Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Spring Tea With Lucy & Adorable Things

A daffodilly, sunshiney spring welcome to you all.
Thank you for coming along!

I am so glad that I've learnt the rhythms of the seasons & to flow with them.
Each one brings it's own special gifts. 
Our spring, here in Hawke's Bay, offers the soul-nurturing gift of Taniwha, a cattle station with voluptuous spring style & abundant generosity; open to the Public all September every year, for daffodil picking & picnicking. 
So much verdant green.
Thousands & thousands of sunshiney little faces to walk among & to gather.
It's been quite a deep & profound time for me this year, as my process of metamorphosis continues.
You probably already knew this, but I quite suddenly recently realised, just how much flowers are so truly my friends & have come to grace every part of my life in the most marvellous & homogeneous of ways. I have begun storing my flower stories & passions in a new blog called The Bluebell Diaries.
You can see more of Taniwha & the daffodils just here, if you'd like to.

Quite some time ago I asked if I could have an old disused concrete washtub. At the time of my enquiry it was not certain if it would be used or not, apparently the final decision was not & so off we set a weekend or two ago, collected some compost & the loan of a trailer & the hefty, cracked & marvellous old twin tub.
 Rob engaged his best wood-jigsaw-in-his-head skills & made a stand for my new potting place.
We managed some clever maneouvures & saved our backs & fingers (just!) & got the tub settled on to it's stand down here in my newly appointed "shade house" & potting area.
Potting mix on one side & compost on the other.
 Violets line the pathways
& welcome spring sunshine easily finds it's way to my special place.
 As I make my way backwards & forwards I pass Spring Festival,
 what a perfect name, don't you think?
I am noticing that the embroidery of flowers & colours interwoven in my life become more deliberate, dense & deft as time goes by.
A wee while ago, my sister-in-law & very dear friend Silke, had an inspiration to foster community spirit & initiate a Facebook group for Hawke's Bay people called You Made My Day Hawke's Bay.
Here is her group description:
"I want this group to be a platform for the wider community to engage with each other, to bring people together who wouldn't usually meet, to spread the load, because if we all do a tiny little thing once in a while for somebody else, its a little effort, to create a sense of belonging and caring for all the people and place that we live in without judgement, to link up people who can give a helping hand to the people who need one, to spread positivity, happiness and joy, to share from your heart, to give the people who might feel isolated or alone a sense of belonging, to make this world a better place from the grassroots, to make somebodies day, just because you can. Please get creative with offers, keep them coming in, share excess fruit, some knitting for a mum who can't knit, a service that someone might not be able to afford otherwise - you name it - its great whatever it is, if you can make somebody's day."

There has been a lovely flow of all kinds of offers & requests, large & small, which is most heartening. All any of us can do is to offer what we have & who we are.

 So, I offered "Tea with Lucy".
 I suggested that anyone could contact me & bring a friend for some time out or a special afternoon tea.
 We've had four different groups come to visit, each of them for lovely reasons: two lovely young very pregnant mum's came to have some time-out before their babies were born.
These girls here are family; three generations.
This week we've had two more enquiries. 
I tailor the flowers & the setting for each occasion.
 The last little group came as a treat the day before the Nanna had a double knee replacement. Everything went wrong that could, for them before their arrival, but once they reached Lucy..
the sun came out.
 Isn't that lovely!
Do you remember me telling you about my lovely spontaneous meeting with Gina in Palmerston North? Well, as it so happens, Gina is a charming trade Me seller too.
I just had to buy this dear little sugar bowl for Lucy...it's bound to make someone smile. 
 And...the two little cups to go with the Bambi tea pot that I found sometime ago.
When the little cups arrived in the post, the parcel was enormous!!
Gina had sent me this divine picture with the loveliest prayer.
 With my menopausal waking I sometimes slip in to the spare bed so as to not disturb the Snorer & to have some wriggle room, that's where I've hung this blessing.
 Isn't it beautiful.
 In the early days of my trading I sold a fairy duvet cover to a Nanna, for her grand-daughter.
The little girl had just lost her mother & Nanna was her care-giver, it was all so very sad. They would sometimes go to the cemetery so that she could sit & talk to her mummy. I was so glad that that little girl was given the fairy cover. I took some photos of the fabric but after it was gone I discovered that they were out of focus, which was sad as it was so beautiful. I never forgot the fabric, nor the little girl. How joyful it was to find a little piece of the same fabric in the Gina parcel.
 Joy for all little girls.
 We've had such lovely weather, but one day on an inside rainy day I painted these candle sticks in pastel colours. My dear friend Sue was discarding them as the silver plate had worn & they couldn't be polished up.

Thanks to Julie's fabulous inspiration I popped a double violet in to an old watering can
 to put on a funny old step stool I found at the Hospice Shop.
And after seeing African violets in tea cups I got Rob to drill a few holes in some old jugs & potted them up with some pansies & more violets.
The jugs have more room than tea cups & are very resilient even outside.
This nutty old visitor has been scrambling around in trees quite a lot lately.
Look at this beauty. It was such a nice small compact tree too.
Magnolias really are magnificent.
Another thread in the tapestry...the Nanna with the "knees" asked if her garden group could come to visit our garden, this morning a lady came up the drive to arrange it. Next Tuesday a whole garden group will be having a little lunch somewhere & then coming for a wander around in our lovely garden.
"Ooh do you sell plants too"? said the lady.
Well actually....
There are many ways to create community & happiness, including knitting.
Thought you might like this too.

Much love & flowery hugs,
Catherine x0x0x


  1. Catherine,
    I was so happy to see you posted today, it's like God sent your words and images my way just to cheer me up and remind me there is still so much beauty in the world and lovely people such as yourself too!! Hope you have a truly blessed day!

    1. Dear Teresa, thank you so much for visiting. I am so glad that this post was Heavensent. An orchestration of grace. Yes, there is indeed still SO much beauty in the world & I am so glad to know it & to see it.
      Much love to you, Catherine x0x0x

  2. how lovely that you have a steady trickle of people coming to you, everything looks very pretty and Spring like - feel a bit envious as we slip into Autumn in the UK. Lovely fabric with the angels on, very special and definitely 'you'. Betty

  3. I love the video and the gorgeous Lucy lunches! Wow! I love your heart!

  4. What a generous spirit you have. I love the sound of your Tea At Lucy's and glad to hear that people are taking advantage of your offer.
    I remember buying my pink flamingoes from you and when I collected them you took me round your lovely garden and gave me lots of cuttings, which I was so grateful for as I was making a garden on a budget :-)

  5. Beautiful daffodils! I so agree with you about flowers. I honestly do not think I could live without them they give me so much joy. I'll be checking out your new blog. :)

    Your green table bursting with potted happiness - Oh I love that! My mamma used an old washtub similar to yours when I was a little girl. I love your idea for this one.

    Tea with Lucy :) I wish wasn't so far away but you've inspired me. I have such a pretty screened back porch. I may copy your idea! I never tire of making new friends & enjoying their company.

    The prayer/poem is lovely. I'm looking for a copy to print out at least. Such beauty.

    My garden group is meeting next week & we love to visit gardens. Yours would be so loved I know.

    You always share things I can get very excited about.

  6. A beautiful flower filled post Catherine. I am in awe of that farm that lets you go & pick daffys ... what a wonderful outing for anyone. I am wondering how you pay or IF you pay & how do they work it out?? I think your new potting bench is just perfect ... what a great idea filling the tubs with compost & potting mix, can imagine you sure do go through an awful lot. And its always a bit of an eyesore with the compost bags everywhere. Yes please to Tea with Lucy. Sounds about perfect to me ... I am sure the Garden group will just adore your place. I love your jugs planted - one of them in the picture looks like a cross stitch picture on the jug ... just so much beauty everywhere. I am off now to read your new blog. Have a wonderful flower filled weekend dear friend x x x x

    1. Hello dear Julie,
      Thanks for such nice conversations : )
      The farm Taniwha has been inviting people to come & pick daffodils for the last 30 years.
      There was even an item of Seven Sharp a week or so ago & Mrs Mabin was such a hoot.
      Now 80 & still planting 250 daffodils a day.
      A simple arrangement...lots of buckets available for picking & then it’s $5 for 30 stems which is actually more than you think.
      We picked two lots each....$20 & that was a huge amount.
      I have only just had to throw them out too.
      When you’ve finished picking you pop in to the “shop” & they adeptly spread them all out & wrap them with cellophane & ribbons for traveling.
      I guess that gives a point of assessment too..numbers picked & all that.
      Most of the money raised goes to the local Plunket Society. Love Catherine x0x0x

  7. Your garden is beautiful - I wish I lived nearby and Tea with Lucy is such a lovely thing to do. Do the jugs ever break when you drill a hole in them? I've got an old wash tub that we lugged from 2 houses ago. I had it as a herb garden at one stage but it got a bit blocked up so it's full of compost now - but not on a nice stand! I'd like to mosaic the outside of it but no spare time at the moment. The picnic blanket is amazing isn't it. Thanks again for sharing Katie


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