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Flowers Around the House

I will start by saying that purple isn’t my favourite colour.  However … when I saw these gladioli in Waitrose today I thought they looked spectacular.  Better still, when they had been reduced to £1.45 for 6 lovely spears of this very elegant flower, they soon found their way into the trolley.  The vase is an old (again inherited) one, Delft ware, with chips and cracks all over it, but much Delft ware is like this, it’s the very nature of tin-glazed earthenware which is what Delft ware is. It is not hard, it doesn’t withstand knocks, but it’s really lovely in its own way.

I would normally place a large display such as this in the bay window, but with this hot weather continuing I knew they would soon suffer from direct sunshine, and so they are on the table behind the sofa.

As they were so very inexpensive, I also bought a bunch of spray carnations.  First of all, I had them on the garden table while I was outside, and later brought them indoors.

The little summerhouse is looking spotlessly clean right now (round of applause, please, for my endeavours!) but I assure you it won’t stay this way for long – magazines and books, cups of tea and gardening shoes will soon be plonked on the floor.

As the afternoon progressed, the sun vanished (but still not a sniff of rain) and I brought the spray carnations indoors. There is something very odd about pink/red flowers, this sort-of cerise colour:   it just doesn’t photograph well, indeed it almost looks luminous which is very strange.  They certainly don’t glow like this and are actually a very pretty colour.  I might cut them down a bit at the weekend, so there is less ‘stalk’ and more ‘flower’. Sometimes people are frightened of cutting flowers down, even when the stalks aren’t the prettiest part of the plant.

And so I walked around the house – call if “faffing” if you like – taking photos of the other flowers indoors at the moment.  First the sitting room, where the white roses I bought a week last Monday are still looking good. OK, some have died and been removed, but I’ve changed the water often and cut them down a bit, too.

In the hall, some geraniums …

And again, there’s a kind of luminosity to the flowers.

I also have some geraniums plus red antirrhinums on my bedside chest of drawers …

And on the dressing chest, a single pale pink rose (called You’re Beautiful) …

This is the last of the roses, unless there is a second flourish.

And, of course, roses on the bed!  You will catch a glimpse of a pastel blue and white bed cover which I’ve had for years and suddenly thought that it might look nice on our bed for the summer. There is a little pale bluey-grey in the pattern on the cushions, but perhaps this bed cover is just a little too pale, what with the pale walls, too.  Anyway, it was worth a try, and I’m always in favour of using what we have.

To the rest of today:  first, we did our shopping in Waitrose early this morning, arriving when there were just a few cars in the car park.  I thought we’d not need much today, the List didn’t appear quite so long as last week but, my goodness, the trolley was soon full.  (The check out assistant asked if it was all “just for us?”  She’s a slightly too-chatty person, actually, and I suppose some customers might’ve taken offence at such a personal question but no, I said, it was all “just for us!”)

We then drove to Ilsham Valley again, to enjoy our Waitrose ‘free’ coffee and a sandwich before heading home.

This afternoon a dear friend popped in for a cup of tea and a catch-up, and then we saw our young neighbour, who is a gardener, and he is going to do  some work for us; hedge cutting for us and also for our elder son who lives close by.

And to close, the foyer display in Waitrose today was all to do with G&T …

Of course, gin is very much the drink of the moment.  For us it’s never been out of favour, an ice-cold G&T is the cleanest-tasting drink there is.  We had tonic water on our List, and so we thought we’d try Fever Tree tonics (not the flavoured variety) and will now be able to compare them with Schweppes, of which we have a few left, to see whether we can taste the difference or whether Fever Tree has just benefited from good marketing!   We’re not seasoned drinkers by any means, and  we don’t care for  wine, but a G&T is a real treat every once in a while.

Have a lovely weekend, everyone,

Until next time.



About Margaret Powling

Margaret Powling
Margaret’s main interests are her husband and family, her friends, her home, her garden, writing, literature, architecture, décor, social history, photography, historic houses and gardens, and towns, villages and the countryside. She writes about the things she enjoys: flowers, scent, fine soap, monthly style magazines, and other such small indulgences, such as afternoon tea or simply enjoying her summerhouse with a book. She invites you to enjoy this virtual visit to South Devon, England.

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  1. https://hostessofthehumblebungalow.blogspot.com/

    Margaret you might like this blog, link above, shes reviewed some books today and also loves roses, perfume etc.
    Interesting that she lives in America and one of the books mentions the drama VERA set up north
    in Blyth and others about The Mitford girls,
    The summerhouse looks lovely and cosy just right for a quiet read.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Thank you for the link, Linda … great minds think alike as I already look at this lovely blog. The blogger lives in Canada (not America) and I love all the roses she shows on her blog which are from her garden. But thank you so much for thinking that I might like this blog because I do!

  2. Such lovely flowers Margaret, those cream roses have certainly lasted well haven’t they. We currently have pink gladioli in a tall clear vase on the hearth and cream stocks in my tree of life jug on the dining room table, I haven’t got into the habit of putting fresh flowers in the bedroom yet but can see how pretty they look.
    I have only tried Gin once in my life, years ago on a night out with my girlfriends and ended up in tears as I recall, perhaps it’s time I tried again as some of the flavours available nowadays are very appealing.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Thank you for your kind comments re the flowers and the roses have been lovely, white to start with and then becoming more cream as they have aged. I think they will last for a few days yet, too.
      I love flowers in the bedroom. I started doing this even as a child when my late uncle gave me a little round wine table to have in my bedroom, and I put on it a tall vase containing flowers. I’ve no idea where I got the flowers, but flowers I had!
      Yes, I’ve heard that gin can have that effect on people, I have no idea why, but I enjoy a glass of ice-cold G&T. Perhaps you had rather too much on the night out and you might’ve similarly suffered from any drink that you’d ‘overdone’ shall we say? But quality gin, quality tonic, ice and lemon or lime – perfect. I like Plymouth Gin. I’ve even toured the distillery (for a feature I was writing), and that was great fun. And we got to sample the gin at the end of the tour, the best bit!

  3. Hi Margaret,
    Do I spy Guerlain’s ‘Mitsouko’ and ‘L’Heure Bleue’ on your dresser?
    I think we must be sisters under the skin, as we like so many of the same things, flowers, fragrances, vases, weather, clothes, and I’m sure much more!
    I was delighted a few minutes ago when I saw a few rain spots on the kitchen window, and popped out into the garden to stand and get wet. Unfortunately, the rain lasted all of six minutes, but it was lovely all the same! If we could just get a few days of grey, miserable, drizzly weather, everywhere would cool down properly, and it would do all our gardens a world of good!
    Glad to hear that both you and your husband are feeling a bit better now that the weather’s cooled off a little. I’m only(!) sixty and my husband is sixty one, but it was starting to wear us out too!

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Hello, Colette, and well spotted! Yes, my t wo favourite Guerlain fragrances! I like them better in autumn/winter than in summer, but they are really lovely and whenever I wear L’Heure Bleue people ask what is the lovely scent I’m wearing?
      We’ve not had any rain here yet, but oh, it would be lovely to have some, it would clear the sultry atmosphere. Although it’s not been hot today, it’s what we call “muggy”. Yes, we are feeling much better, thank you. Husband is 82 (I’m 73) and therefore I insisted that he didn’t work – not that he could, it was far too hot! – in the very hottest time of the day during this prolonged heatwave. Until now we’ve not considered ourselves to he ‘elderly’ but we have to accept that we’re not spring chickens any longer and must take care during extreme weather conditions. On the other hand, I don’t want to ‘nanny’ him. It’s adjusting to taking perhaps more care but now wrapping ourselves in cotton wool, so to speak.

  4. The flowers here and there are so charming. When it’s so hot, and humid too? it’s so hard to do anything!!

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      You are right, Ratnamurti, it’s been too hot and humid to do anything. Everyone I’ve spoken to has said much the same, and trying to sleep in the heat at night has been equally awful. Last night, the temperature dropped for the first time in weeks and I slept reasonably well. But still we’ve not had any rain. But flowers always make a home look more attractive and welcoming, I think.

  5. I do like gin but I’ve only ever had one drink at a time and that with plenty of tonic so I’ve been OK with it. I was given a bottle of Hendrick’s a couple of years ago and really liked that. I use Feverfew tonic but I’ve only tried the original one.

    Still no flowers here, I’ve not really had the chance to get any yet. Whenever I’ve been near the shops it’s been hot and because I haven’t been going straight home I thought I’d leave it. Soon. We had a little rain here today but not nearly enough.

    Your summer house looks very inviting 🙂

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Yes, the Fever Tree tonic we bought is just plain tonic, no added flavours, Alison.
      Yes, it’s only worth buying flowers when you are going straight home during this hot weather because if they are left in a car too long they soon expire and no amount of water will revive them. We’ve not had so much as a sniff of rain yet and today it has become hot again. I love our little summerhouse, it is only small but it has the essentials – two comfy chairs, a table with a lamp, a CD player and a small TV. Oh, and a heater for chillier days!

  6. Round of applause for sure regarding your cleaning efforts on the summerhouse. Everything at your house always looks so nice, I think, maybe, you’re too hard on yourself! The flowers are so pretty, as always. I seem to stand alone here in that I do not care for gin and tonic. What I do like in the summer is vodka and lemonade – that I find very tasty and refreshing. We had a thunderstorm here last night, which was much appreciated as we certainly need the rain. I think we could use a lot more rain, though.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Hello, Jeannine, and thank you for such lovely comments. We will just have to disagree on our drinks, won’t we? I have had vodka only in a Bloody Mary and I really thought it was the most awful spirit under the sun, quite oily to my taste, whereas gin is as they say of some pools, gin-clear. Aren’t we funny in what we like and dislike? Both are spirits and yet they taste so very different.
      We need to have a storm here to clear the air or, in the very least, some rain. Everywhere is dry and dusty, and now I’ve seen on the News that there are some grassland fires close to Heathrow airport, although the airport authorities say no flights have been cancelled.
      Thank you for your lovely comments that our house always looks nice – I can assure you it gets untidy and dusty so it’s a life-long challenge to keep the grime at bay!

  7. Eloise (thisissixty.blog)

    I like purple a lot whether clothes or flowers, and next to white flowers they are my favourite. The gladioli look spectacular! White roses are a great favourite. They’ve lasted very well. Husband picked our first (the only) sweet pea yesterday so I now have a single stem in a tiny jug on the kitchen windowsill.
    I’m with Jeannine on the gin – I don’t like it either. It’s very popular at the moment, much as vodka was a couple of years ago. There is an obsession with flavouring things. Apart from an occasional glass of cider, Alburino white wine or Prosecco are all that I drink. I would need only the fingers on my hands to total up a year’s worth! I just don’t like it very much.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Isn’t it strange, our likes and dislikes? I’m not even keen on purple clothes (OK for the Queen and her royal purple, especially for her racing colours!) Mind you, I did have a lovely purple dress which I wore out to lunch on our 25th wedding anniversary – now that is a very long time ago! But it’s the only purple item I can recall wearing.
      Yes, there seems to be an obsession with flavouring things, everything comes with a hint of something else which I DO NOT WANT. One spirit I dislike is malt whisky that is ‘peaty’ and tastes to me as if it’s a mild dose of the antiseptic, TCP!

  8. I don’t think I’ve ever tried gin. I’m not much of a drinker, either. A glass of champagne is nice and I like a (weak) vodka, soda water and lime juice cordial. Refreshing. I like drinks served in a nice glass. Even if it’s just soda water – if everyone else is holding a nice glass I want one too 🙂 Your flowers all look lovely. You have a real talent for making things look just so, but never overdone… if you know what I mean. I hope you have had relief from the hot weather by now. It can be quite overwhelming. We have had some glorious winter days lately – clear, blue skies for miles – which is perfect for the school holidays. I imagine it’s easier (and less expensive) to amuse kids when you can get outdoors, rather than be cooped up inside all day and night.

    • Margaret Powling
      Margaret Powling

      Yes, the glass does make a difference to a drink, doesn’t it? We even have our night time water beside our bed in our cut glass tumblers (the ones we bought 2nd – or many-hand – from the Antiques Centre in Topsham). But, as with yourself, we’re not what you’d call ‘drinkers’; an occasional G&T and also something which a friend suggested once and which is really pleasant: a dessert wine as an aperitif, i.e. over ice with a slice of lemon, I treated us to a bottle of Orange Muscat & Flora by Brown Brothers (from Milawa, Victoria, Australia) and that is really lovely. But it’s still unopened in the cupboard!
      The weather is still humid but not quite as hot as it has been and yesterday we had a very short shower which was lovely but it was only minutes and the ground soon dried. Thank you for your kind words re my flowers and making things look just so without being overdone. That is a lovely compliment.

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