zaterdag 29 september 2012

The last summer flowers

While I am writing this post sunshine is coming in through the windows. It's cold and windy outside, but the blue sky and white clouds that float by make everything look pretty.

The garden is slowly changing. The leaves are turning red and golden and the last summer flowers are fading away. The smell is different too. I find it hard to describe, but it's a combination of wet earth and old cellars :-) Last week I picked, what I think will be, the last summer flowers of the season. A gorgeous bunch of Sedum, Anemones, Cosmea Sea Shell and a variety of Dahlia's and Zinnia's. Before getting rid of the dried up pyramids of Sweet Peas, I picked the last  flowers to take home with me. Next time we visit we will probably put the pink and purple tulip bulbs we bought recently into the ground.

This week I received a beautifully wrapped parcel from New York. Out of the turquoise wrapping paper with matching ribbon, came a stylish beret handmade by Frances from the blog City views country dreams! Dear Frances, you are a treasure for sending me such a lovely present. I love the green and blue colours you chose, the little buttons on the side and the big Pom Pom on top! It will look perfect with my coat. I hope I will be able to show you a photo soon.

Wish you all a wonderful weekend!

Madelief x

woensdag 26 september 2012

A day at the Swan Market

We had our first autumn storm on Monday.  I had to zig zag my way to the train station on Tuesday morning, because of the large branches that had fallen to the ground. It made me realise how lucky I had been with my day at the Swan Market. Although we had rain in the afternoon, great part of the day was just lovely. Imagine....if the storm had come earlier, my cups and saucers would have been all over the place.

The market was a success. Thanks to my family and friends who helped me out in the stall and several blog friends who came over to visit. A big kiss and thank you to you all!

I enjoyed the lively atmosphere at the market, the variety of people strolling along the stalls and the beautifully, often handmade, items.

I am not sure if I will do it another time, but never say never :-). The next XXL version of the Swan market will take place on the 9th of December. It will be an extra Christmas edition. If you are interested in going, don't forget to write down the date in your diary.

Wish you all a happy Wednesday!

Madelief x

zaterdag 22 september 2012

In full swing

The preparations for the Swan market tomorrow are in full swing. The table in my living room is covered with different kind of teapots, plates, handbags, cups and saucers, jewellery and even some clothes. Almost everything you need for a vintage tea party will be for sale in my stall ;-). My hallway is full of boxes. It really is a mess. I think my family will be happy when it's all over and the house and I return to normal again.

My friend Ilse must have been sitting behind her sewing machine until late at night, making metres of bunting in the prettiest floral fabrics. The moment I set eyes on them, I was hooked! The bunting will be for sale in my stall as well.

I will not be there on my own. My husband and daughters will help me, so are two friends. I hope they haven't seen the weather forecast yet, because if they do they may well decide to stay at home.   It will probably be a wet, but hopefully jolly, affair :-)!

In between preparing for the market, I found some time to bake blueberry muffins. They taste light and healthy and look beautiful with their golden glow. You can find the recipe here.

If you are planning to come to the Swan Market, don't forget to take cash money with you, as most stall holders don't have a cash machine. I will be on the market from 12.00 until 18.00 hours. For more information about how to get there, please visit the Swan Markets website. Looking forward to meet you! 

A Happy weekend to you all!


Madelief x

woensdag 19 september 2012

An unexpected surprise

It was our intention to visit Sezincote house and gardens, but upon arrival the gate was firmly closed. The sign read that the garden would not open until two o'clock in the afternoon. When it's only ten o'clock in the morning on a rainy day, four hours is a long wait. While walking up the road to the village of Bourton on the hill, we noticed the entrance to another garden, the garden of Bourton house.  It was quickly decided that it might be interesting to have a look. It turned out to be an unexpected surprise!

Bourton house and gardens is situated on a hill not far from Moreton in the Marsh. You enter through a converted barn into a pretty orchard, where you can have refreshments when the weather is fine. On a rainy day you can take shelter in a converted barn.

The garden is not large, but exquisite and enjoyable, with a knot garden, some water features, a topiary walk and colourful borders. The eighteenth century Georgian house, built of Cotswold stone, looks impressive in the background.

A great advantage is, that the garden is not as well known as some other Cotswold gardens nearby and therefore less crowded.

While taking shelter for the rain, we had a pleasant talk with two English garden enthusiasts, who told us the garden was now owned by a Dutchman. Our fellow countryman could not have made a better choice. The place looks enchanting and well taken care of. I hope my photo's do the garden justice.

When you are interested in visiting. Please check out the website of Bourton house and gardens.
Have a lovely day!

Madelief x