Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Domestic goddess

Lately, I've had plenty of free time to indulge my inner domestic goddess. I hand-sewed a table runner from an exquisite V&A fabric, and plan to make a table cloth and curtain ties with the rest of the fabric.

And I've been baking. Inspired by an incredibly talented and friendly wedding cake maker, Emma Drew of Cake Maison, and a pile of baking books on my shelf, I've attempted to make pretty-looking cakes and biscuits. The pink cakes are rose flavour and the brown and yellow cakes are chocolate, orange and geranium. My piping needs a lot of work, but I'm happy with my bows!

Not-so-flat flowers

August brought a beautiful array of colour in the garden - the asters have been flowering all month, the sweet peas and chocolate cosmos have continued to blossom, and the repeat-flowering roses have started to bloom a second time this summer. Even the jasmine, still full of foliage, has some flowers.

I've made sure the new flat has fresh flowers every week to brighten it up until it starts to feel like home. There has been a David Austin 'Enigma' bouquet, some roses and a dahlia from The Real Flower Company that I arranged, some florist British bloom chysanthemums (which have a wonderful marshmallow texture), asters and stocks.

There have also been flowers from my family's garden that I've taken over to the flat to arrange. And the scent of stocks, garden roses, sweet peas and chocolate cosmos has been a delight to come home to.

I took a sweet basil plant that I have been growing from seed in the greenhouse to keep in the kitchen. I bought a few different types of seeds from the Jekka's Herb Farm stand at the Chelsea Flower Show. Jekka McVicar is an expert in herbs - I've spent many happy hours reading her book, Jekka's Complete Herb Book, which she signed for me at the flower show. Here is the plant on the day I brought it over, two weeks ago.

And here it is today. It smells yummy - I can't wait to use some when I make dinner!