The first few pictures…..

by Helen on June 29, 2014

Some lovely photos taken by Rosie’s wedding florists ……

The reception was in the wonderful Barn at South Milton

The flowers were from Blue Geranium in Totnes (who also took these pictures)

Rosie’s bouquet – so very beautiful…

And a loveheart for our front door



Looking Blooming Lovely …..

by Helen on May 30, 2014

It’s been a very exciting week here at Coombe Leigh as my friend Jacqui (of Flapdoodledesigns) has been here in the mornings working on her mural.  I commissioned this artwork in honour of a very special summer, and asked her to include family members, as well as commemorate Rosie & Dan’s wedding next month.  It’s not finished yet, but is already looking lovely …..

It’s about 5′ wide, spanning the width of the Aga recess and Jacqui’s working in watercolours.  We weren’t sure how successful this would be, but Jacqui tells me it’s actually really easy to paint onto the matt emulsion. I guess that as it’s a water-based paint it’s slightly absorbent and in many ways acts rather like watercolour paper.  There are still quite a few gaps, but it’s beginning to take shape, though the two most important family members (in their opinion anyway) are still just pencil outlines ….

As is the Bustle & Sew bunny ….

But our initials are complete, though Jacqui still has cornflowers and roses to add to her garland ….

Here’s Rosie & Dan – with a pink loveheart of course(!) and can you spot the little snail?  Here in the damp south-west of England we wage constant war on the pesky molluscs, so just had to include one of these beasties in the mural.  Here’s my initial too …

Loving that wonderful bright pink – very me!!

And finally, I am delighted to be able to tell you that (unusually!) this month I have been super-efficient and the June issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine is already available to purchase in paperback form on Amazon.

CLICK HERE to view on


CLICK HERE to view on


My favourite time of year

by Helen on May 2, 2014

I really love this time of year – I think May is possibly my most favourite time of all.  Whilst I enjoy the mellow colours and soft mists of autumn, hot chocolate and toasty toes at Christmas, and picnics on the beach in August, May is such a vibrant, colourful, ALIVE sort of month after the long dark winter months we’ve endured.  The days are significantly longer now, and earlier this week I ate my first meal in my summerhouse this year – supervised of course by my two furry friends…..

Yes, that’s Daisy doing her best to look pitiful and starving – she seems to be so weak from hunger that she can’t even hold her head up, but has to rest her chin on the table!  I don’t think so Daisy!  There’s lots to do in the garden too.  The spring bulbs are over, and the garden bluebells are beginning to fade, though they’re at their peak in the woods and hedgerows around the village ….

There’s some early blossom on my apple trees …

And I really must get my seeds into my new cutting garden (carefully fenced to prevent canine incursions) so they’ll be ready in time for Rosie & Dan’s wedding.  They need to be growing in here …

Not sitting on my kitchen worksurface posing for their picture dressed prettily in their packets!

And please send all your positive thoughts to my rose archway.  It’s all in place now, but looking rather small ….



Busy in the garden

by Helen on March 29, 2014

Now the April issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine has been safely sent out to all my lovely subscribers, I have a little spare time – and so it’s time to begin preparations for our wedding wildflower garden at the front of Coombe Leigh …

Here’s my house – this picture was taken last February so there’s nothing to see in the garden at all (it was a cold, late spring last year).  But this June there will be a garland of roses on the front door (possibly even a rose archway over the gate) and the flower beds will be filled with wild flowers – daisies, love in the mist, and lots more too.  I don’t know exactly what as my friend Jacqui (Flapdoodledesigns) is a very keen and expert gardener who has taken charge of the project.  At the moment she’s busy raising lots of baby seedlings to plant very soon indeed ….

And this is how Jacqui’s garden looked last summer …..

So I’m feeling very confident – at least for the front garden!  We had hoped to have wildflowers at the back too – but – there’s a large black furry problem!  Having watched everyone hard at work preparing the beds at the front earlier this week – young Miss Daisy decided to “help” too.  She’s not allowed in the front – so obviously decided to make an extra effort in the back garden …..

Oh dear … I’m not sure that wild flowers will survive her efforts – we’ll have to think of something else.  She looks so pleased and proud of herself though, it’s hard to be cross.  

Thanks for all your help Miss Daisy!