Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Keeping busy on October!

Well October has proved to be a very busy month - no change there :). In my family, October is the month for birthdays! Mine comes first on 9th October (a date shared with John Lennon - a fact I was thrilled to find out when I first discovered the Beatles in my early teens, though sadly long after he had already passed!). Then we have my brother's wife Julie's birthday on the 15th, my brother Simon is on the 24th, and my youngest brother Tim is on the 26th. So we have a long family tradition of drawing a birthday out over the whole month - which is great because it means that I have over a week of celebrating to go!
 
The festivities started for me on the 9th October with a night out in our local pub with some lovely girls from my WI - who helped me commiserate my old age of 42 over a glass of vino! Just the ticket so thanks Jane & Julia! Then the next day Julie & I headed to Ally Pally for the Knitting & Stitching show for 2 days of workshops, shopping and general gorgeousness! And guess who spent ALL of her birthday money - plus a few pence more!
 
My main objective of the show was to sort out some storage for my overflowing sewing room. Recent influxes of sewing machines from Create & Craft had led to a very really danger of shelving collapse and so something had to be done. Sewing machines (even borrowed ones) need somewhere safe to live. So the very rickety shelving had to go and has been replaced with good old billy bookshelves from IKEA. Next followed literally weeks of ironing and refolding my fabric stash so it all fits on my new shelves! It looks marvellous, but I didn't realise quite how much I had - eek! So next I needed to deal with my threads - currently residing in 6 boxes so I can never find the colour I wanted. And the show came to the rescue! I was interested in playing with some light weitgh sewing machine threads and so made my way to the Wonderfil stand and invested in some Invisifil (which I cant wait to get to grips with!). As I was talking to the lady, I mentioned my storage issue and she showed me one of the wall mounted stands that they sell. Blooming fantastic! It was just what the doctor ordered. And delight of delights - it was delivered yesterday! So after the purchase of some raw plugs - here it is! And doesn't it look fab next to all those lovely fabrics! Hopefully I can keep it all this neat!
 

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

How your garden grows!

It is often interesting to look back at pictures from the past and see how much the garden has changed!

Now that the seasons are definitely changing, I thought that I would post some pictures to remind myself how far we have come!

We moved into a new build in May 2010, and we started working on the garden in May 2011.
It was very much a blank canvas, and we were a little lost as to where to start! But we have settled into a routine where we create a big project each year, and it is finally starting to come together.

Here is my Dad helping make the first bed! He is planting our cherry tree next to the garage.


It was later joined by a morello cherry tree and this year it looked like this:


Those cherries make the best cherry gin liqueur in town :)

The following year, we decided to build a pond. Here is the picture from April 2012 - the wettest April for donkeys years!

It was a complete mud fest! But great fun all the same. And at least with all that clay at the bottom the pond shouldn't ever leak!!!

Here it was by the end of that summer - settling in nicely:

And here it is today. It has become a home to fish, dragonflies, water boatmen and all manner of squigglies! We are yet to attract any frogs or newts but we wait and see!

You can see the cherry tree bed in the back ground. We call this the "suicide bed" because so many plants have given their lives over the last five years to make the soil good enough for plants to survive. Planting in solid clay is certainly a challenge - even with the addition of sand and a LOT of mulch!

This is the view of the pond from the new patio - this years project! The pear tree is a new addition and we are patiently waiting for our 4 pears to ripen!


Last year we decided to build a summer house. After much bargain hunting, we found one we liked and that came in on budget, and so it was duly ordered and delivered.
Paul and Dad laid the base, and some very nice men with a big saw built the summerhouse!

Jack soon made it his favourite spot!
This year we decided it needed a patio so that we could sit outside it, as well as inside it. So once more, Paul and Dad to the rescue!


So now we have a lovely patio on which to sip our gin & tonics :)


So now that was in place - we needed to think about some new beds around the edge of the garden. We wanted to have more 'views' as we sat in the summerhouse - so in went a new bed down the left hand fence with a nectarine tree in it!


We also wanted beds at the top of the garden. We planted a eucalyptus tree, and Jack could not resist helping!

Maisy was pretty interested too!

 So this is what it looked like at the end of that day after much sweating and swearing....


and this is what it looks like now!
It has filled out a bit - and I have added a rambling rose that I hope with grow up the side of summerhouse. It is obviously very much a work in progress!

On the other side of the summer house we have extended the bed and I sowed a lot of wild flower seeds. Paul recons that they are weeds but I like them - I call it my wildlife bed! It has the second of my apple trees - and this one is a cooker! I made a fab pie with the 4 apples we got off it this year.


So there we are! Nearly up to date. The eagle eyed amongst you would notice the arch leading nowhere, but it is acting as frame for two of the lovely rose bushes we were given as engagement gifts. The plan for next year is to make all of that side of the garden into a flower bed, with a path running from the archway up to the patio - hopefully crossing a little stream using the bridge that Paul has built me! Whether our spines are up to all that digging solid clay will determine whether that happens - but at least we are making a start!


I planted 250 spring bulbs around the place at the weekend, and now I am really looking forward to seeing how it all looks in March next year!