Wednesday, May 28, 2008

End of Autumn

Autumn is approaching its end, which means Winter is nigh. As you know Autumn is my all-time favourite season and I don't want it to end. But what's one to do when one cannot stop Winter from coming. Sigh! It has to come one way or another. So I'll just enjoy Autumn while it's here, even if I'm barely holding on to the tail-end of it.

Gold Bunny and Candy Cane Weeping Tree Rose (the pink in the background)
Radio Times (pink one in the foreground) Ah! I love the yellow rose showing in the background, that's the reason why I have yellow roses, they zest things up in the garden, even though my primary favourites are pink, apricot and mauve ones. Gold Bunny
Perfumed Perfection(Mauve) Ambridge Rose and Golden Years with Pink Simplicity in the background
Gold Bunny and Perfumed Perfection

Here I'm showing you some photos of my rose garden which I took yesterday and today. You might think it doesn't look like Winter is coming, it looks more like Spring is here. Well, here in my garden, Autumn is actually the best time for plump, (I was going to write juicy, LOL), well-formed, extra-large and extra-vivid- coloured roses because of the good rain and just the right amount of sunshine during this time. The cool of Autumn really brings out the best in roses, and the blooms keep looking great much longer. So as you can see, as a gardener, I'd want to stretch Autumn out as long as and as much as I can manage to do so.

Abraham Darby (this one is unusually loose-petalled) Pierre de Ronsard (Eden Rose)
Golden Years TamoraSome foliage on some bushes might start to look a bit unsightly towards the end of Autumn, but generally here if you look after your roses, they can hold out till the beginning of Winter and can even keep on flowering (even though less vigorously) till mid Winter.
Gold Bunnys look cool sideways, ay?! Have a great day filled with lovely moments, everyone! Bye for now!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Nutty Rice Salad

There have been many overcast, cloudy and rainy days here, which suit me fine, as I love photographing outdoors when it doesn't have the glare of the sun cast on everything I try to shoot, but every now and again, a momentary slither of sunshine will crack through the clouds to say "Hi, I'm still here!"

Pink Simplicity
Golden Years
St. Cecilia Golden Years
Gold Bunny Ambridge Rose Jubilee Celebration
Ambridge Rose Gold Bunny Golden Years, Tamora buds
I was at my kitchen bench making "Nutty Rice Salad" and I noticed how beautiful things were partly shaded and partly washed in sunshine. So my inspiration juices started flowing and I quickly grabbed my camera, knowing this moment would pass all too soon if I didn't capture it.
The sun was simply playing Hide and Seek, one moment it was there, the next it was gone. So I could only comply and just used this to my advantage. I also got my new "French Chairs" mug (Salon Rouge by Christopher Vine) which my sister gave me and some gift spice jars involved, then one thing led to another, I got the roses in the pitchers to join in the fun as well. I even pulled them out of their comfort zone and made them stack on each other. They didn't mind one bit, they were awashed in the golden glow and showed off their glory (under the changing lighting circumstances) ever so beautifully and bravely.

These roses below consist of Golden Years (Yellow), Ambridge Rose (Apricot) and Jubilee Celebration (Medium Pink)Can't you tell I got a bit carried away? Now back to the Nutty Rice Salad, here's the recipe if you are interested in making it. It's a very tasty and nutritious salad, I love brown rice, and this is a more interesting way of eating brown rice. Hope you'll enjoy making and eating it. It's a great salad especially when you want a break from the normal tossed garden salad.


200gm raw (1-2 cups cooked) brown rice
3-4 spring onion, or shallots
1 medium red capsicum/ bell pepper, diced, small pieces
3/4 cup dried currants (from dried fruit section)
4 tablespoons unsalted cashews
2 tablespoons Sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons Pine nuts
Medium can of corn kernals, drained
Chopped Parsley - a few sprigs (I used Continental or flat-leafed parsley, but you can use any parsley)
Cracked black pepper

For dressing:

1 1/2 tablespoons Sunflower Seed or Grapeseed Oil
4 tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cloves crushed garlic

Roast cashews in oven till golden. (180C for around 10 minutes) Set aside. Cook brown rice according to instructions. When rice is cool, mix everything together (including dressing). If you are not serving it immediately, just delay adding the nuts in till you serve or the nuts will be soggy. Enjoy!!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Perfect Pitch

I love the decorative and aesthetic effect of jugs and pitchers in all sorts of ways-- when they stand independently, grouped together and when used as vases for flowers, apart from their obvious use for water and drinks.
Grouped together they make a statement or give big impact.
I have them take places of pride hither and tither throughout the house. Some are merely small and are purely decorative gifts from friends.Outside in the garden, for a photo shoot session.It's been raining today.
These are neither jugs nor pitchers (except one), but I love their lacey ornate look. You know what, there's been a shift in my choice of china. I used to adore any china with rosy prints on, I still do to a certain degree, but I find myself going more and more for plain coloured (especially white and cream) embossed china these days, especially the ones with character and are more ornate and shapely.
It's been freezing cold, but the roses are still flowering non-stop. Hope you'll have a beautiful and productive day, sweet bloggers and friends, till next time!