Tuesday, 8 May 2012

a metaphor for life

i know this will probably seem a bit odd to most of you but i've never owned an outdoor table setting..i did have a wonky old trestle table in my last garden but there was no under cover protection for it and so it eventually rotted..i loved that garden because it had a trilogy of beautiful trees..an enormous pin oak, a very large liquid amber and a smaller but well established copper beech..the trestle table sat under the canopy of the pin oak and many meals and afternoon and morning teas were eaten from it..but because the garden was so large it was quite a business to haul the supplies (including the chairs we sat on) to and from the house..i remember joking that i wanted to have a special boiling water line tapped to the site to save me from having to make so many trips back and forth..

i loved that garden for so many other reasons but mainly because it felt like a bit of country in the city..when we moved there no house could be seen from our back yard..the land had a gentle slope to the back where our expanse of lawn gave way to the neighbours veritable jungle of trees, blackberries and wandering jew..i spent many many hours developing curving perennial garden beds along the eastern border and i planted a copse of 12 birch trees underplanted with several hundred daffodil bulbs at the bottom of the north facing garden..i also planted climbing roses with the likes of albertine with a view to them rambling and festooning over the fences..on the western boundary was the chook run and where i put in a vegetable patch.. and i planted cherry, almond, fig, damson, apricot, mandarin and medlar trees..out the front i planted perennials and roses too but it was much easier because the infrastructure for the garden beds was in place and the paths were already brick paved..

unfortunately my dreams for that garden were short lived..bit by painful bit i had to let go of aspects of it so that by the time i sold the house there was almost no sign of all the work i did..some of the trees and all of the roses died and the invasive lawn took over my hard won (i never used chemicals to kill the grass) garden beds..the only beacon was the pin oak that stood mighty in the middle of the garden defying drought, neglect and rampaging possums..

my new old house has an undercover area out the back that needs to be pulled down and redone but in the meantime it's been a fantastic area for all my furniture restos and for entertaining..but each time i've wanted to have an outdoor do i've had to rally the troops to help me move a table outside..now you're probably wondering at this point why i haven't gone to one of those outdoor furniture places and bought a setting..well i didn't because i had a vision of what i wanted and they don't sell the sort of setting i was after..in fact my vision wasn't purchasable..

since i moved here i'd found four suitable chairs at two different op shops..two of them were a very very bright sunnies needed yellow and the other two were a maudlin maroon..they languished outside in the reno dust while they waited for the table..as i mentioned a couple of posts ago i recently found the table i'd been waiting for and yesterday my daughter and i sanded and oiled the top..i was going to repaint the remainder of it but i decided that a light sand might be all it needed..i love this table with all it's imperfections..it's a metaphor for life..

i don't think this photo does the setting justice but i was trying to avoid photographing all the dodgy bits of my not very salubrious outdoor area..expect to see more photos down the track of my table with tea things on it and enamel and flowers and food..oh..and by the way the setting, including the terracotta tea light holder but not including what i paid my daughter, cost me $154..


  1. This is a lovely table with character Jane & the chairs suit it perfectly. I look forward to future photos of it loaded with all your fine cooking and enamel! The garden you describe sounds beautiful.

    1. thanks jane..the garden was lovely..