I had to get a final post in for 2014 especially as I managed to spectacularly fail to deliver any festive posts! The run up to Christmas was a flurry of planting out seedlings, cutting sweetpeas for the market, making up wreaths and table decorations and dancing up and down with glee at the first sighting of a flower in the Wildflower Meadow! Yes, that’s right, we had flowers in the meadow for Christmas Day.
I need to go back to my seed supplier to identify them properly but it looks like a type of poppy, phacelia and borage and a couple of unidentified beauties so far (any ideas let me know!). Can’t wait to see the other varieties as they come into bloom.
Th photo at the beginning of my post shows the table runner decoration I created for Christmas Day Lunch. There’s something very satisfying about spending a bit of time spearing oasis with buxus, rosemary and ivy…..
…..then gradually building up interest with gum nuts, baby quince….
….fejoa buds and seed heads and scabiosa starball………
….and crowning it all off with three rather sculptural artichokes. A few days after Christmas the artichokes flowered with a purple spiky crew cut! That’s one of the things I love about using freshly cut flowers from my garden; they carry on growing and developing because they haven’t been treated with chemicals. I love the wildness of this.
I also made a Christmas vase of flowers to go on the drinks table next to the BBQ. It was quite a different vase of flowers compared to last year. The Tiger’s Tail I used last year wasn’t in flower (not even close in fact)…..
so I went for another tall and spiky favourite – the lupin.
Teamed with immature hydrangeas, soft greenery…..
…dreamy larkspur and the surprise element of a shocking pinky orange snapdragon I felt that they added a very festive feel to the day.
We had some vibrant salads to go with the bbq-ed pork and oven cooked turkey and stuffing……
I made some mincemeat although didn’t quite manage to get them into mince pies (!) and some reindeer biscuits for the children (who am I kidding!) and up went the festive bunting. I did lose a saucepan after a huge Chutney Making Disaster. I make Nigella’s Christmas Chutney every year – why it burnt this year? Who knows. To Mr Fig’s credit he didn’t even mention the blackened saucepan smouldering away malevolently in the carport. The dog didn’t go near it either 🙂
I can’t write my final post for the year without a mention of the sweetpea love that has been blooming away for the past month or so. When I think how sick they looked when I transplanted them after months of over wintering in the greenhouse I can’t quite believe how well they’ve performed. They have been used in a wedding bouquet, a Golden Wedding Anniversary and a birthday and have graced the homes of numerous Farmers Market shoppers. I like to think I’ve spread a little joy through these scented lovelies!
My home has resembled that of a florist recently as I’ve picked buckets of flowers from the Cut Flower Garden. I’ve been making up all sorts of flower arrangements.
I’ve learnt quite a bit along the way about the need to condition flowers well before arranging for maximum vase life and also the importance of foliage and fillers as well as the flowers. Still loads more to learn….
I always make a point of NOT making New Year’s Resoultions but I do like to Make A List of Things I’d Like To Achieve or at least Aim For. In 2015 I’d like to:
- carry on with the Cut Flower Garden Dream and perhaps turn it into a small but perfectly formed business venture
- develop the herb garden and make some lovely herbal tea blends
- develop the underplanting in the Nuttery
I’ll stop there before it turns into a list of Resolutions! I’d just like to say Thank You to everyone who has happened upon my blog and for taking the time to read my posts. To friends and family (for whom I started the blog so they could see what I was getting up to out here in NZ) I hope you like what you’re reading and that you still feel part of my life even though I’m So Far Away! To my friends in NZ who read this blog Thanks for your lovely comments and encouragement. We’ll be seeing New Year in on my friend Mrs Egg’s Farm so Happy New Year Everyone! See you in 2015!