Thursday, 29 April 2010

Alys Fowler’s The Edible Garden

Way back in August of last year I did a little review of Alys Fowler's
I liked that book a lot even though to be honest it didn't tell me anything I didn't already know.
But I liked Alys' style and I found that she made me want to garden. With that in mind I was keen to watch her BBC program The Edible Garden
Have you seen it?
Once again I found that I liked her style, who could resist someone who
gardens with a Jack Russell and talks to her hens?
I'm not learning anything I don't already know but I'm enjoying the show,
it has an element of whimsy and escapism that I find appealing.
What do you think?
Oh correction - I'd never heard of hapa-zome until I saw Alys making those
fabric lid covers for jam pots on last nights show.
Now I'm keen to have a go at that myself.
Told you she was inspiring didn't I?

Wednesday, 28 April 2010


Sweet Violet has a strong fragrance, and has been used in the making of perfume as far back as Ancient Greece. Some say that you can only smell violet flowers once but this is a myth. however the fragrance is strangely short-lived due to the chemical, ionine, which makes up the violet’s scent, it has the ability to deaden the smell receptors that detect it.

In medieval Britain, Sweet Violet was used as a deodorant.

It has a long history of folk use, especially in the treatment of cancer and whooping cough. It also contains salicylic acid, which is used to make aspirin, and is therefore effective in the treatment of headaches, migraine and insomnia.

This is our Today's Flowers postfind out more here.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Earth Day

"Earth Day is a day designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's environment. It was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in held on April 22, 1970.[1] Earth Day is celebrated in spring in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. Earth Day Network, a group that wishes to become the coordinator of Earth Day globally, asserts that Earth Day is now observed on April 22 on virtually every country on Earth.[2] World Environment Day, celebrated on June 5 in a different nation every year, is the principal United Nations environmental observance.[3] Many communities also celebrate Earth Week, an entire week of environment-related activities. "from Wikipedia

The rather wonderful illustration is by Ishtar Olivera who says :

"Our Earth has given us SO much… lets think of ways, of having more love and gratitude to her and really give some of our time, love, and dedication in return. There are so many ways, we can start doing something. Little acts that really make a difference. Earth Day is not -should not- be just ” a day”, but everyday..
With this button all I pretend is Plant a seed of awareness in our lifes and have present that ” Everyday is Earth Day”."

Earth Day

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Clematis Armandii

Walk down our garden path and the sweet fragrance of Clematis Armandii will engulf your senses. Look up and you'll see a mass of white blossom against the pale blue sky.

This is our Today's Flowers post
find out more here.

Armandii is the only fragrant clematis, it's flowers will last several weeks in spring time and it will sometimes flower again in August. Even when not in flower it is extremely decorative with it's long dark evergreen glossy leaves. It orginates from China and is an extremely vigorous climber.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Weekly Roundup

For the first time we took part in Today's Flowers which is such a nice idea that we think we'll make it a regular post.

Another first was the rather ludicrous photograph of one of our Silkie Bantams
over at The Chicken Daily and talking of firsts our eldest son exhibited some of his photographs in a gallery for the first time. There is a photograph of his photographs on the website in the What we are doing section.

Whilst we are on the subject of photographs isn't the one above adorable?
It's of Charles the baby red squirrel who fell from his nest.

Red squirrels aren't the only wildlife in need of a little help so we were pleased to be able to use the Renaissance Newsletter to help promote a WDCS Walk for Whales in nearby Hunstanton.

Over at Renaissance Vintage Notebook we seem to have spent quite a lot of time at the V & A looking at vintage inspired quilt fabrics and enthusing about the Grace Kelly exhibition.

We're always on the look out for beautiful ways to display vintage books, we are vintage book sellers afterall, and we found a rather lovely photograph whilst blog hopping which of course lead to the discovery of lots of new, to us, blogs

Maybe you'll find the time to visit them?

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Grape Hyacinth

A grape hyacinth from our garden

this is our very first Today's Flowers post
find out more here.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Can you help Sally Page of Flower Shop Stories?

Sally Page, author of The Flower Shop series of books is asking for assistance with her new book

"I would really appreciate a bit of help from flower loving bloggers, so please spread the word!
I am working on the final pages of my new book and need just a few more messages. The book, which is due out at the end of August, is packed with masses of flowery photographs and the messages that people send with flowers. From the wonderfully romantic, to the friendly and funny, and at times, very sad - it really shows that you can say it all with flowers!
If you have ever sent or received a great message I would love to hear about it.
The book will be hardback, 128 pages, priced £9.99
And I absolutely love it!
(not very modest I know)"

If you can help please leave a message on her blog Flower Shop Stories

Friday, 2 April 2010

Happy Easter (& a weekly roundup)

It's been a busy week getting ready for the Easter hols at Renaissance HQ
with little being uploaded to the website

It didn't start well with the news of Elspeth Thompson's death, so sad.

But we've had a reminder of new life with our quail starting to lay again, very seasonal.

We went all Eastery over at Renaissance Childrens Notebook with Easter Gift Bags,

And all wistful over at Renaissance Vintage Notebook with a sort of if we had a real bricks & mortar shop we'd stock:

And now of course it's April ,we had to mark April Fool's Day with a little joke or two,
and Easter is upon us.

We'll be spending it together, the whole family is home this weekend, bliss.

Wishing you all a very happy Easter.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Happy April Fool's Day

From our garden -

but not today, did we fool you, no of course not.

Happy April Fool's Day!