Thursday, 24 July 2014


by Andrea ( Bea )Vonk • 24/07/2014
Photo's  : Andrea ( Bea ) Vonk  Styling: Andrea ( Bea) Vonk

What a great summer we are having right now.Just enough rain .Every now and then , when it gets too hot, a big rainstorm will water the  ground  through and through and gets the new flowers going. Today I woke up to once again a corker of a day.How lucky we are. 
Here are some of the annuals that have just come out .Nothing showing till a huge thunderstorm burst out and then the next day- whack, there they were.Rather surprising. I notice that there's a mix right now of lots of pink,purple and orange.All good I reckon.
From the top- first picture  : purple Alliums and pink Lavatera silver cup-  a colour combination that I did not know if it would work or not .. Second picture: detail of Lavatera Silver cup. Love the detailed lines. 
Third picture: orange Crocosmia with Californian poppies and pink Candytuft. I always try to grow this combination as I love the colours together.
Picture four: Cosmos Sensation .
Picture five: an overview of the Alliums with the Lavatera.
If you've never grown annuals before, maybe this has given you a bit of an idea what you can grow.It's super easy and great fun.Put it on your list for next Spring !

Thursday, 17 July 2014


by Andrea ( Bea )Vonk • 17/07/2014
Photo's  : Andrea ( Bea ) Vonk  Styling: Andrea ( Bea) Vonk

It seems we're bound for a short heatwave here in the UK in the next few days.When we say " heatwave " here we really mean a temperature like 29 Degrees Centigrade , pretty normal for summer in France and Italy (  but that is by the by ). 

Really rather pleasant.But slightly too hot for gardening.As you can see there is a lot of warm colours going on
in my borders right now, like the crocosmia, nasturtium, and the hydrangea.

But I had a bit of a scoop and picked up some really rather lovely and inexpensive delphiniums, scabiosa and thalictrum.They are now in a "holding station" out of the sun and get drenched every day in buckets of water, till
it's less hot and I can put them in the border.In the meantime I am catching up on the latest Donna Tart in my deckchair.I am sure it will rain very soon so I am making the best of the weather.After all, I live
in England, the land of rain and green meadows.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014


by Andrea ( Bea )Vonk • 16/07/2014
Photo's : Andrea ( Bea ) Vonk  Styling: Andrea ( Bea) Vonk

It seems only yesterday that I opened my account as Modern Country Lady on and downloaded some pictures I took of my garden designs which you can see here . The pictures of the basket of pansies was added to 2365 idea books, the picture of the potager to 6417 idea books, and the picture of the woodshed ( actually at my neighbour's garden ) to 4905 ideabooks.
I only discovered this by chance .Houzz launches it's UK site now, so I checked on my profile and noticed the numbers.Quite amazing really.
The good thing is, Houzz UK has moved my profile so I don't have to do anything.You can now check me out on   AND on .


by Andrea ( Bea )Vonk • 16/07/2014
Photo's  : Andrea ( Bea ) Vonk  Styling: Andrea ( Bea) Vonk

You may find it hard to believe, but most people in England don't really eat a full English breakfast .It's the first thing that my step dad Jan , now departed to the great breakfast nook in the sky, God rest his soul, shouted out joyfully when he came to visit  ."England! Breakfast ! Fried Eggs ! Fried bacon ! " I still remember the look of glee on his face. The reality is, most people eat cereal, toast, or- porridge ( if they are Scottish , they certainly will go for the last option ).

I can vouch for porridge as the best option, honestly.It's my breakfast of choice .Pretty easy to make and keeps you going for ever. Loads of health benefits too.Make it with soja milk if you have a lactose- intolerance problem.

Here's a quick recipe:


1 Cup of porridge oats
3 to 4 cups of milk or soja milk

Put the oats in a sauce pan and add the milk or soja milk . Bring to the boil and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes.
Keep stirring with a wooden spoon as it can stick to the bottom of your pan.
Serve with a spoon of honey, or go fancy and add blueberries, fruit, cinnamon, ( or whatever you like ).

Tuesday, 15 July 2014


by Andrea ( Bea )Vonk • 15/07/2014
Photo's 1 and 2  : Andrea ( Bea ) Vonk  Styling: Andrea ( Bea) Vonk
Photo 3: Country Living Magazine

Cabbage roses.We seem to have developed a deep and loving relationship with them.It certainly was a beautiful display in the Rose Marquee at the Hampton Court Flower Show 2014. Whether in colour or black and white, I personally can't get enough of them .More, please ! 


by Andrea ( Bea )Vonk • 15/07/2014
Photo's 1, 2, 3,6, 9, 11, 12  , : Andrea ( Bea ) Vonk  Styling: Andrea ( Bea) Vonk
Photo's 4, 5, 7,8  :  
Photo 10 : Country Living UK

The Hampton Court  Flower Show is pretty big .There are not just a few marquees, but also loads of show gardens.My favourite- and a gold medal winner was the Vestra Wealth Vista garden. Lots of  box, with a colour palette of white, blue and purple.  Perfect , modern and inviting. Just fabulous. Designer  : Paul Martin. 
Very modest chap - I raved about his garden and he got rather bashful.

Some of the outside displays and stalls are rather fetching too.I'd love to have the Elephant fountain and the marine-style recliner.Sadly both at least £6000,- plus. But there you go, one can but dream.

Sunday, 13 July 2014


by Andrea ( Bea )Vonk • 13/07/2014
Photo's: Andrea ( Bea ) Vonk  Styling: Andrea ( Bea) Vonk

Summer in England is the time to visit your local village fetes.I adore it.If you want a perfect day, just go there. 
What can you expect ? Classic cars.Vintage books and crockery.Pimms.The village band.People and their dogs.Lovely.
Here are my finds. Favourite new cup. 50 pence. Favourite new vase: 2 pounds.The English Village fete .Perfection. 


by Andrea ( Bea )Vonk • 13/07/2014
Photo's: Andrea ( Bea ) Vonk  Styling: Andrea ( Bea) Vonk

There is a new look for the blog that belongs to Modern Country Lady's dogs, the Maud and Millie's blog, and a new blogpost  too. Here's the link to the blog.Enjoy! 

Friday, 11 July 2014


by Andrea ( Bea )Vonk • 11/07/2014
Photo's: Andrea ( Bea ) Vonk  Styling: Andrea ( Bea) Vonk

This time of the year is the time of the Hampton Court Flower Show, one of those unmissable events. 
If  you've never been, you must go . Although I have to say, the trip into London , which usually takes an hour and a half  from here took us four hours instead due to all the traffic and visitors to the show, , so that was a bit of a  drag. Just so you know -forewarned is forearmed ! Pack some sandwiches and some water for eating and drinking in the car, would be my advice.

There were a few lovely new varieties of  plants which you can see here and some of the displays were breathtaking. I would say there was a lot of white and blue/purple, both in plants inside the marquee as also in the showgardens.I asked one lady who  was a stylist and had constructed an absolutely amazing display , how long it had taken her.Four days she told me .And then everything still looks as fresh as a daisy, in spite of being in a rather warm marquee.

There is too much to show you, really. I will do some more posts about the show gardens and also all the outside things you can see , in the next few posts so you don't feel left out.
Believe me, it's great to visit. 
But also great to be back in my own garden !

Tuesday, 8 July 2014


by Andrea ( Bea )Vonk • 08/07/2014

Photo: Andrea ( Bea ) Vonk  Styling: Andrea ( Bea) Vonk

It's July which means summer is getting on, which always makes me a bit sad.However, there is still a lot to enjoy .It's now that the hydrangea is getting into it's stride. 
Admittedly Madonna's most hated flower, but mixed with some other flowers it can look just fine.
Here are some flowers I mixed in from my garden that are still blooming as well- some later roses and chamomile.the last one practically a weed, but nevertheless quite cute.
Not so bad after all. I reckon.

Monday, 7 July 2014


by Andrea ( Bea )Vonk • 07/07/2014

Photo: Andrea ( Bea ) Vonk  Styling: Andrea ( Bea) Vonk

It seems it's not  so bad after all if you get overcome and would rather sit in the garden with a good book instead of weeding and digging.Had I been removing all the nettles ( impossible anyway ) from my borders I would have had at least not caught a glimpse of this little feller. So there is  a thing to be said for being lazy sometimes. Rather like the white little legs.  
Enclosed some more pictures of the garden after the recent rain.So green now it's untrue.Ah, there's England for you.Rain and green.
See you later ! XO Bea