There's been a little progress with the garden this week. Finally, part of the garden has transformed from a mud pit into something looking a little bit neater. The side garden had the gravel put down, and the steel edged garden beds laid out. Next is planting, there'll be some Japanese box, a row of standardised Olive trees, and along the wall outside the back extension (the bit that looks like a pathway) will be a row of pleached Pear trees. Eventually there'll be a water feature too. 





I've chosen this one from Parterre in Melbourne/ Sydney. It's zinc and I think the modern shape will look good with the extension and contrast well with the formality of this part of the garden (it doesn't come with the birds). 



The back garden looks like a World War 1 battle site - we've had torrential rain and it's been freezing cold, so I'm not sure how much this will progress over the next week or so as the ground is too sodden to work. 

It's been interesting to look over my Pinterest Gardens board to see that there are some similar themes that crop up. I had sent a lot of these images to my Landscape Designer, and after laughing and telling me I had a lot of ideas, she's incorporated some of the common themes that have run through them, and it's nice to see the design of the garden coming together and incorporating a few of them.

I like some degree of formality


Gravel



Lush texture


topiary and hedging


In other garden news, we were up the Hill at my Dad's house in Stirling today. It was freezing cold. Don't let the photo below fool you - it was 6 C and about 10 minutes after I took this photo it started to hail on us. Unfortunately we had gone down the hill to admire the Camellia's at the bottom of the garden, so a rather hasty run up the hill proved how unfit we all are…



Dad has recently had this Camellia identified. The bush is part of the original plantings in the garden, so would be around 120 years old, and the bush stands around 3 metres high. Dad spends a lot of time in Winter when he can't garden looking up his reference books identifying the trees, camellia's and rhododendrons in the garden. They used to have tags attached to them, but they were separated from the plants. So he sits with a large pile of the old tags, and identifying leaves/ pinecones/ flowers and tries to work out what they are. 

Camellia Japonica - "Camden Pink"

This is a Camellia called "Camden Pink", and it's extremely rare. It's named after MacArthur's Camden Park Estate, and it's an Australian Camellia, a sport of one that the MacArthur's grew in their garden. Dad thought it might be a Camden Pink, and had emailed a photo of it to the head of the Camellia Society, who confirmed it. He's now thinking that the other extremely large and old Camellia bushes in the near vicinity are similarly Australian Camellia's, so is waiting for them to begin flowering so that he can see if he can work them out too. I think he enjoys the sleuthing aspect of working out the Garden's history.


A book I read this week runs on a similar theme - "Chasing the Rose" is the story of a mysterious rose that is found growing in an abandoned villa's garden in Italy. The author's Great-Great-Great Grandmother had designed and laid out the garden, and his search for the rose's identity takes him to Paris, to Malmaison and the Empress Josephine (the most famous rose collector of that period, and a friend of his ancestor). It is an Old World rose, thought to be extinct - the book follows the history of the Rose - the plant collecting from China and other parts of the world, and the era of Botanical discovery that was running parallel to this at that time. Old World roses nearly became extinct after World War 1, when fashions changed and Hybrid Tea's became popular. With no demand at the nurseries, they stopped breeding them, and many species were lost at this time. A lovely read, and a very pretty book - beautiful illustrations (although frustratingly none of the actual rose in question, however I have found an image of it on this blog). It would make a great gift for a rose lover.


  Onto other topics, Mr AV and I celebrated a milestone this week with the anniversary of when we met  - 20 years ago. We've now been together for over half our lives, so to celebrate we went out to dinner at Magill Estate on Friday night. I frocked up in this black drapey chiffon Chloe silk dress (old photo below - I didn't wear the Chanel belt with it), my black knee high suede boots and my pearl necklace and earrings. 


Dinner was delicious - they've changed the format slightly from the last time we were there, and it's now 7 course degustation only, with matched wines available if you like. We chose the matched wines, but far from being the smaller glasses I thought they'd be, they were full sized wine glasses. I had to largely abstain from the last 3 as I was in danger of being carried out of the restaurant at the end of the meal, having already enjoyed a pre dinner glass of Champagne in the bar area. The food was delicious as usual, and the wine was very good - I had a rather jolly time… 



this was the "snacks" course with Ruinart Blanc de Blanc champagne - there were 4 different little tasters to enjoy, and excellent bread and butter.

Lastly, we had friends for afternoon tea yesterday, and I made this delicious Apple and Honey cake, the recipe from this weekend's "The Weekend Australian" magazine. I highly recommend it - I used some Kangaroo Island honey, and it was so moist and yummy. My styling does not give the magazine's a run for her money, but you get the idea…!


Apple and Honey cake

225g unsalted butter
250g honey, plus extra to glaze
100g brown sugar
3 large eggs
300g Self Raising Flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 apple, peeled cored and grated

Put butter, honey and sugar in a saucepan and melt, once melted bring to the boil and boil for 1 minute. Allow to cool. Butter and line a 20cm square cake tin and preheat the oven to 160C. Once honey mixture has cooled, beat in eggs and add SR flour, cinnamon and apple and beat to combine. Pour into cake tin and bake for 65minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave in the tin for 10  minutes, turn out and glaze with 2 tbsp of warm honey with flaked almonds in it.


Lastly, all this cold weather has made me think about my coat situation - I have a full length grey Max Mara coat that I bought in 2001 when living in Melbourne. It was a very necessary purchase, and I wore it constantly to go in and out of the office in Winter, and stomping around freezing cold building sites. It doesn't get much wear at all now in milder Adelaide, and I can't help but think that this is partly because it's too long…. I'm thinking it needs a bit of a chop. The shape is lovely, and still current, but I usually have to re-hem my trousers and skirts by taking off a bit of length, so I think maybe it needs a bit off it too? Here's a photo of me in it tonight, in flat heels - and it comes to my ankles, which looks slightly ridiculous when I don't have heels on. Do you think I should cut it to just below the knee or mid calf? Opinions please!


 Our dog, Scruffy, living up to his name in his first blog appearance after foraging in the garden at Dad's (where he currently lives) and looking a little bit rat like and muddy.


Hope you had a good week...

41 comments:

  1. 1. LOVE the gravel

    2. ove the bird bath thingy

    3. love your dad's garden and excited that one day I will SEE it

    4. Congrats on 20 years- fab outfit

    5. no idea re coats!!!

    6. is minus 6 at my parent's place! people's water features are freezing over! x

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    1. That's crazy with your parent's!! I can tell you that it felt freezing in the plus side, so can't even imagine… do your parent's live in the snow fields or something??!
      Can't wait to show you the garden, the camellia's will be over, but the roses should be out instead. xx

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  2. Freezing here - literally. Frost along creek lines etc. Love the camellia - so pretty. They rarely survive summer here. Your garden is looking fab so far. Your gravel a little more stylish than my driveway gravel.

    I would lop the coat off just on the knee. I am probably a bit taller though and often wear flats (all that gravel!) so may not be best judge. It's a gorgeous coat and definitely worth rejuvenating.

    Hope all well with you - I have been flat out and having a self imposed break from the internet ( other than banking etc)

    Take care
    T
    xxx

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  3. Oh - and huge congrats on 20 years with Mr AV!!!

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    1. Thanks T! So good to hear from you, was about to email to find out what you've been up to… can't believe it's so cold over your way too - that just means more cold to come for us! I have trouble with camellia's too, I have a couple of bushes in the garden, but the leaves are all scorched, so not terribly photogenic (or good for cutting flowers and putting inside either). Thanks for weighing in on the coat… I think it needs a good 20cm off it, it really is just too long on me. xx

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  4. Congrats on the anniversary and here is to many more! Loooove the pearls they have the most amazing sheen to them and nice against the skin too.

    Scruffy needs to make more regular appearance and looks a right character! Sooo sweet....

    Re coat. Funny enough it is so vogue to wear them so long like that but the other option is to cut odd at knee bc mid calf makes thing odd when you wear other outfits. I have a mid knee lenth and it is neither here nor there. But tell your seamstress to make sure they leave the fabric somehow to make it mid knee if you change your mind. X

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    1. Thanks Naomi! I love my pearls - best anti ageing trick around, they always make my skin look better.
      Scruff is a little rat bag! But I will take some photos of him next time I'm at Dads… he's a little rougher looking than he used to be in our care (constantly ratting and getting into mud means he's always filthy).
      I think I'm too short to wear the coat so long. It looks a bit like dress ups with someone else's clothes… shall take it to my seamstress and take your advice xx

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  5. You are so elegant. Good idea to lop the jacket. Knee length fine. Congrats on your anniversary.

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    1. Not really… most days I'm very average in dress I assure you. That's why this will never be a fashion blog. I do like a bit of dress up for dinner though! Will take the knee length advice - thanks! xx

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  6. Great outfit although I can see how a 7 course meal would discourage the belt

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    1. Ha! Yes… the belt would have been on its last notch for sure. The dress was a strategic choice - all that drapey action hid a few sins.

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  7. I would go mid knee, unless you're really tall mid calf with that bulk will make you look bulky i think ?? i have heaps of coats but haven't worn them yet and its because I no longer have the cold, windy wait at bus stops to go to work .

    I really love the bird bath/water feature ,, Parterre has some great things, though Im not such an admirer of box,

    BTW Happy , Happy anniversary!!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I think you're right smr - I'm not tall - 5'4" so I think the coat swamps me a bit. Parterre does have some lovely stuff - I'd happily buy half the shop, but for the cost… xx

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  8. http://www.eryldene.org.au

    a link on Eryldene and it's famous camelias

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    1. Thanks smr - will have a look and pass it on to Dad too. x

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  9. Before starting work "up The Hill" I had no concept of the up/down The Hill talk (mostly by Hills folk!), and still find it quite amusing :) Also staggered out of Magill Estate, tasting pours they are not.
    Lop the coat - below the knee, but not past mid-calf.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Oh there are so many Hills in the Hills! Glad to hear I wasn't the only one undone by the 7 wine courses, I was wondering if they do get many women that can drink that quantity without being carried out - it was pushing Mr AV's limits I can tell you… Thanks for the coat advice. x

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  10. Congratulations on 20 years! Love the water feature - don't even mind the birds. I agree with everyone else re length of coat. Stay warm and dry! x

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    1. Thank you L! I didn't mind the birds either, but they were priced separately and were rather expensive just for one! This weather!!! I wish the rain would stop, at least for part of the school holidays! xx

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  11. Your side garden is gorgeous, and seems to be coming on so quickly (like other people's pregnancies).

    I am sitting here planning my garden (as the boys run wild around me and the rain pours down).
    I'm pondering Japanese box and pleaching. The Melbourne Patron Saint of Ordered Green Gardens (Bangay) is inspiring me and teaching me a little but I don't think you could have one of his gardens without a team of gardeners. I also like Velvet and Linen's Patina Farm garden - have you seen it? Lots of gravel and general goodness. She too hints at gardeners plural.

    Your father's camellia hunt is fabulous - what an incredible garden to care for. I feel unqualified to care for my five beauties but I think they're only a couple of decades old. I'm certainly too scared to prune them myself - I am also not qualified to give advice on coat lopping !

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Ha - yes I like that pregnancy analogy… the garden progress is feeling very slow to me!
      Exciting re your garden - please start up your blog again! I love what Brooke has done, but there was definitely a team that created that garden, and I suspect that maintain it too. I'm aiming to do the garden maintenance myself, but we'll see…. it'll be a lot bigger than what I've ever had before.
      Dad really does enjoy his garden, it's a real passion of his. xx

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  12. Congratulations on your anniversary! You look fabulous in the Chloe dress. Loving your progress on the garden, and your future water feature. Scruffy is adorable. Do you have an electric fence? We have one- sadly the collar and battery is the same size for both the poodle and the dalmation! No comment re the coat. Am sure you will make the right decision x

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    1. Thanks! We haven't had Scruffy live with us for 3 years - the renovations mean an insecure fence line, and he used to be a Houdini back in Melbourne. He'd immediately (when I would go out) dig his way out and make his way to the local park to play with the children. If they were all at home having a nap (lunchtime), he'd continue on to the local cafe strip and beg for food from people sitting outside at the tables. I'd usually come home, find him gone, and then have to cruise up and down the street looking for him. So he's better contained at Dad's in his electric fence. xx

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  13. I'm very pleased to meet Scruffy for the first time. I hope that he will now make a regular appearance on the blog but I suppose he won't be coming home until your garden is complete. At least he gets to stay with your Dad, our miniature sausage dogs always have to go off to kennels so that they don't bite the work men/escape/cause general mayhem.

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    1. Well, we're not sure if Scruff will come home at all - he rather enjoys living with Dad, and Dad loves him. Dad spoils him rotten, lets him sit on his lap or the sofa, and of course he has all the ratting and rabbiting he can take, plus the company of Dad's other 2 dogs. Aside from the large quantity of food dropped on the floor at our house, I think he thinks he's on a better wicket!
      Dogs and renovations are very difficult - I remember doing the courtyard at our old place in Melbourne with Scruffy when he was a puppy - terrible!! xx

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    2. Clever girl as always ! I have 10 year old maxi mara purchased in Rome still going strong ...suggest 15cm to 18 cm from top of knee. I am 5ft 2ins and have just below knee length

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    3. Sorry ipad has issues. 15 to 18 cams below top of your knee try with highest heel first but a chop will reinvent x

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    4. Will have a look with the seamstress re the 15cm suggestions... I'm not the tallest, so the whole ankle length just looks weird!! It will be nice to get a bit of wear from it again

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  14. Lovely garden ideas. The formality is quite French, with a splash of English. And gorgeous pearls too.

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    1. Thank you Curator - I think it will probably look a bit more French/ mediterranean with the olive trees maybe? We have such a dry climate that the true English look is very hard to emulate - a lot of the plants won't grow, or will struggle

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  15. Love the garden - cannot wait to see it all filled in! As for coat. I would go up 4 inches - it is gorgeous and I think you would regret going too short! You look lovely! Congrats on 20 years!

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    1. I can't wait to see it all filled in either Wendy... It's all taking forever. Shall have a look t the 4" up suggestion with the seamstress xx

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  16. Loving that dress on you. So elegant and fun with the belt. The gravel on the side already looks so cool. I like formality in a garden too, though, like the rest of my life, I've ended up with a bit of hotch potch an all over the place look. We did start with straight lines and paths though, which I'm grateful for. I adored topiary and we did toy with an topiary something or other silly in the front like that garden in England which has all those animals. Love your water feature, good idea to buy one already made and is tried and true, We had one made on site by the builder, I love the look of it but its been a time and money sink.

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    1. You're being far too modest Jody!! Your garden looks fabulous- I especially love your bright pots with the succulents in them... A bit of formality underpinning a looser garden works too, which is what I think you've got- perfectly relaxed. My landscaper said the same thing about water features- don't waste time fluffing around building one if you can buy one ready done as it costs more! xx

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  17. A 7 course degustation menu only??? That's just nuts - how can anybody eat so much food? Even if they are little bite size morsels, which I guess they are, it would still be far too rich for me. How do you eat food like that and still stay so slim?

    But congratulations on the 20 year anniversary - no mean feat to still be together after 20 years.

    And the camellia - incredible to have one which is SO old and still happily producing glorious blooms. A totally fabulous plant and ever so welcome in winter. I have the blooms floating in bowls throughout the season, dotted around and about the house.

    BTW, your number came up on the comforter set competition - you won!! So that will help to keep that chilled Adelaide winter air at bay for you. Pop me an email to work out the delivery details.

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    1. When we went the last time, before Christmas it was 5 or 8, but the 5 had 2 extra courses, so it was really 7 then. Funnily enough it didn't seem like too much - it was well balanced. Just the wine was my undoing! I'm redoubling my efforts at the gym, and eating healthily this week to try to compensate!
      Yay for winning! I never win anything! So exciting! I'll email you with my details xx

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  18. Dear Heidi,
    Love the garden and the water feature again brings yet again a modern edgy touch to a classic garden.
    Congratulations on year anniversary. Mr KB and I bought our 1st house opposite the back of the Penfolds vineyards and Max Schubert the original wine maker and Grange creator lived a few doors down. I have lovely memories of this area so glad that they have made the restaurant at the estate so fabulous.
    Dress looks very chic.
    Get the coat cut off just below knee. Did the same thing this year with a coat that I bought in London last year. It was a silly purchase. Too expensive not appropriate for Queensland but I had always wanted a coat like this. I looked like a old lady. A wonderful seamstress in South Yarra Alice completely transformed it and whilst I wouldn't trot out here I know it will be something I wear in colder climes for the rest of my life!
    Kate Bx

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    1. How wonderful to have known the man behind Penfolds! My parents tried to buy their first home there too, but the house had a steep drive and Dad had a jag at the time and couldn't get it down the driveway! So they ended up in Malvern instead. Not such a terrible outcome (and Dad sold the jag 6 months later as the engine would constantly overheat. Not built for harsh Aussie conditions!
      Your seamstress sounds brilliant! I'm now feeling hopeful I'll be able to solve the coat dilemma- I have no idea why this didn't occur to me a few years ago?! X

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    2. Dear Heidi,
      Sadly we never ever met Mr Schubert just waved as we saw each other. I think we were too in awe + he was quite frail by then.
      I'm sure there is someone equally brilliant to do your revamp but I know you go to Melbourne quite a bit.
      This is the lady

      Alice Haute Couture
      Shop 11, 101-105 Toorak Rd
      South Yarra, VIC, 3141
      (03) 9820 5933
      She is brilliant but oh so busy. She makes wedding dresses as well as tailors.
      She made my daughters Presentation dress (archaic school tradition) and we had the whole calico toile thing happening. I didn't even have that for my wedding dress (made by a lovely lady in Hazelwood Park lol). 6 years later L still wears the dress. It is beautiful and timeless.
      Kate Bx

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  19. Hello Heidi super quick question where did you get your gravel from and what is it called? Was it a place at plympton? Bx

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    1. Hello B, I'm so sorry, but I have no idea! The landscaper got it… it' s a softer buff colour. I suspect it's all the same gravel available at all Adelaide gravel places though. Just don't get a bright white as you'll hate the glare x

      Delete

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Architect & Interior Designer. Mother of three. A sometimes Cook, Baker, Reader, Gardener, Fashion Lover, Renovator, Writer of random things in South Australia email me on anadelaidevilla@bigpond.com
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