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Wednesday
Jul312013

The walled garden in July.

The star of the early July walled garden were the hollyhocks. It´s the first year for them to bloom, and they were so pretty (yes, were, it´s a short pleasure with hollyhocks). The only weird thing is that I somehow managed to plant all the yellow varieties on the right while all the purple ones are on the left. Not my intention, but they looked lovely anyway.

Am I right?

Elsewhere, the July garden started out very vibrant. Too vibrant for my taste. Thankfully, this held up only for a week or so, and then the colors started to tone down.

Echinacea, my love. Welcome back.

I love you in white as well.

This was mid July. See what I mean about the colors toning down?

This is a variety of Origanum Laevigatum (I think). One of the plants that really thrive in this soil and thankfully also one of my favorites.

Here´s another variety in a darker purple together with a yellow Achillea and some very persistent lupins. Love this color combination.

Some Aster varieties have already started to bloom. Lovely and sad as this always means that we are nearing the end of summer.

Here´s some pink phlox that has gone crazy this year and also, a finished deck. (!!) Besides the railing, we added some cladding (which I am undecided whether to paint or not) and also, there are stairs! Finally! It´s really awesome not having to climb a ladder anymore. Oh and also, I painted our hideous plastic back door so that I can live with it for another year or so. I think it turned out well.

(P.S.: The husband is really sad that nobody commented on my last post to say how great he did with the railing. FYI.)

Bonus picture! Not really in the walled garden, but right around the corner. This is the fence of our chicken coop to be. I tried to grow sweet peas for the first time this year and while I failed in other areas, these here are doing mighty fine.

Monday
Jul292013

The deck, revisited.

 I thought I´d show you this year´s version of the deck (here it is last year). There have been a few changes... for example, we have upgraded/switched the chairs (these are Ikea, painted a light grey).

Also, we have a railing! Wohoo! The husband built it and it took forever, but I really really like it. We were a bit nervous about it ruining our view when we sit on the rockers, but the deck is raised about 1.5 meters above the ground so it´s not exactly safe without a railing. And I am happy to report that the view is still good.

I like these hanging baskets. Another example of what gems one can find at our tiny local hardware store.

Also there is this giant trunk that we found in one of the abandoned barns in the village. It was green already, I just sealed the wood and painted the hardware white. Love it! 

A little potted garden. 

The End.

Wednesday
Jul242013

Some Housekeeping.

You will have noticed that I started to run some ads on my blog. I know this is a very controversial thing to do, which I have honestly never understood. I love writing this blog, but it is also time consuming and costs quite a bit of money to host, so it doesn´t feel wrong to get something back in return. Also, the way I see it, the more extra money I have, the more things I can do with my house and garden, which will in return provide content for you to enjoy.

Now. There is one static ad for blurb, a company whose services I regularly use and regard highly. If you order a photo book coming via my banner, you´ll get a discount and I´ll get a little reward too. Simples and good for everyone. Then there are two Google ads. Please know that I cannot control the content you get displayed here. Which also means that no, I do not have a personal interest for you to date Asian girls. Seriously though, a few readers have notified me about "questionable ads" and I am sorry about these. I never once got something like this displayed so didn´t realize that this was an issue. Anyway, I recently learned that these "sensible ad categories" can be blocked, and I blocked all of them, so this should be fixed now.

In the long term, I would really like to replace the Google ads with some individual ads promoting things/companies/crafters/designers/artists so if you are interested and think your things/services/crafts/designs/art could be relevant to the readers of this blog, get in touch.

And to all my readers, thank you for coming here. It means a lot to me, and this has nothing to do with extra money.

Sunday
Jul212013

Wildflowers, Nigel Slater and smells.

We have a spell of really, really nice summer weather here. Not too hot, some wind, some clouds, lots of sun. Just right. It feels so nice. I try to soak up the sun as much as I can because I know this won´t last forever, and summer in general won´t last forever, and I am already not so secretly freaking out over this as I still very vividly remember the horror that was last winter. 

Anyway. Remember when I told you that I sowed wildflowers and it wasn´t really a success? I kind of lied. I bought some super expensive organic seeds that I used for a bigger part of the bed, but then I ran out of these so I bought another very cheap decidedly not organic package for this corner. And look how pretty! The yellow ones are perennials of course. (Obviously, the expensive wildflower seeds didn´t do much. Not dissing organic seeds, just stating the fact.)

The garden is feeding us well these days. Plenty of chard and salad and sugar snaps and beets, glorious beets! I made Nigel Slater´s beetroot chocolate cake today and it is seriously so very very good. It is on my life list to one day give this man a hug. I mean, "Tender" is basically my all time favorite cook book (closely followed by "the kitchen diaries"). Well written, great recipes, beautiful photography. If you own a vegetable garden, go get yourself a copy of "Tender", will you?

Ludwig in full speed! 

I know I already told you this, but the smell of the pine woods on a hot day really is something else. It´s the smell of our childhood holidays in Italy, where we always stayed in a hotel right by some lovely pine woods (and after the woods came the beach, of course). You know how smells can transport you right back to the past? There´s a corner in our village where for some reason it smells exactly like that Greek island I stayed forever ago, and sometimes when people are burning wood around here it reminds me of my time in beautiful Siena, Tuscany where I attended language school even longer ago. Smells! Funny stuff.

Oh and Lu said she wanted to be on the blog, too. Have a happy week! 

Monday
Jul152013

Savouring summer.

 
Today it occured to me that it is mid July. How in the world can it be mid July already? Summer always seems to go by in the blink of an eye. I must remember to savour every remaining bit so that I can live on the goodness over winter: The smell of the pine woods on a hot day. The lunch breaks spent swimming in the lake. The fresh salad from the garden come dinnertime. 

It´s Ludwig´s first summer and I think he is thouroughly enjoying it. He is in the garden most of the day, chasing cats and birds and splashing through our little stream and running back and forth until he is completely exhausted. This month has seen a big change in personality... we suddenly have the sweetest, most well-behaved, cuddliest dog ever. Impressive. This can stay. 

 Talking about impressive, we drove through vast fields of sunflowers yesterday. Fields like this never fail to amaze me. Sunflowers are such a cliché, but there´s just something so happy about them. Also, summer pressed in a flower, right?