A Beach Cottage Vintage Watering Can & Flowers

Mon 3rd, May, 2010

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G’day lovelies, hope you all enjoyed the weekend, if you Facebook with me you’ll know I spent 12 hours on Saturday spectating or playing sport of some kind which left every single muscle in my body sore on Saturday night and yesterday I had to hit the mall for little Mr BC’s birthday gifts.  I just about survived it without turning into the Beach Cottage Mall Witch.  Always a bonus for those unfortunate enough to 1. be in my company whilst mall-shopping or 2. serving me.

Most of Sunday arvo I spent foofing around in the cottage, getting ready for the party and getting my bags thought about for my upcoming trip to the Old Country. 

And Miss BC and I tried out three new-to-us recipes from Jamie Oliver.  Funny really I feel like I know Jamie, it’s weird how you get that with a celebrity isn’t it??  I kinda feel like I’ve grown up with him…he is a similar age to me and when I was first at home with the BC littlies and experimenting with cooking he led me down a path that opened my eyes to a love of simple unpretentious home-style fare.

I distinctly remember the first time we saw his first TV program which aired on BBC2…long before the days of his full on fame.  I still think the first two of his books, The Naked Chef ones are the best and I still refer to them a whole lot…some of the newer ones I think have become a bit too, um you know, part of the Jamie Machine…anyway, the recipes we tried this weekend were a pear pavlova (from start to finish by Miss BC, I am soo not a dessert cook) and a chicken and all-in-one potato dish.

So now I’ve rambled on about my weekend I thought today I’d show you how that old thrifted watering can from my recent garage sale adventure looks in the Sitting Room (and for more garage sale treasures see Rhoda’s blog).

And I’ve noticed lately that there’s a lot of flowers going on on this here blog, I am well aware that you may, by now, be finding this somewhat repetitive and I cannot apologise for that…I find myself more and more plonking them down in every little corner of the cottage that I can..

I think there is a reason for this, I am at a transition point in my life…and without wanting to get all over-the-top emotional with you ‘cos you sure don’t come here for that…I feel that my life has very much changed into a different gear over the last six months or so – our children are no longer little, we have finally become very settled in our new life in Australia and I can see everything just tinkering along quite nicely.  And with that comes an odd kinda sadness?  Do not ask me why that would be.  Tell me, have you been through something similar…when all is good with your life, but it moves on and there is a tinge of I don’t know what?

And so with that transition-type feeling going on I find that I beg, steal, borrow and buy flowers (you can read about what I did with a bunch of dahlias here) because they lift the spirits and the heart and everyone loves them…even the BC Crew love them tucked here and there.


I love how they gently almost softly scent the air and I think they just make for a warm and comfortable home…dotted around they layer up a perception of wellbeing…which is what I need and want…

And of course flowers, branches, single stems in jugs, vintage bottles, old Mason jars, vintage watering cans…they wrap you up in a home that feels loved…a welcoming sight when you fly through the door with bags of groceries after another endless round of kids’ activities, picking up husbands from bus stops and well you know all that other stuff…


Anyway, these are flowers that I bought, I wanted white and I wanted to use the old watering can, I love that thing, I wondered if it might leak…it didn’t…I had visions of me dreamily pottering around with the can and arranging the flowers whistling as I worked ;-) but what in fact happened is I bought the flowers on the way home from my morning walk, rushed in and then realised I was late for a school thing, so I ripped off the cello, grabbed the can, filled it with water, stuffed the flowers in and headed out the door, intending on coming back home to foof.


I wondered if when I got back the old vintage trunk may be swimming it water and I would be on clear-up duty but in fact as I walked in and viewed my handiwork there was no water seepage and more I kinda liked the rammed-in look and left it just like that.

The moral of this story is go get yourself a vintage watering can.


So long gals, I am off to iron clothes and pack my bags…and find my passport!


you can read about my garage sale watering can buying escapades with Mr BC here

**thanks for the Table Style entries, winner announced soon**


blogged for Susan’s weekly event, thanks!



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45 Responses to “A Beach Cottage Vintage Watering Can & Flowers”

  1. sue austin says:

    Great photo! I collect watering cans. My favorites are old English Conservatory water cans with very long spouts and really neat roses – usually made by Haws. (Roses are the sprinkle head on the end, in case you don’t know. . . lol) I love all things gardeny. When do you leave?

  2. I love your photos, and I just never get tired of adoring them!!!

  3. karen davis says:

    LOVE Jamie Olliver… I’m addicted to his show, “Food Revolution”… he’s brilliant!

  4. Tricia Rose says:

    Impossible to have too many flowers… and you are keeping them grounded, in touch with their root by putting them in a watering can. Very well-adjusted flowers!

  5. Sherry says:

    I love your vintage watering can. I had one of these from a yard sale and I think it is gone to the dump. The only regrets I have ever had is the vintage things I have let go of. I will have find another one!

  6. le says:

    I think you are so on the money with flowers and the magic they work in a home – they just say love, fun, free, caring, nature and joy all at once to me :) best le

    ps safe travels

  7. Kirsty says:

    It looks awesome. I definitely have to follow the moral and get myself one of those. Haha =D

  8. Tiff says:

    It’s a strange sadness isn’t it? Even though you are happy with the way things are right now, there is a poignancy in the knowledge that even when life is chugging along nicely, change will eventually happen again. It makes you cherish what you have now.

  9. I know that feeling Sarah – for me it was when I realised that my girls didn’t need me in quite the same way anymore. They had become semi-independent and my role as mother changed slightly. It’s all about change and most of us don’t like it.
    Keeping buying the flowers. We can never have too many blooms to cheer up the house.
    Hugs ~ Kerryanne

  10. Anne-Marie says:

    Your blog and flowers are helping me transition through some major stuff (does that sound corny)?
    So perusing abeachcottage, rearranging flowers and foofing are helping me keep calm as my family move through yet more ever eventful life changes.
    Sarah are you going to blog while away and send us English country-side eye candy photos?

  11. Victoria says:

    Flowers are the best for giving that home feeling. I find my flowers and the wild birds that feed at my window and visit the bird bath so integral to feeling at home. Of course all the birds are busy nesting here, so they ignore my feeders, but soon they will be back with their young. I think the sadness is definitely a part of transition, a bitter sweetness to see a chapter end. It is part of life by the sea, too. The tides change and you find treasures at low tides that aren’t there in the frantic hurry of high tides. Have a marvelous trip to the old country – and hurry home to the beach cottage!

  12. Jacqueline says:

    Love your stuff. I have quite a few watering cans–they need companionship too! The thing with the flowers, they emanate good vibes besides sight & scent.Your instincts are good. I’m semi-old and I’ve never gotten rid of that no reason to feel rotten thing creeping up (there’s always a reason of course), but you keep learning ways to fool it. Flowers is DEFINITELY one. Bon Voyage!

  13. Deanne says:

    I have a similar watering can, I found it in a garbage can at church one day – it was used for tar by a road crew. The outside is fine but the inside has dried tar stuck to it- so definitely an outdoor item, but sits nicely in my garden near a garden bench made from recycled fence palings.

  14. Kerri says:

    I know exactly how you feel Sarah – my kids are all teenagers now, and I think I would describe it as bittersweet nostalgia for the days when they were little tackers. When my kids were about 5 and under, mum told me to enjoy this age, it would be the best time of our lives, and now that I look back I think she was right. Yes it was hard, and they needed me more, but it was uncomplicated and I loved it. But time marches on, and we need to adjust to this new stage in our lives. Maybe some more ‘me’ time – heaven forbid! K xx

  15. Patti says:

    After living in the middle of the desert for over 31 years and feeling like life was passing me by we have bought our house by the ocean…but, I get “those feelings” too…I know nobody here…(and, everyone already has their friends here) and I’m leaving all my friends behind…yeah, they say they’ll come visit and some have and some will be but still….its all different, this remodel is costing us alot of money (trying hard not to though) and what will I do when I need a shoulder to cry on? (my dh will be there yet, but sometimes you need a girlfriend…and I won’t have one here)…so, going through some scary changes too…I totally understand!!

  16. justine says:

    gorgeous Sarah, I gave away my old can cause I was sick of it leaking.
    Hope to find a non-leaker.
    I haven’t commented for an age, it feels nice to reconnect with you warm home
    And Jamie..oh Jamie….what can I say….Just luvly jubly ;-)
    I know what you mean re the settled feeling and the sadness….but I think we’ll be on the move again soon and now can’t seem to motivate to get lists finished….
    aahhh one step at a time hey…..
    loving your flickr photos too
    your a natural with that camera

  17. Carla says:

    Hmmm I guess this is what I have to look forward to. I have a 4 year old daughter who is my little shadow, so I’m not quite there yet. But I guess what this post has reminded me is I should cherish these times……except I would really like to be able to go to the bathroom WITHOUT my “fan club” but I guess one day I will look back at even that with a little tear and a big chuckle!

    I hope you have a great trip, and a wonderful time catching up with friends and family. Dont worry about us poor souls desperately trying to get through the day without our “beach cottage fix” we’ll be okay……sniff……sniff ;o) xx

  18. Elizabeth says:

    You have captured the beauty and simplicity of the watering can and flowers, the jar of candles compliments it all….You are one very clever little chicken.

  19. Alison Gibbs says:

    Love your posts flowers and all.
    Life takes so many twists and turns, our role as mother/wife constantly changing and not feeling comfortable in the changed roles. Such a weird feeling. Now as a Grandma my role is changing every day, doing lots for everyne and somehow forgetting about myself – a feeling of melancholy overcomes me….

  20. Lark says:

    I am also at a transition with my oldest child starting middle school next year and no more babies or toddlers around the house. It seems like it all went so fast now that I’m here, but when you are in the thick of it you just don’t seem to notice.

  21. Silke says:

    I love old watering cans, I just started a collection of them. In the meantime I have 3! Wow!
    Have a lovely day,
    all the best from Germany,
    PS: See the good sights of life, if the children grow up, you have more time for yourself again.

  22. Robyn says:

    Oh Sarah, you hit the nail on the proverbial head. I have spent the last 5 year renovating my ‘fibro majestic’ home and garden and now I have that transition feeling you are talking about. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what I have been feeling but that’s it; all is now good with my home and garden and I have to move along to other things, it’s kinda like loss … kinda.

  23. Love this vignette. And yeah I totally understand the healing power of flowers. They can comfort the body and sooth the spirit.
    And just in case the watering can starts to leak you can always hide a waterproof container inside.

  24. I have three old watering cans..some are worse for the wear and I love them all…years spent in gardens of past :-)
    I hide a house key in one of them for any unfortunate lockouts!

  25. Sharon Forward says:

    Hi Sarah, here we go again in fact in sync I even called my hubby out to read your blog. I have just said to him before reading this post I’m in a weird, sad mood Yep my boys are no longer little and after a year I wish never to repeat.. we are settled but yet there is a tinge of the “I dont know whats” so you are NOT alone in that. Also last week end I found my husband had a vintage watering can just lying in the shed down the back well you can guess that soon made its way up to the house |LOL) anyway have a great week. Love the flowers in the can!x

  26. Ruby Wand says:

    as always the photos are beautiful! all my favorite things!

  27. Anita says:

    A happy birthday to little Mr BC!
    I first got hooked on Jamie a long time ago when I saw an episode of him cooking a whole fish right there on the beach wrapped in newspaper! Yep, love his simplistic recipes where you can taste everything in it.
    The flowers are lovely and they always give a boost to the soul. Yes, the settled thing can sometime be a bit unsettling. I get it too. Especially with only having one of my kids still at home :( Your trip sounds like it’s coming at a good time. When do you leave?

  28. Julienne says:

    It’s always a bit sad when your children go through that transition period…they need you less…they become little people in their own right..It’s a letting go and it is emotional but then they need you in a different way and it all starts again until it’s finally time for them to leave the nest and that just damn near breaks your heart as you help them fly!
    Love the shoved in look!

  29. Kathleen H says:

    I have old watering cans collected from garage sales, love them. Yours looks wonderful with flowers. Tweeks of sadness are normal. I used to wonder how I could ever get along without the little ones running around and dreading every new stage. I found out though when they move on somehow you adjust and are ready for it. Just relish each step of the way. I have one in Australia and another in Lima Peru. I did a great job of instilling independence in them yet they still come home when possible. Have a great trip and keep us posted.
    Kathleen in Indiana

  30. Jeannie says:

    I think human life follows cycles much like the seasons…and you can feel when you are going from one season to another..the melancholy, the unrest, the concentration on things that bring you comfort as you make the transition to the next phase. You seem to be in that place right now, Sarah…we all go through it, but especially mothers. The most brutal phase is the ‘empty nest’, which I’ve been experiencing for 5 years now and am still not entirely comfortable with. But – c’est la vie!

  31. Carole says:

    Oh no, don’t worry about the flowers–one can never have too much of those!

    The sadness could perhaps be nostalgia for the old country? Even though you’re happy in Australia, there’s now the realization that you’re there to stay, and that can bring a sense of loss. One always misses the original homeplace.

    The poster above is so right about the empty nest–it’s really hard to go through.

  32. desiree says:

    Jamie Oliver is adorable–and love his recipes! Great watering can. I inherited an old watering can when we bought our home. I’ve saved it but had no idea what to do with it–but now I think it will be a perfect vase for my front porch.

  33. Bonnie says:

    ::sigh:: I need to find an old galvanized metal watering can… So lovely!!! And I’ll never get tired of your flower photos. I still think you ought to sell your prints!

  34. The Lady says:

    loved the moral of the story :)that was cute. Happy Day, The Lady of the House

  35. fairmaiden says:

    Five more years and the tinge of sadness mixed with happiness will be even greater…those kiddos growing up does that to a mama…I have it big time. I think I’m about 5yrs. ahead of you carrying a heart bursting with happiness but tears too. It’s bittersweet I say…mostly sweet, with a trim of bitter.

    On the other hand…have a wonderful journey back to the old Country. Can’t wait to see your life snapshots there.

  36. Kathy says:

    Gorgeous. I remember, years ago, trying to buy one of these watering cans at Bunnings, or wherever. A nice, shiny new one. I asked the fella serving me if it would rust. ‘Oh, no’, he said. ‘Don’t worry about that, these ones will never rust’. And I put it back on the shelf, and left him, a very, very confused man. :)

  37. Marigene says:

    Those lovely flowers look awesome in the old watering can!

  38. Sally says:

    Sarah….Love you photos. Have I mentioned lately what an inspiration you are to me? I have an old watering can that I can maybe work with to try and do something similiar to yours. And I just love to have fresh flowers in my home! They are my joy just by having them on the table! Daisys are my all time favorite. Have a wonderful and delightful trip to the Old Country. Can’t wait to see your posts and pictures!! Happy Birthday Mr. BC!!!!


  39. Sue says:

    Sarah, Your garden inspired vignette in white is oh so pretty. I finally found my watering can last summer. It took me forever to find a reasonably priced one that had an intact spout. I took it out of the attic today for its summer home- on display on a garden bench.
    :-) Sue

  40. Suzann says:

    I have this “thing” for galvanized steel. That watering can is amazing and I love it as a vase. Simple perfection.

  41. Allison says:

    Lovely photos. I also have several watering cans I fill with flowers. Nice to find vintage ones that don’t leak! Dropping by from BNOTP.


  42. Hi Sarah, I love the watering can and the flowers look perfect just the way they are. I wouldn’t have changed a thing either. Thank you for sharing.

  43. Merri Cvetan says:

    It’s sort of like the feeling you get at the end of a semester at school. You spend so many hours on projects, papers and studying, when it’s over, you feel a bit empty and lonely. Of course that feeling passes soon and you are left with all the projects you neglected for months!

    Love the table you used too!

  44. Kansas Amy says:

    Beautiful post. Photos and all! ;)

  45. Miss Merry says:

    Very pretty stilllife. I love the flowers and the watering can. The whites and greys are so elegant!