Thursday, August 20, 2015

Be crafty, be there.

Just a bit longer, the 5th of September to be precise, the restart of the Craft&Design Market in Havelock North. Its the 50th market (goodness me!) and Sweet Mary has mainly been there since the beginning. Come along, have a very good coffee, meet your friends and most of all support your local crafters and artisans. Click HERE.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Pillowcase Restock

Its pillowcase depot in the Sweet Mary studio this week - I have made quite a few pillowcases already to restock my stall at the Craft&Design market in a few weeks time - they sold so well last season. There are more to be made though so it will be a sewing and making week and trying not to look out the window at my garden. Spring is the time when I like to garden every day, weeding when I have to but mainly planting, planning and scheming. I won't have my computer this week as its going to be "fixed" so no distractions there either. See you soon.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Singing and Hoping

This beautiful Song Thrush has been singing passionately in our garden for weeks, off  and on all day but especially early morning and late afternoon, which is when I took this photo yesterday. The sky really was that colour and as I looked up to watch him sing I thought how happy he sounded up the top of the Melia tree.
Today I replanted my passionfruit plant with very high hopes that this time it will grow strong and give me lots of delicious fruits in a year or two. It is a long running saga here at my garden trying to grow passionfruit - I have not managed to produce a single fruit after 3 different plants and lots of research in as many years. I read this and this daily like a mantra - it WILL take this year.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Lavender Loyalty

I planted my first lavenders many, many years ago and have moved many, many times since then, always planting a lavender or two as I settled in to my new garden. Some of those moves were in the north of England and I can tell you that growing lavenders in that environment can be very challenging but I always felt that if I tried it would keep me connected to the things I love. Now I live in a temperate part of New Zealand that allows me to easily grow lavender, the French lavenders flowering all year in my garden and the English Grosso giving me two harvests over spring and summer. I grow Grosso to use in my sachets not only for its wonderful scent but because its a heavy cropper in the right position.

I am also lucky enough to be gifted large bunches of this lavender (type unknown) every year from a friend.  After hanging the bunches to dry for a few weeks, the lavender is easy to strip, a tray full each Autumn night whilst watching Corrie.

All this drying of lavender naturally leads to my Sweet Mary sachets, some are heart shaped and made with vintage linens and others are larger and made with Swedish linens. Some are made to hang with pretty ribbon and cheery fabrics. Not many weeks now and the first Craft&Design market of the season will open and of course, I will be there in my usual spot - September 5th.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Not Really but Nearly.

The front entrance has been swept and tidied and tiny Johnny Jump Ups potted...

and the rhubarb has grown strong all winter and provided us with delicious crumbles.

Is it truly winter when I can still pick lavender and harvest the Rose Geranium?

Dried Rose Geranium is not the prettiest but the scent is truly amazing...

Not that you can see but the sweet peas are climbing the frame already and soon it will be time to cut back the hydrangeas ready for spring - a few frosts yet to come but spring is really nearly here.