Tag Archives: Spring Flowers

An Archive Post By Default!

It's Hot Cross Bun Time!, Rocking Dog

It’s Hot Cross Bun Time!

On Saturday evening we headed out to the Souk Kitchen, Apsley Road. After parking the car I attempted to shut the car door. After three attempts I realised there could just perhaps be something preventing it closing properly. DOH! it was my camera. The irreparable damage to said camera has made me resort to archive pictures today.

So no pictures of all the delicious food we ate at The Souk i’m afraid. Lovely memories however of eating soft shell crab, flatbreads, taramasalata, Halloumi with mango, Merguez Sausage and houmous. Our party of four skipped main courses, but of course could not resist something sweet. Delicious.

Spring is still trying to desperately struggle through the cheek nipping cold. On Friday I went to blow away the cobwebs on The Downs with Real Live Rocking Dog. This green lung is Bristol’s answer to Central Park. Snow, sun and the wind buffeted me across the green frosty expanse. The views along the Avon Gorge were magnificent, and Brunel’s Clifton Suspension Bridge looked resplendent in the glinting sunshine. Large hawks soared above the gorge enjoying the warming thermals and I briskly moved on, trying to find my own warmth!

In the garden, snowdrops, hellebores and primroses are all peeping through. I am a warm weather gardener and I sadly haven’t yet been tempted to get out there digging.

The cold outside invites thoughts for warming food inside. With generous stashes of Hot Cross Buns in the shops what could be lovelier than a Bread & Butter Pudding using these seasonal buns (click on link for the Rocking Dog recipe). Of course out of season brioche slices or buns could be used, and at Christmas what could be more festive than using Panettone (perhaps with a dollop or two of mincemeat and candied peel).

Tomorrow I am on a mission to walk along part of the Frome Valley Walkway to find wild garlic. It is also known as Bear’s Garlic, Devils Garlic, Gypsy’s Onions, and Stinking Jenny (I wonder who poor Jenny was!) Oldest daughter is recipe testing for Abel & Cole and needs a supply of this pungent leaf. If my mission is successful a large bundle will be making its way by rail on Wednesday evening. The leaves of this seasonal crop are useful for making soups, pesto, and in tarts and casseroles. I can’t say i’m fond of eating it, but I adore seeing it’s pretty starry white flowers in its shaded woodland habitat.

I hope you are enjoying the first glimpses of spring whilst hopefully staying warm and cosy.

Hellebores, Rocking Dog

Hellebores

Primrose Place, Rocking Dog

Primrose Place

Snowdrops, Rocking Dog

Snowdrops

Follow Me For..., Rocking Dog

Follow Me For…

 Wild Garlic, Rocking Dog

Wild Garlic

Cobweb Blowing, Rocking Dog

Cobweb Blowing

Bringing In The Spring To The Kennel!

Spring Things!, Rocking Dog

Spring Things!

Though it’s nippy outside i’m bringing in the spring to the kennel! Daffodils and tulips can be purchased really inexpensively to make a room come alive and instantly feel more cheery. I love the fact that at this time of year I can use my tulip vase for its correct purpose, to provide a watering hole for, well….tulips! Bought in the clearance section of TK Maxx a few years ago I enjoy filling it with these fleeting blooms. Oh how I would simply love a towering antique Delftware tulip vase! Originally made in the 17th century the Dutch blue and white vases were painted with Chinese decoration to imitate the decoration found on Chinese porcelain. The pots were generally made in a number of sections, if made in one piece they would often collapse during firing. Ironically, just as the Dutch had copied Chinese decoration for their wares, the Chinese went onto copy the Delft tulip vases! These were then imported into Europe by the Dutch East India Company together with silk, cotton and exotic spices. Tulips themselves were introduced to Britain at the end of the 16th century and were incredibly rare and expensive. “Girl With The Pearl Earring” is a good film to view to gain an idea of what life was like in the Netherlands in the 17th century. At the height of the popularity of the film my girls and I went to see the painting of “Girl With The Pearl Earring” by Johannes Vermeer at the Mauritshuis in The Hague, anything to escape the misery of a wet campsite! The painting was much smaller than I had expected, was very beautiful and the girls gaze seemed to mystically follow you. Being a Bristol girl I need to mention Banksy’s 2014 artwork entitled “Girl With a Pierced Eardrum “. A massive Banksy creation it can be found on Bristol’s harbourside. Vermeer’s girl is recreated by our most famous Bristol artist, with her iconic pearl earring being replaced with a strategically placed alarm box!

Back to a much more humble installation, my kitchen window is a profusion of pink at the moment. A £2.50 hyacinth tub from M&S and vase of pink blooms make for a pretty and fragrant washing up session. The heavy stems with their waxy blooms also go some way in screening a garden that needs some serious digging and cultivating!

Paper pompoms and fan garland decorations also provide a bit of spring-like cheer in the house. I don’t need a party or indeed any excuse whatsoever to do a little transient decorative frou’ing!

Outside in the Rocking Dog garden there are branches of showy japonica blossom, hellebores, wild violets, snowdrops and daffodils. Create little posies for thoughtful gifts, remember it’s Mothering Sunday coming up this weekend.

Hope this is the start of a good week for you. Love Rocking Dog x

Hyacinth Profusion, Rocking Dog

Hyacinth Profusion

The Humble Daff', Rocking Dog

The Humble Daff’

Tulip Vase, Rocking Dog

Tulip Vase

Pretty Paper, Rocking Dog

Pretty Paper

Paper Pompom, Rocking Dog

Paper Pompom

Flowers To Give, Rocking Dog

Flowers To Give

Wrapping Up For Spring

Spring Bloom Wrap, Rocking Dog

Spring Bloom Wrap

Walking yesterday in the warming transient sunshine, it felt as if a welcome waft of spring had arrived. Though the lilac is far from flowering, and the Magnolia isn’t yet tempted to burst forth, there were hopeful signs of less grey and less wet! Inspired by the shows of Daffodils, Croci, Wild Violets and Snowdrops I thought i’d share my Wrapping Up For Spring.

M & S have excelled themselves in a particularly beautiful paper edition “Adventures In Spring” (pick up a free copy in the food department of any M&S). There were pages of Spring florals, perfect for wrapping a Birthday present and dressing a pot of Hyacinths. Non flowery pages did not go to waste, and were used for wrapping another couple of gifts.

I complemented the floral loveliness with some artificial pansies (which cleverly disguised some wording), thin gingham ribbon and a luggage tag. I am a big fan of Lamy fountain pens and am adoring the exciting colours of their new ink cartridges. For this label I used violet ink, but i’m desperate to try out the orange and lime green. Oh, i’m all together SO fickle!

Today i’m preparing for a belated Burn’s Night which is happening over the weekend. Pipes, drums, addressing the haggis, a quaich of whiskey or two, food with an Italian slant, i’m sure Rabbie will hear us toasting his poetry prowess!

Whatever you are doing this weekend I hope it’s going to be enjoyable, and not as ear shatteringly noisy or whiskey laden as mine!

Love Rocking Dog x

Now for getting Real Live Rocking Dog into the bath!

It's A Wrap!, Rocking Dog

It’s A Wrap!

Tied With A Bow, Rocking Dog

Tied With A Bow

Hyacinth Frou'ing, Rocking Dog

Hyacinth Frou’ing

Spring Collection, Rocking Dog

Spring Collection

Vintage Violets, Rocking Dog

Vintage Violets

The Real Thing, Rocking Dog

The Real Thing