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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" ;-)

Wednesday
Jun222016

A little bathroom update. 

For a few reasons we get a rather large tax return each year and the money usually goes toward one or two pressing house or garden projects, like a new gate or a new back door. This year we decided to tackle our bathrooms upstairs. We have two but had only used one over the past few years since the shower in the other one was broken. We´ve fixed that now and did a few other improvements. In the other bathroom (the one we´re talking about today) we made a few updates as well. This room has made an appearance on this blog in the past, read more here.

The one thing I didn´t like about this room was the vanity. It was tiny, ugly and in a bad condition. I wanted to get rid of it as soon as we bought the house, but of course that didn´t happen until now - five years later. Ha. Better late than never I guess. I got an (overpriced) old table on Ebay and my husband heroically remodeled it (the thing fell apart when we first put the new sink (from Ikea) on it so he had to completely rebuild it, argh. Never buying anything old from Ebay again. Maybe). But! Once it was sturdy again I painted it green and it´s my new favorite thing.

Love it. And look at all that space surrounding the sink!

I also got an (overpriced again, but new and sturdy!) towel holding ladder thingy so that we could get finally rid of the moulding Ikea contraption we had before. I quite like it.

Otherwise the room is the same. The wallpaper, if anyone is wondering, is holding up okayish. The room has a roof window so there´s not too much humidity but of course the wallpaper is still peeling off in some places, but so far it´s a quick fix really. I expect at one point we´ll have to re-do it, but that´s still a few years off I believe. And yes, I´m into all things Weleda.

Bye little bathroom! You´re my favorite!

Monday
Jun202016

Flower garden "recap".

From the veggie garden to the walled garden and beyond... These are pictures from a while ago actually but like I said, I never got around to write a blog post so here goes! The walled garden was/still is in its "green phase" where not much is blooming yet but I love it anyway! 

My paeonies were so beautiful this year!

When we moved into the house my mother gave me two honeysuckles - one white, one pink. I planted them together and they took their own sweet time but they are really taking off now! Frankly I think this is a bit of an odd plant but the scent is definitely delicious! 

The climbing hydrangea is in her fourth year and finally thriving now! 

Let´s move beyond the walls. Love this view.

This wild rose was literally the only useful thing in the garden when we bought the house. It´s really pretty when it´s blooming. 

One of the newer flower borders, now in its second year. White old roses, blue geranium and alchemilla. The roses were not great last year but have much improved by now. Looking forward to seeing how this are develops. 

Rose bushes and the chicken coop! The ones among the fence are my favorites. They´re David Austin roses and they smell divine. 

This one is just fantastic, yes? It almost got eaten by voles last year but I managed to save it and here she goes again - this time with a vole-safe planting cage. 

They´re great for cutting too. 
Next up in the "week of many posts": Our newly painted gable and my refurbished bathroom!  

Saturday
Jun182016

In the veggie garden. 

I have taken so many pictures lately but never had the time to prepare a blog post... but I managed to at least select and edit all pictures the other day so lots of posts coming your way in the next few days! Let´s start with the veggie garden because I know some of you are waiting for an update! It´s pretty much all good in here, everything is growing nicely except all my cauliflowers died for some unknown reason. Oh well. More space for other stuff. You win some you lose some, right?  

I need to harvest the kohlrabi and put it in the freezer...tomorrow! Also trying to grow sweet peas yet again, they were such a disaster last year, how are the Brits doing it? 

Sugar snaps, always reliable but maybe not quite as prolific this year.

My tomatoes were tiny when I finally planted them outside but they are catching up nicely. Growing three new varieties this year plus my trusty orange "Auriga". I haven´t really found "my" variety (Auriga does well in our climate but isn´t terribly tasty) yet so I have high hopes for the newbies this year!

The strawberries are still going strong except they don´t like all the rain we (finally!!) got over the past few days. I managed to prepare a bit of strawberry jam yesterday though so I am kind of ready for strawberry season to be over. 

My blackberry bush isn´t very happy this year, same goes for the currants - I´ll get maybe a handful from my 6 bushes and I´ll get zero gooseberries and blueberries this year (sob). My guess is that the late frost got to them but who knows. Raspberries are looking good though? I don´t need to understand everything.

I couldn´t find a place for my beloved scarlett runner beans in the beds this year so I simply built two giant wigwams with hazelnut branches in one corner of the garden and the set-up seems to work just fine so far! 

I am growing my pumpkins in the cold frame again since they were such a success last year. Those did like the rain, I think they doubled their size over night. Impressive. 

Technically not in the veggie garden but here´s a bonus picture of two fluffy chicken butts. 
Hope you are having a fab weekend!