Monday, 2 May 2022

In my Springtime garden

After a sunny fun and action packed Easter weekend, it was a bit of a wrench to get up at silly o'clock again on Tuesday the 19th of April. 

As usual after a long weekend there was a lot of catching up to do at the office, particularly since not all our business associates celebrate Easter and had continued sending us emails non-stop. Nevertheless, with the sun streaming in through the office windows and the mercury having climbed to 19°C by midday, wild horses couldn't have kept me inside during my lunch break, when I went for a little wander. 



Wild horses couldn't have kept the garden from erupting into a Springtime extravaganza either, so ambling down the garden path after work always yielded one or two surprises.  Joining the snow white flowers of Anemone sylvestris (top left) and the first of the lilac pincushions of Scabious 'Butterfly Blue' (top right) was the one and only fuzzy purple, yellow-hearted flower supplied by Pulsatilla vulgaris (bottom left).

Can you guess the identity of the white flower on the bottom right? Oh, alright, I'll tell you then. It's much tinier than suggested by the photo and if all goes well it will eventually develop into one of our ruby-red gooseberries!



I absolutely love the semi-wild corner between the bench and the garden wall. The pink Bluebells have now been joined by a host of blue ones, which seem to be thriving here, contrasting gaily with the cheerful yellow Cowslips. And yes, there's some self-seeded Honesty here as well. 

The lime green leaves to the latter's left belong to herbaceous Clematis jouiniana ‘Mrs. Robert Brydon’, which will erupt in a fireworks of diminutive lavender blue flowers in late Summer.



The temperature - still a mild 18°C - kept tempting me outside during my lunch breaks on Wednesday and Thursday. 

I had a hairdresser's appointment on Wednesday, so not much wandering was being done, but I more than made up for this on Thursday. My wanderings that day took my feet into the direction of two of the Think Twice shops which alas I both left empty-handed in spite of it being one of their sale days. 

I did, however, strike lucky in a shop called Melting Pot, which sells vintage and second-hand clothing per kilo.



I paid € 12,05 for two floral vintage skirts, a tie-neck Trevira blouse, a turquoise scarf with a pattern of Summer flowers, and a red fringed shawl with floral embroidery. Result!




Happiness is watching a Clematis develop big fat buds and then finally flower after its barren first year.

I can't get enough of the initially cream and green flowers which mature into pure white saucer sized ones. Having long had a penchant for Clematis, this 'Guernsey Cream' variety is definitely one of my favourites.

For the gardeners among you, it is one of the early, large flowered hybrids and belongs to Group 2, to be pruned back in February or early March. That said, I didn't do any pruning at all!




Other garden surprises - other than the prolifically flowering Red Valerian and Bluebells - are the developing flower spikes in our Lupines and the first of ferns which will turn Dove Cottage's garden into a jungle before too long.

The working week might have been only a 4-day one, it still felt weird to be going into the office on a Friday. Weirder still was having only a 2-day weekend, which I insist simply isn't enough!

Our first task on Saturday was a pleasurable one: booking our Eurotunnel crossing for June! With our cottage already booked an eternity ago - in November 2019 to be exactly - and our passports at the ready, all we have to do now is keep our fingers and everything else crossed that our longed-for UK holiday will finally be happening.





Having long been out of the habit to go charity shopping on a Saturday, we were at a bit of a loss at first, until we decided to bite the bullet and go ahead, driving down to the shop in Willebroek which we had last visited in June 2021. If pickings had been meagre back then, they were non-existent now so, our rummaging urges unsatisfied, we drove back to the one in our very own village.



I'll show you what I found there in a minute, but let's have a look at my outfit first!

Browsing the rail of short-sleeved dresses which graced my wardrobe after the first installment of my seasonal changeoever, my eyes alighted on this vintage turquoise crepe dress. A Think Twice find from early 2020, changing its tired and washed out buttons was one of the first tasks I set myself during Lockdown # 1. Its new buttons, from my vintage stash, match the pink-ish bits in the dress's pattern almost exactly.



As does the painted metal dragonfly brooch I pinned to it. More touches of pink appear in the multi-coloured woven belt, as well as my shell bracelet and one or two of the beads of my necklace, all of which were charity shop finds. 

There's yellow in both the belt and necklace too, which I echoed by picking a yellow and white zebra striped bangle to keep the bracelet company.

The jacket with its geometrical pattern is H&M by way of the charity shops. I'd actually put it into one of the redonation bags but questioned by sanity just in time. A regret-me-not, as Sheila would say.




It was supposed to be 19°C but the wind made it feel quite a bit chillier. With on and off sunshine, I again questioned by sanity at one point, as I'd decided to leave the house coat-less. The jacket is only a thin one, worn in lieu of a cardigan.




By the time we made it to our local charity shop, Jos was gasping for a cup of coffee, so while he made a dash to the cafeteria, I took my time browsing the clothing aisles. I was actually on the lookout for plain Summer tops, and soon found the green butterfly-sleeved one, although my camera insists on making it appear more turquoise than it actually is.

The green wraparound skirt with its orange and white swirls and flowers found its way into my basket as well. 



Both the red and white marled knit C&A top and the pale yellow acrylic short sleeved cardigan are vintage and welcome additions to my wardrobe.

After having joined Jos for a coffee, we made our way to the till. But not before I spotted this sleeveless vintage top. I'm adding some label porn here. As often happens, I don't like the buttons much, and have already found two possible contenders to replace them with in my stash. Which ones would you go for?



When I was photographing my finds, it suddenly dawned on me that I never shared those from our last minute charity shop trawl the day before we went to Bruges.

They included a grey and white striped seersucker skirt, an olive green patterned vintage pussy-bow frock and funky short-sleeved floral top by the Danish ICHI label. In fact, I already bought the same top but in a smaller, and slightly too snug, size last Summer, which has already been redonated in the meantime.



The day ended with a glorious sunset, the sinking sun's tangerine glow filtered by the trees beyond our garden wall and illuminating our garden, setting fire to the orange pom poms in the Ranunculus on our plant table.



That's all I have time for now. I'll be back with what we did on the Sunday in a couple of days.

But before I leave you, how about some kitty TV?







37 comments:

  1. I say yes to kitty TV. So fun to see Bess in video format.
    Your garden in beautiful.
    Yes, 19 C can still be fresh if it is a windy day.
    I love your outfits.
    That's a gorgeous short sleeved dress.
    I like the jacket you paired with it.
    Great purchases.

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  2. I prefer the square orange buttons, becouse of the graphic print.
    You found a very nice striped skirt and so many amazing clothes. You are a thrift shopping princess.🌺 I love you added coloured accessoiries to your green dress. I have a dragonfly brooch, too. 😊
    Have a good week Ann. With a very huge hug Tina

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    1. Thank you Tina! I haven't got around to replacing the buttons yet, but I'll be following your advice on the square orange ones! xxx

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  3. Haha, Bess is having a great time! You're going to the UK! Yeah, what a joy. Have you ever been with the train? We never have. The last time we went with DFDS which was good. I'm hoping for lots of photos! We are not going next week, as its too soon from my bronchoscopy. But we are going later this year again. I'm fully enjoying our garden now. Such beautiful bright colours especially from the azaleas. Your bluebells are gorgeous! And again fabulous finds. Especially the sleeveless top!! I would go for the square button!

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    1. Thank you Nancy! Yes, actually we have been going by train for about 25 years :-) And of course there will be lots of photos! Oh, and I'm using the square buttons! xxx

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  4. Hello Ann
    Please forgive my absence but as you know things are currently. It great in our little corner and don’t look like they will be back to normal any time soon.
    It was nice to pop in and see your lovely outfits and garden though.
    Our love to the three of you. You made me smile with Kitty tv.
    Take care xxx

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    1. Thank you Lynn, and Jos and I are thinking of you and your predicament. So sad we won't be meeting :-( xxx

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  5. t great in our little corner and don’t look like they will be back to normal any time soon.
    It was nice to pop in and see your lovely outfits and garden though.
    Our love to the three of you. You made me smile with Kitty tv.

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    1. But at least I made you smile with kitty tv :-) xxx

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  6. hihi - playing bess is to cute!!!
    flowers galore at dove cottage - in the little garden and on your clothes too..... the outfit made of turquoise dress and geometrical patterned jacked is fabulous!
    happy spring! xxxx

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    1. Thank you Beate! We love watching Bess play, but she can be really boisterous :-) xxx

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  7. Kitty TV always gets my vote! What a beautiful sunset photo Ann! I agree with you - Guernsey Cream give such beautiful blooms. I was drawn to Spring Green tulip bulbs last year, which have produced similar delicately coloured flowers. Great finds in the charity shops - the red shawl is particularly striking and I love the vintage tops. For what it’s worth, I would go for the orange square buttons to adorn your new blouse. Everything crossed for your UK trip! xxx

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    1. The above comment was from me, Ann. Not sure why it's given me an Anonymous tag. xxx

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    2. Thank you Claire! Kitty TV always gets my vote too. I can never resist those funny cat videos (or is it reels ...) on Facebook and Instagram. Oh, and I'll be going for the orange square buttons! xxx P.S. Not sure what's going on with Google and Blogger ...

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  8. Your garden is looking beautiful! Kitty TV is just what I needed. You've found some beautiful clothes, my fa vourite being the olive green pussy bow dress. That will be able to stretch through almost all seasons. Have a good week, and I'm crossing fingers and toes all goes well for your trip to Wales.

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    1. Thank you Goody! Glad to be of service with Kitty TV! xxx

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  9. I loved seeing Bess in action, she's such a livewire!
    How glorious is your garden? Lovely to see so much in bloom. Ours is a mass of blue at the moment, grape hyacinths, bluebells and forget-me-nots galore.
    I'm so excited to see that the maps and passports are out - eeekkk!
    Love the hair and that turquoise midi dress is so pretty. Great finds too, the seersucker skirt and olive dress in particular! xxx

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    1. That she definitely is. Her latest thing is trying to use Jos's legs as scratching posts. I think she's catching up on her missed kittenhood :-) xxx

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  10. As usual, Bess steals the show! What a funny girl!

    The sights in your garden are so very soothing, Ann - I bet you are excited to watch it all burst into bloom.

    The red shawl is absolutely fabulous. That fringe is total "kitty spaghetti", though - keep it away from your feline huntress! Thanks so much for the regret-me-not shout-out - I'm glad you rescued that jacket! I'm wearing an H&M jacket today myself, in a funny coincidence.

    Wow, that vintage shirt is awesome. I would do the orange square buttons to echo the print.

    Have a good week, my dear friend! I hope you get more days off soon!

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    1. She's a funny little thing indeed and we've never had a cat that loved cuddles so much! I'm keeping the shawl with its fringes well out of sight! xxx

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  11. As usual your posts are a joyous, riotous explosion of colour. So good for the soul. I can't decide which buttons you should use to replace the ones you don't like, perhap alternate both? x

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    1. Thank you Jean, and I'm very pleased to read my posts are good for the soul :-) xxx

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  12. Well didn't you do well with all your charity shops finds! So many lovely things. I'm not at all jealous....I liked the square buttons best for the 'new to you' blouse.

    I'm so pleased you will be visiting the UK in June - not long to go!

    Your garden is looking very colourful with a lovely array of plants.
    xxx

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    1. Thank you Vronni! The square buttons seem to be getting the most votes, and they're the ones I would have chosen too! xxx

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  13. Loved seeing the flowers! The vintage floral skirts are beautiful.
    xoxo
    Lovely
    www.mynameislovely.com

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  14. Replies
    1. Thank you Regula, it won't be for another 5 weeks though! xxx

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  15. Wow, your garden is looking fabulously colourful, in bloom!. My balcony pots are bringing me joy too, even its reduced size!.
    Love your turquoise dress and your brilliant styling with the pink and yellow details! and love your fantastic purchases!. That sleeveless top is such a great piece, love both buttons, can't decide!
    I think we will not visit UK this year, still haven't planned anything for June (timetable problems!). I'll email you in case we change our minds, but probably we'll go for a shorter holiday by car. These are difficult times to plan anything!.
    Bess hunting in action!, she is so cute!
    besos

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    1. Thank you Monica! Your balcony pots are fabulous. I used to love my balcony pots when we lived in our apartment on the 12th floor! I'm sure we'll get to meet one day, by the way! xxx

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  16. Haha, kitty TV - brilliant :) Lovely springy springiness and chazza finds. Eh, pink bluebells ?!? I agree Ann, two day weekends are just wrong. Oooh, aren't the Ranuculous on your table just gorgeous. I have tried and failed to grow them from claws for the past couple of years, so was super chuffed to see some leafy plants being sold at a garden gate stall for just 50p! :) x

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    1. Thanks Lulu! I know: pink bluebells doesn't sound right, does it? We have white ones too ... Well done on snapping up some of those 50p Ranunculous! xxx

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  17. From corners far and wide around the world, I have heard tell on numerous occasions of stores that sell clothing by the pound/kilo, yet have not had the pleasure of hitting upon one (If indeed, any exist) here on Canadian soil.

    That said, a zillion years ago now, this country's primary nationwide bookstore chain used to have a sale around January/February (if memory serves me right) where you could buy as many new books from a wide selection that they put out on scores of large tables as you could fit into one of their shopping baskets, paying the same price whether you had two or twenty in there. Not quite the same thing, but the closest I have come to that selling concept in real life yet.

    Alas, they stopped offering that deal the better part of twenty years ago now and I highly, highly doubt it will ever return.

    Congratulations on all of your fabulous new finds - and on hitting such balmy weather already. No joke, while some of the daytime temps are aren't too bad, most nights this month have continued to drop down to temps where it could easily snow (though, happily, has not done so yet).

    Big hugs & the happiest of mid-May wishes,
    Autumn Zenith 🧡 Witchcrafted Life

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    1. Thank you Autumn! There's only one shop here selling clothing by the kilo that I know of. I do remember one selling household linen that way many years ago, that that one's long gone! That bookstore's deal sounds quite exciting, what a shame it doesn't exist anymore ... xxx

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  18. Oh, that shawl looks like something people would pay a lot for! Great find! I definitely covert a top like the blue floral Trevina one!

    Oooh the grey dress in the middle has a bit of a Morris vibe!

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    1. Thanks Laura! Now that you mention it, it does indeed. Possibly that's why I was attracted to it! xxx

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