Sunday, 15 June 2014


A slight departure from the traditional top 10 but I couldn't stand to leave out any of these roses from the list. I saw them all at the David Austen Roses Plant Centre which is in full bloom at the moment and well worth a visit.

1. Graham Thomas CLG 'Ausmas' (English Musk Hybrid) David Austin page

This was planted against a wall and has a lovely variety of colours in the flowers, from pale cream to vibrant sunny yellow.

2. Ferdinand Pichard (Old Rose) David Austin page

This was one of only a few variegated colours I saw so it stood out amongst the others.

3. Lady Emma Hamilton 'Ausbrother' (English Musk Hybrid) David Austin Page

This has a fantastic fruity fragrance and the new foliage is a deep burgundy. 

4. James Galway 'Auscrystal' (English Leander Hybrid) David Austin page

A climbing rose that can be trained along a wall or over an arch. The flowers are perfect.

5. Crown Princess Margareta 'Auswinter' (English Rose) David Austin page

6. Jubilee Celebration 'Aushunter' (English Rose) David Austin page

The colour of the flower is what attracted me. It is an unusual dusky pink with hints of gold.

7. Tranquillity 'Ausnoble' (English Musk Hybrid) David Austin page

8. William Morris 'Auswill' (English Leander Hybrid) David Austin page

My favourite is the side of the flower when it is half open; layered and with pointed petals.

9. Spirit of Freedom 'Ausbite' (English Leander Hybrid) David Austin page

This literally smells like turkish delight!

10. Scarborough Fair Rose 'Ausoran' (English Rose) David Austin page

11. Jacqueline du Pre 'Harwanna' (Modern Shrub Rose)

12. Sir John Betjeman 'Ausvivid' (English Rose) David Austin page

13. Queen of Sweden 'Austiger' (English Musk Hybrid) David Austin page


My sister visited yesterday and we spent the afternoon at David Austen Roses near Wolverhampton. It was like a dream. I died and went to rose heaven! We were lucky because we caught the gardens at their absolute best. 

I was very tempted to buy everything in the shop but restrained myself. There's too much to do on my house without the added stress of gardening. My garden will have to wait until spring.

My favourite of all the different gardens was the 'Renaissance Garden'. The semicircles of clipped box, pavilion and square pond looked wonderful against the big, blowsy roses.


Skirt: My Grandmother's 
Top: Warehouse
Shoes: New Look
Bag: TU at Sainsbury's
Necklace: Holiday buy in Istanbul

I'll be posting again with all my favourite roses from the day, as well as a few other flowers.

Saturday, 7 June 2014


Having spent rather a lot of lunch times recently eating McDonalds, Subway and pork pies I decided to make a big batch of something nicer. It lasts three days in the fridge so if I make it Sunday night I'm sorted until Wednesday. It costs about £6 so it saves some money too.


6 portions


1/2 cucumber, chopped
600g cooked pasta
200g boiled new potatoes, chopped
120g smoked salmon trimmings
200g cooked prawns
300g low fat natural yoghurt

1. Put all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix. 

2. EAT.


You could replace the natural yoghurt with a mix of mayonnaise and tomato ketchup with a pinch of paprika. You could add a little dill to the yoghurt. 

Happy Experimenting!

Tuesday, 3 June 2014


Today I was listening to 'You and Yours' on BBC Radio 4.They had an interesting piece about the cost of weddings nowadays (average being approx £20,000). There seemed to be two sides to the argument. 

First was:

 "It's the most perfect day of your life and you want to really make it memorable and enjoyable for all the guests. If the budget gets away from you then so be it." 

Second was:

"In this day and age when getting a house deposit together is hard enough why on earth would you spend £20,000 on a wedding?! If friends and family chip in you can have a great day without breaking the bank." 

I am very much of the opinion DO WHAT YOU WANT, IT'S YOUR WEDDING.

I personally have decided not to marry at all, unless I have a really good (unsentimental) reason to do so. That doesn't mean I didn't get a little misty eyed when two of my friends got hitched last week. It doesn't mean I didn't enjoy every single glass of champagne that came my way during the toasts either. Last week I also experienced my dream wedding. My brother and his girlfriend, who are both students, had an impromptu wedding which I'd like to share. Some may not get it, but it was awesome AND it cost less than £600!

York Registry Office Ceremony and Room for 8 Guests - £200

Bouquet and buttonhole (Made by me as a wedding present) - £40

Tasty Wedding Cake - Wedding Present 
Personalised Cake Toppers - Wedding Present
Chips/Dips/Champagne back at their flat after the ceremony - £40

'Wedding Breakfast' at Lo Spuntino - £250

After all, the main thing is whether the bride and groom are happy, isn't it?
They look happy to me. Congratulations little brother.

Congratulations guys!

Sunday, 1 June 2014


Matte paint looks so beautiful, unfortunately it is also extremely impractical. But thankfully that just means I get to buy some awesome finger plates off ebay to hide the greasy finger marks :) I think they are 1930s enamelled tin. 

My little brother got married this week! I turned to ebay again for the present. Originally I looked at silver photo frames but I can't imagine it would ever have been polished so I settled on this rather brilliant deco-style one. Perfect for their first wedding photo.

I'm getting round to decorating my dining room. I have decided 'Parma Grey' Farrow and Ball paint for the walls so when I saw this I thought it'd be perfect! I love the pattern and shape. 

Happy Hunting!


I am not a gardener. I have never really gardened properly at all. In my last house I stuck in some plants around May time on a sunny weekend and then literally did nothing again for the next two years. I am determined that now I own the house I live in that I'm going to make more of an effort. I found the perfect garden to copy at Barn at the Bury Court! The main problem with this idea is my garden is about a tenth of the size but I still found a few flowers that I have to have in my garden! I'm aiming for a traditional English cottage-style garden with wide boarders and flowers tall enough to hide in. 

Astrantia Major 'Claret'

 I wish I had a big enough garden to do exactly what they've done in this garden. I love all the different green textures and the total absence of grass in most of it. I bet weeding it is a right pain though! One of the flowers I haven't managed to identify that I REALLY want to know is in the photo below in the bottom right corner. If you can help pleeeease let me know what it is!

Peony 'Buckeye Belle'

Papaver Orientale 'Manhatten'

Allium 'Purple Sensation'

I think this might be a Siberian Iris...

Happy Experimenting!