Since I blogged last week, I’ve had a Birthday and was lucky enough to be given a lovely bunch of pink roses. They are a delight and have been giving me a lot of pleasure, which I’ve needed because I’ve also been struggling with the run up to the anniversary of Mum passing away on March 20th 2017. I’ve been in need of all the uplifting flowers can do this week. Those roses have been in my dining room reminding me of the dear friend who gave them to me and her a warm, loving hug that accompanied the gift of the flowers. She knows that birthdays are a little bit hard for me now.
The garden has been barren of blooms for a while, but has finally put on a little early autumn show which entices me out to smell and admire the rose bushes each morning. It helps to lift the veil of sadness I’m waking up with every day. I picked some roses and made a posy which, you might have seen if you follow me on Facebook and Instagram . Each time I walked past that posy I smiled.
Roses have always been my favorite flower. There’s something so romantic about this drama queen of flowers. Scented roses are the most heavenly smell on earth. I have to shut my eyes as I inhale their sweetness. They’re so spectacular and attention grabbing that they bring me into the present and provide relief from somber thoughts.
The grief I feel over losing Mum is less than it was at first but this anniversary is accompanied by a physical pain in my heart. Two years since I heard her voice. Two years since she put her arms around me and I held her in mine. Two years of Mondays without our regular morning phone call to chat about our weekend.
I feel her with me in other ways and that is very comforting, but I miss her physical presence Only after she was gone did I become sensible to how big a place she filled in my life. The emptiness is huge. So a thoughtful bouquet of flowers from a friend is felt deeply.
The gift of a flower arrangement was a special treat that Mum always enjoyed. So I’m glad my sister rang this morning and asked if I’d like to go for a coffee and buy Mum some flowers for her grave. We chose a stunning basket of flowers. It’s consoling to be able to still buy flowers for Mum.
I’d planned on taking a posy of roses from my garden, and I still will, as I think she’d like that also. She loved gardening so much that not only did she keep a gorgeous formal English style garden looking beautiful she also used to weed my garden and my sister’s as well. She was always ready with gardening advice and no visit was complete without a tour of the garden.
Before, I said that I feel her in other ways, it’s usually when I’m meditating or when I’m in the garden, I can feel her essence nearby. As if she’s there next to me but I’m not looking at her. So I have many reasons to believe in the healing power of flowers. They help to uplift me through inspiring appreciation for the present moment and create connections, between friends and sisters and to my dearly remembered mother.
Dora Bramden writes Heart-Melting, Passionate, Romance
When I need some calm and beauty I head to a garden center, preferably one with a cafe. 'Lillies on Brougham' has long been a special place for me to visit. It's french provincial garden, cafe and shop are a delight for my senses so it's here I headed when I wanted to take the afternoon off.
I love this muted pink linen dress.
Balance is what they do so well. That is what makes it so calming and serene for visitors. The shop contains, soft textured clothes, dolls and cushions which contrast with and shiny pottery, glass and jewelry. Even a meal in their cafe is gorgeous to look at. Of course it tastes amazing as well. A perfect balance of sweet, savory and acidic flavors married with herbs and a mix of creamy and crisp textures to entertain the palette.
The seating area is a long space with views through to the established gardens that beckon diners to wander the pathways after breakfast or lunch.
After browsing the shop and eating a delicious lunch it's time to walk the grounds and take in the carefully considered, elegant garden.
An ornate urn draws you down the path toward a stand of pencil pine and globe shaped shrubs. Here the path turns and leads the wanderer to the area where plants are for sale, so you can purchase a little bit of French flair for your own garden.
Even this area is laid out in a way that shows style and balance has been carefully considered. A decorative pond provides a stopping point before rambling among the permanent plantings interspersed with bays of pots of trees and shrubs for sale.
There are a few concrete garden ornaments in the classic style which can be purchased to give your garden a distinctive French Provincial character.
A mud brick cottage creates an overflow space for diners and a focal point. It creates planting opportunities and is positioned so that the garden can't be viewed all at once. The meandering path encircles it.
The time passed quickly and eventually I needed to get back home to normal living but the serenity and elegance of Lilies on Brougham is inside me and is coming home with me.
A last view of the main building before I leave. I just love the simplicity and elegance of those box plants in white urns.
Wendy Fraser-Boyle and Melissa Walder run Lillies on Brougham, they stock the shop with their Lily and Lulu collection procured from France. They also run exclusive ladies tours to France. Oh my goodness, how I would love to do one of those. Maybe one day.
You can find Lilies on Brougham at 62 Brougham street Eltham in Victoria, Australia. Their contact details are T: 0394316622 or E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dora Bramden writes Heart melting, passionate romance
Do you ever get overwhelmed by the hugeness of the mess? I do. I get paralyzed. I walked into this room and straight back out again repeatedly for three days. I finally just had to get it done in the morning of the day my Dad was coming to stay.
I'd been doing a lot of crafting and getting out bags of projects and not putting anything away. Then other things started to be dumped here, notes, travel brochures, even the box I keep the Christmas cards in found it's way onto the bed. Ahhh.
I decided to begin by putting away the sewing projects. The bags were removed and stored in another cupboard in the kitchen. I took the half filled hobby box at the end of the bed and stored all the fabric pieces in that. Then I gathered up all the paper pattern pieces and put them in a shopping bag. Odd bits of embellishments were stored in the sewing box. I rejigged the shelves in the wardrobe and put the sewing machine and the hobby box away.
Also at the end of the bed, I had an overnight bag with slippers and a nighty, still not put away after a weekend at the beach. I took care of that too. Now the end of the bed was clear. One space cleared, felt amazing. I was energized to push on. A plastic bag was filled with old notes and other papers I no longer needed along with scraps of fabric that were unusable. The important papers were filed and the CD's were put away in their proper storage box.
Nearly there. About now I want to dump what's left in a bag and sort it out later, but I didn't let myself do that this time. I kept going and put everything back in it's proper place. That was the hardest bit. Finishing isn't my strongest skill.
I love that the bed is clear so that side of the room is finished. I'm getting a proud-feeling payoff at this point. I also have made progress on clearing the corner where my notice board stands against the wall. I can get the two wardrobe doors open at this point. The storage boxes are stacked neatly.
However, you can see a corner of the desk which is still messy. This is supposed to be where I write but it became a dumping ground too. Very uninspiring. This last area was tidied up with everything being put in it's proper place and any rubbish thrown away.
Here it is looking all tidy and cute. I'm writing this blog late because I couldn't face this room. It's been such a huge effort that I couldn't resist making it the subject of this week's blog. The clean up was a massive challenge but I love that I got there.
My inspiration/notice board needs a makeover, stay tuned for that, but at least I've pinned up the current year's calendar. It still had 2018 before the clean up. This years calendar was some of the flotsam that had washed up on my desk.
Now this space is lovely again, I plan to try very hard to keep it tidy. I think I need to invest in some shelving for the wardrobe so that when I access things from the lower boxes, I don't put off putting things away due to the difficulty of getting to it and packing away after.
I found that focusing on clearing one area at a time very helpful. I also searched for categories of things and put those away all at once. I was ruthless in chucking out stuff that I really didn't need. I had to do some reality checks like, 'You've had this for fifteen years, do you really thing your going to use it? If the answer was no, out it went.
I can breath in this room now. I think I avoided making a start because the sight of it drained me. But knowing my father couldn't sleep in this mess made me panic a bit. The adrenaline hit energized me. Once I got going it wasn't too bad but near the end exhaustion was winning and I had to really push myself to finish.
Now that I have enjoyed my Dad's visit, and by the way he said he slept very well in here, I'm enjoying writing my weekly blog and I hope you've enjoyed this little journey of mine. If you have a space that you'd like clean and can't get yourself to do it, invite someone over to stay the night. Works like a charm. :)
Heart Melting, Passionate Romance.
Romance author and lifestyle blogger
My whole life is inspired by romance. I write romance novels of course but also love creating DIY's and decorating in a romantic style. I'm rejuvenating an old garden, including rescuing a couple of old rose bushes and planting new ones.