31 March 2011

meadow minders

Soon Anne and I will be looking after Fluffy...

in our new posts as Meadow Wardens in Petersham Meadows!

Until recently the Meadows (once part of the Ham House estate) were managed by the Petersham Trust. But last year the Meadows were handed over to the National Trust, which is recruiting volunteer wardens to maintain the fields and herd.

I'm very excited, but also rather nervous, as the only large animals I've ever looked after have been Labradors and greyhounds. But we've been assured the cows, who return from their winter quarters next month, are just as lovely and loyal...though there might be rather more poop to scoop!

29 March 2011

bloggers and beads

Saturday morning, G escaped to the allotment just as a bevy of bloggers arrived for a workshop with the lovely and talented Emma, jeweler extraordinaire.

Emma had come early to arrange our tool kits and set out baking pans and sweet tins brimming with antique, retro, and modern beads and bits:

So we were soon settled round my tiny table, where Emma taught us to use pliers and cutters, wires and headpins. After which we set to, making necklaces,

brooches, and charms:

While well-fortified by Emma's excellent homemade cake, there was even more cake in the afternoon (!) when we popped round to Petersham for lunch.

Having commandeered one of the largest Teahouse tables, we sampled the sandwiches, soup, and new savory tarts, as well as plenty of tea and cake. But the real highlight was just being together: I can't remember when I've smiled so big or laughed so hard. Bloggers and beads...bliss!

25 March 2011

magnificent magnolias

Yesterday, Tracy, Nancy, and I met for our monthly walk round Kew. This being our first spring visit, we were hoping for bounteous blossom. Sadly, there seemed to be more blossom at Kew Gardens station than in the park itself.

But the dearth of blossom was more than made up for by the magnificent magnolias, literally towering over the park, in every shade of white and ivory,

peach and pink:

I do love magnolias. Their full flowers and heady scent always remind me of home. Plus, they're nominally linked with some of the very best cupcakes...

Must be time for another batch!

22 March 2011

pottering in petersham, take five

Long time, no see! But here I am, right back where you left me at Petersham,

proving the more things change, the more they stay the same (except for my hair, which is still recovering from the most horrific haircut).

And while I returned from America last month, Petersham is having its own American moment, with cabinet-fuls of Ball canning jars and table-fuls of retro pop bottles:

But Bee and I eschewed Pep-Up pop and went straight for the warming powers of tea, coffee, and cake at a table in the greenhouse.

Bravely defying my afternoon caffeine ban, we ordered what proved to be an amazing tea, Anxi Rou Gui oolong from the Canton Tea Company:

But being out of blogging mode, I only remembered to take a photo as we were finishing off the pot, and I missed snapping my slice of lemon poppy seed cake entirely...

There were some monster-size lemons in the shop though,

alongside the ever-fabulous flora,

and some subtle reminders of what I should be doing:

But being a fair-weather gardener, I really must wait for the rain to stop first!