Elderflowers, the scent of Spring

* These items were gifted by I Love Cosmetics

There’s certain scents that immediately bring the current season to life, whether it’s cinnamon at Christmas, wet leaves in Autumn, freshly cut grass in Summer and for me what screams Spring is getting a whiff of Elderflower. In previous years we’ve been on holiday in France, luckily with the car, staying in quite a fancy hotel close to Lumbres in Northern France. The country lanes around the hotel were jam packed full of elderflowers in flower, so I had the bright idea that we should forage while we were there, and so we arrived home with a bagful of elderflowers ready to turn into our own elderflower fizz.

At times you have to feel sorry for MOH don’t you? Not too much, mind you…

We have our own elderflower plant in the garden, but it’s a plant that loves the sun and often it’s flowers sulk and face our neighbour’s garden. When we got back from Portugal this was all that was left of one of the few flowerheads that remained. I wasn’t going to get my Spring elderflower fix from that, now was I?

where's my elderflowers?

But luckily, this year I didn’t have to as I received a range of Elderflower Fizz products from I Love Cosmetics to try out. And after a day of gardening there’s nothing more welcoming than a hot and fragrant bath. On Sunday evening that’s just what happened, and it’s been a long, long while since I’ve had bath salts. They have a bit of an old-lady reputation don’t they? And they do remind me of my nan, who by very definition was an older lady. Hers were in square packages though and I remember being very strongly scented, these are quite different to those memories.

Elderflower fizz by I love cosmetics

As well as the elderflower, there’s also jasmine, apple and cucumber. We’ve jasmine in our garden too, and I’ve written before about its heady scent and how a holiday in Seville, where I learnt that smell. The apple brings freshness and the cucumber its cooling properties, and for someone with an often missing ‘nose’ I’m pretty impressed with myself.

Philadelphus and Elderflower Fizz

While my elderflower in the garden is sadly absent and my jasmine has yet to flower, we are enjoying another strong scent: the mock orange, or philadelphus. That too has its own scent story. It was in full flower on our wedding day, and we held our wedding reception in our garden with the tables for the sit down at the rear of the garden. Our table was next to the mock orange, and that’s when we learnt it’s one of the plants in our garden that makes MOH sneeze and wheeze, cue hayfever tablets for him!

Elderflower fizz body butter from I love cosmetics
I love cosmetics elderflower fizz hand and nail cream

It’s not just me though.  I’ve placed the reed diffuser on our bookcase, replacing the one that has long lost its smell.  After a day or so, MOH commented on the scent, not realising that I’d put the new one there.  He was trying to place the scent, his words:  fresh, summery and something he’d smelt before.  He wasn’t wrong, he was probably recalling that car journey home from France! 

He’s lucky, it wasn’t the one where the car smelt of goats cheese - but that’s a story for another day.

* These elderflower items were gifted by I Love Cosmetics to review here on my blog, as usual all views and opinions shared are my own.


Enjoy your sunset

* This item was gifted.
When I brought this gerbera home at the end of February, I didn’t have high hopes for it or my green fingered skills if I’m honest. The blurb promised me that it would be in flower by the time of Gardeners’ World Live, which takes place in mid-June. And I was, as it turned out, unnecessarily skeptical.



The new variety is called “Sweet Sunset” and it’s planned to be introduced at Gardeners World Live in June on the spectacular pyramid display. I’m not planning to go to this show this year - we went last year for the first time, and it was great, but I figured that I have plenty of content to share here already, and as the show is straight on the back of our holiday, I could use the leave more efficiently this year.

the sweet sunset gerbera in flower

I’ll be sorry to have missed this plant there though, as despite my misgivings it’s a bright and cheery plant. And I am rather partial to orange it seems, this year even more than before it’s creeping more into my wardrobe.

I’m supposed to have repotted it, but given my general lack of gardening enthusiasm in the early part of this year, that hasn’t happened yet, but even so it’s flowering. And I quite like the clash with the red background of plates on the dresser in the photo above.



It’s since moved from there though, and found a new home on our drinks trolley as you’ll have seen earlier this week. And while we’ve been away I’ve needed to find it yet another home, as leaving it to try and survive in the conservatory without help, wasn’t going to be my best plan.

* Although this item was gifted during my visit to the Garden Press Event in February, I was under no obligation to share it here on my blog.

Gin and a gerbera

Because what every well dressed drinks trolley needs, is a selection of gin and a gerbera. Don’t believe me, then by now surely you’ll know I’m not always conventional, and even MOH is being won round. But that could be to do with the amount of gin, which we’ve seriously neglected to drink.

an eclectic and colourful collection on our drinks trolley

The drinks trolley was an addition - and a treat to ourselves - following the conservatory refurb work we undertook last summer. I don’t think I’ve shared it here before, and I’m not sure why, because it’s one of the items that’s helped transform our space. And it comes in handy with my new cocktails every day on a Bank Holiday weekend rule, which surely should be adopted without any questions asked.

looking down on some gin

The gerbera is a new variety, and I’ll share more about it later this week, so if sunny, bright and orange gerberas are your thing you can find out more on Friday.

Aperol and a gerbera to match

And yes, I know Aperol isn’t gin, but Aperol Spritz and Negronis are the best drinks ever, along with gin and fizz (separately not together) so it has an almost permanent home on the drinks trolley. MOH is being educated on the art of arranging, and less is more. He was all for filling it full of booze, and while that’s admirable, my preference is to keep some of that in its cupboard space.

He hated the fact there was a cake tin on the trolley. I loved it as it brings some colour at a lower level. And yes, I know it’s not a normal addition, but what’s normal, and why is that something to aim for? Exactly.

Curved edges and glass of our drinks trolley
bar accessories

The shape of the trolley was what really attracted us to it, and one of its best features is the bars around the bottle spaces, as when MOH takes his trolley on manoeuvres, it’s invaluable. We spent a fair bit of time deciding whether to take the drinks trolley plunge, or not, but it was so worth it. it’s not the most functional piece of furniture, but when was functional fun?

bombay sapphire gin and a decanter, and curves of the drinks trolley

And in case you’re wondering, it’s from Atkin and Thyme who have plenty of contemporary furniture, which as you’ll discover if you browse their site can add a bit of quirkiness to your home.

Are you in the drinks trolley gang, or in the no-way ever camp?