Tag Archives: Topiary

Owning Up To A Few More Dec’s

Retro Window Ledge,Rocking Dog

Retro Window Ledge

The shops are reducing their prices on Christmas decorations, Yay! Rocking Dog finds it impossible to resist just a few little ones! There are some turquoise glass bauble pagoda’s, rusty pink glittery pine cones and shimmery toadstools. There is also a lovely tasseled banner proclaiming “Merry Jolly Happy Falalalalala”, whatever that means!

I find it difficult to restrict myself to a single festive theme, thus the table is very nordic with white plates, glass domes, reindeer and budding hyacinths. Meanwhile further up the room there is a window ledge full of childhood memories. Boxes of 60’s baubles, the fairy lights that used to trail around the Christmas tree at home and the tacky Chinese import decorations. Of course we all know that the kitchen is hung with massive glittery carrots. I’m going to miss them when they head into the attic!

When I was in Stockholm two years ago decorations were predominantly red and white, festively and tastefully beautiful. I have emulated a bit of Scandi’ by dressing some little Bay Tree plants with simple squares of red and white gingham tied with rustic string. Presently adorning the windows at the front of the house, in the Spring I will plant them in the garden. I am tempted to try my hand at creating some topiary.

Still outside, every Christmas I make a simple kissing bough out of two wire coat hangers. I twist long strands of ivy around my frame and when the wire is completely concealed by the foliage I add an apple. I use a darning needle threaded with fishing line, and then suspend the apple from the centre of the frame. Ribbon and mistletoe are added as a final flourish. Kissing boughs like this have been made for midwinter festivities from ancient times.

My door is normally decked with a bunch of mistletoe, but this year finds itself with a bell wreath. I bought it in the spring in TK Maxx for £3. The plan was to deconstruct it and add in other things….. but..!

There are a few more little decorations coming. A box containing decorations which look like pastel coloured Macaron are eagerly awaited.

I hope all your preparations for the weekend are going well and that any journeys will be safe ones.

Scandi Inspiration,Rocking Dog

Scandi Inspiration

My Scandi, Rocking Dog

My Scandi

£3 Wreath,Rocking Dog

£3 Wreath

New Pagoda & Banner,Rocking Dog

New Pagoda & Banner

Natural Embellishment,Rocking Dog

Natural Embellishment

Kissing Bough,Rocking Dog

Kissing Bough

A Weekend Up North

Real Live Rocking Dog Taking A Dip, Rocking Dog

Real Live Rocking Dog Taking A Dip

We were lucky enough to have an invite up north before the mayhem that is Christmas truly kicks in. We ventured North on Friday afternoon and a journey that should have taken 4 1/2 hours ended up being a stressful 7 1/2 hours, but heh ho! Things got so bad that I ended up playing guess the flavour of the crisp with Andyman. After many guesses and many hints he finally sort of guessed Winter berries and Prosecco. I kid you not M & S have bought out a bag with the aforementioned flavour, and to over-gild the lily have scattered the crisps with minute gold stars! We then had guess the flavour of the sandwich, and before we knew it we had wasted 3/4 of an hour and moved half a mile! Please let me know how YOU while away time on a laborious car journey.

We finally reached the beautiful Lake District with a starry crisp night to greet us. How unbleached the skies are there, and definitely somewhere I’d want to invest in a telescope (preferably with Prof Brian Cox to guide me through my constellations!).

Next morning we awoke to a fantastic view from our bedroom, alas, with none of the predicted snow. We were out on the fells before you could say Jack Robinson! Real Live Rocking Dog anxious to impress and keep up with our friend’s proper dogs (two black Labradors) took the icy plunge in the tarn complete with his tartan coat.

The scenery was truly amazing and felt so untouched by mankind. Some of the higher peaks sporting a sprinkling of snow, reminded me of a row of Pandoro cakes lightly dusted with icing sugar. Eight or so miles of brisk walking and chatting through bracken, marshland and stoney tracts we were ready to eat and tackle two lovely bottles of Barolo.

Sunday, a shorter but steeper climb, we all felt as if we were on top of the world. Overlooking Lake Coniston we were buffeted by the cold November cross-winds and took refuge by clambering back down an unorthodox route. There were hundreds of foxglove plants as we trekked downwards and I couldn’t help thinking how wonderful the fells must look with this beautiful species in full bloom. We passed a house with the most stunning topiary, and it somehow all felt rather surreal with the amazing backdrop of towering crags.

After eats at the Bluebird Cafe it was time to bid a fond farewell to our hosts and tackle the journey home. Real Live Rocking Dog pleasantly exhausted, and with no crisp flavours to adjudicate, we had a good trip back.

Though it was short, we had a lovely time with gorgeous friends and in a truly beautiful patch of England. Feel so lucky.

Bedroom View, Rocking Dog

Bedroom View

The Noisy Neighbours!, Rocking Dog

The Noisy Neighbours!

Terrific Topiary!, Rocking Dog

Terrific Topiary!

Snow-capped  Peaks, Rocking Dog

Snow-capped Peaks

Natures' Amazing Colours, Rocking Dog

Natures’ Amazing Colours

Hilltop Sculpture, Rocking Dog

Hilltop Sculpture