Sunday, September 21, 2014

Garden Envy

This week I called in to see my mum on the way to Shoestring Cottage and I couldn't quite suppress a teeny tiny attack of that old foe of all gardeners, Garden Envy.  Of course I wouldn't like to visit my mum's garden and find the spring growth infested with white fly and aphids but ... there are always things to be seen in other people's gardens which one might wish to have for one's own!  For instance, my garden is so microscopic that there isn't space for areas with different types of plantings, because it can be seen almost all at once.  Because Bobby has a villa the front of her garden is very traditional and pretty and just what one would hope for in a charming old well established garden

 But around the back there are areas with a definite subtropical feel, you could wouldn't be much surprised to see some monkeys or brightly coloured parrots in the upper reaches of the trees sometimes.

And then my spring blossoms look so sharp and garish compared to some of these more subtle beauties.

 The latest addition to the garden, a sumptuous apricot and pink shaded magnolia the likes of which I have never seen before.  (I think she would suspect me though if it mysteriously vanished one day.)
And a new camellia called Pink Lace, enormous blossoms and so tenderly shaded.

 No space at my place for a darling little gazebo draped with climbing roses,

 and my cats never pose obligingly either.

But we have to suppress these feelings in our gardening bosoms and press on and make the most of what we have or we would give up the fight altogether, so I tried to look for positives in my patch despite the fact that the flowers have to grow cheek by jowl with the vegetables because space is so short.  I will just call it companion planting and pretend that silver beet and parsley benefit from the close proximity of bluebells.  

 And this subtropical beauty did survive the frosts of winter and is putting on a very brave show already.
The miniature cyclamen are multiplying too.  
The lilies are forging ahead but I am a bit concerned about this one which seems to have some kind of mutant flower stem growing, perhaps two stems have fused together because it looks as though there will be one bumper crop of flowers on one single stem - as long as the slugs and snails don't triumph, of course.

We discovered a new op shop this weekend and I have added two more priceless treasures to my art collection.  (I am thinking of leaving it to the country as a national treasure when I die, I am sure the curator of the national art gallery will be overjoyed.)  

This reminds me of summer holidays on the Coromandel peninsula, the sun bleached grass in the foreground and the coast are just perfect.  It was $3.00 which seems a fair price considering there was no frame. 

I thought this one had some kind of interesting seedheads growing in the foreground but eventually realised that it had pieces of tissue paper stuck all over it, which I have picked off as much as possible but still a few remain.  $3.00 also and no frame, tsk tsk tsk.  

Bobby was having another one of her seasonal fevers where she feels the need to divest herself of possessions and I was the grateful recipient of a dainty little white chair which is very useful in the bathroom at Shoestring Cottage. (Looking at this picture I realise she also donated the vanity, which was immediately painted white, and the wooden screen which may well become white any day now too).  

I have heard from the Southern Sisters that they have been living the art deco life down there, and have completed replica nurses' uniforms from World War I for an event they are attending.  This of course had the effect of focusing the little grey cells (as beloved Hercule Poirot would say) once more upon the need to get up to speed for art deco weekend next year and not let time go past without making any effort, which is what usually happens.  I dragged out these likely contenders which will hopefully be able to be modified and fit for purpose. 

This dress is silk so should be comfortable for summer deco.  I very much like the slightly drab deco colours of the fabric.  When I located it languishing and unloved I also bought the scarf draped around the neckline, which hopefully can be used to make some kind of floating panels for the back or some other deco accouterments.  

This combo has a distinctly Miss Marple feel about it and I realised afterwards that it has no suitable hat, which could prove to be a big challenge.  As The Dancing Queen has frequently remarked, and as the Southern Sisters may well agree, the hat and accessories can make or break your outfit so I had better get to work in this.  A natural coloured straw with some lavender blooms on it might be just the ticket - just a question of finding such a thing, of course.  

 Here is a detail of the crochet in the jacket, which features a very tricky interlocking circle design.
 And I can just picture Miss Marple in a floral print along these lines.  

It was yet another weekend of torrential rain at Shoestring Cottage so I could turn these problems over in my mind and not feel badly to be indoors - this was the third rainy weekend in a row so there must surely be some respite soon!  

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