Hello! So glad you made it, yes awful weather isn't it? Hope you didn't get too wet on your way over?
Up in the rooftops of Attic24 the rain is thundering down this morning, its' very noisy indeed so no doubt about the weather from where I'm sitting, I don't even have to look. I can hear the weather. Hear that it's not very summery at all. But just to clarify, look :: this is the view from the velux window which looks out over the back. Dismal.
Yes, such a shame. I really did want to show you my little back yard, I had envisaged my outside table laid with a pretty cloth, tea and cake in the sun. A warm, summery chit-chat about flowers. I really wanted to share my outdoorsy ideas, run them by you.Oh well, we'll manage somehow, best not get too down hearted eh. Ok, lets raid the photo archives....
....This above photo was taken last month whilst I was still flapping and procrastinating and not getting very much done. Its not a terribly good photo I'm afraid, I think the settings on my camera were a bit off and it looks a bit washed out doesn't it? But no matter, you can get the gist of it. You can see my yard is small, I think you could call it compact, or perhaps if you were being very generous you could say it was bijou.
Its in an L shape, the main square of it you can see here is 3m x 3m, with an additional 2mx2m off to the side under the kitchen window.
And this photo was taken on a lovely sunny day a few eeks ago, not long after I spent those backbreaking hours shifting, carrying, potting, sweating, planting. I shifted my blue plant benches around, moved the table, tried to create a pleasant space for eating. It's not easy working in such a confined area, but I love our little space all the same. Its manageable, do-able, even for a lazy arse like myself.
We live in a middle terrace of tall Victorian houses, so we are literally surrounded on all sides by houses. We are extremely overlooked, most especially at the back, and it has
taken some getting used to in the seven months that we have lived here.
Our last house was a detached modern house on a corner plot, so we had
quite a sizeable garden, surrounded on all sides by either tall hedges
or fences. Privacy was important there, most people craved it, built
boundries up around themselves and isolated themselves in their back
gardens. Here it is very different. Folk like to see other folk, like
to lean on walls and chat, like to pass by and see what's doing . Kids play in and out of each others yards, up and down the streets, grown-ups take a brew out and chatter, gossip, pass the time of day. Its very friendly and I do like it for the most part, but sometimes I do crave a green view and space.
The photo above was taken yesterday afternoon just after it had stopped raining. See the wall there to the right? I've put some pots and troughs along for now to help the yard feel a bit more enclosed, but I'm hoping my lovely father in law will come with his wood and scary tools and build me a short fence along. Nothing too scary or high, just a dinky little picket fence that I'm thinking would look nice painted a sort of a tasteful grey-blue. J is Yorkshire born and bred and he tells me it's perceived as "unfriendly" if you fence yourself off. And I tell him I do not like to sit and eat my dinner with half the neighbourhood watching me. As a result, we find ourselves having a mild, on-going disagreement about it. To fence or not to fence? Privacy v Community? Northern ways v Southern ways.
But aside from the privacy issues, I have this idea for plants :: ok, lets see if I can describe my vision to you. Imagine a narrow, L-shaped raised bed built the whole way along the right hand wall and also along the back wall. It would be about 2 ft high, built out of stone or maybe timber, high enough and wide enough so you could perch your bottom on it if you wanted. Imagine the planting this could contain :: ivy, climbing hydrangea, honeysuckle, clematis, ceanothis, passion flowers. It would create a year-round wall of living green. It would be under planted with bulbs and other smaller plants. Annuals could be sneaked in for the summer to add colour. But for climbers to work on the right hand wall, they really need to be able to climb, higher than the present wall allows, don't you agree? Well I shall let you know how the debate goes.
I like a garden to be decorative, don't you? I like to see little decorative bits and pieces in a garden. Pretty pots, mobiles, painted birdhouses, mosaic. That book I showed you the other day has some wonderful, wonderful ideas, it's brimming over with inspiration. I visited Barcelona last Autumn and ooooo the Gaudi mosaics in the Parc Guell are truly amazing :: I would love to try mosaic for my outdoor space, maybe a wall panel or even some big pots? Actually, I've booked to go on a half-day workshop in September which is all about recycling broken crockery and china to make mosaic so I'm going to collect plates this summer from jumble sales, car boots and charity shops with this in mind.What fun!!
This is my geranium and herb bench. I use mint and parsley a lot and love to have these just outside my back door.
Ahhhhh geraniums, geraniums, you make my heart sing! I think they're one of my favourite flowers, the colour, oh!! YEs, the colour is magnificent. I've put these beauties right outside my back door so that I'm hit with it as soon as I venture out. Bam! Magenta and cerise in your face!
I did have fun planting up my big pots. They are still establishing themselves, and the trailing geraniums have not yet flowered but I think in a month or so they'll look lovely. I've even noticed one brave sweet pea flower has emerged, so am hopeful for a good show there too in a while. Thats if the sun ever decides to shine again.
Well, it has stopped raining now, but everything is still dripping wet outside. Shall we have tea and biscuits inside, I baked some raisin and peanut cookies yesterday and the locust-children didn't eat them all. Still some left for you and me.