Tagged: Garden

Waterworks x

 

For the last week, autumn decided to roll into London instead of July: Grey, swollen clouds, heavy rain, a significant drop in temperature and most surprisingly, strong, bough wrenching winds.  They say Thursday will mark the change back to summer again. I hope so.  I would like some more summertime in the garden, particularly now we have a water feature.

 

 

(All pics Pinterest and Outdoorliving)

 

This is ours, hidden in the lavender.  We wanted moving water to cool the air on really hot days. And it helps that the birds are delighted with our choice, particularly Mr Robin.

 

Fingers crossed the sun will be back at the end of this week.

Laters, Kate x

Roses are pink..

 

I think today is meant to be a day of celebration – we are officially out of strict lockdown in London, except nobody knows quite what that means.  I read today that you can have a conversation with one person you know outside, but not meet my mother. Five year olds in a class will have to maintain a 2 metre distance when they go back in June – if they go back, and the one I love – I can drive a car with another stranger, if the windows are down!  My delight is the garden centres re-opening; I have plans for window boxes and filler plants I need.  This week my roses started to bloom! And with the air so clear at the moment, if the back door is open, even when walking down the staircase to the kitchen, I can smell them.

 

 

 

 

Blasting the roses with water has worked a treat re the aphids – thank you! A very eco friendly solution.  And it has the added bonus of rainbows when the sun is out.

 

 

One of my favourite combinations – this pink rose against the dark leaves of the smoke bush.

 

 

There were some casualties from the gale like winds of the past few days; the trachelospermem jasminoides (hark me!), the full grown version of the comb-over tree, has been pulled off it’s wall, and the wind did it’s best to destroy my seedlings, sending the ones in the egg box flying. I thought they were goners.


 

But I found the survivors, replanted, and they’re now in my study, by the window, being regularly watered from an re-used wine bottle, and are quite frankly  thriving.  The only problem is I had two varieties of plant, one in the lid, one in the main section..and now they’re all muddled.  But I’m sure time will tell…as it always does.

 

 

Laters, Kate x

 

Yin and Yang x

 

 

The good news is my window boxes are the best they’ve ever been….It’s amazing what watering every day will do…

 

 

The bad news is I should’ve taken the picture before I watered them.

 

 

The good news is my climbing rose is chocka with an abundance of buds.

 

 

The bad news: Because of the mild winter, they’re covered in aphids…sad face emoji

 


 

Good news: Charlie and I planted a whole load of seeds.

 

 

Bad news: Three weeks later and I think we’re cultivating weeds.

 

 

Or they’ve died.

 

 

The good news: My plant delivery finally arrived!

 

 

Bad news: Why are they always so much smaller in reality?

 

 

Good news: Finally got the wall painted black.

 

 

Which is a good thing….as it distracts from the newly christened ‘Comb-over’ Tree.

 

 

Bad news:  The husband ‘pruned’ it..it once was the luscious twin to this one climbing the wall..

 

 

The good news: It has a bud!

 

 

Bad news: It’s sorely needed…

 

 

The good news: The garden is becoming a haven.

 


 

The bad news: The barbecue has just collapsed.

 

But the good news? It’s a job for the husband…and might just keep him away from my plants….

 

 

Laters, Kate x

Be Prepared x

 

The news here in London is that the kids are still going to school, but things are very quiet; it’s like the calm before the storm.  Time button down the hatches and prepare.  I’m going to see what garden centres are still open, find seeds, little things that can grow into big things and be nurtured, things that will mark the passing of time in a positive way.

 

 

The other thing on my list is art supplies:  For those already stuck indoors, Carla Sondheim does a series of brilliant art courses that work if you want to invigorate your creative juices, or you’ve never painted or drawn before.  There are both pay for options and free, for adult and children alike.

 

 

Where I can, I’ll be getting all my supplies from independent shops, not Amazon:  If we don’t use them, we’ll lose them.

Laters, Kate x

Garden Pod Planning..

 

In moments of lull I return to the task of designing the pod for the garden:  This summer is on it’s downward slide, which should be the siren call to have it planned and built all ready for next so I wonder why I haven’t yet done it.  Is it because there’s an acceptance that the journey is the richest bit? In my mind, the excuse I’m offering up is that I’m tussling between two strong statements – modern and boho.  I don’t know if it can be both.  I take each element on it’s own and turn it round, looking at it from every side, weighing up the pros and cons. Do they cancel each other out? I know I want two thirds to be a seated pergola with a covered roof but with walls that would filter the light, to provide respite and privacy.  Is the choice modern simplicity that’s kind on the purse? Or is this a last hurrah that requires something a little more?

 

(All pics Pinterest)

Laters, Kate x

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

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

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

 

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