Friday, 28 March 2014

Return to Blogging

Well it has been a long time since I last posted on my blog. The main reason being that I haven't had my own computer to sit down at and compose when I was in the mood. There are no excuses now that I own my very own device though. After much research, advice and confusion, I finally purchased an iPad earlier this year, and I am thoroughly enjoying it. It is so easy and enjoyable to now be able to have a quick look at Pinterest, Facebook, emails etc. 
It should also be much easier now to continue with my blog. I have been busy in our new house (which is now over a year old) developing the gardens and decorating the house. Of course white remains the focus in those areas, and I have recently gone back to the paintbrush to revamp some tired pieces of furniture. 
Here is a table that I painted last weekend. 
I haven't decided whether to sell or keep this one. It works quite well as a display table, and is also large enough to seat six people. For now though I am just going to enjoy it. 

Hopefully I will be posting more frequently from now on with interesting things to share. 

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Beautiful Visitors

Moving back out to acreage has been undoubtedly the best move that we have made. The lure of city living certainly had its advantages and many conveniences, but it proved to us that we really do prefer to have peace and quiet, and some space around us. Apart from having more land, and a blank canvas to design and create my own garden though, we are often the privileged hosts of some beautiful visitors. We have our own beautiful pets who are of course permanent residents here. Our horse, Molly, and two beautiful tonkinese kittens, Ava and Audrey. But it is the visitors that take us by surprise that I am sharing with you today.

For example, the first morning that we woke up here (October 2012), I found a lady bird on our front door. I took this as a sign of good luck welcoming us to our new home. If you ever saw the movie "Under the Tuscan Sun" (my favourite movie), the main character was blessed with ladybirds landing on her. I have since seen many ladybirds on the few plants that we have planted.

Secondly, after a rather large purchase of plants last week, we were busy digging holes when a beautiful young thoroughbred filly galloped through our unfenced paddock. Her loud winniing announced her presence. Luckily for her, she was caught by my husband, fenced in and fed, before she could continue on her way and potentially hurt herself. Then we continued with our gardening hoping that the owner would soon come looking for her, which she did. Molly was quite happy to have a friend in the meantime.

Then this morning, we woke to find a beautiful owl on the front verandah. It didn't appear to be injured, and after consultation with the RSPCA , we decided that it might just need to sleep at our place for the day, and hopefully it will fly off to hunt at dusk tonight. If not, then the RSPCA will come and give it any care that it requires. The valley that we live in is actually known as "Home of the Powerful Owl", in recognition of an important breeding area for the bird in the valley. It is Australia's largest owl, is shy and rarely seen.
So how lucky are we to have him\her as our guest for the day to sleep peacefully on the verandah?
I wander who or what will be our next visitor?

Monday, 14 January 2013

Farewell Pumpkins

Yesterday I made a decision that I have been agonising over for some time. Should I remove the pumpkin vines that self seeded when we planted the Murraya hedge on the front boundary? It was a difficult decision because on the one hand, why would you destroy the plants that will provide you with vegetables? But on the other hand, they were robbing the moisture and nutrients that were needed by the hedge.

I am not the most patient of gardeners and I want a fully grown hedge as soon as possible.

So I had to be ruthless. Any vines that had pumpkins growing on them were left, and I pulled out the rest. Now these vines were given plenty of time to prove themselves. I even helped with the pollinating to accelerate the process, but the male flowers outnumbered the females by a long way.

I remember hearing Don Burke say on his tv show Burke's Backyard, many years ago, "A good gardener does not waist their time on non-performing plants". So now most of my Murrayas are free to grow to their potential ( and as quickly as possible please), and as soon as the remaining pumpkin vines aren't proving themselves they will be removed as well.

I am after all trying to achieve an elegant formal garden, not a vegetable patch. Yes I know that I am superficial and it is all about 'the look', but the vegetable garden can have its place a little later (further away from the house, down by the stable perhaps).

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Best Laid Plans

Yesterday was the day that my mother and I had finally set aside to catch up on some sewing projects. As it is summer and the days are so hot, any gardening is left for the late afternoons.

However, after an early morning start of looking at my favourite blogs, a little seed of inspiration was planted. Decorating mode was quickly overtaking the need to sew. The thought of transforming some drab green and brown shutters (currently hiding in the stable) into gentle soft grey (worthy of a place inside the house) sounded much more important. Then the thought of those lovely white and grey tones made me think of my favourite shop, French and Gorgeous. The name of the shop alone should give you an indication of why I would want to go there, and that would still leave the afternoon to do our sewing. Asking mum if she was happy to prolong our sewing until after coffee and a visit to this shop was never going to be a problem.

So we arrived in Dayboro, and first things first, coffee? No, that can wait until after. Even the approach to their entrance had my enthusiasm peaking. The smell of something beautiful-milk painted furniture? the delicate fragrance of a candle burning? homemade soaps that look like a slice of delicious cake? No doubt the combination of all. Walking through those doors is always fatal to the purse. Whether it be large or small, we never leave without a new (but old) treasure, and yesterday was no different. Aside from our purchases, I was admiring the wispy decoration of a dried flower arrangement, apparently from Helen's (one of the owners) garden. I knew of this Queen Anne's Lace as I had seen it in the garden of Rosevale Homestead, but didn't realise it was also pretty as a dried flower. The lovely Lyn kindly offered it to us so we could plant the seeds in our garden. It would suit my garden theme perfectly as the flower is white, but I had more immediate plans for it. I had a glass bottle at home, freshly washed and waiting for a tall wispy arrangement.

And it isn't just the physical things that you walk away with after a visit to a favourite or inspirational shop. There was no way I was going home without a quick stop at the hardware store to buy some grey paint.
Needless to say, as I am sure you have all experienced this before, the sewing didn't eventuate that day. The important thing though is that my mother and I had a lovely day together and went home inspired for our garden as well as decorating.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Happy New Blog

A new year, a new blog. Well it's my first actually, and it's not that I had a sudden urge at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve to whip up a blog. This has actually been in the making for many months. My inital motivation was to diarise our new garden and watch the progress of the design and growth over time. However, after many hours of searching the web for pretty images, templates etc. and then trying to incorporate them (I am not tech savvy) I gave up in frustration.

In my defence though, I also didn't have a garden at that point. While I could have posted multiple photos of the building process, I thought they wouldn't make for interesting blogging. Unless there are pretty gardens or chic interior furnishings, I lose interest quite quickly (yes I am the first to admit that I am materialistic, and my future blogs will quickly indicate that).

Now that we have moved into our new house and my mind races with potential designs and ideas as we start to garden, I am once again inspired to attempt blogging. I enjoy reading various other blogs (always about gardens and french style decorating of course) but unfortunately I don't have the technical skill to make mine as impressive. There are also likely to be more pictures than words to convey my style.

Although this is more for personal gratification (as I don't believe that anybody would actually be interested in anything I have to say), I welcome anybody that is interested enough to take the time to have a look, and I would love to hear any feedback.

So now that I have managed to decorate my blog sufficiently (although very basic at this stage) I think I am ready to start blogging. I hope to learn a lot along the way and customize it much more, but for now, here we go. I have entered the blogosphere.