Monday, 1 June 2015

Potatoes at Chelsea flower show, Peonies, and the Duchesse of Roxburghe at Sotheby's

I have been all things floral the month of May.
I celebrated with peonies.
The first batch of the season's flowers always seem to be the best crop.
These lasted 8 days and every stage was glorious.
My second batch were lovely but didn't last as long.

But unlike other flowers, peonies go through such a transformation of bloom and fade out their color.

After two days they were blush and then another two they turned white.
Chelsea flower show was fun although I wonder who would maintain this garden with mirrored inserts in its water feature.

As I wrote in my post about Chelsea Flower show, 
there were both good and questionable stands.
I liked this stand that planted in threes and had neat lines.
 This homage to Alice and Wonderland seemed a bit facile.
Fun but not very Chelsea flower show IMHO.
 These orchids were impressive but I just felt like I was in the airport in Bangkok.
There were some funny items.
I suppose there is an overlap in the Jilly Cooper crowd and gardeners.
 The surprising hit stand this year?
There were queues and I had to wait my turn to see what was so intriguing.
Mind you, wild, foreign, and old strain of spuds.

The best auction preview in May was the one at Sotheby's for the precious objects of the late Duchess of Roxburghe.  
It was all very Downton...
You would need a lady maid just to help lay out all the beauty utensils.

I loved the recreation of the home in the middle of the city.
So effective.

I enjoyed it more than a proper house tour because you could have a proper rummage through!
This was the bags and travel cases of her estate.
So much nicer than a BA tag.

There were a lot of folding screens but didn't even bother putting in a bid because I knew I would be disappointed and I don't have the room.
The bedroom was my favorite room they recreated.
Complete with tea in bed.

There was Sevres porcelain that I saw a lady who was recently engaged ask her mother to get for her wedding list. ( overheard conversation naturally)
 I wanted to ask what else she had on this wedding list!
The hit lot was this cupboard of vintage Irish and North European linens.
Some dealers were counting folds and measuring to see if they were getting value for money as they weren't allowed to unfold the sheets to inspect. They were bought as seen with ribbons.

These gowns piqued the interest of some theatre people.
I suppose they would make a great staple in a wardrobe that could rent these costumes out to film crew.

Her dinner porcelain was monogrammed but of no particular beauty.
And this is for someone like me who goes bright eyed even in the home section at Ikea.

England does shine ( not literally with sun ) but with flowers and bees in May.
Tis a great time to visit.

I need to write to the William Morris society because these roses were the best smelling roses I think I have ever smelled.

I am thinking about getting another climbing rose like this.

Don't you love how life sprouts out of the most unlikely places?

This mercury retrograde is really trying my patience.
So as a bone from the gods, they sent the builders twice to treat the rising damp in the loo.
Still not done but it's moving along.

This is funny because it is true.
It seems Americans love any accent other than their own.
I have seen men with no dating luck in London be swarmed in the states.

We had a few warm evenings and everyone was out to celebrate.

The curve of Regent Street has to be one of the most pleasing roads in London.

I don't know how to order at restaurants in terms of quantity.
I thought I was having dinner with a friend but I had already ordered.
Then he turned up with three more people and it turned out there was just the right amount for 5 adults.
Don't you like this old style phone?
I tried it but waiting for the dial to go back to neutral before I could dial the next number did my head in!
Here is to a great June for all! x


  1. So much to comment on! I was in the US once when I was around 24 and went to a bar (I was in Vermont in the snow) with my friend, her boyfriend and my then boyfriend (now husband). There were two guys that kept buying us both drinks so they could stand and listen to us talk as they loved our accents so much. We both explained we had boyfriends who were literally right behind us, but they didn't care as they liked listening to us talking so much. It was pretty funny until it became tedious when they'd repeatedly ask us to say random words ("how do you say mirror?" etc). After a while the free drinks weren't enough to keep us talking.
    I am salivating over that estate sale - would also love to know what that bride to be has on her wedding list if antique serves porcelain is the go as well!! I do love that silver tea tray set… suspect the prices may seem high to you but nothing like the extremes of the Australian auction houses for comparable quality.
    I wonder if the William Morris society rose is in fact William Morris by David Austin? THey don't look quite right, but that is a very nice rose of DA's and I've been thinking of planting it in my garden. Glad the loo is nearly fixedxx

    1. You guys would have been a total hit!! Mr CSW got out of getting in trouble twice because of his accent and of course he really hams it up when he is over there. He'll go - wait for this - just before he orders coffee and of course the girls just go - Oh my gosh - I love your accent! It's hysterical.

      That estate sale was rather fun. The pieces except the Sevres wasn't the best quality in itself but still a lot of fun to look around and very smart how the auction houses recreate rooms rather than just list numbers. Makes a huge difference. Mind you with these auctions, the conversations are so much fun. Well me overhearing them anyways!! Yes I think you might be right. The roses were of varied sizes but the blush pink adn scent was just spot on xx

  2. Everyone loves a spud. Errybody.
    I saw some hale and hearty continental parsley growing on a driveway fence. A dog could've whizzed on it so I didn't pick it.
    And +1 re Regent st. So genteel

  3. So true about Americans going gaga over accents and it seems every man from Spain suddenly acquires a 'title' upon landing on our shores.

    1. ha - but then again - people here do like the American accent! You would pull in quite the crowd in a pub equivalent to your lion's den here GSL!

  4. So true about Americans going gaga over accents and it seems every man from Spain suddenly acquires a 'title' upon landing on our shores.

  5. Love this especially the potatoes. You've really had an eye for the floral this month it's been so fun to read about! The cupboard of linens is a picture.
    I also adore English/Australian accents, love them. My accent is more American than Canadian though I think all of NA is starting to sound the same.
    I do have some Newfie expressions though from my time spent there in my 20's, until just last year my neighbour thought I was a Newfoundlander so maybe I have a bit of the accent too. xox!

    1. I thought it so funny that potatoes were getting all this attention! I can tell if someone is Canadian - in fact I get that a lot...But I am going to youtube newfie accents and sayings bc that I am not acquainted at all! xx

    2. The potatoes... it's because we're all hungry on our low-carb diets is my theory. My top two Newfie expressions: "What a sin" anything slightly unjust or slightly pathetic, not big deals... "Fill your boots boy"(pronounced b'ay): get what you can while the going is good... these expressions never fail me I use them daily with the Rascals and actually everyone I know. But please do the youtube because it will be hilarious! xo

  6. So jealous you went to the auction preview -it looks amazing!

    1. The auction previews here are as good as any exhibition in most cases!

  7. What a glorious post! Loved the peonies (I am doing a post on them too, hope to have it up late week), the auction preview (you are so lucky to have seen this in person, thank you for sharing pictures!), and the thoughts on accents. It is very true, a British (or Australian or French or Italian) accent can go a looooonnnnggg way in the U.S. Oh, the whole thing makes me laugh. I do like some accents from the American south (depends on the state, though) and I do enjoy a Texas drawl. Yee-haw! Great post! xx

    1. It's a short season so we must max it out. I remember I only had one batch and then forgot and it was over in a flash! I like Southern accents as well. But it has gotten to the point that I don't really pick up on accents anymore because everyone here has an accent! xx

  8. Peonies! They don't grow around here and I miss them so much. Beautiful photos.

  9. So much here to breath in, wonderful post! I adored watching your peonies do their color transformation act, and that potato pic has to be my absolute favorite from the Chelsea photos you show here today. I'm trying to grow them this year so we shall see if mine look anything like these.

    Adore the curve of John Nash's Regent Street. They don't build them like they used to, sigh.

    Would love a linen press filled with the type of linens you show from the auction preview. I'm wondering what they will sell for.

  10. give me a man with a british accent and i go all agog!
    loved the tour of chelsea and london in the spring

  11. Is your blog different? It looks different. Justr saying.

    I saw on the Daily Mial that the Cartier engagement ring went for about 20 times the estimated value. Exciting!

    Love the peonies and the food and the gardens and everything else too.


  12. Love the spuds!

    Is the little flower,sprouting in the sidewalk crack London Pride?

  13. I'd have been curious about the potatoes too!

  14. What a beautiful collection. I love that luggage. So glam. Love peonies: they are such a happy flower.

  15. Paeonies are such a pleasure. Did yours have a perfume? The ones in my garden do. I love the side plates of the dinner porcelain. Does anyone make those anymore?

  16. As I said in my previous comment it was only when I bought my own home that i started to enjoy flowers - i tend to buy lillies mainly but peonies seem to be springing up all over Instagram - i understand the season is short so i'd better look out for some and see how well they do in my house. I don't even drink tea and i like that tea set just for show! xx

  17. they look so amazing!

    Would you like to follow each other on GFC? Follow me and let me know and I will follow you back sweetheart! ❤ Waiting for your reply.
    Love always,

  18. Where do you buy your peonies? I looked today but couldn't find any!
    Best, Herts

    1. I buy at my local florist BC they rely on repeat business a lot more than the chains. Having said that he no longer has the first batch which were amazing!!! Regular peonies seem a bit boring in comparison. Good thing is if you ask your local they might look out for you where as a chain supermarket will smile but ignore you...


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