May 31, 2011

Delectable Duet: Foliage and Dining Rooms

I picked this extraordinary 
flowering Aralia from the garden,
to place on 
the dining table for a bit of drama.
The round balls are seed pods
formed after the little white flowers fall.
And the glossy deep green leaves
are rather gorgeous too!

Images: blue fruit

May 30, 2011

Journey into a Secret Garden


Let's go on a journey, 
into a secret garden.
One that is disciplined & ordered.


There is a sense of quiet 
in this garden.
No wonder it has been shortlisted 
in this year's "outside" category of the
House Awards


Graveled courtyards make up 
rooms of secret gardens, within the garden.


And there are lots of lovely places
to sit and stay awhile,
to just, well, live the moment


No surprise that an art lover lives here. 
There are marvelous sculptures dotted throughout 
the garden, as treasures waiting to be discovered.


The front garden is extremely restrained.
Rigidly formal & clipped.


While the journey through to the back garden
is a half-way point, 
a meeting ground of formality & verdant excess.


See what I mean about verdant excess?
Deliciously full-blown luxuriant growth. 
Almost bursting out of the corten steel edging. 


We better have a look inside too. 
So you can get a sense of the garden's integration.
Magnificent front doors, aren't they?


Oh, clever.
Low height peep windows allow
sneaky views to that side garden we saw.


And full height windows allow the house 
to float within it's garden frame.


It's still a young garden, 
but one that will ripen with age
into a place of extreme beauty,
creating a secret garden with many charms.

Do you like it?


Jane's House & Garden, SA.
Landscape Design: Taylor Cullity Leathlean
Shortlisted in 2011 Houses Awards
Architecture + Interior Design: Dimitty Anderson + Nexus Designs
Photography: Earl Carter


May 28, 2011

What's Weekend and what's Week time?

It's movie night for the boys & me, 
so I have been hunting for 
somewhere yummy to grab supper 
after we see the latest Pirates of the Caribbean.
 After looking at these gorgeous images,
I desperately want to check out the 
new Hare & Grace in the city. 
Love the smoke bush ceiling twigs
and the anatomical
animal drawings on the walls. 
Sadly for tonight's escapade, 
it is only open during the week.
Really?
But I kinda like the idea of keeping
a restaurant special for the weekdays only.
So it is a lovely little respite, during a busy working day.
 With such a blurring between work & play, 
sometimes we lose the distinction 
between weekend and working week. 

It's an interesting concept,
don't you think?


Images & restaurant: Hare & Grace
located at 525 Collins St, Melbourne.
Interior Design: Joost Bakker

May 27, 2011

When Simple is Best...

A sculptural black + white box, 
set amongst the gum trees,
was designed to focus on the garden,
in this extension to an old cottage.
Would you like a splash of orange 
with your black and white box?
This is the work of
Sydney architect Christopher Polly.
It's so simple
And yet, the simple designs 
are often the hardest to achieve.
It's all about getting 
the proportions
just right.
It's a narrow space, 
but the spectacular ceiling height 
makes it feel open and full of light.
While the emphasis is all about the garden

Neat, and simple. 
It just works

Images: Haines House by Christopher Polly 

May 26, 2011

Golden Glamour. I like mine Dark, not Frothy. Bold Gold.


When I was a little girl, 
every birthday I would ask for golden shoes.
My mother believed that golden shoes 
represented fripperies and froth
so they never appeared in the birthday wrappings.
She laughs now, wondering why she had such a notion.
Fripperies & froth gold may sometimes be, 
but it can also have an underlying deeper, darker edge.
Especially when mixed with black.
On the runway, at LMFF, Little Joe 
mixes gold with fabulous dark heels,
guinea feathers and black to create drama.
Love this. 
No frippery or froth in sight. 
But the gold filigree gives the outfit glamour,
while balancing the drama with long, long legs of black.
For a gold lover like myself, 
there is no such thing as too much gold
Oriel House obviously thinks so too.
Why not have gold handles on golden drawers?
Gold and dark just seem to go together in a sultry mix.
If this exquisitely detailed light by Emma Davies
had a backdrop of anything other than gold,
it would change the mood entirely.
A light sprinkling of gold can give an air of decadence,
to these gowns, & the setting, by Gwendolynne
While Bold Gold exhales confidence of style.
Bold Gold means using lots of it, 
with other darkly dramatic elements,
like these inspired curtains. 
What a brilliant foil to the gold velvet sofa. 
And always having a hefty drop 
of dark, dark 
texture as a contrast against the glitter.
 So lustrous, in this vintage image from the 1960s.
And of course, 
a sense of wit doesn't hurt 
Bold Gold's success either.
Would this scene work so well, 
if the frames were dainty
and if there were no Converse sneakers 
tossed upon the floor?
This much loved room, by Studio Ko, 
pushes the glamour of gold to it's full bold limits. 

To sink luxuriantly into these gold sofas, 
in such a beautiful space, 
would be decadently fabulous.
Why, it doesn't have a touch of froth or frippery about it!

Images: 
1: Alexander McQueen pumps net a porter.  2/8/9: design by SR Gambrell.
3/4: little joe.  5: Oriel House via 1st option.
6: emma davies artist.  7: Gwendolynne.
12: photography by Monolo Yllera13: Studio Ko.

May 25, 2011

If a Rose by any other name would Smell as Sweet, how about Pigface?

Sometimes I wonder if the name of a plant
has quite a bit to do with it's popularity.
Like the Pigface plant, 
shown flowering here in my garden.
Of course, Shakespeare was onto this 
in his famous quote.
The unfortunately named Pigface
or Carpobrotus Glaucescens
(not much better)
is in fact an absolutely fabulous groundcover.
 It's a seldom~planted edible Australian native, 
with the most wonderfully juicy succulent leaves.
My grandfather used to pick it for salads,
while warning us we might turn into pigs if we ate it.
{He was a wag!}
So despite it's odd little name
I was keen to plant it in my garden,
because it is a tough little cookie,
surviving on scant water and happy to live 
on rocky faces.
But I just had to show you this glorious garden, 
inspired by the impossibly bright colours of Pigface.
It's by Eckersley Garden Architecture.
Do you see the lovely plant cascading 
down the grey planter box?
That is the beautiful Pigface.
When it errupts into flower, 
the colour will match the floor. 
Imagine
The designer, Myles Broad, 
has used this ancient plant as a springboard
for a wonderfully inspired colour scheme of purples,
glaucous blue~greens and greys.
It is a rambling garden,
my personal favourite kind,
where the visitor is allowed to wander
and find shady spots.
Another Australian native, Liriope
is repeated throughout the garden.
The purple flowers are colourful exclamation points.
"Hello!" they seem to say.
Can you imagine a Sunday lunch 
on this terrace?
Oh yes please, it will be lovely.
Climbing Morning Flags 
positively jump against the rich purple walls.
It's a garden where the garden designer owner
has had some fun with bold colours.
And it just makes me ponder, 
if this gorgeous plant had a prettier name, 
would we see it a little more often?

1/2/3/4 blue fruit garden
All other images & Coastal Cottage garden 

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