05 April 2012


Spring has sprung in England! 

spring time in our garden

One thing you learn to appreciate here in England is His Majesty the Sun. A beloved visitor to the English who are always  ready to welcome Him back with pale open arms.  For the better part of March, England  bathed in sunshine. As a result, Nature was reborn! 

Spring is on full display in the forest and fields: from the stooped snowdrops and delicate blankets of bluebells to the bold daffodils standing tall and cherry blossom trees in full bloom.

Carib takes in fresh wild garlic aroma
Another plant who is happy to bid farewell to winter is the wild garlic. A few years ago, Cyrille discovered two thriving patches in our neighboring forest. 

With the right offer he just might show you their happy home. 

Make this your preferred seasonal herb. Cooked or eaten raw- wild garlic is a delicate garnish to most dishes.  It grows from late winter right through spring.  At the end of its season, the plant bursts with little white flowers- also edible and full of garlic flavour. 

You can find wild garlic at farmers markets and in some specialty stores. As it is quite dear to buy... you may wish to poke around your local forest for a real bargain! 

Another sign of spring--- the return of the Kir. A classic French apéritif. 

Add a generous splash of Crème de Cassis (liqueur made from blackcurrants) to wine glass.

Pour chilled dry white wine (Sauvignon Blanc) over liqueur 

Gently stir. Santé! 

Amazing how  a splash of sunshine and a pinch of warm temps  jumpstarts a DIY (Do It Yourself) project. Even if you did not know you had a DIY project to do- you suddenly create one. 

The return of the sun’s bright rays accentuated the dried-out patio furniture that the winter grey had kindly masked. On an impulse we loaded up Ouisie into the car and headed to the hardware store, along with every other amateur designer, in search of the perfect top coat.   

Our patio furniture turned eight this year. It has survived Caribbean tropical storms, persistant English rain, a transatlantic move, four snowy winters, and relentless UV rays. We have delayed the project  by masking the weathered wood with table cloths until now it is a matter of salvaging or kindling the wood.  

The B&Q parking lot was heaving. Trollies and flatbeds filled with potting soil, pipes, planters, and plaster were being crammed into small hatchback cars.  The exterior paint aisle was jammed with people scouting out their favourite tin on offer. 

Cyrille,  it should be noted, does not like nor cope well with large crowds. The bustling crowd on Aisle 7 by the patio furniture paint was too much. When he went missing, I found him on vacant Aisle 6 looking at interior paint for our exterior project. Once the crowd has dispersed we revisited Aisle 7, agreed on Sea Mist and headed home.

Eager to crack on with the task at hand, Cyrille stacked the tins of paint in his arms and reached to close the car door. splat. A tin of Sea Mist kicked the bucket and laid to rest on our gravel drive.   

True DIY. A project, that turns into an ambitious task, which costs more money (and much more time) than budgeted, and becomes a bigger mess than when you started. 

remains of sea mist on our gravel drive

Now with just 1.5 buckets  of paint on hand—perhaps we will aim to get the table ready for this summer and the chairs can be next year’s project. After all, there is nothing that a cute seat cushion can’t disguise, right?

As the week has progressed, the wintery temps have returned and are forecasted to stay. It feels as though autumn, not summer, is just around the corner.  I am contemplating posting the table, chairs, wood treatment and 1.5 buckets of Sea Mist on eBay tonight.  Auction starting bid £.99. 

The excitement of prepping garden furniture has long ago passed and I find myself cozy on the leather couch with both the radiator and a glass of Burgundy to keep me warm. 

Sanded and primed, 

Callie x

1 comment:

  1. Love the sea mist shade . . . it's even a nice touch of color on the gravel driveway! I'm sure your cold, rainy days will give way shortly to more days of gorgeous spring weather. Your photos are great, can almost taste the crisp and slightly sweet Kir. I can't wait for the next installment from Hampshire! M.S.


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