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Sunday
Jun012014

Hello June. 

 

May was such a good month in the garden. The walled garden looks stunning, if I may say so myself. 

It´s just that right now, every bed looks really good - no gaps, mature plants, lovely colors. Very happy. 

In other news, I painted the deck! Yep I am moving fast. I think it looks perfect. I still need to do some touch ups and then I´ll show you proper pictures. 

The yellow climbing roses have exploded this year. This is exactly how I envisioned this space but I never thought it would look like this two mere years after planting the roses. Also I bought the nicest bench - from Amazon of all places, for not much moneys at all. It is a little on the small side but I think with the two large planters by each side it does work. 

Ludwig says hi. He´s just the cutest these days.

The husband had a birthday this week so we invited some of the villagers over for a garden party. We decided to mix things up a bit and set the tables under the big trees in the rear part of our garden. It was really, really lovely. I hung lanterns in the trees (if you look closely you can see a few) and it looked magical at dusk. 

Last but not least, this is a little bouquet that I got from one of our neighbours. Isn´t it the prettiest? Flowers are the best. And neighbours who can arrange them like this, obviously.

Monday
May262014

The windswept land.

Summer has arrived last week! But before that, we had an extended period of my favorite spring weather - a mix of rain and sun and wind, lots of wind. I love this time of year, everything is so lush and green. One evening I took Ludwig on a long walk and took lots of pictures, some of which are below. I am so happy I get to live in such a beautiful area.

 

Sunday
May182014

The new back door.

When we bought the house, there were two things that I hated immediately: The white plastic window handles and the back door. I think I actually never took a picture of it but trust me it was hideous. It was made of white plastic outside with styrofoam inside and it even had a little flower-adorned frosted window! So classy! Also it was basically non functioning. You had to force it open and slam it shut. 

Further proof of how terrible it was: Our cleaning lady, who never even once commented on any of our renovations so far, layed eyes on our new back door and praised the lord.

So, yeah. Almost three years later, we have a new back door. Hallelujah indeed. We went with a custom-made door because a) we had very specific ideas of how it should look like and b) it wasn´t actually more expensive than a standard door from the hardware store. We ordered it from a carpenter in a nearby village who was great to work with. We wanted a solid wood door combined with lots of clear glass to let in as much light as possible. Mission accomplished! I know the kitty door looks a bit odd, but I have decided it is whimsical and charming. Right? 

There´s so much light in the rear hallway now but also there is this view! Not so bad. Privacy isn´t really an issue here since you´d have to stand smack in the middle of our garden to see anything through that door. 

I think I never showed you our staircase so here it is in its spindly glory. It´s original to the house and I love it. Most of the old staircases have been ripped out in our neighbor´s houses so I appreciate that ours is still there. I wallpapered the accent wall when we first moved in.. still like it but it isn´t in great shape anymore. But I guess it will hold up a few more years. 

View from upstairs. Light! Yay! Also how cute is my little old very blue bench? I got it from Ebay for next to nothing and painted it in F&B Cooks Blue. 

View from outside. One of the best investments we ever made. 

Now, can we talk about our deck for a second? I am unsure whether or not I should paint the cladding/railing/stairs. A part of me likes the weathered wood and another part of me really wants to paint the whole affair in a dark blueish gray. Wouldn´t that look amazing? Thoughts? 

Thursday
May152014

The pride of our hearts.

I discovered the most beautiful garden book the other week: Virginia Woolf´s Garden by Caroline Zoob/pictures by Caroline Arber. I was on the hunt for a mother´s day gift and sometimes Amazon recommendations really rock. I bought one copy for my mom and then, because the book looked so insanely beautiful even in the preview pictures, I bought another one for me. It didn´t disappoint in real life. The photography is really, really beautiful and the book is so well written. 

Pictures by Caroline Arber, taken from here.

Virginia Woolf and her husband bought Monk´s House in Sussex in 1919. It was going to be their country retreat and while the cottage was very basic, there also was a huge garden which they were both very excited about. Virginia wrote in a letter to a friend: "This is going to be the pride of our hearts; I warn you." I always get a little sappy when I read this quote because I can relate to it so much. 

From what I can gather from the book, Virginia wasn´t the most avid gardener (so the title of the book is actually a bit misleading), but her husband Leonard quickly became an expert and completely transformed the space. 

The book is really interesting because on one hand, it tells the story of Monk´s House and its garden and tries to give insights of how both house and garden might have looked like in Virginia and Leonard´s times. On the other hand, it gives an overview of the garden how it looks today - including advice on how to achieve something similar. Which is great, because I love the look. It is very close to my vision for our garden (on a much smaller scale).

What I also love is that the book shows the inside of the house. I truly believe that most people who have a beautiful garden also have a beautiful home so I seriously think there should be more books out there which feature both. I want to see house and garden! Anyway I love the cottage and find it very charming that Virginia apparently painted everything green. Also I am now obsessed with the Bloomsbury group. I already ordered another book about Charleston House, where Virginia´s artist sister lived. 

On a last note, this is how the perfect vegetable garden looks like. And now, go and buy that book, you won´t regret it.

Monday
May122014

Lately in the garden.

Lately in the garden (and beyond), we had crazy weather with lots of rain and clouds and sun and rainbows.

Lately in the garden, I planted geranium in my painted little pots in front of the barn windows...

... and welcomed our spring delivery of perennials. It never gets old to unpack loads of plants. What a joy.

Lately in the garden, there are a lot of things flowering: The quince...

...our old lilac in the vegetable garden...

...our newly planted white Hungarian lilac variety in the walled garden...

...the very first poppy...

... aquilegia (my favorite!)...

...and yes, these too. Even weeds can be pretty.

And today in the garden, there was such nice evening light.