Wednesday 28 April 2010

how the other half live

This is the gorgeous kitchen (aga included) of
Rumwell Park in Somerset.
Where, along with a group of friends I was fortunate enough to spend the weekend.
Actually it was more like country house rescue.
Built in 1857 it is gradually regaining its grandeur with the help of paying guests.
 We had the run of the whole house too!
I could just picture myself as Keira Knightly in Atonement.
This was my favourite room.
My photo really doesn't do it justice, it was huge,
just like something out of a Jane Austen novel.
This is the grand staircase which lead up to the grandest of bedrooms.
And here are the servants quarters stairs which led up to the not so grand bedrooms.
Upon arrival we did a lottery for the rooms.
Always drawn to the stranger side of life; low and behold where do we end up?
Only the creepy room!
To be fair it doesn't look to shabby, however compared to most it was quite dingy.
It had this arrangement of oddities which people thought creepy.
Live and let live I say!
Fortunately we did get a taste of luxury, when we were able to spend our last night in the posh wing!
See what I mean?
With that view as well!
the obligatory roll-top.
This footstool was my favourite thing!
I love the colours, I would quite easily have taken it home with me.
So if you fancy a bit of Mr Darcy its well worth getting some pals together to experience a slice of history.
I'm not sure my feet have touched down yet!!

Thursday 22 April 2010

tulip thursday

As promised.
Not quite what I was expecting but beautiful all the same.
These cute orange tulips are ballerina and quite dainty.
I like to peer into their centres which are just as magical as their outers.
These tulips are from the top :
queen of the night
(my favourite tulip)
this week so far I have:

built another cold frame

moved lots of plants around the garden
(it's my fortay)

sowed parsnips, beetroot, broccoli, radish and sprouts

transplanted 15 lupin seedlings and 18 echinacea

eaten the first rhubarb of the year

cycled to my brothers allotment and weeded

spent more time outside than in

and most importantly sent out some parcels! 

I'm a bit ahead of myself this week it must be all this sun making me happy.
So I'm going give you all friday off
and wish you all a sunny weekend!!

Monday 19 April 2010

the garden tour

Ok so as I am now spending more time outside than in I thought I had better take you on the tour.
Now I know some of you have been on said tour, so dont feel obliged, however things are ever changing and its great to see how shrubs are maturing and plants still survivng.
So here we go with the view from my kitchen window.
Try and ignore the houses in the back ground, we have some of those trees not to be mentioned that will soon disguise the less than perfect view.
We have two water butts, one you can see to the left.
Stepping out my back door we have some negrita tulips (flowering) mixed with queen of the night and some orange ones which I cannot remember the name of.
I planted 36 new tulips last year as they don't live too long in my garden.
Here is the unopened orange tulip; I have never grown orange ones before and the suspense is killing me!!
 Here is the shed.
The climbing plant above is hydrangea petiolaris.
It will one day cover this shed, brilliant!
This is rosa Josephs coat, and is the main colour feature of the garden.
It may not look like much now, but soon it will be covered in orangey pink roses.
It wouldnt have been my choice, but it is such a good rose I have worked a vague colour scheme around it.
Mainly purples whites pinks and burgundies.. and orange.
Anyhow I have trained it against the fence using twine.
Something else inherited in this garden are an abundance of bluebells and whitebells.
At the top end we have my veg patch currently not much to show.
The chicken wire is to support peas which are just about poking through the earth.
I have decided not to grow potatoes this year to try and reduce the blight spores which seem to be hanging round, though I am still growing tomatoes.
And here they are all tucked up in their new cold frame made by 
'yours truly'
I call it goldilocks corner.
To the right of the veg patch we have the gravel garden, this is where the sun ends up in the evenings.
Its a great spot to relax at the end of the day under the silver birch and surrounded by birdsong.
I could go on so I shall leave you now with the view from my desk.
Another sunny day..bliss!!
I hope I have inspired you with my garden.
I have been gardening this garden for 4 years now, previous to that my garden was tiny!
See below.
I know I am very lucky to have such a lovely space and hope you can enjoy it with me through my blog.

Monday 12 April 2010

I heart gardening!

Wow isn't amazing what a drop of sunshine can do to ones spirit and ones garden!
These are just some of seeds/plants to be sown/grown this year.
Some of you may remember my garden blog last year?
If not pop on over to get an idea of how my garden looked last year.
This year I shall just keep to the one blog, it's hard enough having a life with one let alone two!

Our garden is alive!
And completely frantic with chirping.
I have a new friend I call him/her twiddly, as she/he is most tuneful.
After such a long winter it seems all the blossom is out at once,
and smelling heavenly.
If you have room for one shrub in your garden, you can't beat an evergreen osmanthus.
The fragrance is pure spring!

  I have been busy busy in the garden again and have dirt under my fingernails to prove it.
Lots of moving plants and pruning out the deadwood.
My garden has a sunny side and a shady side, which at first I found challenging, but now I'm rather liking the shadier side more, as it retains some moisture unlike the sunny side which dries out like a rock!
Today I have rejuvinated the shady side, where there was an old ceanothus past its best.
So far I have dotted some euphorbias and aquilegias
(borrowed from other areas within the garden, but of course),
and some blue salvias which will get some sun.
And here is the great prune mountain.
Remember last weekend my husband made me a raised bed?
(now partially filled with chantenay carrots)
Well this weekend I made one!
Not bad hey?
The windows, rescued from our bedroom make great mini greenhouses.
I have sown pak choi, swiss chard and cos lettuce in mine.
I've also been sowing legumes!
These are french beans, though they do look a little maggoty dont they?
I really must get on with my giveaway items, before its another year already!
So I shall leave you with my new purchase, a pink dicentra which is great for a shady border.
I bought a white one last year, which I love and is growing well.

Anyone else having an irritating time uploading photos??!!

Tuesday 6 April 2010

lets go outside

Sounds like you all had a lovely Easter.
Now that's out of the way lets concentrate our minds to bring on the spring!
I love the fluffy leaves of the lupin.
I've not really mentioned the spring word yet this year, as it generally turns wintery as soon as I do.
But I do believe now that it is here at last.
I have actually been outside this year, mainly pruning.
Don't you just love it when the fresh new leaves open up for the first time.
I love how the apple tree branches get all nobbly with nubblets.
(made up word, if you have an apple tree you will understand!)
I have once more made use of the old fence.
Actually maybe the right phrase would be 'made use of the old man'
As this Easter he made me this wonderous raised wotsit, perfect for 
me carrots. 
(said in an alan t voice)
I already have a few seedlings growing, this one is a tomato called minibell
(which was free with gardeners world mag)
I shall leave you today with these pinnies blowing in the wind....

I do hope (for those of you who are still snowed in) that spring is on its way!