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Saturday, 29 June 2013

I struggled today (day six)

Today was hard work. I couldn't be a full time labourer. It's too much hard work! I am a sole worker now too as the rest of the garden is mine to do what I like. Scott did mention about helping put in the slabs as we need a path to the gate but he decided to dismantle the lounge instead. We had the wall replastered back in January and only now have we got round to repainting it.

But anyway back to the garden...

My main aim for today was to plant the clematises along the trellis. One of which made it's way there, but there was a change of plan with the other... In order to remove it from its old home I had to dismantle my trellis box. I was a little sad about this but it was falling apart.

It's new home

Last years flowers

Notice on the trellis the bottom holes have been made half the size to stop those naughty chickens escaping!

The box the other clematis was in is in much better condition so I didn't really want to sacrifice it. I am also not sure I want to mix the clematis and passion flower but at least the passion flower has some growing to do before I have to make up my mind. I think this one will be pretty enough on it's own.

The other clematis got has a new home down next to my strawberries.

spot it in the background there

Note the chicken defenses have gone! Taking that down was a special moment for me! I never want to see that horrible green netting again. The above picture is pretty rubbish really but there is so much crap on the patio at the moment it was difficult to get a better one. The pinky purple of the flowers look really pretty against the white of the wall. What I would really like to do is attach trellis to that back wall and grow the passion flower along the wall. Scott doesn't reckon it's a good idea drilling into that wall though, specially as it's the outside wall of next doors bathroom. They might not appreciate it! 

My major job of the day though was getting those pesky stepping stones in.

From this angle they look pretty good. I can imagine once I have grown grass around them how good it will look. However, I think I may have to move them out a bit as they seem too close to the hedge. I had to trim it back quite far to be able to use them properly. Scott's a bit of a perfectionist too and isn't overly happy with them. Well he can help me move them! Not today though as my back hurts after all that digging and I have to work tomorrow!

One thing I am very happy with though is my SIGN!

Friday, 28 June 2013

Days Four and Five!

The last few days have been heavy work! But it's finally starting to come together now!

The partition is fully up now and the stones have been moved!!

It looks a bit odd really but I do really like it! The old gravel went much further than I expected. We brought 8 bags of cheapo gravel from Homebase at £2.50 a pop (bargain!). It was just about enough to give it a thin covering but I think were get some more at a later date. We didn't want to risk the weight of any more in the car this time round!

It's a bit yellow at the moment but in every other way it is virtually identical to the old stuff. I'm sure it only looks so different now because its brand new. With a good mix in and a few months to weather you wont be able to tell the difference!

The chickens have briefly been let out to play, to begin with then didn't really know what to but then they soon got upto no good...

Scott and I had a long discussion regarding the size of trellis to go for. we didnt want anything too small as we still wanted to see through it but at the same time we didn't want the chickens to get through it... I was convinced they would be too fat to fit through this one.... appears I was WRONG!

So... things left to do:
  • Chicken proof the back planted border.
  • Chicken proof down the side of the shed (at the moment they can get to the front of the garden down the other side).
  • Dig the mud at the front, replace the stepping stone on the other side and decide how I am going to have my planted boarders.
  • Have another attempt at growing some grass!
  • Find homes for my fruit trees.
  • Plant my climbers so they can claim the trellis!

And on that note, when we were at Homebase the other day I wanted to invest in a new passion flower (the one I moved didn't survive). They wanted £20 for one! It was quite big and had flowers on already but I still didn't really want to spend that much! So as you do I went to Morrisons today instead and picked up a little one for £2!

I love it! My two clematises came from them for the same price a few years ago and they are big strong plants now so I am sure with a little love and patience this one will be lovely too!

The last little job, the most exciting job, it putting my new sign on the gate... It's just awesome!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Day Three...

Day three update is a little late, as day three was actually Friday. I had to work all weekend.

We put the gate up and the fence post! Originally the gate was going to be the side of the shed but decided that actually using the original fence post on the other side (which is concreted in) would be a more sturdy option! The gate was the original one into the garden but the people who lived here before us changed it or one that made the garden more private.

It was starting to look really good until we realised that the gate clasp on the gate didn't reach the clasp on the post GRRR!! So whilst I was at work yesterday Scott took the post out again and were have another go tomorrow.

Even though the only change seems to be the gate, we did actually move a load more stones. We invested in a garden sieve as many of the stones are covered in mud. It's shocking how much rubbish is mixed in, I have already sifted piles of dirt. The only problem with this method is it makes the whole process much longer!

It'll be worth it in the end!

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Day Two...

And it's finally looking like we have done something!

I don't know where the day has gone really. We started off taking yesterdays rubbish down the tip (very gingerly trying to keep the new car clean). We then got stuck in levelling the ground (as much as possible) and making/putting down the new border. We even managed to get some of the gravel down. I have to say it is starting to look really smart!

So far we have used all the stones stored from the last time I took up landscape gardening. We also started moving some from the front of the garden to the back. In doing this the cogs started whirring in terms of making bigger, more elaborate plans for the garden....

The idea is that (as planned) the back of the garden will be gravelled, the border along the fence protected from the chickens. Then (the new exciting plans!!!) instead of re-doing the rest of the gravel, having then to buy more any try and match it, to put up and fence from the back of the shed to the other side of the garden. This would keep the chickens from the rest of the garden. The fence would be relatively and probably made mainly from chicken wire and probably my trellis boxes so that my climbers can create the partition and make it pretty.

The new fence will run from the back of the shed to the opposite wall
 With the chickens kept to the back of the garden I can then utilise the sun at the front! We will probably keep the stepping stones, extend them to the gate and create a proper gravel path around them and then put 2 or 3 raised wooden bed boxes along the hedge and grass around them!

I'm so excited! I can't wait to update again! x

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Day One...

Today. Finally. We started work on the garden! I honestly can't wait to get rid of all the mud. And I quite enjoy a good bit of landscaping.. Or destruction, whatever you want to call it!

The plan is to gravel the rest of the garden to match the bit that's already done.

First we started on the back fence. There are two trees growing in the corner and along the back of our fence which, along with all the ivy, is slowly ruining the fence panels. I started by cutting down the branches what were fighting their way through the side...

Then Scott took this to a whole new level by actually removing the whole of the second tree!! (you can't see the second one from these pictures unfortunately)

To be fair it was the main culprit in wrecking the fence, and looking at it, there were other stumps our side of the fence where it had been cut back before.. So I don't feel quite so bad!

Under all that rubbish in the corner we uncovered two rose plants, one of which I knew about, the second, a lovely surprise! They look a bit sorry for themselves as they have been sheltered by all the other rubbish so I potted them up and put them in the sun, hopefully spruce them up!

To gravel the garden we decided the border we put in last year needed to be replaced. Only because we want the weed membrane to run slightly under the border... But anyway, I spent much of the afternoon playing musical plants again. This poor little one in the above photo probably won't survive. It's a passion flower, possibly my favourite flower ever. I had one when we lived in the flat but it didn't survive the winter so I planted a honeysuckle in it's place. I wish I hadn't really, at the time I didn't realise that we had two others in the garden.

One of the flowers from my old plant

The passion flower I potted up today was just about surviving along the back fence where there is very little sun. For the last two years it hasn't flowered so I took this opportunity to move it.. Only problem was that it was technically in next doors garden.

I couldn't get under the fence enough to dig up all the roots. So they did break, but hopefully there was enough there to keep it going! Really isn't looking good right now though!

Believe me, they wont miss the passion flower, if they even knew of it that is!
We are going to replace the old border fencing with nice new stained wooden stuff. Actually we chose decking planks which we are going to turn on their sides and attach to pegs hammered into the ground. The border the over side of the garden is also no more. The trellis planters are still in place at the moment though, mainly because we had so much rubbish strewn around there was nowhere else for them to go.

The main job is going to be levelling the garden enough to lay the stones and it actually look nice. The soil is so dry and lumpy is needs a lot of work. Also matching new stones with the old may prove challenging. 

So it doesn't really look like we have done anything useful yet but I'm looking forward to another day digging, pruning and chopping!

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Maybe this will do the job?

Sorry for being a bit quiet on the blog front recently, I have been a very busy bee with my sewing recently! In April I blogged about some of my upcoming projects so I thought it was about time I gave you an update on how I am getting on....

First of all my lovely Phoebe bag:

It's a little on the smaller side than I anticipated (even with adding a panel to the pattern to make it bigger) so I don't use it for work. But for everyday it's just lovely. I don't think you can tell very well from the photo but I hand sewed tiny heart buttons to the middle of the flowers which really completes it!

Bags really do seem to be my strong point!

Secondly is the table runner for the girls:

It was an absolute pain in the arse to make (because of the shiny fabric) but once I finally cracked it, it was worth the bother, doesn't it look pretty! Just need to finish the second one now which I keep putting off!

My quilt is still an ongoing project. I tend to do a little bit here and there.

On the 13th July, Clare and I are doing a craft fair so I would really like it finished by then so I can use it as a table cover to pretty up my stall. But at the same time I have been busy making things to sell hence why it's taken longer than it should. I can't wait until I can post the final photo's of it all finished!

Finally, onto the main reason I wanted to blog today.... Since the shop launched I have been slowly adding bits a pieces to it in hope that I will start generating some interest. I also started a facebook page to advertise my wares, although I have slowly increased my likes, I still have failed to sell a single thing, boo! I'm being patient and hopefully playing the long game will work, and I'm sure the craft fair will help generate interest... That's if I sell anything there even!

But anyway my new charm offensive is this lovely little friend!

I have named her Gemma and she is already available in the shop! Though I think I will miss her when she goes! I also plan on making traditional teddy bears and a dog too so she will also have plenty of friends! It's difficult trying to advertise your stuff without being too annoying. Gemma has already generated some interest on Facebook so hopefully she will speak for herself!

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

How to (hopefully) keep an orchid alive

Last year I posted about my poor attempts to save my orchid. Unfortunately I failed. Miserably.

BUT! Almost a year later I have plucked up enough courage to try again.... (theres no legislation regarding plant maltreatment and the restriction of people owning another and another, and another)

Isn't she just gorgeous! This one already has two stems with plenty of flowers on and more to come too! It appears that this is exactly the right time of year to take on an orchid as they grow lots! I still don't really know the ins and outs of caring for one but it can't be that hard surely. I know how frequently to water them now (ideally with rain water too - get me!) and that they like moisture in the air so I will invest in a little spray bottle from the shop down the road. She is currently residing in our bathroom too as it gets quite steamy in there which can only do her good - I think! The leaflet that came with it also recommended watering it with orchid food once a month in the growing season so I need to get some of that too!

Wish me luck!