Spring – Nicholas’ September Blog

Hi everyone

I think we are all looking forward to a break in the cold weather and a chance to celebrate the warmer Spring days with all the abundant flowers and leaves that signal a change in the weather.

For twenty plus years, I experienced the wonders of Spring in the Adelaide Hills and our garden at Oakbank was a joy to behold. The exact Spring dates were always hard to fix, but you could feel the change in the temperature and from the early swelling of buds on multiple trees and shrubs to the full blown blossoms of many of the plants, it was impossible not to feel excited about what was to come. Warm weather!


From bare branches to the bountiful early growth of Spring, the surge was hard to keep up with, and it was as if our entire garden transformed in a couple of weeks. For all the years that we witnessed this shift, it always filled us with the wonder of nature – a spectacular sight. ‘Spare Winter Architecture to Spectacular Spring Fashion.’


Louise has included some photos of our gorgeous blossoms from Oakbank in this month’s newsletter, and she asked Helen the question: ‘Did we feel sad when we saw these photos again?’ The reason for her question is that we sold the property a number of years ago.

My answer would be that we shared so many wonderful occasions at Oakbank, and Helen created such an amazing ‘garden world’ that we feel an overall sense of achievement and pride. Also, we wish there could be more beauty in the world, and finally aren’t we lucky that the new owners (having just spoken to them last week) love it as much as we did and share the beautiful surroundings with their children and grandchildren as we did? So, our legacy lives on, and our beautiful memories are still strong.

During my career, this Spring re-birthing seems to have always coincided with a new design enthusiasm. I think everybody feels more energised and more positive as the days get warmer and the energy becomes infectious.

Since my late teens, my love of jewellery design has always been matched by my love of painting. Whether water colours, acrylics or other mediums, the techniques are always challenging and fascinating. It seems there are no rules as to what colours you can use, a bit like the myriad of colours in nature. This vibrancy of the colour mix in art can also translate to gemstone jewellery.

I have paired yellows and pinks (normally a bit of a clash), greens and oranges, pinks and greens, yellows and purples – the colours can just work. And if they are the right intensity and shade, and often teamed with diamonds for that extra sparkle, the combinations are limitless. I find coloured stones add individualism to a design and tend to mirror the personality of the wearer, and in some gemstone varieties there are stones available in large sizes without the expected high cost.

September is a true celebration of Spring colour as the birthstone is Sapphire and they are available in every colour you could imagine – not just blue. To showcase the diversity of Sapphires, I designed a necklace a few years ago with the sole purpose of making people aware of the amazing range of colours.

The piece contained thirty-three sapphires in all shades of the spectrum. The owner of the necklace is still enjoying it to this day and I am sure she loves to share the information that the multi-coloured creation she is wearing is all sapphire.

I hope you all enjoy this Spring season and that it excites you as much as it does us. And if you feel in the mood to share your stories of gardening, art or jewellery please call in to Highgate, I would love to see you.



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