31 May 2013

audley end [III]

The final instalment of our visit to Audley End. The gardens, the Kitchen garden, the gardeners cottage and the glasshouse. We're hoping to pop back in the summer and see the kitchen garden brimming with produce. Amazingly back in Victorian times they grew all the fruit and veg for the house even pineapples! 

You can also see part [I] and part [II] of our visit, if you missed them before.

29 May 2013

garden moodboard - may 2013

I'm joining in with Karin and Åsa again with a monthly moodboard - a collection of seasonal flowers, and foliage from the garden. 

aquilegia • thrift • alkanet • buttercup • lilac • hawthorn • cow parsley, and some whose names I don't know yet. A mix of bright colour and heady scent. 

24 May 2013


  • Pie and Tit standing guard [behind I've been planting the raised bed Dad built]
  • waiting for the train, back in the mac as yet again rain is forecast
  • lunch at home [taramasalata on toast and tomatoes]
  • pretty table sweepings 
  • Mousekin having breakfast in the sun
  • more time waiting for trains
  • looking out the window
  • grey days in London
  • tasty dinners [fish, cheese and salads]
  • lunch at home [salad, toast and cheese]
Lately we've been spending spare time in the garden; making the most of the light evenings, sowing seed in the vegetable garden, weeding the flower beds and planting a new rasied one. We've rummaged through car boots for bounty and prepared delicious food to share. The weather has been pretty rubbish and we've consoled ourselves booking breaks away - first to Berlin and then to Sweden [Stockholm, Gothenburg and in between]. So please if you have any tips for cool things to do, must see places, places you love to eat, foods to try, shops to browse or anything you love please do share.

Images all from Instagram you can follow me there @nicekindofblue

23 May 2013

nature in the home

Joining Lou again and her 'nature in the home' series. This week Lou set us a green theme, foliage and flowers. When it comes to green nothing beats euphorbia, or spurges as it's often known, it's zingy green (not all species) flowers and foliage are a riot at this time of year. I absolutely adore it and am slowly filling the garden with as many different types as I can. Sorry Lou, I didn't manage to stick to green entirely and found myself adding a few splashes of colour here and there. 

[note - euphorbia has a nasty side too, it's an irritant and poisonous so always take care when handling and wear gloves]

21 May 2013

audley end [II]

A few more pictures from our visit to Audley End. These are taken in the Victorian kitchen, laundry and dairy. I loved these rooms, the shiny copper pots and pans, the cool of the stone work surfaces, the sheen of the tiled walls and the white of the folded laundry. 

I also promised to share some more links to favourite blogs of mine, click here, here and here - these are all especially good when you need a little in the way of colour [a favourite therapy of mine]. 

20 May 2013

audley end [I]

A few weeks back we visited Audley End, it's not too far from where we live and has been on our list of places to visit since way back. As well as the Jacobean house, there is the Victorian kitchen, laundry, stables, parkland, gardens and an organic kitchen garden. We took a tour of the house - it's pretty amazing, so much history involving so many people I rather lost track! The rooms span different periods and fashions, some pretty gaudy, some more refined, but all totally over-the-top bonkers. A bit like the hedge in the second and third picture here. I'll share more pictures, of the kitchen, laundry and gardens in another instalment.

16 May 2013

nature in the home

I'm joining in with Lou and her 'nature in the home' series. This week Lou set us a theme - pink. I'm not much of a pink person when it comes to flowers and tend not to plant them, so I wondered what I would show, all I could think of was the apple blossom, but that seemed a little too similar to my last post. Then as I watered the plants in the house this morning it dawned on me that these pelargonium are pink, albeit the kind of pink I like, close on red/orange. The poor things are blooming away in our spare room where we have a big free space by the window, they can't wait to get outside on the patio but I don't trust the weather just yet. 

And hello to my new followers, I've noticed the number have slowly been creeping up, which is nice, thank you.

13 May 2013


I had to get out with the camera last week and capture the blossom, before the windy weather blew it all away. Apparently the freaky weather this past winter/spring made all the blossom come at once, pear, plum, cherry and apple, quince. We're lucky to have all of those, a garden full of pretty pinks and whites and so much too. When we first moved here two and a half years ago, the trees had been neglected and not pruned. We're trying hard to get them back in shape, they are improving year on year and though not perfect they are much more manageable than when we first arrived. Now we're hoping all this blossom turns to fruit!

11 May 2013


  • lunch at home 
  • the rockery
  • Mr Mouse 
  • the rockery
  • bedding
  • found a new place for coffee
  • Mr Mouse showing off
  • Tit's eggs and some from hens

10 May 2013

more nice finds

Isn't this yellow bowl wonderful, I love the zingy yellow and those little handles either side. You can tell this image was taken a few weeks ago by the hyacinths, I just love them and am slowly trying to fill the garden - well a little area (see here).

And I promised to share a few more of my favourites, have a look here, here and here.

9 May 2013

nature in the home

I'm really enjoying Lou's series 'nature in the home'. This week I've filled a vase with alkanet, we've tonnes of the stuff growing in our garden, I love the piercing blue, the little splashes of it are so small yet it still manages to dazzle.

7 May 2013

some nice finds

Some nice little finds, I've a whole cabinet of vases - can you ever have too many? I don't think so. I like these with their dots and muted tones.

I've not been catching up with so many blogs lately - it's the weather it's been so good here in the UK that combined with the lighter evenings means I'm out in the garden at every opportunity. But I still find a few minutes to catch up with my favourite blogs,  there are some I look forward to immensely, and when I spot them in my reader I go straight to them this one and this one, I'll share some more another time ;-)

3 May 2013

nature in the home

Joining in again with Lou this week and her series 'nature in the home'. We used to have a huge one of these [billbergia nutansa few years back, but had to give it away when we went travelling for some time. I've missed it ever since, most of the year it's just the green spiky leaves, and then suddenly these beautiful pink spikes appear with their dangly blooms. We were thrilled to find this one at a local plant sale a few weeks back, despite not being in bloom at the time I jumped for joy so sure it was our old favourite.