Last weekend Fernside, an early 20th century home and gardens an hour away from Wellington in Featherston, held an open day in the gardens as a fundraiser for the local theatre.
I’ve always wanted to see the gardens: they are a lovely example of a restored early 20th century garden. You can generally only see them as part of a (long, expensive) Lord of the Rings themed tour, as the gardens were transformed into Lothlorien for the the films. I’m not that keen on LotR (well, mostly I’m not that keen on long expensive tours where you’d just get trotted through the gardens to the most important filming scenes and then back out again, and can’t wander around), so I was really excited to have a chance to explore the grounds at leisure.
And obviously, to dress up!
We got together a group, and settled on early 20th c clothing, to match the grounds and house (and also, because it was the easiest to get dressed in a cafe bathroom in. We weren’t going to make the drive over a rather daunting mountain range in costumes!)
We had an utterly delightful time. We wandered around the gardens and admired the fruits and flowers:
We cuddled the resident cat (name: Squeaky)
We found peacock feathers, and posed with peacock babies:
Miss A showed off her new Fantail Skirt (her very first completed historical costume!) and Miss Eloise showed off her new Fantail & her new Wearing History blouse (hacked to be front buttoning to enable self dressing).
We took lots, and lots, and lots of photos:
Miss A has a better camera than I do and I’m very envious…
Those of us in Edwardian admired the ’20s ladies for looking so chic and sophisticated and cool and fluttery:
And those in ’20s admired how swishy and elegant the ladies in Edwardian looked in their Fantails & lace blouses:
I’m not exaggerating when I say half the group is now planning their own 20s outfit, and the other half is planning their own 1900s outfit!
And as for me, well, people admired my millinery skills (which I’m getting much better at, and am very proud of, because they didn’t come easily!):
And my dinosaur chicken impression:
I was just really excited that there were chickens…