Tuesday 24 March 2009


There's nothing like a good read is there and lately I've dropped on some fabulous new books. Now we're not talking contemporary novels or war and peace here (if only I had sit down time to read things like that these days) but some beautiful words and pictures are just the thing for now.

Now I'm sure almost all flower obsessed bloggers already have this gorgeous little book so I'm probably a bit behind the times.

I love florists, the smell, the colour and the joy of a rolled up bundle of brown paper full of prettiness. All of those joys fill this delightful little book and I was so chuffed to see the flower shop in Buxton featured inside.

I bought tons of flowers from here when we lived there and the lady coming out of the doorway did the flowers for my sister's wedding which were just amazing.
I've seen this book on many blogs too and treated myself to it yesterday with my last Christmas book token. Oh its ever so lovely; full of smart ideas and charming things to do. The introduction chimes with so many of the thoughts I have and I like to think we've adopted some of these ideas already. Friday nights in have been sacrosanct in our house for a long time!

Francine Raymon's columns are one of my favourite bits of Country Living magazine and I've read a few of her other books, so I was thrilled to turn up this in oxfam for 80p. Its a lovely seasonal guide and her lyrical writing is a joy to read and a bit like the wonderful Magic Apple Tree by Susan Hill.

And this was my wonderful present on Mothering Sunday. I spied it on a visit to the Imperial War Museum North (brilliant!) a couple of weekends ago and my lovely Woody remembered and helped my little chaps to buy it. Can't wait to practise some of these hairdos before our night out at the 40s dance in April.

This final book arrived yesterday from the lovely Deb who's blog and website are full of gorgeous vinatgeness. I've had some lovely treasures from her site, all beautifully packaged and speedily dispatched. Deb thought I might like this and goodness she's right.
I poured over it last night, losing myself in the fine and delicate illustrations and vibrant descriptions. This is one of my favourite passages (I'm bereft without Lark Rise to Candleford on Sunday evenings!), describing what I think sounds like the perfect garden, hope you enjoy it too.

The woman never worked in the vegetable gardens or on the allotments, even when they had their children off hand and had plenty of spare time, for there was a strict division of labour and that was 'men's work'. Victorian ideas too, had penetrated to some extent, and any work outside the home was considered unwomanly.
But even that code permitted a woman to cultivate a flower garden, and most of the houses had at least a narrow border beside the pathway. As no money could be spared for seeds of plants, they had to depend upon roots and cuttings given by their neighbours and there was little variety; but they grew all the sweet old-fashioned cottage garden flowers, pinks and sweet williams and love-in-a-mist, wallflowers and forget-me-nots in spring and hollyhocks and Michaelmas daisies in autumn. Then there were lavender and sweet briar bushes, and southern-wood, sometimes called 'lad's love', but known there as 'old man'.

from Lark Rise by Flora Thompson


MelMel said...

Some fab books, the 1940's book looks great....I'd love a copy, its my fave era....
A really interesting read....so enjoyed your post today!xxx

saraeden said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
saraeden said...

Sorry that was me above !!

I love the first book for two reasons
one is i was once a florist myself and two is that the lovely lady in the 4th photo is one of my friends from school !!

The other books are great too !!

Sara x

Lyn said...

The magic Apple Tree by Susan Hill is one of my most favourite books, I love it.
You are lucky, so many books to look at-I am addicted to books!

Sue said...

The top book is one of my new acquisitions, it's lovely isn't it, I've just bought that and all the others by Sally Page, she autographed them for me, I was chuffed to bits! And I've just got back from Francines and that's the one book I didn't get,so lucky you to find it so cheaply. Susan Hills book The Magic Apple Tree is brilliant.

Sue xx

LissyLou said...

What wonderful books. I have the Weekend one. It is fabulous isn't it?

...Nina Nixon... said...

Hi Steph, wading in treacle is a very good description!!

Love your choice of books, I have the Wonderful Weekend Book too not that I've had chance to read it yet!!

I have to agree that The Magic Apple Tree book is one of my favorites too.

Thank you for your lovely message,

Nina x

Poppy said...

What a lovely selection of books, thanks for sharing, I will add them too my long list.
Have a lovely week!
Love Lou xxx

Mary Poppins said...

What wonderful books, I love the look of the Weekend one, gosh these book sellers do well out of us here Bloggers don't they :)

Pretty photographes of your books too


Dawn said...

I just discovered your blog in my blog hopping. I'll be back again soon!

Pipany said...

Hi Steph. Yes I am bereft too. My ma-in-law is reading th Lark Rise books and though she says they are quite different in some ways, the writing is apparently just beautifully descriptive. need to get hold of a copy. Lovely post as ever Steph and lovely books too xx

{Love, Love, Love} said...

I love Miss Pickering's shop. It is set in the most pretty building too and has the most wonderful flowers and plants x

French Knots said...

Ooo some more goodies for my Amazon wish list! I really enjoy Elspeth Thompson's blog about her renovation project and I'd love the Weekend book.

Anonymous said...

Hello Steph, lovely to catch up with you again, what a fantastic collection of books, just up my street. I have that little flower secrets book and went on to buy the one about the year in the life of the florists shop that the author works in. It's beautiful. I have taken so much inspiration from it for the little flower shop I work in, and we are slowly making improvements. I just need to persuade them that vintage is in! How lucky you were to visit one of them. I'm a big fan of Miss Pickering's shop, at least from the piccies anyway! I'm off to read more about some of the others. I got hooked on Lark Rise very late on and only saw about 3 episodes. Perhaps it will be repeated.
Best of the spring sunshine to you.
Love, Carolxx

Sarah said...

What a lovely collection of books - you can't beat sitting down and getting stuck in!

Sal said...

I love this post!
The 40s book looks great...must look for that on Amazon !
I have The Magic Apple Tree..love it! ;-)

julie said...

they sound like a lovely collection of books to read. The first one looks utterly beautiful, and I'm off to Amazon now to find out more about that Weekend book, sounds very interesting.

Ali @ Betty and Violet said...

Great post! I especially like the 'weekend' book ~ I have seen this and dithered over buying it, but now I think I might just treat myself!

Anonymous said...


Suzy's Vintage Attic said...

Oh we do have similar tastes! I love that 1940's book and the weekend one is now on my list of things to get. There used to a be a very good florist 8 miles away from here, they used garden flowers and did my wedding bouquet. They closed down last year and now there isn't a descent florist for miles. When I do see one in Bath (45 minutes away), I enjoy looking around and taking in the lovely scent. Very enjoyable & interesting post!!!

Bobo Bun said...

Those books look great. I've been tempted by the weekend book just for it's cosiness. Might treat myself soon. Happy reading Steph.

Lisa x

Tvert-om-tanten said...

Your books looks wonderful.
I have an award for you on my blog =)

This Vintage Life... said...

What a lovely collection Steph...I'm so glad you like the Cottage Flowers. You've described it so much better than me! And thanks for your lovely words. Whenever you mention the website, my traffic increases; I call it the Curlew Country effect!
I've looked at the 'Weekend' book on Amazon a few times. I don't buy many new books but I might just treat myself to that one.
Enjoy your browsing
Deb x

The Fairy Glade said...

Have looked at the Elspeth Thompson book on Amazon and other blogs several times now. Tried to get it from the library with no success....so looks like I might have to buy it after all as everyone who has read it says it's fab. I am so missing Larkrise too, I have withdrawl symptoms every Sunday! Good programmes are so rare nowadays I think. I hate reality shows and celebrity this and that, drives me insane. Dev X

Diane said...

What a lovely selection of books. I recently had a clear out of books, and whilst they went to a good cause - I bitterly regret it now. I bet I end up buying them all back!!

Beki said...

What great books!
May have to treat myself to the weekend one.
Beki xxx

prettyshabby said...

Hi Steph, I saw that book about the 40s when you were going to the dance last year, I thought it was just the kind of book you needed! I totally agree with your love of florists, I had a brief stint on a saturday as a florists assistant and I spent the whole time sniffing everything, I can't go in one without doing that still! bliss!
Hope you enjoy your lovely new books x

...Nina Nixon... said...

Hi Steph, thanks for the lovely comment. She loves the pram and toddles all around the house with her ted!!

I haven't had chance to read the mag yet, no rest for the wicked (I'm not really) is something my mum would say!

Have a lovely weekend,

take care,

Nina x

Cottage1945 said...

Those look like some really nice books!

Suzy's Vintage Attic said...

Keep meaning to say how much I love your banner, it's definitaly one of my favourites around! Good choice of items, colours and good composition
Isabelle x

Rosie said...

What gorgeous books - I've heard so may good comments about The Wonderful Weekend one that I feel a bookish treat is in order:)

carla said...

How nice to see "Cottage Flowers" on your post. I bought a copy of it in a little shop in Eton about 10 years ago. We were living in Windsor at the time. You have a lovely blog.

Carla in Texas