April has not been the cruellest month this year. It has been warm and sunny and the garden has exploded into life.
This is the side garden, with the hellebores still flowering away. Everything else has emerged in fountains of foliage. The hardy geraniums, of which I have loads, are all in leaf and the day lilies have spurted up. The paeonies are huge and covered with buds. Conventional wisdom says that paeonies hate disturbance but these were moved last year as part of the making of the side garden when the building work had finished and even last year they flowered. There are all sorts of things coming up here: eremurus, lots of aquilegia, the sedums and catmint and, against the stone wall, lots and lots of dusty pink oriental poppies. It is quite stunning the difference between this end of month view and last month's
Leaves are appearing on the apple tree. The Tenby daffodils have finished flowering but the Thalia is still flowering around the fruit trees.
And here is the view up towards the cutting garden. All of the trees in the little orchard have come into leaf now apart from the mulberries. I think I shall have to start including a closer picture of the cutting garden. At the moment it still looks fairly empty, waiting for the cosmos and the zinnias which are still in coldframes to be planted out but there are seventy five sweetpeas planted down at the base of the frames which will eventually produce three walls of flowers.
Here is the bank, the quince tree in leaf now and the primroses still flowering. There are pinks and valerian in here which will start to flower soon and penstemons and sedums for later in the summer.
And here is the kitchen garden, with salad stuff under the cloches, garlic by the greenhouse and tulips and hellebores mixed in with the herbs and salads. And again, just as last time, taking pictures of the garden from a distance makes me long to show you the detail of flowers: tulips and late daffodils still flowering and erythronium Pagoda for the first time looking as if it belongs. In fact I might have to cheat and do another post with the close up stuff, just to show you.
Well here we are, today is the day, moving day. How and why is a long story and I haven't wanted to write about it until now, some funny sense of maybe jinxing things maybe! So for the various people who have asked about it here is the story. We have been here for fifteen years and have loved it deeply but there is only one life and one of the things which has always interested us is building a new house from scratch. Lots of people watch Grand Designs and Amazing Spaces. That might have been all we did too but we began to feel that doing something about that itch might be a way to resolve the question of whether we would at some stage want to move from here. There are two houses here - an ancient farmhouse and a holiday cottage, many outbuildings, two acres of land. It is high up on a hill. Probably at some stage we would need to leave. Perhaps we might build something? Did we have another adventure in us? It hung around as an idea but building plots are few and far betw
While Ian was away I decided it was time to make the new curtains for the cottage. I have been putting this off for at least four months, maybe six. First of all I couldn't find any material I liked at a price I could afford so that was a fine excuse. Then I read a recommendation for Textile Express on Annie's blog. Textile Express has a fab website but when I realised it was only forty minutes away in Oswestry I had to visit. Wonderful choice, great prices; material purchased. Then I carried on putting the job off because I was a bit daunted by the fact that two of the curtains are full length ones for doors but there is nothing like knowing you have a few days to yourself to make you feel you can get your teeth into a project. And amazingly, now it is done. As I have been thinking of nothing else for about a week I thought I would share with you my own advice on how to make lined curtains. I am not a supremely talented sewer but I have made loads of these over the
2019 finished with a lovely Christmas down in Devon with younger son and his family where, for only the second time in over forty years, I did not cook Christmas dinner! I don't mind cooking Christmas dinner at all but it did feel rather luxurious to be cooked for. We were sleeping in the campervan despite the cold as older daughter and family were also staying. That sounds a bit daunting in the middle of winter. Actually the first ten minutes when you come out of the warmth of the house, go into the cold van and get undressed are the cold bits. Then with two of you under the duvet you warm up surprisingly quickly. And in a house of early risers you have the morning bonus of waking up at seven or later, rather than at around six, or, on Christmas morning, four thirty. We understand the girls were sent back to bed but even so Christmas Day in the house began at around half past five! Here is Ian on story reading duty. Both the snuggling down to listen of older granddaug