Monday, 13 March 2017

Spring Mood 2017

While this may not be the height of garden design - 
in a public space, 
these things make all the difference to children and immediate tactile civic joy.

Pastel houses offset with cherry tree blooms are a joy to walk by.

But I also enjoy walking by utilitarian high street buildings in the east end of London with a pithy political statement.

'If we all spit together we can drown the bastards' by the late union boss Bob Crow

One thing that annoys me about London restaurants is they have an automatic service charge without the American 
- y'all have a nice day/want fries with that? service.  
They now include a cover charge when there isn't any olives or bread on the side. 
London is become a living edifice of a toll booth.

Maybe the cover charge was for the chinoiserie fabric covered loo doors?

The lit hotel in Park Lane looked very Miami.

I had a spa morning.

I took a picture under the real pearl chandelier/light fitting once but I wasn't in my bathrobe and it was on my wedding day.

The lighting is soothing and wish I could recreate it in my home but I am sure that it will need the lighting knowledge of a Broadway musical set designer or something.

While very nice and I would love it in my own home, 
this Ralph Lauren / orchidy / overly sleek look is decor saturation. 
My friend says she thinks it looks like the lobby of a high end bank.

I did like the literal version of rose water but then worried instantly after if there were pesticides on the petals.
Is it hard to source organic roses I wonder?
But a momentary question that I will never follow up on.

I do feel lucky to live near the park.
It is such a refuge.
There is always a beautiful and calming sight to distract oneself from being in the middle of one of the busiest cities in the world.
This horse was doing some training.

My own plants are doing well.
The lemons which have been hanging on the tree have ripened and I might save it for a gin and tonic in warmer weather.

The nectarine blooms are divine.

Warms the heart because there is an isolation to winter.
There is a moment where I think - will it ever be spring again or is this going to be the second ice age that Europe went through in the Middle ages when it was cold for a few hundred years?

Bees must have been starving and of course I try and get plants in the limited space I have aimed for butterflies and bees.

So it really feels great to see them feasting on the flowers.
My brother tells me I am getting old when I start talking about my window boxes!

Have a good week x


  1. HAHAHA! I have that exact same picture a few years ago!

    1. Doubt anyone will get rid of Mr Crow's quote for a while yet!

  2. Hey hun, goodness I'be been terrible in the blogosphere but hey ho thats life!! Hope you have been keeping well. Appears you are continuing to enjoy life which is lovely to see. Yes my conversations have switched from clothes and food to plants, flowers and gardens since moving into my new home and I'm feeling old because of that too, coupled with finding a grey moustache hair!! x

    1. How have you been Colleen?! Ha - it is funny how our interests change though I still like talking about clothes and seeing them on others while I wear black spandex hehe xx

  3. Those nectarines blooms are perfection! I hate the service charges for no service. Mind you, the loo door paper is very nice. That's a terrific park. We have a lovely park near us on the water but it does not have anything as magnificent as that horse. Kudos for growing lemons. I kill most plants but am resolved to remedy that this year!

  4. Well here comes the freezing cold and snow for the next two days. Not sure if the daffodils, cherry trees, etc will fair well. To think I have to go to London for decent ready.

  5. Love all the signs of spring - and your gin and tonic lemons and grape hyacinths. Your nectarine blossoms are indeed divine - such a beautiful colour! The crocuses were nostalgic for me. When we lived in Cambridge I used to walk every day, back and forth from the University Library into town across Clare bridge. The grass on both sides of the path was a constant source of wonder: first snowdrops, then crocuses (I'd never seen them before and loved their pretty blues and golds and whites emerging above the grass), then daffodils waving about in spring breezes, finally red tulips. All along the same path, naturalised in the grass. At the end there were the buttercups and daisies. I loved walking along that path in spring and crossing the river.
    Remember the more up-market/pretentious restaurants even back in the days when we lived in England always did make a "cover charge" for nothing really. Except the presence of cutlery, a side plate and perhaps a table napkin. Always resented it. Seems to be essentially English. In other countries the restaurant owners must factor these things into the overall costing so their customers don't feel the resentment. Far more sensible option.
    Am getting so bored with cement brutalist restaurants here in Oz, noisy, with half the seating backless uncomfortable stools, head waiter is usually a very young guy with a good few days of stubble and serious attitude problems, a menu full of share plates that include ingredients no-one has ever heard of and very little normal restaurant food. They also seem to have inadequate or inefficient reservation systems. A big buzz when they open and so we try them. But usually never go back. We return instead to our tried and true faves where the waiters know their craft, attentive and genuinely expert on the food and wine but not always hovering and asking if you're enjoying the food. Which is invariably excellent - authentic, interesting, fresh, perfectly cooked.
    I don't spray our roses - so I can use them to decorate desserts or on cakes etc. Of course later in the season they get the dreaded black spot. But I've tried to choose varieties that are less subject to rose diseases. And if you keep treating them well and feeding them appropriately it helps strengthen the plant. I always pick off the bad leaves. But agree beauty treatments using roses are always a bit dubious for me too. Have also wondered about the French Caudalie range where they use products from their grape vines. As grapes are usually heavily sprayed in France, except in bio vineyards, I wonder about the chemicals they may contain. Best wishes, Pammie

    1. PS Naomi, If you ever go to Cambridge around this time of the year, do please take a photo of the flowers appearing on both sides of the path that leads towards Clare bridge. Fingers crossed the bulbs are still there and flourishing! Pammie

  6. So funny re your brother's comment. Your garden boxes are looking fantastic though, and I'm so surprised that your nectarine is covered in blossom. Fingers crossed you get a bit of fruit.
    The cover charge is outrageous, and it's one of those nickel and dime things that restaurants are increasingly doing. John Lethlean (Food critic here in Oz) wrote a good column about it, decrying the charge for bread, the charge for tap water, the charge for service etc. He was bemoaning the fact that the hospitality industry is not longer particularly hospitable.
    They do have nice doors on the loo though.
    I've always had a thing for lighting design. The secret is to just have a lot of different point of light source diffused and against the room perimeter. Not overhead. Lots of lamps too. x

  7. So strange to see flowers, lemons, and bees in London while a blizzard is due in New York.
    None of my beeswax but would be delighted if the Brits answer to Brussels/EU's $60 billion alimony request is "Stiff you very much!"

  8. Hello CSW, I also think it's nervy when businesses charge you just for the pleasure of their existence, as for example worthless cover charges and ever-increasing auction premiums. I am glad that somewhere has beautiful spring weather--we have been having solid rain in Taiwan, and by the time it is over, spring will be gone!

  9. Gorgeous flowers you showed, it snowed here today in NYC so I think the flowers will die which is sad. I need them! I love that you see horses regularly. Fine looking animals too, there is a riding school of sorts in Prospect Park but the horses look so old and worn out. I do get to see the NYPD mounted unit from time to time, those horses are gigantic and it feels like an Edith Wharton novel to see them click-clack past our row of brownstones. One of the officers is pretty foxy so then it does veer into romance novel territory for me (in my mind) when I see him ride by. Yee-ow he is a hottie! Nothing like a good-looking man on a horse, can I get an Amen on that? xx

  10. Really like the photos of the pastel houses and the nectarine blooms. Can't wait to see them on the big TV screen using the PS4 pro.
    Well done on all your plants, flowers and trees. And thank goodness for parks. They really do recharge the soul. Den xx

  11. What a splendid idea to plant a path of crocus. Utterly enchanting!

    Your flower boxes look terrific. I just (embarrassingly) found a large bag of bulbs, some of them grape hyacinths, in my basement and was able to tuck them into the soil just last week. It didn't take long for them to sprout their little leaves so I'm hoping I wasn't too late in saving them.


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