Thanksgiving Wreath

Holiday Magic: Weaving the Wreath Myths

Pippa and Ellie Thanksgiving Leave a Comment

Moving on from the poppy wreaths that characterise our Remembrance Sunday, and the fantastic effort put in by teams this year up and down the country to decorate our country and celebrate the Centenary of the Great War. Truly this has been a tribute to all the fallen and Great Britain as a land for heroes. Now we move to …

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Armistice Day: Let The Flowers And Foliage Speak For Us

Pippa and Ellie Remembrance Leave a Comment

“There’s Rosemary, That’s For Remembrance.” Hamlet – Shakespeare   This year a unique event will be taking place across Great Britain, Europe and much of the rest of the world. On Sunday November 11th at 11am we shall fall silent across the nations, in churches and cities, in houses and gardens, in shopping malls and raucous playgrounds, and at The …

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Red Rose Hatbox

Valentine’s Day

Pippa and Ellie Valentine's Day Leave a Comment

Well it would appear that you have medieval England and Chaucer no less to thank for that expensive bunch of flowers and card that it appears the date February 14th warrants. Although there is a link with an ancient and somewhat permissive Roman feast and certainly St. Valentine himself it seems to be more an invention of courtly love, endorsed by the Duc s’Orleans, imprisoned in the tower, pounced upon by the Victorians and commercialised by Hallmark in America.

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Winter Basket of Hellebores and Fritillaries

The Joys of Winter Flowers

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“Most people, early in November, take last looks at their gardens, and are then prepared to ignore them until the spring. I am quite sure that a garden doesn’t like to be ignored like this. It doesn’t like to be covered in dust sheets, as though it were an old room which you had shut up during the winter. Especially since a garden knows how gay and delightful it can be, even in the very frozen heart of the winter, if you only give it a chance.” – Beverley Nichols

And how crazy is that, for the dormant season and the quiet time in the garden is anything but that: open your eyes and choose to listen and see, as your breath cools in the freezing air, even as the snow covers the ground, there are still troopers flowering and reminding us that even in the dead of Winter, Spring is but a heartbeat away.

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A Hellebore, Fritillary, Muscari and Catkin Faux Flower Arrangements

The Ten Commandments of Faking It With Faux Florals

Pippa and Ellie Faux Flower Designs Leave a Comment

In 2016 a veritable rash of rather supercilious (in some cases) articles appeared debating the merits or otherwise of artificial or faux flower arrangements. Some of these were highly complimentary and some as disdainful and dismissive as ever of fake flowers.
This post is partially to address some of the issues raised in the discussions and I shall enlarge upon some of the points in later posts.

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Tree in a Snowy Wood

The Last Day Of This Christmas Time For The Little White Horse

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Pulled up short by these most unexpected sights and feelings, he took great breaths of the light and pure air, realising that by some sort of miracle, he was no longer afraid at all, but happy in the light of the moon and he looked up to the glorious stars, snorting in the cold air so his breath formed clouds, he stamped his hooves and arched his little head back high under the heavens…and all around him there glowed a great light….
He began to walk slowly through the forest, revelling in each enchanted snowflake and the filigree of the frost and the way his breath held frozen in the air…celebrating in the divergence of the paths around him, as he picked his way through the forest, confident in his passage as it was lit by tiny fireflies and a curious light that moved with him.
And then suddenly all the nocturnal woodland folk came out to play by the light of the galleon moon, the rabbits, the stoats, the badgers, the bats, the voles, the owls, the deer and most important of all, the great White Stag.

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Woods Gleaming in the Snow

The Night Before Christmas and Not a Leaf Was Stirring…

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One day Stumpy stayed with his friends a little too long as they were all excited about Christmas and it was that most magical of nights: Christmas Eve.
The dusk began to entwine around his tired eyes and he began to worry about getting home safely through the dark…Stumpy had never been in the forest after dark and his eyes were not accustomed to the inky cloak of the oncoming night and it all seemed very murky and he could not see clearly at all; then on this cold dank night the fog began to creep in to make things worse and the little horse could not see at all…in fact Christmas Eve was turning out not to be magical at all…

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The Gate To Stumpy's Snowy Field

Of Evergreens, and Roses and Heavenly Beliefs

Pippa and Ellie Christmas Leave a Comment

Tonight, is really a big secret, for it is the REAL start of Christmas, not the 1st of Advent or the Holiday season but that season of suspension between the Winter Solstice, when the Yule Log is begun to be burnt and the Wild Hunt roams the midnight forest, and Christmas Day and its apotheosis – Epiphany and the arrival …

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Fallen Angel by Alison Lingley

One Robin + One Tree + Two Cats = @#??!

Pippa and Ellie Christmas 2 Comments

When I was a little girl and we were still in Bristol, my parents had quite a collection of Christmas ornaments, the traditional glass balls which the cats enjoyed shattering at any given opportunity, the angel, the multi-coloured lights which inevitably fused every single Christmas as lights always did in those days and so on. As was traditional then the Christmas Tree did not go up until just before Christmas Day right towards the end of Advent, and so was an event of huge excitement. My favourite decoration was a little, extremely realistic, Robin which was always placed near the top of the tree, as near to the angel as possible.

Two days before Christmas, just after we had finished decorating the tree, we all dressed up and went to the local Carol Service which was very exciting for we were allowed to stay up late for us and would have hot chocolate on our return home.

Well that was the plan anyway,…

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Sheet Music

There’s No Time Like The Present

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“I wrapped my Christmas Presents early this year, but I used the wrong wrapping paper.
See the paper I used said “Happy Birthday”.
I didn’t want to waste it so I just wrote “Jesus” on it.”
Demetri Martin – American Comic

What a great reframe! To say nothing of thrift, accuracy and a wicked sense of humour…and a sprinkling of truth! After all it is actually Jesus’s OFFICIAL birthday that we celebrate on December 25th, albeit wrapped up with the Winter Solstice, Festivals of Light, Egyptian and Roman deities and so on…so whilst we are busy giving each other presents, it only seems fair to give something to Jesus as we don’t know the exact time of his birth.

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