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Monday
Jul142014

About the quiet country life. 

There seems to be an understanding that living in the country equals a "quiet life". Whenever I read that somewhere, I have a little laugh. I guess this is true in the most literal sense - it is very quiet here (except on Fridays, when everyone is mowing their lawn). Otherwise, please define "quiet".

Here´s the thing: Living in the country usually involves quite a bit of land and if not big, then at least old houses. And if you care about your house and your garden, you work a lot. Like a LOT. And I am not even talking about wallpapering every inch of your house or creating a pretty flower garden. I am talking about basic maintenance.

Whenever I look on my Instagram feed on the weekends, I think "God these people don´t seem to have anything to do all day". I know Instagram is always deceiving because after all, these are only snapshots of our lives. For all you know by looking at my feed, I am sitting on my deck all day admiring my garden, dog or cats. Not so. Even on the weekends (especially on the weekends), I get up at 6.30 am and work all day long. If there´s a nap involved I call it a good day. 

A garden doesn´t tend to itself. And to be honest, gardening isn´t even fun most of the time. I am usually drenched in sweat and covered in mosquito bites after a few hours. It often feels like an uphill battle, because nature is a fickle thing. One day your garden looks fine and then a storm comes and everything is in pieces and then you have a little cry and spend a whole weekend frantically cleaning everything up (this might just have happened to me). 

I am not writing this so that you can pat my back or anything. It´s just something that has been on my mind a lot lately. All these magazines make living in the country look so romantic and effortless. And lately it struck me that I probably do the same. And I don´t want that. 

HOWEVER. It may not be as "quiet" as it looks, but it is a good life. I wouldn´t have it any other way. Tending to a garden is one of the most rewarding things I have ever experienced. But it´s hard. And humbling. I wish everyone would volunteer to work in a vegetable garden for a day in his/her life. I bet people would appreciate their food a lot more. Speaking of vegetables, I´ll post an update on the kitchen garden later this week...

PS: Anyone know what the blue flowers in the last pictures are? The appear in one of my beds every year and are so very pretty.

Monday
Jul072014

The walled garden in its third year. 

I don´t really want to blow my own trumpet, but I do think the walled garden looks pretty good these days. Most of the plants are just beginning to bloom and the beds are getting more colorful every day.

I´ve read somewhere that with perennial beds, one has to wait three years until all the plants are mature and the garden is beginning to take its final shape. So here we are in year three, and I very much like what I see. Take a look for yourself:

Do you like it too? If so, cross your fingers for the next few days - the weather forecast is looking wild for our neck of the woods... storms galore. Please don´t destroy my little garden, weather gods! 

Wednesday
Jul022014

Thank you, and more kitchen photos.

Yesterday my kitchen was featured on Apartment Therapy and I am still overwhelmed by the praise there and the wonderful comments all you people coming from AT left here and on Facebook. THANK YOU. And thank you Rebecca for the lovely post.

The AT feature was a good excuse to take some new pictures of the kitchen. I took some after I had painted the floor, but I have never shown you the little backsplash I tiled back in winter. 

My little "pantry" is still working well and looking good even if the paint isn´t holding up as well as it does on the cabinets.

Here´s a close-up of the backsplash. Can you believe I found the tiles in my basement? They are exactly the color of the cabinets. As for the long shelf - which some of you liked and some not - it is still there. I am still going to replace it, but I have yet to find the perfect solution. Until then, it works well... and to be honest, despite the weird placement of the brackets, I have come to like it. 

So, welcome to all the new readers! I hope you like what you see.

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?