Tuesday, 1 July 2014

The Dog House and The Fairy Garden

I truly only went to buy some more lovely free range eggs from The Curiosity Shop (antiques)....but while there, I spotted this dear little picture. I instinctively recognised it as a Margaret Tarrant and indeed it was.
Some of those old pictures just seem to warm my heart and I never ever tire of them.
Aren't camelias such a fabulous compensation for winter.
So pretty in Lucy.
Yes, it's winter & now we've even passed the winter solstice but some days here are really just quite balmy! Last thursday was definitely a shorts day....yipee!
When I returned home from gardening, the man (on a day off) had managed to do some cooking!! He made bread & butter pudding with some of those curious eggs & a loaf of sourdough fruit bread. What a nice surprise.
Sometimes it's hard living with "people" isn't it, even when mostly they're perfectly nice. It's been a bit interesting here in the last month. When you have two crazy-awful family legacies & try as we might to become better people, things can go very pear-shaped indeed; from time to time. So the bread & butter offering was sweet & so were the bees wax tea lights all set out in Lucy. I had no idea we had so many of the dear little green butter dishes...but someone managed to find them all.
I bought some flowering stock that day, just one whiff transports me right back to Wairoa & making sand saucers at Nan's for the local church flower show held during the May school holidays. With that one sniff I remembered just how very much that I loved working with those flowers....their colours & scent & beauty....so I made myself a sand saucer. Not a lot to work with at the moment so it's not very regular & a tad bright but who cares; the scent is heavenly.
The arum lilies love winter & I'm so glad that they do.
They last for weeks in a vase...
ever so good of them.
The hyacinths have joined in the profusion.
But they will go & stretch their necks out a bit too far for their own good...so I gave them a little assistance.
I'm not sure whether my fluffy tui friend is actually chilly or just showing off again, but I'm very happy to wake to his early morning song & constant melody through out the day.
It was time to reorganise the fairy garden, which meant a full shuffle around, clean up & replant.
That was the other thing that I loved to do at Nan's...the constructing of miniature gardens...you know with moss, little mirrors for the pond, plastic animals & real flowers. Did you make miniature gardens when you were little?
Meanwhile, I found a wonderful old dog kennel at the new second hand shop in town, when I went to get the milk on Monday. Alise is such a honey & lovely friend & dropped it off for me on her way home from work. Rob noticed that I tied it in the tree! He says he'll make it a little platform. It's only for fun, not an actual dog...perhaps it might become a gnome house. What do you think!?
I adore obconica primulas, they come in such pretty colours & flower all winter long.
The fairy garden has been refreshed (the light seems to be a bit of a challenge at the moment for my photos).
There's still a little more to do but the fairies will be so relieved...a bit overdue, don't you know!

See why I needed to tie my kennel up there.
More obconicas at the front steps.
And large polyanthus at the back.
Happy veges flourishing in an old babies bath, set in just the right spot down under the feijoa tree.
Winter sun is just so wonderful & precious!
Now dear friends & readers, I am aware that you may not all regard yourselves as older ladies but this little video I came across this week is just quite priceless. It's sure to give you a lift & a giggle...which ever you may be.

So lovely to see you.
Thanks so much for popping in.
Hope you have a wonderful flowery week.
Much love Catherine x0x0x


  1. That's a hilarious video! Thank you for sharing it, GK!
    Aw, that was so nice of Rob to make you a nice tea! Lucy looks gorgeous! Your land LOOKS GORGEOUS!

    1. Glad you watched the video Pom....thought that you'd like it! You are always such a marvellous encourager, thank you x0x0x

  2. Suchl lovely flowers in winter, and yes I did make up little fairy gardens as a child.

  3. What a sweetheart you have to plan such a special surprise for you!

    I have an old doghouse that I've been trying to get my husband & son to move for me so I can make a gnome house with it. It has the sweetest little little porch on it that would be perfect. I also have a little fairy garden with a moss floor. I've been playing with it all spring.

    1. Hello dear Jenny. Perhaps you'll have to bribe those two to move the house. There may be homeless gnomes waiting! I'd love to see it sometime.
      Isn't moss the most wonderful stuff. I found miles more yesterday on Margaret's driveway so I brought lots home for my fairy garden, after all she doesn't really want it on her driveway at all. It is all so green & carpety & perfect. Much love & friendship, Catherine x0x0x

  4. As a child, I had a margaret Tarrant picture over my bed. So gentle!

    1. Hello Angela, I'm not surprised about the Margaret Tarrant over your bed, I know that you love her work too. Did you love it back then, as a child? Just out of interest....which picture was it? Love Catherine x0x0x

    2. Mine was "Morning Carol" [a child kneeling before a tree full of birds]- my brother had "He prayeth best" [a boy in a brown outfit also kneeling in prayer] And yes I loved it then,as now!

  5. Your garden is looking gorgeous as always. How very sweet to have some lovely food made for you and candles set out in Lucy. I've seen the video and think it is so funny. Have a fabulous day.
    Anne xx

  6. another colourful post, such beautiful flowers. I am also enjoying camelia's we are very lucky to have several trees at our newly purchased home. I was wondering about the grand fluffy Tui, perhaps he may like to live in the kennel in the tree?

    1. Hello Leanne, it's always so nice to inherit lovely things in a garden. I find that camellias last a good long while if you look inside the bush & pick flowers that are just coming open & are not damaged by the weather....otherwise they are apt to loose their head!. Mind you they do quite well floating in a vase too. I hope you are enjoying your new home. Does take a while to settle in, doesn't it. You know I was just wondering this morning what a tui's nest might look like. Perhaps they might to snuggle in with the gnomes. Hope you're having a lovely week. Much love Catherine x0x

  7. Your camelias are just beautiful Catherine - not all battered by rains & wind like mine are here. That was so lovely of Rob to make bread & butter pudding ,,, & set it all up in Lucy with the tealights :-) I am always reminded of Brownies & Girl Guides where I learnt to make that pudding myself. And yes, I actually won the sandsaucer competition at school - gosh thats been a few years back now. Your flowers all look so beautiful & the fairy garden looks all spruced up. Yes I think the green dog kennel wouldve come home with me too. Doesnt need a dog to go in it ... plenty of other things. Yes I think a little platform would be just perfect to secure it there. Thanks so much for your beautiful photos to brighten this cold wet dark winters day over this side of the Island, much love, Julie x0x0

  8. Such a beautiful Margaret Tarrant picture and the camellias are so, so pretty. With so much sunshine your winter looks like our summer, how lovely! I like the picture of your toes and the primroses. It made me smile, I always walk around the garden with bare feet. They end up pretty grubby, but they always thank me for it!
    I had forgotten all about miniature gardens, but yes I did make them. I also used to make rose petal ‘perfume', and I had forgotten that too. I love visiting you Catherine, you always remind me of the good things in life – like bread and butter pudding. Your dog kennel is destined to become a very comfy home for the elves and fairies.
    I love the older ladies' song – I will be singing it for the rest of the day. Lots of love Barbara xx

    1. Dear Barbara, what a joy it is to share some the sweet things of life with like-hearted friends. I am so glad that you appreciate the lovely old books & pictures & treasure them as you do. Ah yes, our winter sunshine hasn't been quite so balmy since that day but we are very fortunate to have such a temperate climate here really. No snow, except on the ranges & the frosts are not quite so harsh these days. Bare foot in the garden....how wonderful! Oh yes I quite forgot about the perfume making business. I was always so disappointed when the mixture turned brown & started to smell nasty instead of the exquisite scent I had imagined I was making.
      I hope that you are enjoying your blogging break. Much love Catherine x0x0x


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