Friday I’m in Love: Lilacs

A little bird told me there were lilacs to be seen at Descanso Gardens.

The approach was not hopeful…

IMG_3793

But then:

IMG_0177

Lilac heaven!

Advertisements

Oscar!

Since a good proportion of the house is finished, my Lovely Man has decide to throw a party. And not just a small select dinner either, but a full-on Oscars party. LM has been wandering about his office issuing invitations left and right, so it’s looking like we could be as many as thirty in the kitchen on Sunday. Yikes! So I turned to my trusty Pinterest and began to plan.

There has to be a red carpet.

IMG_0164

And I just love this idea:

IMG_0149

Stars everywhere (even if they are made of card).

IMG_0174

I’m hoping our guests will dress up (although, this being California, they may not – that’s OK). This is my dress

IMG_3804

– if I can get it finished in time!

Cocktails of course.

IMG_0173

IMG_0175

Popcorn, beautifully presented.

IMG_3802

And games! Which of course means prizes…everyone should have the chance to win an Oscar…

IMG_3803

I think I’m in for a busy week (good job I love to cook)!

(sources: Pinterest)

Friday I’m in love: Red-tailed hawk?

On Wednesday I woke to mist so thick I could barely see across the arroyo. And it appeared that I was not the only one with vision problems…one of our local predators had the same problem. Normally these guys sit in the tops of the trees to spot their meals so I’ve only seen them from a distance. But that day – well, I just grabbed my camera, crept out onto the porch and snapped.

20140221-045641.jpg

 

Difficult to tell from the seated shots (he was perched on a eucalyptus on the edge of our terrace), but when he took off I could see the tail. Am I right? I know they’re fairly common, but I was enchanted to be able to see one (relatively) close up!

Descanso In January

I only made it to Descanso Gardens once in January, but that hour was worth it. I believe I can officially call it spring! There are shoots peeping out and blossom beginning to show, even alongside reminders of winter.

IMG_0125

It had rained the night before so the camellias and magnolias were a little battered, but I just love their slightly artificial-looking flowers.

IMG_0126

One of my favourite places to visit is the small kitchen garden, Nature’s Table. There is always something to spark my interest. This month I was taken by the rainbow chard whose glossy green leaves contrast beautifully with the greyish-green of the artichoke. And the coloured stems look like fireworks!

IMG_0136

And I love the weathered forms they use to collect leaves. Look at the way the peas have been trained around this one. Pretty, AND practical…my kind of garden!

IMG_3494

The Center [sic] Circle has recently been redone as a California meadow. Although it’s tiny, it sparked the germ of an idea for the most difficult part of our garden…of which more later…

IMG_3548

Do you have a favourite place to take photos? Where do you go for inspiration?

Here we go again…

Here’s a familiar sight.

IMG_3719

Since I now have my lovely new kitchen (and yes, you will hear about it properly one of these days), our old kitchen is no longer needed. So what to do? After months of procrastination (if I’m honest, it was a great place to dump stuff and forget about it…), we have finally begun work. The old cabinets and appliances

IMG_3652

have gone, as well as the algae-green carpet. The fireplace (condemned by our building inspector) and wildly inappropriate for the style of the house

IMG_3650

is next!

The bay window over the old kitchen sink

IMG_3653

which projects awkwardly into an already narrow outside passageway, is coming out. Oh, and the lights

IMG_3658

have to go!