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Monday
Jul252016

Summer days.

We had a few especially nice summer days around here, so beautiful that I´d like to bottle them up for January when we´re in the depth of winter misery. Ah well, better not to think of January but enjoy the goodness of July! I do realize that my pictures are very repetitive but here are a few from an evening walk through the garden. My cutting "garden" is above - spot the cat? 

My adorable Emma girl enjoying the evening... on top of the pumpkin patch, as you do! 

Last autum I planted hydrangeas along the fence to our neighbor. They are of the "Limelight" variety and while they´ll need a few more years to really shine I think they´re so nice already. 

White echinacea, my love - and that thistle again! In how many posts in a row can I include a picture of it? We will see!

...and last but not least, a few pictures from the walled garden where the phloxes are so pretty now! We did a little summer movie screening this Saturday (hence all the chairs in the background of the third picture). It was a lovely evening all around. How I love summer. 

Monday
Jul182016

Around here lately. 

Here are some pictures I took over the weekend. It was a good one. First of all, memo to myself, plant snapdragons again next year. I´ve had them in my house for weeks now and I love them so. 

We got a new dining room rug. The back story is here. The rug is technically a true grey but in this light is has some blue and green in it. I love it. (It´s from Urbanara like almost all my rugs - they have a sale until Wednesday! Not sponsored, just a fan!)

I baked a huge Mohnstriezel. It turned out perfect.

I usually love the walled garden in July, but this year honestly it´s not great. It has a lot to do with the drought we´ve been experiencing for months now, but I also think the beds are getting too crowded. I actually re-shuffled things in here last year but I think I need to be even more ruthless this autumn!

Beyond the walled garden - my favorite Origanum.

The big new border beyond the walled garden, coming along nicely I think, and on the left is the lavender border I was talking about in one of the previous posts.

Illustrated here by Ludwig. (Chasing butterflies). 

Oh man, I do love these. 

The veggie garden however is exceptionally pretty this year, if I say so myself. I´ve never received so many compliments from my neighbors and even my husband keeps telling me how nice it looks. 

The thing is I have lots of flowers this year in here and the combination is just especially nice. I´ve always loved the concept of a cottage garden where veggies and flowers grow side by side.... Don´t you love the hollyhocks?

This here is my little cutting "garden" - snapdragons, corn flowers, marigold and the huge pink/red flowers are Clarkia Unguiculata (Mandelröschen in German). I technically grew them for cutting but they basically drop dead five minutes after putting them in a vase so I just let them do their thing in the bed and enjoy them here. (Do you have any experiences with Clarkia? Am I doing anything wrong?)

So so so happy with the sweet peas this year. I´m able to bring massive bouquets in the house every few days. What a joy. Also, I love this picture. 

Also, Lutz says hi. Have a happy week!

Thursday
Jul072016

Another garden trip to England.

So I went on another garden trip to England, this time with my mom who enjoys gardens as much as I do while knowing a whole lot more about plants than I probably ever will. We started our tour with Nymans.

I liked it well enough there, what´s left of the house is really pretty and the rose garden is truly fantastic. However it´s a bit noisy with the highway so close - but on the plus side it´s only a 20 minute drive from Gatwick which was very convenient on that first day.

On day two we went to Alfriston Clergy House which apparently was the first building to be saved by the National Trust. Alfriston turned out to be one of my highlights of the trip. The village itself is very cute and there´s a tea shop that serves the most giant scones I have ever seen (we couldn´t try them since we ran out of time but you should if you ever go there!). Clergy House itself isn´t very spectacular (edit: by that I mean that it´s still a "preserved" ruin with a few mostly empty rooms - unless you are interested in the construction of old houses you probably won´t spend hours there) and also tiny, but the flower borders were lovely and they had the most wonderful kitchen garden I ever did see.

There were poppies everywhere, I have never seen anything like this.

The kitchen garden was a jumble of flowers and veggies, with overflowing raised beds and so much to explore in a relatively small space. Seriously gardens like this make me regret that I am such a neat freak; my garden will never look anything like this but oh man, I do love it elsewhere.

Later on that day we went to Charleston. Since I had loved it so much when I first visited last year I wanted to show it to my mom and the garden and house were as pretty as I remembered. I find the Bloomsbury group endlessly fascinating. I am currently reading Angelica Garnett´s "Deceived with Kindness" which is quite good. And I urgently need to watch "Life in Squares".

We only had a few hours to kill on the third day, so we went to Borde Hill which honestly I didn´t think was very special, but it had a nice rose garden and some killer Sussex views. (Edit: The garden at Borde Hill may not be my cup of tea but that doesn´t mean it´s not a great garden! I am sure it is greatly enjoyed by others every day.)

On day four we went to Wakehurst which originally wasn´t even on our list until we saw the highway sign. I´m so glad we went though because I thought this place was just fantastic. You could spend days here. The walled garden was just picture perfect (I am running out of superlatives here).

This is "Rosa Veilchenblau" on that wall there and I have been wondering where I could plant it in my garden ever since. So pretty against those stones!

We also went to Standen House on that day - a must see for a Morris fan like I am! Swoon! See that wallpaper in the first pic? It´s the same as I have in one of our bedrooms, just a different colorway. Standen also has a very nice kitchen garden and a pretty café in a converted barn.

Not pictured is Hever Castle which we visited on our last day before catching our respective planes (again, located conveniently close to Gatwick). I don´t have any pictures since I had already packed my DSLR, but the castle was very interesting and they had some fantastic rose-covered archways in the gardens. Lovely!

Sunday
Jul032016

A stroll through the garden. 

I took a little stroll through the garden this morning and here are a few pictures. Above are snapdragons (a favorite of mine) in my little cutting garden. 

I´ve planted a loong lavender border over the past years (a surprisingly expensive undertaking so I had to do it in stages) and this summer it finally looks like I´ve always imagined. 

Poppies by our barn. I have so many poppies in my garden this year, very happy about it. 

Echinops ritro "Veitch´s Blue" in its third year, also finally looking like I imagined. 

My sweet peas are looking surprisingly good this year! Seems it only took some complaining on this blog ;-)

Hollyhocks by the fence in the veggie garden, also finally happy again this year. Sadly only the white and yellow ones survived the winter.

Bonus picture. Ludwig sleeping in a sunny spot in the library. Love this redhead so much. 

Thursday
Jun302016

The gable, painted. 

So this post was supposed to be published during the "week of many posts", but I never got around to actually doing it! Anyway. We finally painted the gable, hooray! And I think it looks great! There´s a loooong back story to this, but I´ll try to cut it short: The gable (and gate, and door) of this house was originally painted a light brown. By the time we bought the house there wasn´t much paint left though. We intended to have the gable re-painted in our first year in the house but for a few reasons that never happened. Which was probably a good thing because it gave me time to decide on a color. I painted our big new gate a blue-gray last year and we did the gable in the same shade. Since the wood of the gable is so old it has a different texture so it doesn´t totally look the same, but I think it´s good enough. As for the "how", we actually rented a bucket truck (you can see a glimpse of it in this picture) and did it ourselves. We´re both not super comfortable with heights so I think this wins the award for the scariest DIY project we´ve done so far. Worth it though.

The blue door will stay. It has grown so much on me since I first painted it and since it is in the same "color family" as the gable/gate I think it still works. Also, can you believe that rambler rose?! It´s the same as in the walled garden (Filipes Kiftsgate). I sort of decided this winter to rip out the salmon-ish colored rose to the left of the entry and plant another Kiftsgate but since I know it would probably the death of "salmon rose" I just can´t do it.

Next on the list are those decorative triangle thingies over the windows (I studied history of arts but still have no idea what these are called - help? UPDATE: pediments, thank you!). They are not in good shape and need to be fixed. We are waiting for an estimate of a professional plasterer since this isn´t something we want do DIY. Funny thing is when he first came to take a look at the house he told us that those super ornamental "pillars" (UPDATE: corbels, thank you!) are definitely not original - something I had suspected all along. Now to decide whether to keep and restore them or just get rid of them altogether. Thoughts? I´m on the team "get rid of them".
UPDATE: Definitely not getting rid of the pediments, just (maybe) the corbels - and yes they´ve literally been stuck on at some point by someone who decided the house needed some more "fancy" ;-)