Category: Home & Garden

A Crafty Garden – An update

We’ve been working really hard on getting our garden sorted. For weeks, it felt like all we did was work on the garden, which was fine as it also meant I could work on my tan* (See ‘tan’, think just less vampire-pale!) Anyway, we’ve not been able to do much over the last few weekends, with weddings & other commitments. Plus I think we were a little burnt out on gardening. We’ll be back out there next weekend though, as we’re really close to getting everything done, bar the planting, which will come later.

The main area we’ve been focusing on was the back of the garden. It’s overshadowed by a tree & it’s not an area we use particularly. We’ve decided to let it go wild & plant wild flower seeds. We’ve picked up some packs of seeds from Burford Garden Centre, that are suitable for a shady area like this, but will still attract bees & butterflies. At the moment, it’s only attracting Poppy & some cats!

Back of the gardenThere is a gap between the wall and the shed, which Poppy uses to bark at the cats that sit on the shed. When we plant the seeds, we’re going to try & block this area off from her. We’re hoping it’ll become a little area for nature. One that doesn’t require much weeding!

Soon to be wildWe moved the compost bin from the back & found, surprisingly, compost! So I’m hoping that we can carry on using it, but would love to ‘pretty up’ the bin a bit. If you know how I can do that, let me know! I also want to paint the fence, as it’s really tatty in place & we haven’t got the budget to replace it right now. We’re not sure what type of outdoor paint to use though, as it’s already been painted once. Again, any ideas, let me know as we need to do that before we plant.

Numbered bricksIn the space at the back of the garden, we found these adorable bricks. (We also found some very annoying reinforced concrete, which required a few tips to the trip to remove, but that’s another story!) We’re going to reuse a lot of the bricks we dug up throughout the garden, but what I’d like to know is why do these bricks have numbers in them? We’ve got quite a few. Why were they buried under ground? Who made them? So many questions arrise when your garden is over 150 years old!

Hanging BasketOne thing that has gone well are my plants! They’ve really bloomed. The hanging basket I planted up is my favourite. Everything was bought from Millets Farm & the plants were random & on offer so I’m not sure what they are, except that they’re pretty & the bees love them!

Planted potsThis is my favourite pot though. These have grown like wild fire & spread everywhere. They need a bit of tidy up at the moment, but nothing too taxing, which is why I like pots!

The end is in sight for the garden. We’ve got a deadline of the end of July to get all the major work completed, which is quite doable. Then we’ll focus on working out what to plant.

Waddesdon Manor Plant Centre

For a long time now I’d really wanted some succulent plants in the house. I think one of the things I like about them is the fact that they don’t need much looking after, which is essential for any plant in this house! I have been known to kill cactuses. This is because I overwatered them, but my OH is pretty good at keeping plants alive so I trust him with watering now! So where to go to get some succulents? Well, I follow Waddesdon Manor on Twitter so I decided we’d head to their plant centre for a mooch about. It was the day after my birthday, so the weather wasn’t great, which is why we only visited the Plant Centre. It’s got parking right outside, which is fab, but it also has a little train which will take you to other parts of the Manor – How awesome is that?! Definitely going back to try that out!

We had a quick look at the plants outside, but when it started raining we headed inside & discovered a little cafe! Winner! We shared a cafeteira of coffee, which was very nice but the best bit was this delicious gluten-free chocolate cake. Amazing!

Delicious cake

Once we were fully satisfied, we had a good look around the plant centre. They had some really lovely plants, for inside & out, as well as a decent amount of seeds. They also had some lovely bits & pieces for the garden, like tableware, candle holders, blankets & cushions. But we were there for succulents! I couldn’t decide upon a few small individual ones & a pot already made up so got both.

Frank Cooper

Succulents

I’m in the market for a vintage/retro something to put the bottom plant into but can’t find anything that grabs my fancy just yet. The little dog money box is from the Blue Cross vintage shop in Summertown, Oxford. Isn’t it cute?! I’m so pleased to finally have some succulents. Now all I need to decide is where to put them – any tips on best locations would be greatly appreciated!

We also bought some things in the little shop in the front of the plant centre, which I’m saving for another post. We got some really nice cards and strawberry jam, and I bought a butterfly necklace (my obsession continues) & a lovely blue bird scarf. There’s so much to see & do at Waddesdon! It’s an amazing place. They don’t allow dogs, so little Poppy will have to stay at home and we’ll have to go a few times to explore it all but I can’t wait to go back!

Tuesday Treat – Planting Up the Pots

It’s so disappointing when we get a burst of sun and warmth, then it disappears again. It’s so difficult to get garden jobs done, when it’s cold, raining & so very windy, like it has been this past week. But I’ve been determined to bring a bit of colour into the garden so despite the miserable weather, on Saturday, I popped to the garden centre & bought a few bedding plants to pot up. I don’t have much idea when it comes to planting, I just buy what’s on offer and hope for the best!

Pots

Poppy took quite an interest in some of the plants, biting off leaves before I had a chance to even get them in the pot! I just need a bit more sunshine for them to grow and fill the pots, but it’s so nice having a few splashes of colour out among the grey.

Lassco Three Pigeons

Stained Glass

I love a good mooch about an antique centre. It’s like a step back in time & it’s great seeing lots of old bits & pieces and imagining them in my home. Last Saturday we went to Lassco Three Pigeons at Great Milton, Oxfordshire. The thing I like about Lassco is that they always have something new, something you’ve never seen before, something that you’d expect to see in a stately home so it’s always a real adventure! We were on the look out for a few things – new tiles for my fireplace, lampshades, birthday presents for me and anything we can find for the garden. We did pretty well!

ButterflyI was drawn to the framed images of butterflies that they had upstairs. I’d seen some lovely ones in Home Barn, but sadly, they were out of my price range. These are much more affordable and really lovely. We also saw a gorgeous set of green tiles for the fireplace but we’re just deciding whether it’s worth replacing the ones we have. We’ve already got a lot of work to do in cleaning it up! Plus it’s missing it’s basket on the front, so it was great to get advice on whether it’s worth doing or not.

Stained Glass

We saw this gorgeous stained glass, which I really love – just wish we had somewhere to put it! We also saw these prison doors, which were really unusual. Walking around outside is a real experience. They have lots of things that are amazing & I think they do a real service by salvaging all that they do.

Prison DoorsThey had lots of great things for the garden. We’re looking for something to edge the borders & they had quite a few things so we’ll be back once we’ve taken the measurements. We’d like to use reclaimed materials as much as possible. Not only is it great to recycle, but it also makes the garden a bit more interesting.

Eggs

After a good look around, we stopped in the cafe for a bite to eat. I ordered scrambled egg on toast and a pot of tea. I was very impressed when my pot of tea came with a second pot of hot water. I loved this! I remember this happening a lot when I was younger but it seems to have gone out of fashion. As a massive tea addict, I want my pot of tea to last as long as possible so this was a real treat. I was even more impressed when my lunch came out – the eggs were piled high on thick cut toast. There was so much of it, I couldn’t finish it. Very tasty, great value for money & service with a smile. We’ll definitely be heading back!