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October has generally been quite a good month so far, yes we have had a few blustery wet days but there have been lots of lovely autumnal days and it has been very mild. On Saturday we were out and about without coats in a very pleasant 18 degrees!

I have managed lots of garden time, tidying up summer bedding and planting bulbs for next spring, one afternoon last week I planted 65 bulbs mostly tulips and some crocuses too, my shoulders and back weren’t that pleased with me the next day though!!!

I also have planted up my pots and window boxes with lovely little pansies and violas, heathers and cyclamen to see me through the dark days until springtime.

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Inside I’ve been making sweets from the lovely book ‘Sweets Made Simple’ by the wonderful Hope & Greenwood, I’m sure many of you in the UK watched their fabulous TV series.

Last week I made some Cinder Toffee and the previous week I made Coconut Ice which unfortunately didn’t get photographed before it was all eaten. There is so much more in the book I want to try.

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I’ve also been autumn bunny making, I’ve not quite finished them all yet but I hope to have an autumn bunny parade to share with you all some time next week.

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I would like to thank all of you who left comments on my two French posts, I’m so glad you all enjoyed having a look around those two marvelous homes with me.

As a little thank you to all my very loyal blog friends I decided to have a secret giveaway.

I brought back some lovely Provençal lavender from the Marche de Fleurs in Nice along with some lavender soap with a giveaway in mind, I’ve also added a little spool of lavender spotty ribbon which although not from France looks lovely along with the other two items.

So if you left a comment on either French post you were entered into the draw and if you left a comment on both posts (thank you) you had two entries.

So with every entry being allocated a number and the random number generator used the winner of my secret giveaway was Simone!! I’ll get it posted off to you soon Simone.

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Thank you to all of you who take the time to pop by here and leave a comment, I really do appreciate it!

I just wish I had a bag of lavender for you all!

Wishing you all a wonderful new week. :)

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The Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild was without a doubt the highlight of our recent trip to the south of France.

The villa was designed and built between 1905 and 1912 by Baroness Béatrice de Rothschild (1864–1934) who was a member of the Rothschild banking family, Béatrice was married to the banker Baron Maurice de Ephrussi.

The Baroness filled the mansion with antique furniture, Old Master paintings, sculptures, objets d’art, and an extensive collection of rare porcelain.

I’ll take you for a little tour of inside the villa first!

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rothchilds ceilings Collage

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The villa is situated on the Cap Ferrat peninsula with outstanding views of the Mediterranean on either side but the most amazing thing about it are the gardens. The grounds are divided up into various gardens each one beautiful.

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Spanish Garden

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Florentine Garden

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Stone Garden

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Japanese Garden

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Exotic Garden

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Rose Garden

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French Garden

My favourite garden was the French Garden, it was beautifully laid out with it’s musical fountains, I could have sat there forever!

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Such a wonderful place, how amazing would it have been to have lived there!!

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One of the places we visited on our recent trip to the south of France was the Renoir Museum.

The musuem is housed in the Renoir family home in Cagnes-sur-Mer, there is a reconstruction of Renoir’s studio where the painter spent the last years of his life and it holds many personal possessions, paintings and sculptures.

The house is a neo-Provençal building designed by the architect Jules Febvre in 1907 and is set in an olive grove and where the painter lived until his death in 1919. In 1960, the house became a municipal museum featuring the family’s furniture and fourteen original paintings and thirty sculptures by Renoir. The grounds contain beautiful old olive trees, orange and lemon trees and a rose garden and there is a wonderful view of the Haut-de-Cagnes, a very pretty French hilltop village.

I’m now just going to let the photos do the talking!

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Paims Musee Renoir Collage

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art Collage

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renoir paintings Collage

These were my two favourite paintings, I loved the apples, the light in the room in which this painting was hanging was amazing and the colours just stood out, I would really love to have this hanging on one of my walls!

The other painting looking out towards the Haut-de-Cagnes is a very beautiful painting too, I love the fact that I actually stood in the exact spot that Renoir stood to paint it. The two old olive trees are still there, they must be very old as the painting was painted 100 years ago and they were quite mature trees then.

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As I’m never going to own either of these masterpieces I treated myself to postcards of them.

It was a wonderful day out, the house was amazing, what a fantastic place to live surrounded by an olive grove with that brilliant Riviera light!

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Hi everyone, I thought it was time I popped in here after my holiday. I do have some holiday pics to share with you but I really haven’t had time to sort through them yet, life is a little busy at the moment. We had a wonderful time in the beautiful Riviera sunshine and I have a couple of places that we visited that I definitely want to record on my blog, so soon!!

In the meantime, as today is the beginning of October, I took a little walk around the garden with my camera. The garden does need a little attention and I need to get my springtime bulbs planted but it is still looking quite summery out there.

You would be forgiven for thinking the above photo was actually taken on the shores of the Mediterranean looking at the bright blue sky but no it was definitely taken in my garden this afternoon.

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According to the Green Rabbit calender we have now moved into autumn but apart from a few fallen leaves it really did feel like it was still summer outside today…..but that’s ok with me! ;)

Back soon with some tales from France!

Chrysie Collage

My ‘September Girls’ have all been inspired by the flowers and fruit of this month.

Chrysie takes her colours from the beautiful colours of chrysanthemums.

Perry Collage

Perry has been inspired by the abundance of pears at this time of year.

Aster Collage

Aster’s colours have been taken from the pretty Michaelmas Daisies or asters which are in bloom during September.

Bramley Collage

I couldn’t let the month of September go by without an apple girl, with the lovely apple name of Bramley.

Rosie Collage

And lastly this is Rosie, the last rose of summer!

All the September girls will be listed in my Etsy shop today (18th Sept) at 10.00pm (BST).

My bunny listings are a little earlier than usual this month as we are off on a weeks holiday at the weekend.

‘See’ you all back here soon but in the meantime you can keep up with me on Instagram.

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The European Heritage Open Days were held here this weekend, it’s a time when all over Europe historical and famous buildings throw their doors open to the public.

We always like to pick somewhere we haven’t been before and this year we chose to visit the beautiful Florence Court, near Enniskillen in County Fermanagh.

Florence Court was the 18th century home of the Earls of Enniskillen.

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We started off our visit with a picnic in the grounds in the brilliant sunshine, the weather was very kind to us, big cheer for Indian Summers.

We then took a tour of the house.

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Now as is almost always the case with all these magnificent buildings there was no photography allowed inside the house except in the room that the tour started in.

So you’re just going to have to take my word for it that it was indeed magnificent.

There were many treasures from a trunk that belonged to William III to a chair that the Earl sat on in Westminster Abbey at the coronation of Elizabeth II. So many interesting artifacts and beautiful furniture.

I really loved the ‘downstairs’ it was so very Downton Abbey, the kitchen where the food was prepared, the rooms where the servants ate and where they filled hot water jars and oil lamps for ‘upstairs’, all fascinating.

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After the tour of the house we went back out into the sunshine to enjoy the grounds and gardens.

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Now at first sight this tree doesn’t look very significant. It’s an Irish yew tree which is a different species to the English Yew, this particular yew is the mother plant of every other Irish yew tree in existence throughout the world today. It dates back to between 1740 and 1760.

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I’m not sure how much of this plaque you can read but it explains the history of the tree.

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I was so jealous of their pumpkins, considering the fact that mine never got beyond the flower stage!!

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It was a lovely day out, Florence Court is definitely worth a visit.

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I love sunflowers, they are my very favourite flowers.

Unfortunately I haven’t had great success with them this summer thanks to those pesky slugs! The first lot of seedlings were eaten by them and the second lot didn’t fare that much better but I did manage to save some plants. In the past I have grown them to eleven feet tall, not this year sadly.

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I have been supplementing my lack of home grown ones with some shop bought ones to brighten up my home.

Sunflower Collage

I’ve also made a little Sunflower bunny and I’m keeping her all to myself because after 135 bunnies, I thought it was time I had one of my own and as it was my birthday yesterday I decided she would be my present to myself! :)

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