Friday 29 May 2015

Urban Jungle Bloggers: My Plant Gang

Welcome to my Urban Jungle Bloggers post for May! The theme this month is My Plant Gang. I have quite a collection of pot plants, but I usually spread them throughout the house or group them in little vignettes. I hadn't actually thought of putting them all together in a gang until I got this month's suggestion, and now I have to ask myself why on earth I didn't think of it earlier :)

My plant gang - potted plants grouped together at Camellia Rose
I decided to group them all together on top of my vintage china cabinet. It didn't take too long to arrange, perhaps because all my potted lovelies were so happy to be there enjoying each others' company? I added a few little decorative accents... some crochet stones, candles, twine and scissors. And because the cyclamen aren't all flowering yet, I added some sprigs of lavatera to enhance the one cyclamen bloom that is out.

My plant gang - potted plants grouped together at Camellia Rose

My plant gang - potted plants grouped together at Camellia Rose
I love the contrasting textures... smooth plant leaves, textured plant leaves. Stone and fibre, glass and wax. Wood and thread. But the colour palette keeps it all harmonious.

Tiny potted plant (1 inch pot) and cyclamen bloom - Camellia Rose
I had to put my tiniest plant with the rest of the gang... this little pot is only an inch high! 

The first flower on my gorgeous butterfly cyclamen - it already smells beautiful.

Zebra plant and succulent - Camellia Rose
I love the striped leaves on the zebra plant but the new leaves have a lot of white on them. It has been in this not-very-bright position for a couple of months, I may need to try it in a sunnier spot for a while.

I also love the purple-grey leaves of this succulent.

My plant gang - chain of hearts at Camellia Rose
And my new favourite, chain of hearts, keeping cozy in its crochet jacket!

My plant gang - potted plants grouped together at Camellia Rose
I absolutely love my plant gang together, but there are some empty spaces around the house now. Guess that means I need to go visit the garden centre!

Urban Jungle Bloggers is hosted by Judith at and Igor at Happy Interior Blog. You can find out more and participate yourself at

Friday 22 May 2015

Styling the Seasons - May 2015

Decorating the mantelpiece for May (late autumn) - Camellia Rose
Welcome to my Styling the Seasons post for May. It's nearly winter and the fireplace is in use again, so this month I decided to style my mantel. I haven't really done much with it since summer (you can see it here in an earlier post) and it was definitely time for a refresh! 

Every good mantel display needs lights so I started with the & shaped marquee light. I balanced the black with a black metal terrarium and dark twiggy branches in a vase, and added soft natural colours to the rest of the display. At this stage of the year winter is a peaceful and restful time so I didn't want any energetic colours (that will change later in the season no doubt...)

Decorating the mantelpiece for May (late autumn) - Camellia Rose
I love the pale aqua tea light holder/vase, and the way it echoes the filigree ceramic balls.

Decorating the mantelpiece for May (late autumn) - Camellia Rose
Some little succulent cuttings are coming along inside the terrarium.

Decorating the mantelpiece for May (late autumn) - Camellia Rose
I made this little planter by putting clay around a can. It was inspired by many I've seen on Pinterest including the ones by Atelier Stella. There's no way I can get my hands on one of those so I thought I'd make one of my own, and I love how it turned out. Pressing the texture into the bottom was really fun! Then recently I found this chain of hearts plant and knew it would be just perfect for planting inside... it trails beautifully and leaves that look like hearts win me over every time!

Decorating the mantelpiece for May (late autumn) - Camellia Rose
It wouldn't be May without the sweet fragrance of wintersweet. My tree has just started blooming and for the next few weeks I'll be filling the house with fragrant bunches! It has the most divine smell and makes the transition into winter much easier for me.

Decorating the mantelpiece for May (late autumn) - Camellia Rose
Styling the Seasons is a monthly styling challenge hosted by Katy at Apartment Apothecary and Charlotte at Lotts and Lots. Find out more by searching the hashtag #stylingtheseasons on social media. 

Thursday 21 May 2015

Autumn potager

As we head towards the end of autumn, the days of big basketfuls of produce from my potager are at an end. But that doesn't mean an end to the growing season. Our climate here in Christchurch means that I can still grow plenty of things over winter, as long as they are frost hardy, so I like to plant accordingly. When evenings are dark I can't pop outside after work with my basket like I can in summer, so I usually take a tour at the start of the week and bring in enough for the next few nights. Spring onions, leeks and broccoli can be stored in the fridge, and herbs or leafy greens like silver beet go in vases on the windowsill. I'm even getting the occasional strawberry or raspberry, so if they're still fruiting at the end of May then that's really only about 4-5 months until the first spring berries start up again... not so long really!

My favourite season in the garden is summer, but I also really like the tidiness of the winter potager! I've trimmed the lavender hedges and the rosemary balls, and they'll provide shape and structure until the spring growth hits. I've also created some scalloped garden edging which really tidies everything up and looks great with the black metal arches. The edging was so easy to make and I'll share a tutorial very soon.

In this bed I have silver beet (not pictured), cabbages, broccoli and the last of the chillis. The chillis are doing well, they will last until frosts get them and provide a good spark of colour until then. In the bed behind are leeks and spring onions.

 In the two beds closest to the glasshouse, I planted a green crop of mustard, lupin and some kind of grass. I haven't grown a green crop over winter before so I'll see how it goes. I do intend to put garlic in one of those beds so half of it will be dug up, we'll see if it makes a difference! 

The cherry tree is always the last on my property to shed its leaves and it's doing so quite spectacularly! It's amazing to see how many different leaf colours and patterns come off one tree.

A sunny autumn day in the potager is like heaven. Hope you're having equally good times in your patch, wherever in the world you may be! xx

Monday 18 May 2015

A walk through the autumn garden

A walk throught the autumn garden at Camellia Rose
 Hello again! I thought I'd take you on a walk through my garden just before it undresses for winter. The seasons are shifting and it's time to say goodbye to endless foliage and bright summer flowers. I have leaves on the lawn and seedheads in the garden, but it's a small price to pay for the fleeting glory of an autumn afternoon.

A walk throught the autumn garden at Camellia Rose
 Even on a cloudy day this tree glows like a beacon. It is probably the last season for this tree actually... I love it a lot, but it is so big and still seems to be growing, blocks the light from our windows, plus it drops seeds everywhere and gets infested with whitefly in late summer. I've got two ornamental prunuses to replace it with so sometime this winter, my big tree's number is up.

A walk throught the autumn garden at Camellia Rose
 This little red and purple gem is Cercis Forest Pansy. It's beautiful through all the seasons, and I'm hoping it will grow bigger (but not too big) to take on more of a focal role.

A walk throught the autumn garden at Camellia Rose
A walk throught the autumn garden at Camellia Rose
 There are still some late summer flowers hanging on, but they will be finished before long. I'll miss them, but I'm looking forward to the time of camellias, hellebores, wintersweet and anemones.

A walk throught the autumn garden at Camellia Rose
 I also enjoy the remnants left behind... seed heads, last leaves, graphic lines of stems and twigs.

A walk throught the autumn garden at Camellia Rose
I love to sit on the deck in the afternoon, sipping a coffee and planning my next garden adventure. Pop back in the next few days and I'll show you how my potager looks now that the mad summer harvest is over!

Sunday 17 May 2015

May flowers

Welcome to May in my autumn garden. It's late autumn and while there are a few brave souls soldiering on, many of the summer flowers are at last fading. Winter isn't my favourite, but I always embrace the change of season - with the emphasis on change, meaning a new range of blooms for enjoying and picking. New this month is the wintersweet, a seasonal delight and something that always gets me through the first month of winter. My camellia Elfin Rose is still going and looking lovely when backlit by the sun, and I hope the rest of my camellias won't be far behind.

Clockwise from top left: autumn coloured hydrangea, cheerful pansy, possibly the last rosebud for the season, the first wintersweet for the season, Elfin Rose camellia, sweet alyssum, hollyhocks, a late rose, Baujade apples, nerines, astrantia, pink penstemon.

I kind of missed Bloom Day this month (time is flying by lately) but I'm linking up now, I'm number 100 so there are plenty of other gardens to check out if you click the link!

Sunday 3 May 2015

Finished at last: Moonlit Night blanket

Camellia Rose - the Moonlit Night blanket
I've finished my Moonlit Night blanket, hooray! It's lovely and soft and snuggly, just in time for winter. Let me tell you a bit about it!

I first had the idea back in 2011 when I was making granny squares for another project. You can read the details on that in this post. I never finished that project though, and actually ended up reusing a lot of the yarn for this blanket!

Camellia Rose - the Moonlit Night blanket
I used three shades of grey yarn and a white. They are all different brands... a fuzzy dark grey for the centre, then a mid-dark grey, then a pale tweedy blue-grey. The white was a super cheap ball of acrylic that wasn't that nice but did I say it was cheap? Important as I used so much of it. I'm not a yarn snob with my projects, I'd like to be but just can't afford to!

Camellia Rose - the Moonlit Night blanket
The last step, and that which I modestly think sets it above other granny square blankets, was adding mother of pearl buttons to alternate squares. These represent the full moon slipping behind clouds. Also, they are shiny and pretty and really catch the eye when the blanket is draped resplendently over the couch.

Camellia Rose - the Moonlit Night blanket
 The blanket is 10 x 15 squares. It turned out to be the perfect size for couch-draping! I also congratulate myself because it took less than a year to finish! Ok, eleven months actually. But since my last blanket took two and a half years, I'm happy with that!

Camellia Rose - the Moonlit Night blanket
 Here it is in its full glory. I used the join-as-you-go method for joining the squares which saved a heap of time. It's great for a blanket like this where you don't have to work out a colour scheme as you go.

Camellia Rose - the Moonlit Night blanket
 Here is the pattern for the edging:
Round 1: SC in white all the way around to even off your granny squares. SC two together where the squares meet.
Round 2: in dark grey, sc 2 in 1 sc space, ch 1, skip 1 sc, sc 2 in 1 sc space, repeat. (I did 2 sc because the dark grey fuzzy yarn is fairly thin - if your yarn is thicker just do 1 sc in each space.)
Round 3: in white, 1 sc in ch 1 space, ch 1, skip 2 sc, 1 sc in ch 1 space, repeat all around.
Round 4: in white, sc all around.
Round 5: in mid grey, sc all around.
Round 6: in light grey, sc all around.
Round 7: in white, make scallops: 5 dc in one sc, skip 1 sc, 1 sc, 5 dc in 1 sc, repeat.

Camellia Rose - the Moonlit Night blanket

You can also see this project on my Ravelry page. I'm so happy to have this finished but I'm already having withdrawal... the only question is, what to make next?


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