July 31, 2009

Loveliness Aflutter!

Garden Observations
Yesterday was a beautiful day for afternoon spinning in the garden at Corgyncombe Cottage. How peaceful it was with the birds singing, the butterflies flitting and fluttering about, and Corgi Creek babbling in the background.

A sea of Echinacea.

Spinning wheel in the garden at Corgyncombe.

A Question Mark Butterfly on Lady's Mantle.

Diane's Kromski Spinning Wheel.

Butterflies in the garden remind The Corgyncombe Courant of Beatrix Potter's "The Tale of Tom Kitten". As Mother Cat Tabitha was expecting company she had dressed her three kittens up in fine clothes. More preparations needed to be completed before her guests arrived so she let her kittens go out in the garden but warned them to be careful not to soil their clothing. There is an illustration of Tom Kitten dressed in a darling blue suit and straw hat amusing himself with a butterfly as it flits about the garden.

As eveningtide approached the moon was lovely in the sky o'er the Corgyncombe gardens. The butterflies of day were replaced by the fireflies of twilight. Delightful sparkles all about the garden!!!


July 28, 2009

Beatrix Potter's Birthday!

Corgyncombe Library Notes
Today, July 28th, is Beatrix Potter's birthday. Beatrix Potter (1866-1943) is a favorite at The Corgyncombe Library.

In the photograph above, Tasha Tudor's Welsh Breakfast Tea, served in a Benjamin Bunny cup, is enjoyed at afternoon tea. Benjamin Bunny is wearing a tam-o'-shanter and carrying the red spotted handkerchief that he used to gather onions in. The same scene is on the cover of Beatrix Potter's "The Tale of Benjamin Bunny". The tussie mussie on the table has bee balm in the center, surrounded by thyme, rosemary, lady's mantle, forget-me-nots, and lavender.

Beatrix Potter's "The Tale of Benjamin Bunny"

Foxglove in Diane's garden at Corgyncombe Cottage reminds one of Beatrix Potter's Jemima Puddle-duck.

Beatrix Flopsy Bunny enjoys Beatrix Potter's "The Story of a Fierce Bad Rabbit".
Here is the link to: More photographs of Beatrix Flopsy Bunny

Beatrix Potter was an artist and author and a great admirer of the beautiful landscapes of Britain.

Diane and Sarah are admirers of Beatrix and feel a kinship with her. What fun it would have been to take tea with Beatrix and discuss bunnies, gardens, ducks, old houses, old barns, and other aspects of country life and landscapes. A cozy afternoon tea is a perfect time to give thought to Beatrix Potter!

Hollyhocks and bee balm.

A visitor to the Rocket reminds us of Beatrix Potter's illustration of a butterfly tasting the sugar in Mrs. Tittlemouse's larder!

Peter Rabbit at garden's edge.

Here are links to Beatrix Potter at The Corgyncombe Library:
Page 1 - Page 2 - Page 3 - Page 4

Here is a link to YouTube: Introduction of "The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends, Beatrix Potter"
Here is a link to YouTube: The Ending of "The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends, Beatrix Potter", featuring the song "Perfect Day"


Independence Day Adventures!

Fishing and Frizzy's Birthday
Frizzy and Shepard fishing at Corgi Creek.

Here are the links to Frizzy's Independence Day Adventures:
Page 1 - Page 2 - Page 3


July 19, 2009

Loveliness Afloat

Corgyncombe Library NotesIn the book "Wall and Water Gardens" by Gertrude Jekyll, she begins the chapter "Water-Lilies" by writing: "It would be impossible to over-estimate the value of the cultivated Nymphaeas to our water-gardens. These grand plants enable us to compose a whole series of new pictures of plant beauty of the very highest order."

The book on the chair at water's edge is "The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady" by Edith Holden. It is open to one of the July pages featuring water lilies and a dragonfly. This is a delightful nature diary from 1906 with many lovely paintings of birds and plants.

Fossils in stone collected from the stones that will be made into a stone wall at Corgyncombe Cottage.

In "The Springs of Joy" by Tasha Tudor, there is a sweet illustration of Tasha as a young girl and her corgi delighting in the water lilies. The cover illustration of Tasha Tudor's "1 is One" contains many small creatures that you would find near or in a pond amongst the cattails, such as a duck, a red-winged blackbird, a dragonfly, a spider, a turtle, and a frog sitting on a lily pad. Water lilies are in the border surrounding the water scene.

If Tasha Tudor were to think of past mistakes or unpleasantness in her life, all that was required for her to regain her cheerfulness was to turn her mind to water lilies. They are lovely indeed!

Tasha also noted that goslings could have the same cheering affect.

This afternoon no goslings could be found but this darling little duckling crossed our path. Here it is swimming at Corgyncombe. He was having the best time swimming and scooting under water and finding food from his natural habitat.


July 9, 2009

A Little Cottage with Gardens Round

Corgyncombe Library Notes
When Diane was a little girl, she used to go over to her neighbor Ginny's to play in her playhouse. Diane decided that she had to have a playhouse of her own! She took her Daddy by the hand to see Ginny's playhouse. Diane's Daddy soon set about the task of making her a playhouse. Diane insisted that her little house must have a chimney. In the above picture Diane is pretending she is a bride. As you can see in the photograph, there is already a wash hanging on the line.

Diane is pretending she is a bride.

Diane's playhouse had a kitchen, a nursery, and a parlour. Diane's Daddy used to come in and have lunch with her. Diane delighted in all the flowers that were around and about her cottage. The view from the kitchen window looked up the hill where there was a white picket fence with pink and red climbing roses. Behind the playhouse there was another picket fence with an arbor that also had climbing roses. Pink and white peonies grew going down the hill past her Mum's clothes line. Diane's father picked Diane a bouquet of the peonies and she told him she would someday use this bouquet when she married him. The sunflowers were on the edge of Diane's father's huge vegetable garden. When Diane was growing up her family had goats, sheep, chickens, ducks, and rabbits. The barn for the animals was across the lawn and through the lilac hedge.

Diane's doll Bonnie with Gertrude Jekyll's book "Children & Gardens".

In Gertrude Jekyll's book "Children & Gardens", the chapter "Gardens and Play-House" caught the eye of The Corgyncombe Courant. Gertrude talks about gardening around and about the playhouse. Gertrude describes quite an elaborate playhouse where the children would keep house, bake, cook, and entertain, as well as tend a garden. Besides a kitchen the playhouse she describes has a pantry and a parlour for tea parties. Gertrude gives receipts for various soups, a salad, scrambled eggs, scones, and fairy cakes. The receipts use things grown in the playhouse garden. She recommends herbs to grow in the small cottage garden to use for cooking in the playhouse kitchen.

This reminds us of Darling and Domestic Daisy who lives at Corgyncombe Cottage and loves to bake and cook and care for her Baby Doll.
Here is a link to: Daisy preparing for a tea party.
Here is a link to: Daisy hosting a tea party.

In the book "Children & Gardens", Gertrude wrote: "There are thousands of little girls in England, and small boys too, who would not only delight in working the play-house but who would in after years visit it again with delight and look back on its lessons of play-work with thankfulness, both for joyful memories and for the abiding usefulness of all that it had taught them."

At the end of the chapter Gertrude wrote: "In the play-house pantry, or better still, in the summer weather somewhere near but out-of-doors, we wash the dollies' clothes. If the sun is very hot we put on our sun-bonnets, and we pin ourselves up in bath-towels so that no splash matters, and turn up our sleeves as high as they will go, and have out that nice red pan and wash all their things. Cotton, muslin and flannel; little frocks and petticoats and shimmies, and their tiny pocket-handkerchiefs, and hang them on the line to dry." There is a sweet little photograph of two little girls wearing sunbonnets and pinned "up in bath-towels so that no splash matters" hanging up their dollies' wash.

When Diane was older she helped her father build a small greenhouse near the lilacs and peonies.
Diane has always loved gardening!


July 6, 2009

Independence Tea!

Corgyncombe Dairy Ice Cream!!!A special treat for Independence Tea, Carmella Lucille's Vanilla Ice Cream, made using the receipt for "Old-Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream" in "The Tasha Tudor Cookbook". It was made in Diane's old White Mountain Ice Cream Freezer. The receipt for "Washington Pie" is also in "The Tasha Tudor Cookbook". The design on the "Washington Pie", made by dusting confectioner's sugar over a doily and then taking the doily off, reminds one of spectacular fireworks. The "Washington Pie", made at the Corgyncombe Bakery, has raspberry jam filling and is delicious with Carmella Lucille's Vanilla Ice Cream! The old fashioned roses on the table are from Diane's garden. A scene showing George Washington gathered with his family is on the teapot.

Independence Moon over Corgyncombe on July 5th.


July 4, 2009

Independence Day!

A Celebration of Freedom!
All at Corgyncombe love Independence Day and never forget the cost of freedom! The Corgyncombe Courant asks their readers to consider carefully where would they be without their freedom? The Corgyncombe Courant reporters have numerous direct ancestors who served in the Revolutionary War.

We at The Corgyncombe Courant love how Tasha Tudor illustrates Independence Day in "Around The Year" and "A Time to Keep". Tasha shows picnics, flying and displaying the American flag, firecrackers, and fireworks. In "Around the Year" the page with the eagle, stars, and flags catches the eye of The Corgyncombe Courant.

Priscilla Francelia and Marildy with their Baby Dolls. Priscilla Francelia is wanting to take the Baby Dolls for a fast, jiggly jaunt about the Corgyncombe gardens.

Here is a link to: "Amelia's Favorite Things... A Closer Look" with the girls and their Baby Dolls. More photographs will be added to the web site soon.


July 2, 2009

Gertrude Jekyll's "Old West Surrey"

Corgyncombe Library Notes
"Old West Surrey" was written by Gertrude Jekyll and published in 1904 when she realized how much life had changed in West Surrey. Of special interest to The Corgyncombe Courant photographer, Diane, is that Gertrude took her own photographs.

Gertrude liked handmade things that were well made and preferred them over the mass produced. In her chapter about "Home Industries", Gertrude speaks of spinning and that none of her elderly friends could remember a spinning wheel employed at its intended task. Usually the only time these wheels were brought out of the dark, dusty attics was when the cottage was sold. With the passing of time, these spinning wheels that were once discarded or set aside in favor of factory produced spinning, were appreciated for their old time beauty. Gertrude wrote about spinning wheels: "The sight of these simple pieces of mechanism - mechanism that supplemented but did not supplant hand labour - makes one think how much fuller and more interesting was the rural home life of the older days, when nearly everything for daily use and daily food was made and produced on the farm or in the immediate district; when people found their joy in life at home, instead of frittering away half their time in looking for it somewhere else; when they honoured their own state of life by making the best of it within its own good limits, instead of tormenting themselves with a restless striving to be, or at any rate to appear to be, something that they are not."

In the chapter "The Carter's Pride" Gertrude writes about farmers coming to town with their horses adorned with bells and ornamentation, and how lovely the bells sounded... a delight to see and hear.

In the photograph above a glimpse can be seen of shaft bells to the right of the peony. The Corgyncombe Courant reporters are thinking of a goat wagon and sleigh painted a mustard yellow similar to the chair, with bells attached to the shafts. The lavender on the book is from Diane's garden. Most of the lavender in Diane's garden is Munstead lavender. The pretty tea cup is from Maine.

Here is a link to: The Gertrude Jekyll web site

There you will find information about Gertrude and you will also learn how the Jekyll family may have been connected to Robert Louis Stevenson's "Jekyll and Hyde".

Here is another link to: Gertrude Jekyll's Garden Design