Tag Archives: Rose Petals

Summer Nights & Summer Food

Sorrel's Magical Meringues, Rocking Dog

Sorrel’s Magical Meringues

Beautiful summer nights, perfect for gorgeous summer food. It’s been a busy weekend for the Ferguson family with summer parties near Derby, a surprise party in the Rocking Dog garden and finally a lazy Sunday lunch.

I couldn’t resist including photo’s of Sorrel’s baking. A family party led her and Pete to Derby with the most stupendous of celebratory sausage rolls, and the prettiest of meringues, thanks for the recipe Yotam! Sorrel’s sausage rolls are by all accounts legendary, and this one was the piece de resistance with the hosts’ names written in poppy and sesame seeds. The meringues meanwhile were given a sprinkling of pistachio’s, crushed rose petals and gold leaf, very decadent.

Meanwhile in Bristol there was a surprise party afoot. The Rocking Dog garden was commandeered for our lovely neighbour Symon’s 40th. We had about two hours to hurriedly string the garden with bunting and fairy lights, to set up deck chairs, a bar, and to place tea lights. I rediscovered a beautiful old Indian wedding arch in a cupboard last week, and used it to decorate our entrance gates. It is embroidered with beautiful brightly coloured cows, elephants and a host of other creatures and Indian symbols. I’d love to find out more about it.

Symon seemed to have a thoroughly wonderful time, and the evening was positively balmy. Food, live music, happy children and cake will hopefully help to make wonderful memories. One of the guests made a lovely comment saying that the garden was really romantic. Twilight, fairy lights, bunting, soothing music and a generous glass of bubbly obviously took away from the fact that the garden is devilishly weed filled!

The weekend ended with a lazy late lunch in the garden. Skye Gingell’s Chicken salad with roast bread & sour cherries, cheese and summer fruits were followed by coffee and chocolate (in the most divine packaging). Jugs of foaming Pimms and a couple of bottles of Prosecco made the lunch feel very luxuriant and summery.

Lovely friends, lovely family and gorgeous sunshine.

I hope the week starts well for all. Love Rocking Dog x

Garden Bunting, Rocking Dog

Garden Bunting

Indian Welcome Arch, Rocking Dog

Indian Welcome Arch

Summer Nights, Rocking Dog

Summer Nights

Foaming Pimms, Rocking Dog

Foaming Pimms

Sweet Endings, Rocking Dog

Sweet Endings

Chaource & Cheddar, Rocking Dog

Chaource & Cheddar

Icing On The Cake, Rocking Dog

Icing On The Cake

Skye's Chicken Salad, Rocking Dog

Skye’s Chicken Salad

Sorrel's Stupendous Sausage Roll, Rocking Dog

Sorrel’s Stupendous Sausage Roll

It’s Another Good Year For The Roses!

Grandmother Emily's Tea Set, Rocking Dog

Grandmother Emily’s Tea Set

With a mixture of delicious sunshine and refreshing rain it’s another good year for the roses. A few years ago I was given a little bit of money, I spent it taking out some life sapping and towering conifers which came with the house. How I hated them. In due course the mammoth culling process was completed, and the trees were replaced with rustic posts and wires in preparation for roses. Days were spent deliberating just which roses to choose and finally the order was made. December came, and with it a box of David Austin bare root rambling roses. Certainly they were unimpressive, little more than twigs. With the precious delivery the snow also came. Planting was postponed and the roses assigned to the cold but frost free cellar. Christmas over, and with the snow having melted, the ground remained so frost bitten. The roses could not stay in the cellar indefinitely, so warmly wrapped I headed out to dig seven massive holes! Rooting powder, mushroom compost, roses, together with determination and energy the plants were in! I remember not having high hopes for them. Last year there were beautiful blooms and the beginning of some privacy for the garden. This year the roses are rambling on, and with SO many showy scented blooms. I wish the conifers had gone long ago!

There is fossil evidence that suggests that roses have been around for 35 million years. The production of rosewater, scented oils and perfumes from wild roses can be traced back in Iraq to 2000BC. Meanwhile in Greek Mythology legend has it that Aphrodite the Goddess of Love created the rose from her tears and the blood from her lover Adonis. In Egypt, Cleopatra covered the floors of her palace to the depth of half a metre with fresh rose petals. Meanwhile the sails of her sailing ships were drenched with rosewater. Indeed rosehip wreaths have been discovered in Egyption tombs. In Rome, emperors filled swimming pools and fountains with rosewater. Such was the demand for roses by the wealthy, that Roman peasants were forced to grow roses instead of food. At one lavish feast hosted by Emperor Nero, a guest was smothered to death by rose petals which cascaded down from an open ceiling. Cultivation of roses was well underway by 500BC in China.

I love my Grandmother Emily’s tea service by Spode. It is decorated with pink roses and I loved it as a child, and still do. It tends to sit on open shelving in the kitchen and i’m rather too afraid to use it. I really don’t like tea anyway!

The paper rose was made and given to me by a friend very recently… I feel a bit of Marie coming on!

The Edwardian Rose is attributed to the Edwardian photo album. A “not in my tree” collection. The photo’s show the lives of an upper middle class family at the turn of the 20th century. Many photo’s are of their beautiful house and garden near Tunbridge Wells. There are photo’s of the gardener, very elderly distinguished lady, a wedding, interiors and with the onset of WW1, members of the family in uniform and a munitions unit. Fascinating.

Other rosy “bits” collected from around the kennel include a vintage fabric bucket bag made by The Dog, and cushions bought, not made by me. The tiara is one bought for the youngest and includes pink paper roses and pearls. She wore it for a fairy party which was filmed at the house for a local TV station about 15 years ago. I demonstrated making a cone shaped cake which I covered with homemade baby meringues and sugar frosted rosebuds. Lastly my Meissen “pot”, lots of lovely flowers including roses. and painted insects. It’s suffered during its lifetime but I simply love it.

There’s another rose to be planted, Olivia Rose (thank you Sorrel and Liv’) and thankfully this time no frost to contend with.

Rambling Roses, Rocking Dog

Rambling Roses

Beautiful Bloom, Rocking Dog

Beautiful Bloom

Paper Roses, Rocking Dog

Paper Roses

Rosy Loveliness, Rocking Dog

Rosy Loveliness

Edwardian Rose, Rocking Dog

Edwardian Rose

Roses To Sit On, Rocking Dog

Roses To Sit On

Fairy Rose Tiara, Rocking Dog

Fairy Rose Tiara

Meissen Roses, Rocking Dog

Meissen Roses

Rocking Dog Roses, Rocking Dog

Rocking Dog Roses