The study with patio door open to the garden
What a glorious weekend it has been, with wall-to-wall sunshine. I have just popped into the study and shortly I will return, with a cup of tea, to the summerhouse where husband and I have been watching the England v. Panama match which England won convincingly, 6-1. I think they conceded the one goal out of sympathy to a rather rough-and-ready Panamanian team, better at wrestling the England team members to the ground rather than playing football.
Our little grandson has been over to see us, too, and that is always a pleasure. He asked if he could have a treasure hunt in the garden, and so I’ve suggested that I organize this for next weekend – not only would this give me time to organize it, but also it would be something for him to look forward to.
I told him that I used to do treasure hunts for his daddy and uncle when they were little. I said his daddy was once a little boy just as he is, and he said, “Was Daddy annoying when he was little?” and I said, “Yes, and your Uncle, too!” I asked what kind of treasure he could like? and he said “chocolate and money!” So this week I will be seeking out small items of chocolate and other little toys (and perhaps a book, as he loves to read) to put around the garden, along with 20p pieces, treasure indeed! (And if it is raining, I’ve said it will make no difference, there will still be a treasure hunt, but indoors.)
I was up early, around 5.30am. I love the early hours of the day in summer; there is a unique freshness to the day at that early hour. Eventually, after reading comments on my latest post, and responding, I made breakfast which we had in the garden. Fruit, followed this morning by a cooked breakfast of bacon, tomatoes with basil, and shitake mushrooms, and toast and marmalade. Husband collected the paper from our local shop, so we had that to read, what a lovely way to start the day.
I brought the roses from the sitting room to the garden as we were spending much of the day out of doors.
Later, while husband was busy in the garage on one of his projects, I had coffee in the garden (he had his coffee in the garage – he didn’t go without!) and had a look at the paper …
After which I did a pile of ironing, all the sheets (for we’re using sheets and a light wool cellular blanket for the summer) and pillow cases and I have just a few items to finish off shortly. Then it was time to prepare lunch and I wanted to have that all done and dusted, as they say, before the beginning of the England football match at 1 pm.
Lunch was a simple affair, much like yesterday’s only we had ham and salami instead of a prawn salad, but I served it with a tomato salad and new potatoes. The tomatoes I used today were tiny plum tomatoes, which I sliced in half lengthways, to which I added chopped spring onions, chopped cucumber (skin removed and seeds removed), salad cress, and chopped chives, plus vinaigrette dressing.
There is something really relaxing about a day spent in the garden even if in the shade of the tree or in the summerhouse. And if we wish to see something on TV, say Royal Ascot (I watched some of that last week) or Wimbledon, which starts shortly or, best of all, The Open (the British golf championship), the summerhouse is truly the ideal place to see it, as you are out of doors and yet not totally out of doors, if that makes sense?
On the photo at the top of this post you will see my desk in the study, and a jug filled with sweet Williams. These are from our garden and yet neither husband nor I can remember planting them, and yet there were two definite clumps of them and so we must have planted them last autumn! We cut them for the house as we needed to re-work that particular border and I knew that they would be ‘over’ in about a week’s time, and so I’m enjoying their scent and colour here in the study, as I sit writing this.
Outside, the mint is growing well in a couple of pots (I’ve never been successful in growing it in the ground, so this is obviously the way forward for herbs from now on.)
And the pelargoniums are looking good, also in pots (this is one of a pair on either side of the back door.)
I read on a blog earlier today that the writer of the blog isn’t keen on seeing books, on blogs or Instagram, ‘posed’ with flowers.
I could be accused of such ‘posing’; I often show books alongside flowers, but I never feel the need actually to ‘pose’ them, i.e. spending time searching for suitable flowers because I always have flowers in the house, and if not flowers, then leaves from the garden, and usually the books that I photograph often arrive at much the same time as a new bunch of flowers or my magazines.
Apart from their obvious actual merit as reading material, I don’t think there is anything wrong with using books as attractive objects in their own right and, as such, putting them alongside other attractive things which, together, are visually pleasing.
The interior designer/architect, the late David Hicks, coined the term “tablescapes” for this kind of thing. In one way or another, we all put things together in a way which is pleasing to us, whether books, ornaments, even how we line up the tins in the larder, clothes in our wardrobes, or hang our towels in the bathroom.
Therefore, I make no excuses for placing books alongside flowers if I think together they will make a pleasing photograph. Sometimes I photograph just the cover of the book and show that without any other objects. Often the genre of book will dictate how it is photographed and also, much depends on how I want to photograph the book on any given day.
And now it’s time for a cup of tea.
Until next time.