Monday, June 28

Bloomin Marvellous

While I was in New York for 3 weeks
Nature was busy
and the garden is looking so wonderful

White Lupins, Lady's Mantle, Fennel, Flowering Sage
a yellow flower I have no idea what it is (do you?)
and lots of weeds

Lady's Mantle, Fennel, Delphinium.........buttercups!


and white Peony beside blood red Astrantia
I liked this so much that it was the inspiration for a small bouquet for a friend

I will have no outdoor space in New York
I will miss picking posies
and tending to it, planning and waiting and being surprised
A garden has taught me to have patience, trust and faith.

So I hereby declare 
I would like a garden in NYC 

Thursday, June 24

Clearing and a Tiny Victorian Cottage

I am back in Ireland and slightly over my jet lag.
We have started the process of sorting through and clearing 
7 years of a life in a Home.
There is something cleansing about sorting through 
the back of dusty cupboards.
It feels good to bin, keep, charity shop, through all of the useful
and useless, meaningless and full of memories, debris that one accumulates.
While the process is cleansing it is also incredibly emotional.
Moments glimpsed in an old photo or a card made by a child.
It is difficult not to dwell on each piece of my past.
I am excited about our new adventure and showing the Kids the city and all it has to offer,
but that doesn't mean it is not with some sadness that I pack away
the detrius and say goodbye to this House that has been our home, the place 
where my children have become little men.

 As it happens This person whom I find so inspirational is also 
relocating to a different country right now.
She has some very inspiring recent posts about her process.

Having lived the last 2 months out of a suitcase I am being
ruthless and attempting to apply the 'love it or leave it' mantra to 
everything I place in the "keep" pile.
Also we will have to fit it all in to a 2 bedroom NYC apartment.
With this on my mind I received this post in my inbox just now,  from
E J Carr , the photographer responsible for this Helen James shoot 
letting me know about this article in The New York Times

A Tiny Victorian Cottage in The Catskills

You don't need a lot of money or square footage to make a beautiful space

Here are some initial photo's of our little slice New York Real Estate
Very much a work in progress but it's a start

Friday, June 18

image from future flyers

With all this coming and going I realise I haven't really
let you know whats going on!
I am currently in NYC
leaving this weekend back to Ireland to pack up the house
pick up the kids and then back to NYC mid July 
Then I will be here full time.
All been so hectic but I am looking forward to 
settling in and showing my kids the bright lights.
I will keep you updated on the progress.
Thank you for all your kind comments and emails wishing us well

Wednesday, June 16

NYC living

So I am settling in to my new NYC apartment.
I am loving the area which is Carroll gardens in Brooklyn.
Currently the furniture situation is pretty scarce....romantic minimalism!
but I am looking forward to searching the local antique stores and flea markets.

Some of my first acquisitions are this little cobalt jug $1 at a local flea market
and this milk glass vase $3 
The Peonies are from the sunday farmers market

Wednesday, June 9

The Chelsea Flower show and The Gore

There were Roses

Miniature fields of lavender



and deepest purple Irises

This was an innovative way of re-cycling old plastic bottles

But this was my favourite garden

Silver birch underplanted with white Astrantia, Foxgloves Soloman's seal, 
Ferns, Heuchara, bleeding hearts
Simple and so, so fresh and beautiful.
Reminded me of this painting

The Goose girl by Stanley Royle previously attributed to Lavery

and of course of the ultimate white garden

Created by Vita Sackville-West

After a long day discussing all things horticultural we retired to 

This was the Headboard of our bed 

The stay at The Gore was a gift from dear friends as I mentioned, 
and it was so generous and kind.
I debated for a long time as to how to write this post not wanting to seem ungrateful
and I had decided when I started HelenJamesDesign to blog about things I loved 
and not too write about things that I didn't....... but in the spirit of transparency 
unfortunately The Gore was disappointing.
The service was terrible, the food was not great, the room was unremarkable
(apart from the headboard)
but it didn't spoil our fun.
Next post is about EGG the inspirational store in Knightsbridge 
owned by Maureen Doherty
EGG was the second highlight of the trip.

Friday, June 4

London, The Albion and Ottolenghi

Ok so finally sorted the technical difficulties.

OK Lets begin our trip to London...
The evening of my arrival we went to The Albion in Islington 

image via the albion website

The Albion is just what one would expect from a Gastropub
and they have everything just right !
Great menu, 
friendly service, 
relaxed atmosphere,
 very reasonably priced,
oh and an incredible garden

Basically when someone tells you they are bringing you to a London gastropub this is what one expects and The Albion delivers. 

Friday morning
 This was the day we were off to The Chelsea Flower show
First we went for breakfast.
Ottolenghi was the first highlight of the trip 



Lemon Meringue tarts
all images taken by my shaky hand on my iphone

The display looked like something from a Nancy Meyers movie....perfect!!
As we were leaving they were putting out the salads which were works of Art, 
colour, texture and of course taste.
My companion gave me a gift of their cookbook and I read it all the way over on the plane
The Food is Middle Eastern based (personal fave) but very modern and with
unexpected turns! 
I can't wait to get into my new apartment and start cooking up a storm
You should checkout their site and they also have a blog
If you like to cook I HIGHLY recommend this cookbook

and next time you are in London this place should be top of your list.

Stop by Monday for The Chelsea Flower Show and Egg
Have a great weekend

Tuesday, June 1

London Calling

Oh I have so much to tell you
all about my trip to London
I am having some difficulty as I had emailed all the 
images to myself from my iphone.....
got to NYC and there are no images in my email account?
Excuse me while I figure this out
any suggestions as to how I can get my images from my 
Irish iphone on to a NYC computer appreciated
stay tuned


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