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Monday
Jun302014

Heavy clouds but no rain.

For me, June has always been sort of an "in between" month. It´s not spring anymore but not really summer yet. It doesn´t help that Germany usually gets crappy weather in June (or at least that´s my impression).

This year wasn´t an exception. I´m not usually one to complain about the weather, but this June was exceptionally weird. After an initial, short heatwave we had coolish temperatures but not a single drop of rain. Freezing your bones off and still having to water the garden constantly? I mean, that´s just not right.

A good excuse for a cup of tea though. 

There´s one household member who likes the low temperatures: Ludwig. He actually suffers quite a bit when it´s hot - which I guess is normal with dogs, but is made worse by his heart condition. Also, this? Best picture of Ludwig in a long time. I´m totally buying this "I´m a very wild and dangerous dog" thing. 

And despite the weather, the kitchen garden is thriving. The husband keeps telling me that I´ve created a masterpiece this year, and I am inclined to agree. I´ll post a proper update soon. 

And now: Bring it, July. 

Monday
Jun232014

The attic room, revisited.

Remember when we painted our attic room and I promised to show you "after" pictures? Yeah, that was a long time ago. The thing is that this room still needs some love, but that won´t happen until winter, so here are a few snaps of the space as it is now. This room basically houses every piece of furniture (and, ahem, rug) that hasn´t found a place elsewhere in the house. Like the blue sofa that looked great in our Berlin apartment but was the wrong size and style for our living room here at the house. It looks pretty good in this space though.

One word on the paint. I am happy with all the color choices, and everything turned out well in the end, but painting these floors was a real nightmare. This was the first time that I´ve been truly unhappy with a Farrow & Ball paint. I took me five (!!) coats of floor paint to get a halfway decent finish even though I used their most expensive primer. Not cool. 

This corner is my "studio" where I plan to sew, craft and paint... some far away day in winter. 

The red cabinet is too small and will be replaced by a PAX wardrobe eventually. Since we are on a budget and this isn´t top priority it will have to wait until... winter, you guessed it. 

We got the table and these awesome chairs from chairs from my mother in law. We need to repair the chairs and then I plan on painting them.. no not grey, an actual color. We´ll see. But, again, not before winter, yada yada.

I have to admit that it still sometimes bugs me that we don´t really use this room, at least not during summer. It is a great space for guests though - there are two sleeper sofas that you don´t see in these pics - and otherwise I´m happy to have it as an overflow/storage space. First world problems, eh?

Sunday
Jun152014

One week in June.

The husband and I had the past week off and it was so nice. We even had a proper little heatwave for a few days so it felt like a "real" summer holiday somehow. In other news, our white rambler rose is blooming. So beautiful, no? 

Another pretty spot in the walled garden. Love the colors.

At the beginning of the week, little Emma went missing for two whole days. That has never happened before. To cut a long story short, I was able to find her and she is happy and healthy. But oh the worries. Little monsters, they are.

Ludwig likes to chase butterflies. I don´t think he has ever managed to actually catch one. 

Strawberry season! And the raspberries are ripe too. 

That rose again. Have a happy week! 

Thursday
Jun122014

The reinvented kitchen garden.

The other day at dusk, I finally managed to take some pictures of this year´s vegetable garden. Last year in June it rained for a week, most of the beds got flooded in this part of the garden and a good portion of my plants died. After that, I started begging for raised beds and the husband was nice enough to oblige this spring. 

We recently had heavy rain for several days in a row again and the raised beds held up great while our neighbor´s gardens turned into a swamp. Huzzah! (Sorry neighbors.)

And apart from their usefulness, they just look nice. 

We have fewer beds now but there is still plenty of space. Last year we didn´t really make the most of the available space and also had way too much produce for the two of us. Let´s see how this year´s arrangment will work for us.

I planted around 50 tomato plants this year (in the background of this picture, by the fence). Last year we had 40 and ran out of canned tomatoes in the middle of the winter. Not sure if 10 more plants will do much though, we need a greenhouse is what I think.

Space is a little tight in the cabbage bed, but it looks really nice, so there´s that.

So this is the 2014 version of our kitchen garden. Let´s see where it takes us. 

Tuesday
Jun102014

The painted deck. 

As promised, here are a few more pictures of the painted deck. I think its looks so much more finished than before. I wasn´t sure at first whether I wanted to paint the pillars the same color, but now I am glad I did. They are way less prominent now.  

(Not related: That huge plant that goes up to the railing, anyone know what this is? It was part of some plant package that I bought when I first planted the walled garden and I think it´s quite hideous. It will go elsewhere after this season. Edit: I don´t mean the lupines - the one that towers over everyting in the bed next to the deck.)

I used an oil-based paint. It provides a super durable finish but still allows the wood to breathe which is a good thing outdoors. Also it is super easy to work with, you just brush it on - no primer needed, no need to be super exact because it basically distributes itself. As for the color, going dark was basically the only option here - with a lighter finish I guess every drop of rain would have shown. Anyway I think the color is really good here. 

The only complaint I have is that the paint is a little too shiny for my taste - see the reflections in this picture? But otherwise, very happy with the outcome. And we definitely have come a looooong way since this:

Yikes. By the way this picture was part of a post from 2012 which might be interesting for all of you who aren´t sure about the structure of the walled garden - it´s here if you would like to take a look.