a way of life...

Tag: Garden

Star Shaped Flowers

Springtime has arrived in the garden big time over these past few days. The bees are buzzing around the blue and purple garden where the alliums are at their best.

As these plants are so easy to grow there is always an abundance in the borders and in the cutting garden as well. It’s no wonder the bees are attracted to them with their dozens of star shape flowers forming a single bloom.

I’m not a fan of formal flower arrangements, which I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, but I can’t resist a few freshly cut stems from the garden.

Currently, I have a gorgeous storm lantern in my dining room which doubles as a vase. It sits on a little Ikea table which I painted and crackle-glazed with Annie Sloan products a couple of years ago now.

The alliums were an absolute gift as both their height and colour suited the room perfectly.

Since Christmas time this particular vessel has been filled with a mix of faux and fresh florals. I interchange these as the seasons change and tie them in with whatever colour scheme I have chosen for the dining table.

I wonder if you can tell which of the eucalyptus, pussy willow, and alliums are real and which are faux?


Use seasonal blooms when combining fresh and faux flowers to carry off the illusion.

Seeds Of Optimism

It strikes me that gardeners are an optimistic bunch. We plant seeds and bulbs with an air of expectation not knowing what the coming weeks or months will bring. We presume that as we sow we are creating a “thing”. Be it a flower, or a vegetable, we have the end result to look forward to.

In the Autumn, when I planted the bulbs to create my “Plant Theatre”, I, like the rest of the world, had no idea of what was round the corner.

The tulips, grape hyacinth, and Ipheion, are oblivious to the ensuing chaos. They soak up the warmth of the sun, and shelter from the wintry breeze, bringing joy at these uncertain times.

During this period of social distancing I have had the benefit of having a garden to enjoy. Being out in the fresh air, working hard prepping for the coming months, has provided me with a distraction from the media.

More by coincidence, then foresight, I had made plans for my allotment well in advance of the current lockdown. This allowed me time to acquire seeds, compost, and fertiliser to start the whole process of growing vegetables for the coming months.

As such, I was delighted when my parcel arrived from Sarah Raven last week. Duly isolating it for 72 hours, today I had the pleasure of unpacking, and cataloguing, the contents.

24 packs of seeds to plant between now and October, and the prospect of harvesting the produce over the next 12 months. If that’s not optimism I’m not sure what is!

My hope is that as my seeds turn to shoots, and the shoots turn to plants, that we will have a fantastic summer to embrace.

Guess I better get digging…

Brighten Up The Dullest Days

Whilst wandering around the High Street today in the dismal May weather I stumbled across this cheerful picnicware. Adorned with pineapples, flamingoes, palm trees and seahorses, I found it could brighten up the dullest days.

M&S plates

Seahorses, flamingoes and palm trees

Alongside it was this unusual Antique Floral Drink Dispenser with matching glasses which I was particularly taken with.  It transported my thoughts back to those lovely, long, hot days that we enjoyed last year and made realise that summer is just around the corner.

Drinks dispenser

Antique Floral Drink Dispenser & Glasses

The combination of the Tropical Floral plates, bowls and tumblers with the Antique Floral Glassware makes the perfect table setting for alfresco entertaining. Even on the rainiest days this dishwasher safe range of acrylic glassware and melamine place settings is elegant enough to grace the grandest of dining tables.

M&S Picnicware

Indoor picnic

The pretty palate of blancmange pink dessert bowls, lime green side plates, and muted turquoise dinner plates, really does make it good enough to eat off.  So don’t let the downpour put a damper on your dinner party as this range of stylish and practical picnicware really will bring the sunshine indoors.

For details of the full range visit  http://www.marksandspencer.com/l/home-and-furniture/picnicware .


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