Saturday, 16 January 2016

HELLO AGAIN AND SOME EXCITING NEWS!




I always love the beginning of a new year.  It's 2016 and my very best wishes to all of my dear readers for the happiest, healthiest and safest year ahead. 

I love the thought of the whole year stretching ahead filled new possibilities and experiences.   

Last year ended with a bang in this family.  My daughter's wedding at the end of November, Christmas following shortly after and a trip to Sri Lanka at the beginning of January.     

What a special day this was.

The wedding reception and the beautiful flowers.. what a joy it was walking into the room and the fragrance of the roses was amazing.


Christmas flowers at my daughter Sarah's home.  She and her family hosted Christmas this year for our family and some of their friends. Sarah and Kirk worked so hard and we had a splendid time! 

After Christmas we headed down to the beach house.  These dahlias are from my garden at home and they travelled down with me. 

I managed to salvage these Hydrangeas from the seaside garden.. most had been burnt by a recent heat wave.

 Penny taking refuge from the noisy grandchildren!

Our New Year's dinner table. 
I've spent many happy hours in this little space since Christmas!

We left for Sri Lanka in early January

We stayed at the Kingsbury hotel and the lobby had huge arrangements of red roses throughout.

We spent a wonderful day visiting Lunuganga Estate - the country residence of the late Geoffrey Bawa, renowned Sri Lankan architect.

The Lotus flower ponds

Looking down towards the double ha-ha - there is a hidden road beneath those grasses.

What a wonderful colonial verandah!




This is a photo of my Dianthus in the garden last year.  They have been very disappointing this year for some reason!  I adore their fragrance.

Some news is that I am currently re-designing a new look for this blog.  I will be focusing mainly on gardens and garden design this year.  Once the new website is up, the blog will include interviews with various garden landscapers.  I was very fortunate when the renowned Australian Landscape Architect, Paul Bangay agreed to an interview.   I so enjoyed chatting to Paul over afternoon tea and I will be posting this interview as soon as the website is up!  


Happy week everyone!!


33 comments:

  1. How exciting! I love Paul Bangay and his gardens. Looks like you are having a great summer.

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    1. Hi Vicki - it's been a great summer and the garden is very grateful for the recent rains we have had! xx

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  2. How exciting Jenny! I look forward to reading more garden posts and seeing the new design. So fun mixing things up! ;) Hugs to you sweet friend! xo

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    1. Thanks Kristy - so lovely seeing you here! xx

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  3. Wonderful, Jenny! Congratulations. Can't wait to read the interviews. Will we get to see photos of the house decoration in Sydney? Xx

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    1. Thanks so much Susan.. We are still working on the website and hoping to get pics up soon! xx

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  4. What a busy start to the New Year you have had . I am really looking forward to the interviews, Paul Bangay 'is such an inspirational gardener . Here's to 2016 and all it brings

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  5. Hello Jenny,
    Wow, what an exciting and very busy year you have had. I think the older we get the busier we get!!!. I always enjoy your gorgeous pictures of your gardens and the ones that you visit. I for one will be a big fan of your new direction. I was fortunate to have Paul Bangay come to my garden in Melbourne to give me some tips and sign his books for me. I won an hour of his time in a silent auction and i was not to be outbid!!!!! So worth it, he is so humble and very generous and kind and I look forward to the interview.
    Congratulations on your new business with your girls- would love to see the results. Will you have a website for your professional work? From what I have seen so far on IG you are all a very stylish team.
    Wishing you a wonderful 2016
    xxMarilyn

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    1. Thanks so much Marilyn - yes to the website question! Takes time unfortunately!! xx

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  6. Happy New Year Jenny! Really looking forward to your Paul Bangay interview post. You've had such a busy and wonderful time, no wonder we haven't heard from you till now. - Your daughter's wedding looks so gorgeous with those fabulous flowers - and her beautiful wedding dress.
    Your pics of Sri Lanka brought back lots of memories of the two years we lived there in an old colonial house. - And of some of the amazing old country houses we stayed in - one belonged to a member of the old Kandyan royal family. After dinner we used to sit out in the garden with a drink and watch the fireflies and the stars, and the midnight plane to Singapore crossing the sky (this is years ago). We were given the bedroom the President had slept in when he visited - so I was able to tell people I'd slept in the President's bed! (They mostly thought I was a bit mad anyway because I'd climbed Adam's Peak in high heels!)
    Also visited a number of Geoffrey Bawa's designs - one with a tree and small tropical garden in the middle of the kitchen. There was an opening in the roof above the garden so there was fresh air and sunshine for the plants. The actual working sections were under cover.
    Loved your blue and white able setting for New Year - fab tablecloth! Best wishes, Pammie

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    1. Hello Pammie!... Happy New Year to you! How fascinating this comment is! We've only had a small taste of Sri Lanka and I am so keen to return and see much more of this fascinating place. I shall be asking you for tips!! xx

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    2. It's a spectacularly beautiful place. But we lived there many years ago and mostly we stayed in friends' houses around the country. This was way before places like those have since been turned into hotels. If you visit Nuwara Eliya, we always stayed at the Hill Club (might be a hotel now). It was gorgeous - very old school British colonial. They used to give us a tower room with a big roaring fire in the fire place. The gardens are lovely and the service and food was great. There were also some spectacular public gardens like Peradeniya and Hakgala. The tea estate areas are glorious but in our day the roads were pretty scary, very winding and narrow with steep drop-offs and with crazy drivers. After one bad experience we never drove ourselves around up-country. Always hired a recommended driver and tourist car.
      Our teas estate friends always used to drop by our house in Colombo with huge boxes of fresh tea from their estate factories. Best tea in the world - but you couldn't buy it in Colombo. The tea on sale in shops there was pretty crappy. The good stuff was all given to family and friends or exported.
      Sometimes we stayed down the beach road from Trincomalee - fabulous beaches. But those places in Trinco were destroyed during the civil war. Don't know what's taken their place. The beaches are glorious but it was the countryside we loved best. Climbing Adam's Peak was quite an experience - strenuous climbing up steps and rocks for a bit over four hours but magical. The stars and the full moon and the little lights along the path, circling up the cone shaped mountain - the sound of unseen waterfalls. The hard part was coming down again in the daytime when the sun was out. Pammie

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  7. I've loved following your travels and adventures on Instagram! And some of my favorites have been the gardens and flowers so I look forward to more of that this year. And congrats on your new firm - so exciting!!

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    1. Hi Stacey - Thanks so much - It's looking like 2016 will be a very interesting and busy year! I am so sad about missing your Pop-up shop in Paris next week - I know it will be a huge success and if by some magical power, I am able to 'pop' over, it would be wonderful to meet! xx

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  8. Love every photo and always enjoy seeing your gorgeous homes and gardens. Looking forward to the new blog. Adore the wedding photos x

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  9. I'm so glad that you're going to resurrect the blog, and love the new direction (although will miss hearing about your news - and adorable little Penny!). Your daughter's wedding just looks amazing - the dress, the flowers, the venue... Incredible.
    Lot of good wishes on the new business venture too, I can't imagine that it won't be a roaring success.
    Can't wait to read the Paul Bangay interview

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    1. Hi Prue - I will be posting news/travel/gardening/interiors via those tags but plan to talk a lot more about gardens as this is my real passion. Thanks so much for your positive comments!
      Jenny xx

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  10. Congratulations on all the happenings and you have been busy you will need a vacation soon Jenny! I look forward to all your new ventures and will follow along for the fun ride - wishing you all the best xx

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    1. Thanks so much Naomi! I agree about the holiday but as a friend says - there will be plenty of time to sleep when i die!! xx

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  11. Oh my goodness, the wedding looked beautiful! That veil, the dress, those flowers!! I am so glad to hear that everyone had a great day.
    And Sri Lanka is on my wish list, I have even written an article on Taprobane, another Bawa estate that Paul Bowles lived in but still have not been...one day...!

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    1. Taprobane looks like everyone's dream of a pocket handkerchief private tropical island getaway. When we lived in Colombo T was still a rather mysterious private residence, so was not open for visitors. We swam at the beach right there and enjoyed daydreaming over it, including imagining it in Paul Bowles's time. It's not far from the shore but you'd need a boat or to swim across-certainly at high tide anyway. At the time of the tsunami believe the owners were swimming in the sea just off the island when it hit - and by a miracle survived.
      Good luck with getting there - believe it is possible to rent rooms now. Would be superb! Pammie

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    2. Will definitely take all your tips on board for our next visit Pammie! Thanks so much. Jenny xx

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    3. Hello Heather! Thanks so much for the recommendation for Taprobane .. Lots of things lined up for our next trip! Thanks also for the lovely comments re the wedding. I will probably do a 'wedding' post once the professional pics arrive! Jenny xx

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  12. Hi Jenny well you know I'm a big fan and love all of your instagram pictures. I look forward to the new direction of your blog as I love learning about gardening. Thank you for taking the time to write the blog and good luck with your business venture.

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    1. Hello Karen ... Thank you so much for your enthusiasm! just heading out for a long day walking in Paris! Jenny xx

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  13. Love the sound of the refocus of the blog to gardens, although I've enjoyed your current format so much anyway Jenny! I hope you will still include photos of your beautiful homes and table settings and travels.
    Claire's wedding looked absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. I loved the flowers at the reception, they were just stunning. The bar is certainly a lot higher for brides these days than back in The Olden Days when I was married - the arrangements we had were simplicity themselves by comparison!
    Well done on the new business too, and on turning around a house so quickly! I had one of those (as you know as I contacted you about it) before Christmas and it was a lot of work. With the wedding as well you no doubt had your hands very full. xx

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    1. Hello Heidi!.. Thank you for kind words.. The wedding was amazingly beautiful and I will post more photos here when the professional pics arrive. a wedding post amongst gardening!... The girls did all of the running around and I lent a hand with final install!... Xx

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  14. Congratulations on your news and your hydrangeas are gorgeous. May I ask what you think of using both mophead and conical (limelight or oakleaf) hydrangeas in a small, fairly formal garden? Considering the limelights as a back hedge border with the existing mopheads in the front beds. Thank you - Rose.

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  15. I'm looking forward to the Paul Bangay interview, and I'm glad you found a direction for your blog. Love all the garden and wedding photos. Gardening is a relaxing pasttime I have come to enjoy in my old age. Seeing the flowers bloom is a joy to behold. I would love to visit the Lunuganga Estate's gardens myself one day.

    Zack @ My Net Wire

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  16. They catered my wedding last month and they were amazing! Don't overlook these gorgeous Seattle Wedding venues!! It's something you have to check out in person. My family and friends could not stop talking about how good the food was and how sweet the staff was!

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  17. They delivered the flowers the day before to our room, and they were beautiful, and exactly like my picture I had sent. I never got to see the groom's corsage, as it went missing from our hotel's fridge, but the bridal bouquet was stunning, as well as the mothers' and fathers' corsages. Will use them for Mothers Day Flower Delivery too.

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