Small Summer Gardens

February 23rd, 2018

I’ve been eagerly awaiting my copy of Emma Hardy’s latest book ‘Small Summer Gardens’ published this month – full of beautifully photographed small garden projects and lots of inspiration – I wasn’t disappointed when it landed on my doormat.


There are 35 step by step projects to choose from and I love the way Emma uses an array of recycled containers to give added interest to her displays.  She shares some lovely ideas for planting combinations and her after-care advice helps to ensure that your container goes on looking good throughout the season.


One of the projects I will definitely be having a go at this year is the container water garden – a pond is great for attracting wildlife to your garden but I don’t have the right space for a large pond so this will be a good compromise and will look really pretty too.





If you like bringing nature into your home, there are also some lovely houseplant projects to whet your appetite including ideas for succulents, plants in glass vases and indoor plants in baskets.






Small Summer Gardens is published by CICO books and is available at all good book retailers. If you fancy winning a copy then make sure you follow our instagram feed as we will have 3 copies to giveaway.

Happy Planting!






Wedding Open Day at Cogges Manor Farm

October 17th, 2016

We were delighted to be involved in the Cogges Manor Farm Wedding Open Day on Sunday – our vintage and rustic props looked completely at home at this fabulous barn venue in the heart of Witney, West Oxfordshire.

It was great to meet lots of lovely couples and their families who were looking for ideas and inspiration for their big day – not hard to find among the wonderful local suppliers that were also involved.  For a full list of suppliers head on over to Hanami Dream Wedding,  the go-to inspirational blog for Cotswold weddings.


Now’s the time to plant spring bulbs

October 20th, 2015

Spring bulbs make a wonderful display in vintage containers and if you haven’t done it already, now is the time to get planting!

They’re perfect for adding some bright colour and focal points in the garden when there’s not much else going on and look welcoming by gates and doorways.  Don’t forget you can bring spring indoors too – cheer up a room or windowsill with a stunning centrepiece and heavenly scent.

Pretty much anything goes when you’re choosing a container for bulbs so be as creative as you like – here’s a selection of my favourite ideas to give you a little inspiration.

Mabel & Rose - Vintage Garden & Home


Hwit Blog
Image via Hwit Blogg


Good Housekeeping
Image via Good Housekeeping




Image via Abigail Ahern


Image via Songbird Blog


Image via Aiken Houes & Gardens


Image via My French Country Home




Find a vintage container for your spring bulbs
at Mabel & Rose


Wedding Season

August 25th, 2015

It’s been a busy year for weddings here at Mabel & Rose – one of my favourite items that we hire out is this gorgeous wooden bottle crate which looks absolutely stunning filled with vintage bottles and beautiful blooms.

Vintage Bottle Crate - Mabel & Rose


For more information about hiring vintage props for your special event please email or call us on 01993 878861.

Babes enjoy a Vintage Tin Bath!

March 25th, 2015

I’ve had a bit of a run on vintage washtubs lately, many of which have been sold to professional photographers to be used as props for baby photoshoots.


What a gourgeous idea! These wonderful photos were taken by the lovely Jenni at using a small blue enamel washtub – the babes look like they’re having a great time!


For more ideas for photo props check out our range of Vintage Tin Baths and Vintage Enamelware at Mabel & Rose.  If you have any questions or have something specific in mind then don’t hesitate to get in touch.



Vintage Copper

March 25th, 2015

Downstairs at Downton Abbey

As a kid I used to earn pocket money polishing my mum’s antique copper collection and I’ve had a soft spot for this amazing ancient material ever since.  An important metal and trace element required for both http://medicines4all health and life it’s been used by humans for thousands of years – initially used to make tools and weapons throughout the bronze age, it later became popular in the art world for sculpting and making decorative items. During the industrial revolution demand for copper buy generic synthroid online increased tremendously and it became widely used in the traditional home for things like pots, pans and pipes – think downstairs at Downton Abbey!

Combine with Natural Textures for a Traditional feel

Copper in the garden

For many years copper has definitely been ‘out of vogue’ but recently it has been enjoying something of a resurgence in the world of interiors and garden design, which isn’t surprising given how versatile it can be – shiny and polished or weather beaten and rustic, copper’s rich tones look great combined with natural textures of stone and wood and it’s perfect for creating a warm traditional feel.

Copper’s sustainability is another attractive feature – it is infinately recyclable and can be used over and over again without losing any of it’s chemical or physical properties.


 A Living Surface

The way copper ages is perhaps it’s most interesting feature, particularly in the garden where it can be exposed to harsh weather conditions which naturally accelerate the ageing process. Left untreated, copper doesn’t corrode, but instead oxidises and builds up it’s own protective layer against the elements – a living surface constantly changing, it’s colour will naturally dull and eventually develop a bluey-green verdigris that gives it a unique character. Copper planters in the garden will last a lifetime, look beautiful and have the added bonus of being hated by slugs – what more could you want?

Aged copper planter

Image –

Vintage Copper at Mabel & Rose

French copper jam pan

I love solid, chunky pieces that have a utilitarian feel rather than being highly ornate or decorative – large copper urns and cauldrons make fanastic garden planters and smaller items like copper jam pans, jugs, and buckets are equally at home indoors by the fireside or in a country style kitchen.   Have a look at our ever changing range and find the perfect accent for your home or garden.

Vintage copper at Mabel & Rose

DIY Handmade Plant Markers

December 10th, 2014

I do like a hand-made gift or two at Christmas and I often resort to making stuff for the people in my life that are super difficult to buy for.  Every gardener needs plant markers and there are some lovely ideas out there, so here’s a little round up of my favourites.


Handmade polymer clay markers via Wit and Whistle


I just love rustic twig plant markers like these by Braggingbags over on Etsy


Recycled vintage spoons make quirky plant markers – via LazyLighteningArt on Etsy


Paint some stones with blackboard paint and voilà – image via


Terracotta Plant markers via


Painted Stones via Etsy


Colourful polymer clays markers via Reese Dixon 

Vintage Christmas Tree Containers

December 2nd, 2014

ChristmasTreeCopperPotNow that December has arrived I can officially start thinking about decorating the house and finding the perfect Christmas Tree.

I love decorating with a vintage twist and finding the perfect vintage container is a good place to start – baskets and crates look great but they’re not watertight so galvanised zinc tubs, tin baths or copper pots might be a better bet.

If you’re buying a pot grown or containerised tree then it’s really easy to put straight into a watertight container and you’re away. With a cut tree, getting it to stand up in a container can be trickier – try large rocks or follow this useful guide to make sure your tree stands up straight.






Images in order of appearance Better Homes & Gardens, DreamyWhites, Miss Mustard Seed, Lantlivinorregrd & Les Tissus Colbert

Find a vintage container for your Christmas tree at Mabel & Rose >>

And if you have specific requirements please give us a call and we’ll do our best to help.



Women’s Farm & Garden Association

November 5th, 2014


Thinking about retraining?

I’ve been toying with the idea of doing some horticultural training for a while now, but slightly put off by the thought of writing essays and sitting exams again – I still regularly have anxiety dreams about missing exams and deadlines!  Anyway, while researching different courses I stumbled across the Women’s Farm & Garden Association and their brilliant ‘Work and Retrain as a Gardener Scheme’ (WRAGS).

Gain Practical Skills

WRAGS is a practical course (yay no exams!) and provides placements for trainees in a working garden near to their home. Over the course of a year, trainees work 15 hours a week as part of a gardening team or with an experienced garden owner and will come away with a wealth of practical gardening skills.  Started in 1993 it was originally aimed at women returning to work after starting a family but the emphasis has now changed and it’s open to anyone who wants to gain some professional training or looking for a career change.

Workshops & Workdays

I love the symbiotic nature of the scheme – they’re always looking for new garden owners to get involved too. And, while I’m still procrastinating about whether to sign up, I have at least made the first step and joined the Women’s Farm & Garden Assocation (WFGA) which gives me access to some excellent workshops, workdays and garden tours.  WFGA is a registered charity founded in 1899 – it was instrumental in forming the Women’s Land Army during the First World War and has done much to promote and support women working on the land over the last century.


And then it was Autumn…

October 13th, 2014

 “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

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