Tuesday, August 31, 2010

David Austin Roses...make me swoon everytime!

If you have been following my blog you will recall that I am passionate about roses.
My favourite roses are the David Austin varieties.
Charles Rennie McIntosh

In my early days of gardening back in 1978, I fell head over heels in love with a delicious and highly perfumed mauve rose.
My elderly next door neighbour, a gardener herself, told me it was a Lavender Rose.
(my Royal Albert China shares the same name)
The bush was old and established and was performing beautifully with very little TLC, in fact it had been thriving on neglect.
We were living in a rented home 3 houses from the waterfront at the time. The area was an older section of the city comprised of large roomy Edwardian and Victorian homes.
Most of the gardens were established and well tended.
(our rental was weedy and overgrown)
I did not want to have our patch looking shabby so I was learning all that I could about gardening...the wise advice and encouragement that I received from helpful neighbours really got me enthusiastic about mucking and pottering about in the soil.
I was surprised by the generosity of gardeners, both with their willingness to chat as well as their gifts of cuttings and seedlings.
I am happy to say this hasn't changed over the years!

I have attended many meetings, tours, joined Horticultural Societies and Clubs, read books, attended lectures, and basically jumped in and got dirty.
I am not a neat and tidy gardener, not at all like my former neighbour across the street who I might add...gardened in pearls, wore a straw hat and carried a trug for her freshly picked blooms.
I frequently am hatless, wear serious gardening gloves, am dressed in a casual, but matching, pair of Yoga pants and a jacket. My hair is a bit on the windblown side...that's what happens when you live close to the ocean...and I usually have some dirty smudge on my face!

Often I'll just go out and have a "peek" at how things are doing and end up getting messy...
I have been seen dead heading roses in a white dress wearing heels!

Roses are my greatest love in the garden...
Gertrude Jekyll

I grow them for their perfume...I do not understand why anyone would buy a rose if it lacked fragrance.
I place freshly picked garden roses in vases throughout the Bungalow from May until October.
I prefer the repeat bloomers
they are hardy
and reliable.

Roses are heavy feeders and like lots of water.
I use aged manure and I'll occasionally dig banana skins near the roots of the roses.

Epsom salts work well too.

An award winning local grower swears by Rabbit food sprinkled once a month during blooming season!
(I think my local raccoons would be dining well if I followed that regime)

I won Best Rose in Show one year at our local Horticultural Event with a Peace Rose bloom.
No one was more surprised than I was... gobsmacked indeed.
I had the honour of having my name engraved on a silver rose bowl and was able to keep the bowl in my home until the next year, when someone else won the title!
Alas that rose bush is no longer with us, it grew gnarled and woody and was hit very hard by a cold snowy winter. It was a star performer and gave me many years of lovely blooms.

I also love being able to take bouquets with me when I am an invited guest in someone's home.
I buy vases at Thrift Shops and save them for the very purpose of having pre-arranged flowers so the hostess merely needs to find a spot to set them down.

My thoughts are running amuck and I have been quite abstract tangental...apologies forthwith!

Do you have a favourite rose?
Is it scented?
What is the colour of the bloom?

The MOD POD...apartment of lovely daughter...Post #250

I cannot believe that I have arrived at my 250th post...in honour of this I am showcasing The Mod Pod.

Lovely daughter J lives in a 1940's apartment which she has decorated with mid century modern furniture and collectibles.
She has been collecting since she was a young girl and her art history background has given her a solid knowledge base and over the years has developed a keen and discerning eye.

Her furniture is made up of vintage Danish made teak pieces that she has bought before it was trendy.

Signed art glass and ceramics are from the 60's and 70's and were made in Sweden, Denmark and Germany.
Rosenthal white porcelain
and Timo Sarpaneva candle holders

Timo Sarpaneva candle holders come in many sizes
when I see these I buy them and tuck them away until a birthday or Christmas.

Kaiser and Thomas vases

I enjoy perusing her collectibles
I found the Kaj Bojesen monkey!

I find these arty metal sculptures a bit far "out there"
but they are enormously popular
proving that I know little about what's "hot" these days!

I have a few pieces of Austrian bronze figures by Baller and Walter Bosse
I find this pair very endearing
I would have purchased these for my own collection.

Tapio Wirkkala Pollo vase

A quick peek inside the apartment
a Modernist 
Mod Pod
courtesy of lovely daughter J

Thanks a bunch for sharing!
Hugs and love you lots!

 a classic touch of greenery
one can never go wrong with the best blooming orchid
these last for months
and cost just a wee bit more than a large bouquet of flowers from the shops.

Thank you for following along on my blog journey
I plan to be here for awhile
when I got started I had no inkling that this would become such a big part of my life!

Monday, August 30, 2010

An award.....I accept!

Last evening I watched the Emmy's
this morning
I discovered
I have been given an award 
Thank you to

These flowers are for you Suburban princess!

With so many talented and creative bloggers out there
I feel honoured
to have been considered and mentioned.

As far as my acceptance speech or red carpet gown
I am short on words
this has taken me by surprise
I have no speech writer
and my attire is, well, totally unsuitable!

Thank You for considering me worthy...

and I am wearing
as seen here

recently pedicured toes 
wearing Peru-B-Ruby by OPI
no make up on
freshly washed face
rather common
and the
(don't even go there!)

What would I wear?

1. Jeans and a white shirt with masses of pearls.
2. One of my LBD's and some Bling.
3. Dressy tweedy black trousers, black tank and Simon Chang jacket (see side bar)
4. Black knit palazzo pants, Black 3/4 sleeve top, pashmina 
5. Mother of the groom outfit...circa 2007
silk shantung patchwork skirt grey, charcoal, black, cream, silk shantung cream wrap top

I do not think I am Red Carpet material
I'd be the one tripping on my hem
red faced 
 bumbling on the podium which would be tall
and obscuring my height challenged
unable to see or be seen
and the worst of all
the camera adds 30 pounds
so now
I am really in trouble!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Retro fashions...recycled and reworn today.

Lovely daughter J recently purchased a vintage retro coat from a local shop and was very excited to show me.
I had a shorter version of this in mocha shade...just seeing this coat took me back.
Oh those memories of wearing that jacket...I thought that I was pretty "Cool"
I can almost hear the music playing...that would be the late sixties!

Fashion and styles repeat and are reborn,
appearing fresh and new to the younger generation when launched...
Until they hear from a mother or grandmother...
"I wore one (of those coats) when I was young"

You may have had one of these too!

A great coat
in fabulous condition
fun to wear
she looks great in it!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bathing beauty...taking the waters.

Taking the waters...
a prescription for relaxation...
women over the centuries have enjoyed this ritual.
I think of Cleopatra luxuriating in her bath
possibly nibbling peeled grapes and being fanned.

Showers are quick and convenient...
they do the job
but if I am weary 
I prefer to indulge with a soak in the tub.

Showers are the considered to be the "greener" option
from a water conservation perspective
and we all need to be mindful of our natural resources
so I opt most days to shower.

Sunflower in the Humble Bungalow

I dream of soaking in the tub 
especially after a long stint of gardening.
It's a great way to unwind 
reclining and enjoying the warmth of the water
soothing weary muscles

My roses love epsom salts and so do I!

Pour a few cups under running water
in a tub
mix well 
soak and detoxify.

In the evening if I have had a particularly stressful day
I will indulge in a before bed bath
infused with a few drops of lavender oil
I lie back, breathe deeply and 
I find it calming and it prepares me for slumber.

Towels are a bathtime necessity
and I choose white

Ralph Lauren Towels of Egyptian cotton
for everyday and affordable
I bought these at 50% off the regular price
they work 
but I do not LOVE them.

Abyss Egyptian cotton towels
also for everyday use
 the luxe option
see how much thicker and fluffier they are
that is why they are so coveted 
and command such a high price!
I LOVE these!

In floor heating
keeps the cast iron tub water stay warmer longer!

If you have the option of installing heated floors I would encourage you to do it
our bathroom has no heat other than the flooring
so in the winter
it's definitely a must.

After "taking the waters"
I slather on an emollient cream after soaking 
and I feel rejuvenated.

Pure Shea butter 
is the richest cream
and I am happy to report it works wonders on my dry skin.

I hope that you have a wonderful weekend!

I'll be found toiling in the garden 
getting my patch ready for Fall,
and you can bet I'll be soaking
away those sore muscles
in salts!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Abkhazi Gardens...the Living Legacy of a Royal couple.

Gardeners love to visit gardens. We notice details, look at plant arrangements and combinations of plantings. We study the gardens "bones"... we look at how the gardener has tackled challenging areas. We observe the ornamentation and sculptures and where they have been situated. The style of birdbaths or statues, rock placements and water features...we soak it all in, some of us write notes or draw sketches.
(I take photos!)
We gardeners love garden tours and enjoy chatting with the gardeners themselves, there's a certain level of comfort and kinship in the garden that links us all. I suppose that's why so many of us regularly attend Horticultural talks and are card carrying members of Horticultural Societies and Clubs.
We appreciate the effort and hard work it takes to create and maintain a garden.
Large or small, gardens are a Labour of Love!

New plants are exciting!
Unusual colourings and varigations are coveted and eagerly sought after.
Trends are observed...currently grasses and drought tolerant plants are what the locals here are seeking.
Having said that, I must waste no more time blatthering on and get right down to the business at hand...

Abkhazi Gardens is one of my favourite spots to visit.
I would love to attend a wedding here...or a cocktail party on a warm evening in the summer.
I feel deeply moved when I am here...enriched and alive...
I feel the love of two people who claimed the space, worked side by side over many years and created this special garden...they have left us a legacy of loveliness...It's pure BLISS!

One meanders along the curving paths that weave their way through towering rhododendrums and azaleas.

Rocky outcroppings have dictated where the lawns and beds were established as evidenced by their placement as they sit today.

The garden is smallish at 1.4 acres, but one has a sense of privacy snug under the canopy of the Garry Oak trees with southerly views to the Straits of Juan de Fuca and the mountains of the Olympic Penninsula in Washington State.
A pair of resident turtles can be seen basking on the rocks in the sunshine.

 I am very passionate about it's history and the romance that made this garden what it is today.

Abkhazi Garden

The Abkhazi Gardens is best viewed in April and May as they are the peak times for the blooming of the rhodos and azaleas.
Lunch or tea can be taken in the original home or on the Terrace in full view of the lush garden.
It's a must see!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Spa-cation Hostess Style...

I spent a well earned day at the Spa soaking in the Mineral Pool and soothing my garden weary muscles...
several 4 hour days of intense gardening had my body complaining.
I dream of a strong gardener they way some may desire a lover......

My toes touchdown on the infloor heated tile.

Peru B Ruby by OPI
(my summer go-to shade)

The SPA 
has water, teas, snacks, Bento boxed lunches,
 steam room, sauna, mineral pool, hot tub, pool,
plush terry robes, showers, and an assortment of comforts to meet every need.
I go there because I get the best treatment 
 it's not cheap
it's a luxe treat
I make it part of my routine
and I save in other areas 
to make this happen.

It's a great tonic !

I am planning some major changes in the garden and have committed them to paper
I have discussed these with Mr. HB and he says he will help me!
It involves sod, moving some established Agapanthus Alba plants, digging up 2 roses that I will be putting on the boulevard for FREE!
I want a chartreuse and white border in one area...
Lady's Mantle, White Agapanthus

I need a larger green space
for croquet and play
I chopped up too much for bedding...
what was I thinking?

I am loving my Limelight Hydrangeas
they are greedy with water 
I adore their hue
I bought 3 last year and they are divine in their grouping
nudging each other.

The Lilac Asters are a mess
but they are abuzz with honey bees
so I am keeping them until they wilt
there is a problem with bees and many hives have collapsed
(such a concern)
so I am being GREEN
keeping the bees happy
here in the Garden.
I'll dig them out in the Fall
no matter what season
or the weather conditions
there's a job to be done
if you have the pleasure of owning a garden.
(it's a life of work)
LOVE is more like it!

Humble Bungalow Kitchen...as requested!

Yesterday I posted about my kitchen sink and the lovelyand inspiring blogger Janet, over at The Gardener's Cottage asked to see more of my kitchen.
I went back into the arcived posts from January 23rd and found a few and then decided to recapture my kitchen this morning.
(I am flitting around camera in one hand, an mug of coffee in the other!)
East wall of kitchen, glimpses of  the dining room 
 a butler's door that swings both ways
is on the far left.

My floor is soft fir and is easily marked and pitted
I throw down rugs to keep it warm and add some vintage ambiance.

A modcon amid vintage 1913 arts and crafts
silver, recently polished, above the fridge gleaming!

The phone has a deep gurgle of a ring
as it thrums, I love it!

Bins which open are to the left hold onions and spuds

It is a sunny morning so I had to close the blinds to capture these images...
even with the dark fir it is a bright space when the sun is shining
it does become gloomy in the winter and I turn on more lights.

I am not the only dishwasher here...Kitchenaid is on the job too!

Pantry cupboard where I store food...it used to have an opening to the outside with a mesh screen
I suppose it was cold storage but we have boarded that up!

My kitchen nook
I blog from this arts and crafts table and bench seat

Our border and my talented friend Cheryl Fortier's acrylic
(I have 4 pieces of her work which I cherish)
she has a website www.cherylfortier.com
go and see her work
She and her husband are in Auvilar France on exchange until the Fall.

Shelves for cookbooks
Family room to the immediate right.

The Humble Bungalow is a small scale "working man's" home built in 1913
it is very modest.
When we purchased the Bungalow it was in need of a major overhaul
it had been rented out and neglected
we took it on and painstakingly restored it
 is now on the Heritage Registry and protected from the wrecking ball!

There were times when the children were teenagers and brought many friends home 
that I deeply desired a larger space
we even looked at some
now though,
 I see that it is a perfect retirement home for the two of us as we advance in age.