Little look! Especially as my shop is called Big Little :) I think I will have to keep an eye out for a copy. Such a delightful post of lovely things. Lisa xx

  10. i love your door trestle table! terry made me a folding table out of an old door for the garden-it's brilliant but hasn't got the gorgeous crackle patina of yours. ahh, and baskets galore. all the better for collecting lots of garden produce in (they all hold toys here!). thanks for linking in again Catherine, always great to have you and visit this sunny place x

    1. Oh yay Max...your door sounds like a brilliant plan! Folding would definitely be very useful. Funny really because the lady hoped we would would use her door in our garage but it's not in best condition & too large anyway but the rusty thing & crackly paint is perfect for our scheme...not something you stumble upon very often in NZ eh? Thanks for hosting your lovely linky! Bet that boy is well on the move very soon. Much love Catherine x0x0x

  11. oh your posts always make me happy....lots of oohs and ahhhs. your garden is paradise x

  12. Hello dear Catherine
    I always feel good after reading your posts and seeing your amazing photos - thank you!
    You have such an eye for discovering a bargain and turning it into something beautiful.
    Your old door table is wonderful - I love that old chippy patina and rusty knob and keyhole that I couldn't cover it up!!!
    But you've done it so beautifully with your Sanderson bed spread found on Trade Me!

    The "Big Book if Little" was just waiting for YOU to find it dear Catherine - we are never too old for a good fairy book!

    Spring is certainly gracing your garden - everything looks so healthy and pretty - yes I love bluebells too.
    I'm sure I said this last year I'm in love with your "Herbert Stevens" rose - that blowsy pink flower is exactly what I want, but sadly I've had no luck finding it for sale.

    That Youtube video restores one's faith in human nature - a wonderful find.

    well I had better get back out into my garden and pull a few more weeds!!!

    With love and hugs
    Shane xox

    1. Thank you so much for your generous & enthusiastic comments Shane...such a lovely gift.
      I was really just fiddling around with the bedspread. I will probably just use the table bare, as you suggest.
      The chippy paint rusty knob look is hard to come by in NZ really...a lot more French, I would have thought.
      We must have just caught this particular door at just the right time in it’s history : )

      I do rather duplicate my rose pictures I’m afraid as I don’t have nearly as many rose as I once did.
      We’ve been here for 25 years now & I have lost many of my original roses over time so those that thrive stay on : )
      I no longer have very many sunny open spaces as the trees have grown up over time...great for summer shade though.
      I really must try again to take fresh cuttings of Herbert Stevens & if I am successful I will let you know & then we’ll get one off to you....good plan?

      Much love & hugs to you
      Catherine x0x0x


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