Sunday, 8 June 2014

Time to Release and Return

 Hello dear friends & readers.
I really do have to say that I was delighted to be reacquainted with my jerseys this week and I had a good old rummage around for my scarves. The mornings are chilly and the vegetables at the Farmers' Market so inspiringly beautiful.
 This watermelon radish is startling & very tasty.
It looks so good with radicchio, don't you think.
 I love the sculptural shapes
  colours & textures of these winter veges.
 And these little ulloco (or earth gems) are just the craziest of them all.
Last year I gave a few to my lovely friend Gaye at the Market & this year I have bought some back!
I am inventing new ways of serving them. They taste a little like a cross between a new potato & a beetroot when cooked.
I've always been of a mind that colourful vegetables are really, really good for you.
The beetroot dressing was amazing!
When we were in Taupo I found a little pink rabbit cup....a friend for pink elephant...I do love a little vintage silliness!
 Sometimes it would be nice to swap some these very upright high backed chairs that sit around our dining table. They really are about the only thing that does sit around that table these days apart from dust. I left it there so you could see my prowess as a housekeeper!
However, our house likes the chairs & that's just fine. Next best thing to a swap was to use some of the Cath Kidston oil cloth that I have been selling & at least pretty up the seats a bit.
 The brown mock leather was pretty bad. Clever Rob has done a fabulous job & recovered all the seats with this Bloomsbury pattern cloth.
 I wasn't quite sure if I would keep this lovely picture I found in the Salys a couple of weeks ago but it was certainly way too sweet to leave there, at $10. Rob decided that it should hang out in the larder & so off he went & put it up. It says on the back "The Ballet" after an original painting by Dame Laura Knight.
 It's quite a performance hauling out bags of jerseys from high cupboards, exchanging summer sandals for sturdier wear & swapping light summer duvets for feather inners so that we don't freeze. I hated handling the awful old plastic bags this time around so I set to & made some simple heavy drawstring bags that feel much better...
  hold more & are so much prettier!
 I love the journey of the low winter sun & how it warms the back porch in the mornings. I decided a few weeks ago to set up a table, out of the potting shed, high on the porch where winter lettuces & greens can catch the warmth & light any morning the sun shines down on us.
 I got brave & repurposed the some of my worn vintage enamelware. Seems a bit dishonouring, but some of them have really had their day. I haven't made deliberate holes in the bottoms but then again I don't plan on drowning the containers.
So I think we should be fine. The bulls blood beetroot seeds certainly think so!
 Corn salad (lamb's lettuce) is one of the most useful winter salad greens (back left pot). Like coriander & chervil it enjoys the cooler weather best.  It's so tasty, keeps brilliantly once picked & is full of protein, so Gaye tells me.
 I love raking leaves & use them all back on to the garden. One day my soil will be deep & loamy, surely!
 Souvenir du Ami flowers along happily with this cherry in the spring & again as it loses it's leaves in the autumn. And really flowers most of the winter up there too. How amazing is that!
 This is such a "breath out" time of year. There is so much excess & return. The garden doesn't hesitate to let go & release that which is now complete. I am taking note & learning to do the same.
 I have done so much work in the garden over the weekend but I couldn't help but wander in awe at the glow & shimmer in the early morning light on Wednesday.
 The cycle never leaves us entirely bare, however...spring festival already holds & heralds the promise of the season to come. Meantime I will enjoy my jerseys & my chicken stock, the warmth of a wood burning fire & use the evenings to catch up on other "material" things.
 Funny old get around.
 Amazing what there is to pick when you look a little & forage just a little too.
 I love living in an old, friendly, timeworn house. It never demands perfection & it breathes.
Soft winter morning light comes like a whisper bringing peace.
That's good 'cos I often sneak in here when I wake in the night. Adrenal overwhelm & menopause aren't sleeps best friend. It's pretty in here. One day I plan on sleeping well. One day.
I hope that this week is a nourishing, friendly one for you all.
Thanks so much for visiting.
Much love,


  1. Another beautiful post Catherine. You have access to some lovely vegetables from your farmers market. Are the earth gems known by any other name. I would be most interested in trying to grow some. I hope the menopausal symptoms leave you soon. Sleepless nights are most distressing.
    Anne xx

    1. Hello Anne...yes the earth gems are also called ulloco in some places. They are quite easy to grow if you ever do spot some & the foliage can be used too...just like a kind of spinach. How are your veges doing through the winter? did you get the sun right for them to do well? Congratulations on the 21st. David is 25 on Tuesday...quite a peculiar feeling isn't it. Much love for a happy week, Catherine x0x0x

  2. I've never tried so many of the fall vegetables you share. You make them look so yummy - I need to see if I can find any of them in our farmer's market this fall.

    I love your enamel ware container garden. I have a few old enamelware pots I plant in as well.

  3. Hello Catherine,

    Love that little elephant, haven't seen a little one like that before. Making the bags for the extra clothes is a great idea, the fabrics you chose are just so pretty.
    Re-using the containers makes for a great vegie garden, no need to get wet feet when picking them too.

    Have a lovely week.

    1. Hello Bev, I know I'm rather slow in my replies but hopefully it hasn't been so long that you have forgotten! The little pink elephant is actually very handy out in Lucy as it is great for putting our spent matches on when we light candles or tea lights. Messy old things old matches!
      After the few days of very heavy ran & subsequent mud your comment about picking veges & not getting wet feet made complete sense! Much love for a crafty week, Catherine x0x0x

  4. So pleased to see a home with real dust , Being human is great!!!

  5. You make everything beautiful, GK!
    You make every vegetable look delectable, too!
    I wish we lived closer. I really do.
    I love the chair seats! So English!

  6. What a beautiful inspiring post on this dreary rainy day Catherine :-) Thank you so much. The colourful veges certainly must be good for you & they look yummy to eat too. I quite like winter soul food after all the salads of summer. Rob has done a wonderful job of the chairs & I adore the fabric you have used. Also love your little scalloped bunting in your larder room.
    I would love to make a little potted arrangement on my deck just like your table with the enamel ware but I am afraid at present the kittens might rearrange it for me. Yours looks amazing - your photos seem to capture the light so well - its lovely to just sit & look at. That bedroom certainly looks worthy of a little lie down. Have a wonderful week dear heart, Love Julie x0x0 (we are hoping to have a kitten "sort out" this week)

  7. Isn't nature amazing, all those vegetables look incredible. Loving your bunting so much! Hope you have a great week, Lisa xx

  8. Hello Catherine, I’ve not wandered over in a while, but I’m so glad I came today! Your posts always fill me with joy. I don’t know anyone else who can make a bunch of vegetables look so beautiful I’m going to take a little longer to look around next time I visit a farmer's market. Thank you for the inspiration. Barbara x

    1. Hello Barbara, thank you so much for dropping in again & for your kind & encouraging comments. I have been keeping an eye on things in your neck of the woods from time to time. I adored the seeing your day at Sherborne Castle Country fair..what wonderful coloured baskets filled with lovely plants! Nothing quite like a really good English fair, is there. Much love for a happy summer week, Catherine x0x0x

  9. Catherine those spuds crossed with beets look amazing! And your bags have inspired me. I to have mine clothes stored in plastic bags, those nasty $2 shop striped ones. Your idea is so much nicer. Menopause and Adrenal overwhelm, oh how I sympathise with you. Your photos are beautiful, you like similar things to me. Lovely post.

    1. Hello Sue...not sure that the earth gems are actually crossed with anything...they really are a vege out on their own. They just taste a little like a cross between the two. It really doesn't take long to sew up one of those storage bags especially when you use an old tablecloth & it's already hemmed...very good plan. I just have to concentrate a bit to make sure that I put the two button holes on the right fold : 0 Thanks for your visit & nice comments. much love for a happy, op shoppy week, Catherine x0x0x

  10. A wonderful post dear Catherine!
    What I love most is the gorgeous light and glimpses of winter sun bring magic to each scene!

    Oh those marvellous autumnal colours of the gourds and pumkins, beetroot and silver beet stalks - makes me want to paint!!

    The lovely ballet picture was a marvellous find and it looks right at home beneath your sweet bunting.

    The last roses bravely flowering before they enjoy a well earned sleep before Spring - do you wish you were a rose dear Catherine so you could sleep over winter? I'm a dreadful sleeper too, I find walking in the fresh air, time in the garden and a light tea with honey before bed sometimes works - not always though. With working I often have too much racing around in my already fuddled brain - chaos!

    Wishing you a happy peaceful week, gentleness and love.


    1. Hello dear Shane,
      So nice to see you.
      Your are always such a huge ray of sunshine....just the encouragement I needed!
      Thank you for your kind & generous comments.
      Ah much racing around in my head is a common issue.
      Quite hard to quiet it all if I wake at 2, 3 or 4 am...pop up it all comes out of nowhere.
      I think I may be like the rose in my cherry tree....out of synch & flowering all winter long.
      Silly thing!
      I certainly get plenty of fresh air & exercise being the Garden Fairy that I am.
      I am enjoying spreading the pea vine straw around at the moment.
      Much love to you for a winter sunshine-filled week...isn’t the winter light so lovely..
      Catherine x0x0x

  11. :) (I was quiet because of my depression. Is so nice to read you again).

  12. All the veggies looks great with beautiful texture and bright color.


So lovely of you to leave a comment. Thank you!! ♥

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