Friday, May 29, 2009

Rhubarb in season

G'day, sweet bloggers and friends, have you had a good week? I've had a full one. I'm in the process of painting my hutch, buffet and dining furniture white, I paused for a while for some snaps snaps on my camera. I figured I wouldn't have the "unfinished paint finish" background for long, so I had to take photos, didn't I? It really did help having such co-operative subjects as these autumn lovelies though. I had so much fun putting these together, and so much more fun taking pictures! They are very photogenic, I must add. Roses used here: Perfumed Perfection (Mauve, Floribunda), Anne Boelyn (Pink apricot blend, David Austin) and Sheena Gold with lilac flowers(Hedge plant, can't remember the cultivar's name).Notice the two-tone pink on these roses? They tend to do that naturally in autumn. I love them like that since I love striped roses and I haven't added any in my garden yet. Pink roses: Sir Edward Elgar (David Austin English Rose) and Pink Simplicity(Floribunda)Tamora (David Austin) apricot I'm a sucker for rhubarb desserts. So I also took time out to bake a Rhubarb Crumble-topped Teacake. It's so good I had to share with you. The topping really makes it special and I love the nuts in it. The aroma while baking was unbelievable! You can have it with whipped cream, I didn't want it with cream this time so I had it plain with..........roses! Very low calories, lol! And of course a cup of tea has to be called for, what is a teacake without tea? These are Pink Simplicity arranged a bit wildly, the two-tone is even more obvious here. Recipe for Rhubarb Crumble-topped Teacake:
125g butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp bicarb soda 1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup (200-250ml) sour cream
2 cups rhubarb, finely sliced

5 Tbsp plain flour
25-30g butter (diced and softened)
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup slivered or flaked almonds ( I used both)

(1) Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a 20cm springform tin. Line base with baking paper. (2) Beat butter and brown sugar together until pale and creamy. Add egg and vanilla and beat well. Sift flour, bicarb soda and cinnamon together. Add to butter mixture with sour cream and fold through until well combined. Add 2/3 of rhubarb to batter and stir well. Transfer to cake tin and smooth top. (3) To prepare Topping: Rub butter into flour until mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add brown sugar, cinnamon and almonds into the mixture. (4) Add reserved rhubarb on surface of batter and then layer Topping mixture on top of rhubarb. (5) Bake for 1 hour or cooked when tested. Enjoy your weekend, my sweet friends, hope you get to try the teacake.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Top-up on roses

Hi, my dear Blogville friends, hope all is well with you and you're enjoying your week. Here are some David Austin roses Sir Edward Elgar, my bush has grown to about 7 foot and is competing with my Jude the Obscure in reaching for the heavens. I'm not fond of velvety dark red roses and so Sir Edward Elgar is more of a red (or hot pink sometimes) amongst the reds I can still accept. The blooms are scented, they hold their form very well, that's what I like about them. They are not the easiest to take pictures of though due to their colour. These below are Jude the Obscure, you can see the blooms look a bit more ball-ish in appearance, the petals seem to not want to open up much, however, that's part of their beauty and attraction. They have very strong scent, some say similar to Lychees, a fruit common in the Orient. I think they are one of the loveliest shy "blushed" David Austin Roses on earth, don't you think? And then there are the Radio Times, they are really pink in real life, but in photos they tend to have a tinge of apricot on them. They are one of my favourite David Austin Roses, I love the scent, the flower form, the bush, everything. Now, here is the softest and cutest dog my 11-year old daughter sewed as a surprise for me, it is simply precious, I told her I'll keep it forever. I'm a bit of a hoarder when it comes to my kids' drawings, paintings, writings, craft and handiwork. I saw this bird cage many months ago in a "junk" shop, I liked it but thought I would wait for the price to come down before I bought it. And if someone else bought it in the mean time, then I would just not have it. Then when I got some money for my birthday I thought I'd go and see if it's still there, it was and the best thing was, the price had been reduced by quite a bit. So there you go, waiting is sometimes better for us. I'll paint it white, so this is like a "before" photo. You can tell I love white, can't you?Note: I'm showing you a picture of the Sir Edward Elgar blooms on the next-day-after, notice how the smaller bud/bloom on the left has opened up to reveal more petals? It still looks more cupped compared to the larger flowers next to it. The larger flowers are further along and the colour is lighter ("faded") and notice how they hold their form very well even when they are fully open? To me they are beautiful at ALL stages. Radio Times the day after, the tinge of apricot gone................

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Roses and Music

My Ambridge Rose (David Austin rose) bushes were having some fantastic blooms and were calling out to me to take pictures of them. So I happily obliged. I paired them with white ivy-leafed geraniums and had them all in a small urn, added some Pierre de Ronsard rosebuds, a handsome climbing rose which produces lovely cream and pink many-petalled old-rose-looking blooms, to make a lovely vignette. I try as much as I could to have a record of all these beautiful roses with the help of my camera, as their beauty passes oh-so-quickly. It is with that in mind I take so many pictures.
It's definitely getting chillier in my neck of the woods, but it is simply perfect, I so love this season! The crocheted cardigan was a gift from a friend like 17 years ago, oh, time really does fly! I still love it though, some things time doesn't change. Listen to that, ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ), can you hear it? It's music, someone playing the piano. I think it's one of our children. Roses and piano music, these are two of my favourite things!Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone! ( ( ( ( ( ) ) ) ) ) ) Cyber hugs for you!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Magazine Cover

I was playing around with my photos and this is a magazine cover I created just for fun! That aqua blue is my favourite blue, love it! Happy Monday, everyone.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

I just want to wish all of you mothers a very joyous and blissful Mother's Day, this special bunch of roses were picked just for you, sending beautiful scents and best wishes your way. For some of you this will be your first Mother's Day as a mum, enjoy your special day, and may you enjoy many more Mother's Days in the years to come. Mother's Day, music to my ears!!

Friday, May 01, 2009

A bit of everything

G'day dear bloggers, Hope your week has been wonderful. There are always heaps going on here to keep us busy. The only one who can sit down and enjoy the garden is the baby below, she's always relaxed it seems. Lol!The two-week school break has come and gone. We had fun sandboarding while we were away up north for a short time, here is a picture to show how beautiful the sand dunes were, they changed all the time according to how the winds blew. Amazing creation! The kids' school is having an Anzac (Australian and New Zealand Army Corp) Day service today. Anzac Day(April 25) is a day we commemorate soldiers who died fighting for Australia's freedom in various wars and the kids' school holds their own memorial service. I've been attending them every year since the kids have been there and I often can't keep my eyes dry. It's very solemn and moving. There is to be no clapping of hands and the last post is played. To the soldiers, the last post represents a day's work is done and so to those who died, it represents resting in peace. There are usually ex-servicemen or war veterans joining the school community with their uniforms and medals on, and many teachers wear black on the day. All the school children are also asked to take flowers and greeneries from home and they make wreaths with all the contributions which will be used for wreath presentations under the Australian flag at the service. Here are the flowers I picked from the garden for the kids to take.
Roses here: Tamora and Ambridge Rose (Apricot, they look and smell similar, excellent flowerer, David Austin), Sir Edward Elgar(Reddish Pink, David Austin), The Dark Lady (Dark Red, DA), Jubilee Celebration (Pinkish apricot to mid pink, loves blooming, DA) and Pink Simplicity (Pink buds, flowers profusely, Floribunda) All DA roses shown here are perfumed, only Simplicity is lightly scented.I divided them into bunches so that they are easy for the kids to handle. To keep them fresh, I wrapped the stems in a thick wad of wet tissues and al-foiled them so the kids don't get poked by thorns while holding them. That was right up my alley, I really enjoyed doing those! Changing the subject, what do you think this is? (Drumroll) You'd be right to say it's a cloche, yeah, a lovely rather large choche! I love bird's nest setting in cloches, but since it's a rather large and tall cloche, plus it was really cheap, I thought I might be able to use it for displaying roses as they have the height to fill a tall cloche and make it a centrepiece or something. And as I said, since the shop was wanting to get rid of it and it was inexpensive, I bought it and am fiddling with it, it sure is fun. It has a flat glass base that came with it, but I popped my cake stand under it instead. Elevation is good for it, what do you reckon?Quite often I get given bath and shower gel and body lotion sets, you know the way, some of them just ain't quite the type you like, the smell, the colour, the packaging etc. I got given some which are beautifully packaged, but I'm afraid the scent was not the best, e.g. chocolate scent for bath gel and body lotion which is not quite like the real choc smell; you get the picture. When the bottles are clearly just lookers(and lookers only), I chuck the contents out and make them into pretty vases for my roses, one thing is for sure, they smell much more pleasant this way! Does any of you do that too? (Note: The middle one with lavender picture was a nice product, it was very well "lavenderly-scented", so I used it all up before I used the empty bottle.) Anyway, have a lovely weekend ladies, hope you'll get some time to sit down and have a nice cuppa.