Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Taking Time to Reflect

The great blue heron is so regal. They seem to be such solitary creatures, quietly reflecting as they look out across the water. This particular heron resides just a short walk from where I work, so he is a city bird who has found a quiet place for himself. He is a reminder to take the time to reflect, to meditate, to be alone with your thoughts.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sambucus in Spring

The beautiful buds of the sambucus, otherwise known as elder or elderberry.

In Europe, the flowers that this plant produces are used to make elderflower cordial. Right now the flowers are still tight buds, but in time they will open to create a cluster of small white flowers not unlike Queen Anne's lace.

The beautiful lacey leaves of this plant make it a Japanese maple look-alike, especially the Blace Lace variety, shown here.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Ah narcissi, my favorite in the Amaryllis family, and otherwise known by its common English name: daffodil.

In the West, the flower is said to symolize vanity, after the youth in Greek mythology who gazed at his reflection in a pool of water, resulting in a most unfortunate outcome. And maybe a little vanity is understandable for a flower as lovely as a narcissus. In the east, the flower is associated with wealth and good fortune.

For me, the narcissi is synonymous with spring, and Easter and the return of warmth in our days. Narcissi has so many different varities, some with lovely apricot centres and others with lots of ruffles... all of them beautiful.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Lace Cookies

I really like this simple way of decorating sugar cookies. You can create these lovely lace patterns using a doily, either an actual lace or paper one.

Lay the doily over the cookie, then using a sieve, dust the surface allowing the icing sugar to accumulate in the holes. Carefully lift up the doily to reveal the pattern beneath.

The only downside of this type of decoration is that the result is rather delicate, so you can't pile one cookie on top of another without marring the pattern.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

A perfect pairing: the striking yellow stars of forsythia flowers, and pussy willows.

Some of the pussy willow branches were cut while they still had their furry catkins, the others were left longer to explode into firework-like blooms.

How fortunate that Nature timed it so that they would be ready at the same time for an Easter arrangement.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Quail Eggs

I found these adorable quail eggs at an Asian grocery store. Their small size and spots make them perfect for springtime decorating. They were around $3.00 for 18 eggs, which makes them quite affordable. You could tuck a few into a wee nest, or nestle several among moss in a pot of Easter flowers, or perhaps add them to an Easter table setting for decoration.

Just make sure that people don't think that they're made out of chocolate!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Washi Eggs

These washi eggs are made by cutting and gluing Japanese origami paper onto regular eggs.

These are quite vibrant, but you could just as easily select soft Easter colours.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


The scilla are blooming in my garden, beautiful blue cushions of flowers.

Don't they make lovely wee arrangements tucked into various small containers?

These last two are actually egg cups.