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Blog 43 - Vintage Refashioned

I am breaking the pattern this week. No description of a scarf triggering a past memory. First I must tell you about an old table leading into the total makeover of my garden, which I hope will make new memories instead of those from the past. The scarf will be chosen later, probably also vintage.

There were clues in last week’s tale from the rootin’-tootin’ Californian days with turtle racing and over zealous young men when I indicated I would not tarry long there as I was expecting an exciting delivery in Richmond. The flying carpet got me back in good time. So, what about this vintage table? Yes, it came from Sausalito and started off in my small backyard there under a peartree, next a bed of sweet smelling ginger plants. It was natural cedar wood, starting off reddish and toning down to a gentle silver with age. We brought it back to London in the Eighties and it was painted dark Brabant green. Later in Richmond, it was given a new look in dark blue. Rotting holes were filled, a leg mended and another coat of blue paint applied. We come to 2021 and the leg is again rebuilt. Decision time. Another coat of paint? Scrub the faded, cobwebby umbrellas? No, the garden was a lifeline last year in lockdown and who knows about the future? Time for a complete garden makeover. I took delivery of several large boxes.

The wooden pergola supporting the vine went and my orange and lemon trees were moved into the corner. Out with the vineyard and in with the orangerie. The boxes revealed a beautiful white wrought iron table, six chairs, cushions and a magnificent Japanese style parasol. The original garden concept was based on the atmosphere of the Carmel Mission in California; it is now a Mediterranean orange grove. Dear readers, this will require a bit of imagination. My courtyard is 20ft x 30ft! It will also need milder weather. Last week’s frosts have caused lots of citrus leaf drop.

The blue table looked forlorn, ready for the saw and dump. It had seen so many good parties. By now, you know I like to recycle, up cycle or pretend I am an amateur repair shop. My son-in-law cut off the legs, turned it on its end and it now stands in my dark corner as a secret door to nowhere. The peeling paint, an old rescued wooden finial from the pergola as a pretend doorknob and my Californian car number plate screwed on to represent a letter box tells you that this is Hazell’s secret corner connecting the past and present.

The garden has a very happy feel and I can’t wait to share it with friends and family to create memories for the future. I need a scarf to echo this wish, so I have chosen a pretty flower design. It is silk, no known designer and has machined hems. The design is of irises to match those growing in my fishpond. I was overjoyed to see my eight fish have survived the winter. I have not had help in the house or garden for over a year because of the pandemic but this week my faithful cleaner responded to my plea for assistance cleaning out the birdbath over the pond and cutting back the ivy (I am forbidden by children to climb the raised flower bed walls). As I write this sitting in my garden, a blackbird has once more enjoyed drinking and then splashing about in clean water in the basin, followed by a tiny Jenny wren. Wildlife is very observant.

The dust gathers in the house, of course, the floors need vacuum-cleaning, but I am tempted to roll and hand stitch the hems on this pretty scarf......and in the future when the ferns and greenery thicken up around the blue faux door, I will wander through it. Who knows what adventures lie in that place Nowhere?

Busy Bee, Scarf Face!

Series 2, Blog 43.

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