Big storms around the country are on the news this morning and, even though, we are in perfect spring - like weather here in our part of Northern California, I hope that you all are safe and warm and will continue to be throughout the remaining winter season.
I wonder if Frances Hodgson Burnett ever thought in her wildest imagination, when she took pen to paper back in 1911, that her classic little story, The Secret Garden, would become such an endearing fixture in American literature?
I know, for a fact, that a little girl of eight years of age would disappear under a spreading acacia tree in her grandmother's back garden and, while there, would escape into the wonderful world of make - believe and secrets. She never thought, then, this little story book that she avidly devoured each day, would have such an influence and lasting effect on her adult life, and I wonder if the lowly robin, which sprang from the fertile imagination of Ms. Burnett, would dare to dream of an ancestor that would show the way to that little girl and her own Secret Garden every spring.
"The robin flew from his swinging spray of ivy onto the top of the wall and he opened his beak and sang a loud, lovely trill, merely to show off. Nothing in the world is quite as adorably lovely as a robin when he shows off - and they are nearly always doing it."
"The Secret Garden", Frances Hodgson Burnett
Whenever I see the first robin of spring, the story of Mary Lennox and all her friends come to mind. I saw that today and heard the beautiful bird song that is such a harbinger to the coming of spring. The sun was shining and it was just the kind of morning that Mary would have reveled in.
"Springtime's comin', cannot tha' smell it? Th' good rich earth is in good humour. Makin' ready to grow things. It's glad when plantin' time comes. It's dull in th' winter when it's got nowt to do. In the flower gardens, out there things will be stirrin' down below in th' dark. Th' sun's warmin' em'. You'll see bits o' green spikes stickin' out o' th' black earth after a bit."
Ben Weatherstaff to Mary Lennox, "The Secret Garden"
It's very possible that it will be awhile before we can be sure that the sweet days of spring are on the way, as there is still snow on the ground, and there is always someone trying very hard to work against the forces of nature.
This particular someone would be so happy if winter stayed forever.
But on the inside of a warm and cozy cottage, where we have more control, we can always place a few spring - like vignettes that will remind us of the loveliness of things to come.
The entry table.
Willow wreath put together with bits from Ben Franklin's.
Ivy, bird's nest with eggs, forsysthia sprigs, pussy willow sprigs and a burlap bow.
The sweetest little bird cage from Hobby Lobby during a 50% off sale.
Originally $39.00 for $20.00.
Doesn't it look like an old one?
Plate, green transferware, Royal Doulton, England.
Apples and appleblossom spray with bird nest and eggs, Country Living in Amador City.
Two of the cutest little ceramic chicks from Ben Franklin's.
I made this table runner out of faux grain sack toweling. I saw the idea at Debbie's blog, http://confessionsofaplateaddict.blogspot.com/p/tutorials.html
She has a wonderful blog just filled with ideas and sources for a plethora of DIY projects.
She has the directions and source for this table runner on the post. Just click on the above link.
The toweling fabric is just wonderful quality. It is so soft and sews up beautifully. So easy to follow Debbie's directions. The fabric comes in a variety of colors. It cost under $20 to make this 5'4" runner, including ruffles.
"He hopped and flirted his tail and twittered. It was as if he were talking. His red waistcoat was like satin, and he puffed his tiny breast out and was so fine and so grand and so pretty that it was really as if he were showing her how important and like a human person a robin could be."
"The Secret Garden", Frances Hodgson Burnett, 1911
Last summer in the Secret Garden. Look for some changes to appear sometime this spring.
"She put the key in and turned it...And then she took a long breath...She was standing inside the secret garden. It was the sweetest, most mysterious - looking place anyone could imagine."
From "The Secret Garden", Frances Hodgson Burnett
The "magic" will return...
I'm sharing this week with: