Sunday, 14 February 2016

How to be a wild flower...

The day I came home to my true, authentic self was the day that I found peace.
-When I realised that I was here
 to be
 a wildflower....
To wander, to ponder, to gather, to savour....the wonder of life & nature.
Have a little look at Katie Daisy's book trailer & you'll understand what I'm talking about.

How to be a Wildflower Book Trailer from Gabriel James on Vimeo.

The wild flowers are the enduring ones, the unfussy & unpretentious blooms that flourish where-ever they find themselves & merrily, freely share their seeds around in wild places or treasured gardens. They etch themselves into the stories & the memories of the gardens of childhood & mother's love; attracting beneficial insects & gracing the bouquets of both brides & of children alike.
 Chocolate Lace Flower is a niece of Bishops's Flower also known as Lady's Lace & Lace Flower or even Bullworth & White Fennel.
 Charming & frequently medicinal too, there is a resilience amongst the wildflowers that is unmatched in the cultivated garden world.
 They are the ones that have stood the test of time yet are no longer available in the garden centres & commercial places. Still they remain the flowers that cottage gardener's still love to grow.
It is the time for collecting the seeds of these treasures & what a mess they so generously create...paper bags & baskets filled with stems & pods can be found on almost every surface inside & out of our little house.
 So, fortunately I recently found an old painter or paperer's box at the Salys...
 & I rummaged around for the exquisite seed packet pictures that I had tucked away from an old calendar.
 I used up some old paint that Rob had poured for me another time & that was now so lumpy as to be unusable but once I added a little water I had a good mix to wash the well-worn wood with.
A coat to two or modge podge to seal the pictures & I am now a good deal more in order.
Being a wildflower means that you are always learning & observing & looking out for stuff & wondering. And then, of course, you are amazed at every new this Gum Emperor moth that I spied on the tarseal in the supermarket carpark as we were one day wandering through.
 I gently scooped him up & popped him in my bag with my foraged elderberries
 to take him home for care..
 & revival.
 Astonishing it is, that such a brown moth emerges from this colourful caterpillar body. We used to find them in the pepper trees when I was child, but I've not seen one since.
I am enchanted by the colours of the summer hydrangeas.
 Bashing their stems with my little hammer has meant that they have lasted a week in a vase, in heat, undaunted.
Summer can be a little overwhelming at it's zenith & there is always much to do, but we managed to plan a picnic a week or so ago & just the sea
 with rock pools
 and ancient native bush,
 where it is cool & primal & fascinating things grow out of trees.
 Wildflowers wind themselves along fences.
 The earth is moist...
& gifts are to be found on the sacred pathways. This lichen: usnea, the Maori call angiangi. It can be made into a tincture that will help fight bacterial infection anywhere in the body.
It grows very slowly & is precious.
There is a peaceful brook..
that is a perfect spot for a celebration picnic. We frightened a family of fern birds out of the long grass at the riverside. They are very rare & precious too & not very good at flying.  
 There are still times in my days when I notice that I feel quite shut in, shut down or sad.
And then one morning I read these words (you may have to click on the picture to see all the words):
And so that's exactly what I did.
And quite soon we had made friends, several actually.
I intend to invite them for tea more often.
After this little session things became quite clear on the matter & I realised that I could choose to no longer be bullied by another's refusal to allow discussion or honesty.
I recalled how precious I am & the tea soothed away the gloom. 
I admire this wonderful creation often, just now. It was a sweet gift from my dear nephew. I have blue-tacked it to my my kitchen cupboards so that I can see it a lot.
That's me with golden hair & Rob is driving. Lucy in the sky with diamonds!
It is a tree of life, I just know it.
Just as Katie Daisy's tree...of life.
I feel filled with life & wonder when I see these pictures.
Must be because I am a wildflower.
who wanders, gathers, ponders & savours.... the wonders of life & nature.

Much love to you all, dear friends & amazed I am that you come to visit me here. I treasure, always, the lovely things that you reflect & share.....& your kindness.
 You are marvellous! Thank you x0x0x


  1. Hello Catherine,

    Yours is the first blog I read this morning, what a wonderful start of the day reading it and seeing where you have been. Thank you.
    Have a lovely day.

    1. Thank you so much Bev. Always lovely to hear from you xxx

  2. I love Katie Daisy! I hadn't seen this so I'll be adding her book to my wish list. Thanks for sharing.

    What is the flower immediately below the video? It looks like what we call Queen Anne's lace except ours is all white. The purple is beautiful! So fairy-like. I would love some seeds.

    The blue flower, in the foreground of the pic with your sweetheart opening the looks like our chicory. I used to pick bouquets for my mother when I was a little girl & was always sad the the blooms only lasted a few hours.

    Beautiful, beautiful quote by Hollie Holden...I had never considered that before.

    much love xo

    1. Hello dear Jenny, yes that's your Queen Anne's Lace but it's called Chocolate lace flower.
      The seeds are almost set...I am watching them daily!
      I will send you some as soon as they are "cured" & then you'll be able to grow them this summer!
      You are quite right Jenny…the blue flowers are chicory.
      Such a pretty blue isn’t it : )
      Isn’t it amazing how so many plants are so universal.
      There were lots of yarrow flowers right in that spot too.
      Much love to you Jenny.
      Always a delight to share with you.
      Catherine x0x0x

  3. Another beautiful blog Catherine.You should be working for Tourism NZ.Thankyou for teaching me about fern birds. I had never heard of them but now you have inspired me to visit the Sinclair Wetlands when I next visit Dunedin (soon). Also I LOVE the picture from your nephew, just gorgeous!! Kia kaha you lovely lady we need you x

    1. Thank you so much for your heart-warming comments Judy. So very much appreciated. Much love Catherine x0x0x

  4. Magnificent photo's! I love your nephews painting, such a thoughtful wee chap, it must brighten your day. You made a lovely job of jazzing up the old box ready for all your seeds.

    1. Dear Leanne,
      So good of you to visit me as you do…thank you & for your kind comments!
      I’m really enjoying my seed box. Thank goodness for Julie’s inspiration & instructions!
      Have a lovely weekend.
      A truly magnificent day here.
      Much love Catherine x0x0x

  5. Hello dear Catherine, another beautiful post. I think I too will be adding the Katie Daisy book to my list of books to treat myself too. I watched the little Vimeo through twice it was so beautiful. I did not know about bashing the hydrangea stems with a hammer so thank you for that tip. Your new/old box for your seeds turned out just beautiful, what a treasure it will be & if you ever stop storing seeds, it could be used for lots of other things. Mind you, you will probably always be collecting seeds I feel. Your little verse is just perfect, I loved the little bee that joined you all on the rug for tea. Have a wonderful week dear girl. much love across the miles x x x x

    1. Hello dear Julie,
      Always so lovely to hear from you.
      At about this stage you’re probably covered in wall dust & other debris!
      Looks like it might be fine all around the country just now though.
      Isn’t it so good to be able to share wonderful people like Katie Daisy…a bit like a modern Kate Holden & the Country Dairy books.
      I have bought KD’s calendar the last 2 years & a couple of notebooks in the last order.
      Love being able to use the pictures after the calendar is finished.
      Much love dear friend, Catherine x0x0x

  6. What a lovely trailer and book. Your hand made seed box is the most beautiful thing I have seen for a long time anywhere - ever!!! I absolutely want one!!! the prints you have put in there make it so very special. Your post has made me feel very cheery and inspired to get my paintbrushes out this morning - thank you! I would like to think I am a wildflower too by the way :D

  7. Hello beautiful girl! I pre-ordered the book. Must have it!
    You are such a lovely nature proponent! Inspiring! Sending heaps of love your way!

  8. Such a beautiful post Catherine. I loved the book trailer, it inspired me to go looking for this beautiful book. Adored your revamped box and the packets inside. What a treat to open up and go through to see what you have. Feel at peace:-)

  9. This is the book that Pom Pom writes about now! I shall present it as a possible Mother's day present- although honestly? Not sure if I want to be a wildflower in our climate.

  10. Hi Catherine, I have just read your post and as always feel uplifted and inspired. What you do is precious and I am always grateful that you spread your talent for observation. Such beauty. Hugs to you- Pip


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