Category: Garden

Borders x

Chelsea Flower Show starts this week which means all things leafy and green. It’s made me think about our garden plans again and re-query the sticking points, one of which raised borders, yes or no, pros and cons, what material, where and how high?

There is a practical reason for wanting raised beds – we have a patio that requires power washing every year, but in the process the plants in the beds get waterlogged and generally die which means I’m in the same position each year looking at my sad, dying borders. Besides there’s something delicious about sharp edged, rendered borders, particularly when they’re painted dark.

Except I have a strong, internal design rule that like women, things outside should be able to age so that they look better with every passing year with the accumulated patina adding to their interest.  The obvious answer would be box hedging: great on the eye.  But wouldn’t solve the water logging problem. And we have the dreaded Box Tree Caterpillar, which destroyed the box hedge we used to have.

A brick wall would be fab.  But expensive.  So thoughts are currently leaning towards railway sleepers: Natural, dark and reasonable price bracket with the Brucie bonus of almost instant satisfaction.

(All pics Pinterest)

I need to sleep on it.

Laters, Kate x

Shadows too x

Seeing the beauty of Kumi Yamashita’s art made me wonder whether there were any practical applications of shadows for every day. I came across these pictures – but have yet to find a seller or manufacturer, though I suspect a blacksmith could be commissioned to make one…and how cool would it be to have a door number lit at night with a solar powered light? one plus the other could equal pure genius..

And then there are the bigger projects…transposable into garden art?

(All pics Pinterest)

As ever, the only limitations are the imagination..

Laters, Kate x

Swing by x

A main focus of the garden planning is creating an area that people want to be pulled to, that’s different from any other part of the house.  I have always been a great admirer of the American porch – cool, shaded, sociable, restful, a place to sit and while away time without over missing the seconds ticking by.  A place you want to go with a good book and a long cold drink to hide away.  So on the list of musts, after pergola comes  swing chair..

(All pics Pinterest)

Bring on summer!

Laters, Kate x

Angle Poise x

The plans for the office pod are rumbling on, but there’s also talk of making use of the builder when they’re here and turning the other far corner of the garden for a pergola-slash-gazebo.  The thinking goes that in small London gardens we veer away from structures in the garden for fear they make a small garden look smaller, but the problem is in leaving a garden horizontal we rarely venture into it, preferring to gaze into from afar.  So the aim is to build a private, roofed area that will still be useable in summer London drizzle to while away precious hours, whilst still keeping a sense of space and lightness of touch.

(All pics pinterest)

So not much to choose from then…

Laters, Kate x

A project x

There’s a project gaining traction, think space and do-ability: An office pod in the garden.  It’s been mooted before – it almost happened last year, but the husband was between jobs so it wasn’t the right time.  But the green light is now on to start thinking, planning and budgeting because I’ve worked out over the years, the more time you give to these three, the less it all costs because you work out whats important.  And what’s not.

The pod will need to be heated and although I love the romance of a proper stove, I believe in London, with concerns over air pollution and consideration to our neighbours, a cunning side step to an electric copy, like we did in the cellar will be the way to go: It will provide the visual representation, the heat, but none of the negatives.

Besides there’s always the joy of what goes round the stove..a small area to tile means flex in choice!

At present is a toss up between the modern approach of concrete tiles with large, dramatic patterns.

Or – and I was reminded of this option after seeing this picture of Alexandra Tolstoy’s cottage and splashback – a blue and white delft option.

Wouldn’t it be lovely if you could create your own? Pictures of coded memories??

(All pics Pinterest)

 

Decisions, decisions…

Laters, Kate x

Exterior x

It was my birthday yesterday – Yippeee me! Meet my presents – Alfie and Bear, the two best dogs ever who now bookend the front door in regal fashion, the finishing touch to the newly painted exterior which finally can get it’s unveiling.

We also have new window boxes, made to size from a great company on Etsy so they sit properly within the window frame.  The black of the boxes contrasts the graphite of the paintwork.

The boxes have been planted with ivy to soften and tumble over edges, heucheras for their colour and cyclamen as they were the only white plant readily available at this time of year.  At some point trailing white geraniums will be added. It will be a pleasure to see the living wave of colour and white expanding and flowing out over the window sill.  I’m even thinking about adding them to the first floor.

 

The painted graphite on the outside of the house has been dramatic.  It has given the whole house a presence, made it feel bigger, added a modern gloss without compromising its history.

 

Very happy.

Laters, Kate x

 

 

Poo tree..

The clouds are a watercolourist’s delight today, grey leeching into darker grey with the foreboding promise of a deluge, which is a bit of a concern as we have a tree-back-slash-large-bush that has developed the questionable power of smelling like dog shit every time there’s rain. It’s potency is so far reaching that innocent pedestrians have be known to check the soles of their shoes when they walk by.  Whilst the comical delight is strong, the aroma is not but I think I’ve finally discovered the culprit…

The source of this sick joke is the viburnum beetle, an insidious little creature whose larvae not only manages to munch away at the leaves, but also passes a very smelly excrement that seems to come into it’s own in damp conditions.

For something so powerful to be coming from something so small and not furry with four legs and fed on meat is quite mind blowing.

Help is at hand..this is my first choice of action as recommended by various websites.  After that it’s adios bush, which would be rather a shame…but this is war. And I will win, if only for my nose and the postman.

 

Laters, Kate x

 

Al Fresco..

This post is to celebrate all that sings summer, especially when what is normally inside becomes outside..and even more so when outside becomes stretched and extended into languid evenings and night time reveries…moments of bliss.

Platers, Kate x

Shadows

So the heatwave in the Uk continues with temperatures set to soar up again this week, but where there is light, there’s shadow, made all the more appealing when they become a true respite from a blazing sun. Add imagination to the mix and the dancing contrast transcend into magical, moving works of art.

 

Laters, Kate x