Monday, 26 October 2015

Sunshine Vintage

Hello dear friends & readers!
It's been a truly enchanted October in our neck of the woods. 
A lot of sunshine & some jolly good rain which is a marvellous combination for spring.
I grow much of my lily of the valley in pots so that I can keep a close eye on it through the year & then when it's in bloom I can move it to the front porch to be admired & inhaled daily.
I think I may have discovered the secret of growing this heavenly plant, at last. If it grows like weed for you then you'd never bother putting it in pots, but here it isn't at all weedy, so deep pots it is & then best to "do not disturb". It's a plant that seems to like being a part of a close family. A handful of sheep pellets in winter, as the flowers are building reserves to appear, is useful & perhaps a sprinkling of epsom salts & then plenty of water & you should be just fine. 
I was so pleased to find Ann (a lovely crafty acquaintance) on my doorstep the other day to pick up some Trade Me items & even more delighted when she said that she reads this blog & thought that I might like some lilac from her garden.
I was completely overcome by the sweet beauty of her gift. More than the delicious flowers I also learned how to prepare lilac for keeping in a vase. Ann had scraped the bottom of the stems with a knife (or you could use open scissors) & what do you know the blooms lasted for over a week in this gorgeous vase I found in The Hospice shop- very cheaply as it had a small chip & a crack.
With all our wonderful spring sunshine I decided to make our back garden a living room too. I hauled out the old trestle table door & with some careful tricky manoeuvres I got it up all by myself. I then decided that my shabby painted candlesticks wouldn't really mind being outside for a while & so I set the table as an invitation to outdoor living. As if I needed an enticement!
It doesn't take much to make a simple space feel like a special place to be. The table/door was snaffled for $20...unwanted & unloved beside a house down the road & the trestle legs came from St Mary's School Gala several years ago. The candle sticks had lost there silver surface & were being discarded by a friend...pretty test pot paints re-defined them nicely.
I couldn't help but open the kitchen window wide early one morning to take in all the floral beauty.
So lovely having a happy rhododendron outside the window.
In fact there are two. Friends.
Just like the serendipity of the rose Souvenir 'dun Ami & the flowering cherry Sakura gloriously entwined & flowering simultaneously.
It happens every year. Each in step with the other.
I was so enchanted with Ann's lilacs I went & bought a classic version for our garden. I am just digging up some knotty roots & then I shall plant it at the front gate so the scent will follow us all up the driveway every spring. Did you know that lilac flowers are edible? And they taste a lot better than I imagined they might.
Out our bedroom window Lucy is swathed in blossom. This one called Pink Perfection.
Mutablis is sweetly fluttering under the window too. No wonder she's also known as The Butterfly Rose, although it was originally named Tipo Ideale (unusual, not surprising it didn't stick). I am always amazed when I realise that so many of the roses I love so well are so old. The Butterfly Rose was introduced prior to 1894!
This quote by Elise de Wolfe fits me quite, quite perfectly so I think I shall use it as my mantle.
It is so nice to have so many different flowers to pick again.
These silly little things know that it's spring too.
Which is all just perfect for nice visitors to come to tea in Lucy.
Phew...they bought their own cakes. I just made it all pretty & made the tea!
It has been the loveliest thing having visitors to Lucy & people are so grateful.

I have decided to make Lucy open to anyone to come for tea from now on. So I bought a domain name & made a simple little website:
That way everything gets all tied a pretty bow!

This dear lady is a woman of the Au (the meadow) & after my own heart.
Such a lovely little video about her passion to make the world around her more beautiful by planting flowers.

gardening withlove from withlove project on Vimeo.
Click the link below to see the video in a larger format & there are some more photos of Edith here.

If you have time do please pop in to sunshine vintage & let me know what you think. I will add some more information about the plants & seeds as I go along. And remember, you're most welcome to come to tea in Lucy...anytime.
Thank you so much for visiting!
Have a happy Sunshine Vintage week.
Much love Catherine x0x0x


  1. Wow! You have SO MANY FLOWERING things! I love the idea of Sunshine Vintage! Lucy will be full of people!
    I'm going to watch the video now.
    Sending love your way, Lily of the Valley Girl.

  2. I didn't know lilacs are edible - I'll have to remember that when ours bloom again.

    I so love your garden. :)

  3. Oh Catherine I sure would L*O*V*E to come for tea in Lucy! I haven't been to your neck of the woods for years. Your new website is lovely as are the photo's of your garden, very cottagey and homely. Best wishes.

  4. your garden is absolutely bursting with flowers, it's wonderful! I would love to grow lilly of the valley, maybe it would like my north facing garden with not much light? Are you able to send seeds to overseas customers, or are there export/import restrictions I wondered. If I ever get to your part of the world, tea at Lucy's is on my list! Betty

  5. I adore Lily of the Valley. It is a beautiful graceful peaceful flower.It would be wonderful to have tea in Lucy. So much eye candy. Your garden is amazing.

  6. Hello there my friend, I wish the screen was scratch n sniff so I could smell your beautiful lilly of the valley & your vase of lilac. Oh & I could reach in & grab a slice of that heavenly looking caramel slice in Lucy. My friend Shirley & I had this long conversation yesterday about how we would just love to have tea in Lucy. And then up pops your blog post :-) Your outdoor setting looks beautiful - I am thinking you are alot more sheltered there - here it would just get blown away by these nasty winds we are getting. I think I would look out my bedroom window all day long if that was the gorgeous view you get. That little quote is perfect for you Catherine. Much love from Julie & Pippi sitting on my lap x0x0x off to watch the video now x0x0


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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