Friday 29 July 2011

Disbelief with generous helping of hayfever

Yesterday, through a haze of disbelief, it seems as though I secured a solo exhibition for my photography AND was featured on the Channel 4/4Homes top Garden blogs list! How did this all happen? Best not to ask really, maybe the bubble will burst :)

Up until Wednesday morning when I saw Eimear (and even Wednesday afternoon and evening) this week I have been living in a kind of dream state; my depression has been so bad, I guess I was opting out. I can't actually remember much but thankfully I took photographs and things that happened do come back to me from seeing them. Sunday was a beach day - that I do remember but after that it's a blur. That's why I haven't written since last Friday.
But yesterday was genuinely great and so today I am more than a little buoyed up and ready to write. But how can one write about the garden or indeed my beloved lotties when I ran out of hayfever medicine and can't get my prescription until later today?! I'll tell you how.....

Just for you, I broke the hermetic seal of my house to take photos of the neighbours garden across the street and the further work on our own, by hanging out the windows holding my breath. (And taking the opportunity to shake my fist at the pollen out there too; why Nature, why?!!)
The lovely C and B across the street have really started into their front garden whilst the back is full of the chaos that comes along with conservatory building, patio laying, greenhouse erecting and planting a hedge. Their style isn't our style but hey that's okay. I do have to point out that I love the choice of tree - an ornamental cherry and the cute, quirky, ironic choice of an old chimney pot as a plant container in a new development devoid of fireplaces :)

Oh yes! (grining with pride at my hubby's work) The back garden here is coming on a pace and the secret area is looking fab; to lie in there on the hammock and look up at the sky is dreamy. This weekend is going to be mental out there with Andrew finishing the rendering and me starting in to the wood staining (there has also been talk of posh gravel and bark chips being bought - eek!) And no, I am not showing you our front garden is it too embarrassing, stop asking!

Also here is a random picture of a gorgeous Cantaloupe melon which I have been thoroughly enjoying. (No, I didn't grow it are you bonkers?) Ummmm, time for some more me thinks.

Friday 22 July 2011

back garden/ bamboo ninja

Oh dear sweet wonderful readers, you thought I had abandoned you didn't you? No I have been thinking of you often, just haven't gotten around to actually telling you. I know, so selfish *shakes head in shame*.

We have been working on the back garden some more (and of course when I say 'we', I really mean Andrew, I am merely a helper in times of need) and it's looking pretty darned cool.

Though this time last weekend Andrew was attacked, viciously and without due cause by one of our Bamboo plants. Yes!! Who knew gardening could be such a dangerous hobby, sometimes ending in a trip to A&E! Whilst re-potting one of of our oldest and most loved bamboos (re-potting with tender loving care of course) Andrew was jabbed in the eye by a bamboo stem - oh the travesty - like a ninja it damaged his cornea and he had to go to the hospital. Luckily he is now okay and the good nurses at A&E gave him some good medicine and inflated his head by telling him that he had the best eyesight they had seen in a long time even; with his affliction he's 20:20. 

<  Which can be clearly seen by this photo, lol

Apart from that little bit of drama, all has been rather mundane at the lottie. Weeding until the sun sets her weary head, only to be back hard at it again the next visit! Where the blasted heck do they all come from? I'll tell you........ the unoccupied plots all round the place - ggrrrrr!

Back to the garden and a nice deep breath. We have a mini version of Harland and Wolff's cranes out there now, look - I only realised just how alike they were today when I took the photo. We ought to paint them yellow, hahha. But no, this is the basis for our pergola and look at that hammock :) There shall be rafters on it in no time and a beautiful climber and a little decking underneath for yoga-ing on :) Eeek! It shall be divine.

Wednesday 13 July 2011


Okay, let's get one thing out of the way. I hereby apologise firstly for the stupidity of my fellow countrymen and women with all these pointless and pathetic riots over 'The Twelth'. I trust you believe me when I say I have nothing to do with any of it. In fact I was nowhere near any of the 12th madness at all.....I was at my lottie, bathed in serenity and  dappled sunshine :) [I find serenity is helped by lying on the ground beside the lavender bushes, lol]

But again here I must apologise as my Lottie was a place of shame also; overgrown with weeds, lettuces bolting, berries gone forever to the beaks of opportunistic birds (gggrrr) and grass - goodness so much grass! In fact this shame was so great that I have barely a photo for you, the camera revolted and couldn't bring itself to let the scene before me be seen by you. Though here I was allowed by my camera to take a shameful photo of waste but only if the bag full of good Strawberries was in it too, hahaha.
at the Patio - the honeysuckle has reached the top of the gates = happy plant :)
The Patio area alone triumphantly half filled a wheelbarrow by itself - oh Lordy, you can sense the scene. Andrew got to play with a petrol strimmer - which was loud and a little scary but boy, what a great job it did. Some day soon we will get rid of all the grass on 24a, you mark my words! (14b is already bark mulched).

Oh but I can't help myself - here are some photos (close ups you will notice, haha) of some loveliness on site.
Okay it's mainly flowers so I have put it into a collage for the sake of the beautiful but flower-on-the-lottie-hating Matron ;) xx

Lastly; the June drop, in July - so sad...

Oh I have so much more to share but really, it has to wait for another day as Andrew is still off work and we have relaxing and gardening and coffee drinking and Maggie walking to do in the sunshine ;) Talk soon xxx

P.S. The first Autumn, yes AUTUMN raspberries are out - this one was gorgeous ;)

Wednesday 6 July 2011

Summertime and the growing is easy

We haven't managed to get much done (make that nothing done, to be honest) at the lottie over the past days. The weather was bad then it was too good not to go to the beach after dinner and then we where away all weekend at a Wedding in Donegal. So there, excuses out of the way. I did on the other hand do some weeding in the back garden yesterday and gave the patio a good brushing *grins with pride*.

(N.B. a 'seasonal side salad' in one of Donegal's fancy Spa Hotel restaurants was.... Watercress - what!!!????)

But though we haven't been giving a whole lot of love to the lottie, she sure has been sending it our way. I picked 3 and half pounds of Blackcurrants last week, a pound and a half of Raspberries and about a dozen big, fat, perfect Strawberries (most of them had been partially eaten by birds - ggrrrr; it's bad enough that we lost a load to birds but for them to only eat most and not all, well that is just darned annoying!)
Then last night Andrew had a wee harvest for dinner and bought home a bounty of Broad Beans, Peas, Mint, Sorrel, Green Garlic and mixed Lettuce leaves. Oh and a beautiful bouquet of Sweet Williams, Roses and Carnations for his lovely wife (ie. Me, haha).

We sat outside and podded the beans and peas and then ate a Gault classic - beans and peas on toast (with pancetta, mint, lemon juice and sorrel), it was fabulous all washed down with non-alcoholic beer in the sunshine; happy times. It is nights like that and super fresh meals like that which make the soil improvement in the rain and bitter winds of winter all worth while :)

Hope your gardens and lotties are flourishing! xxx