Another week has flown by and I was really ready for this weekend! With all this glorious weather we have been spending a lot of time outside, particularly on the generous patio we have newly acquired. Despite being in dispute with the next door cat about whose patio it actually is, Timmy has been joining us for a spot of sunbathing.
Having my morning cuppa in the gentle glow of the early morning sunshine, I have itching to get my hands dirty and tidy up the neglected garden. Like the house the garden has some interesting features, these dry stone walls for instance.
It certainly looks like this garden was very well cared for in the not too distant past, and now spring is in full swing there is evidence of thoughtful planting in among the weeds. It makes sense to wait and watch what comes through before making any decisions about planting, although I did add in a few herbs to supplement all the cooking we do. I just need to get some mint for the mint teas and mojitos! Weeding was very satisfying and made such a difference to the busy flowerbeds.
Nevertheless eyes wandered over to the mostly shady corner, which looked to me like an unfinished project, and rather uninspiring next to the sprigs of colour in the garden. The stone slabs were uneven with weeds dancing around the stepping stones and abandoned brittle troughs of beautiful chips of slate. Throughout the day this is the only bit on the patio that affords some shade, so it seemed sensible to tidy it up and transform it into a midday lunch spot on hotter days.
The stones are prettily embossed with images from nature but looked a little out of place and would probably be much better making a path at the end of the lawn to Mr Bee’s new woodstore. I took them all up, levelled out the patio and could already see the potential. The plastic planters full of slate chips were too heavy to move, so I weeded around them for the time being. Timmy was no help either, enjoying in the sunny spot far to much to lift a paw. Once I had levelled the soil around the slabs, the chips went in.
It looked a lot better already! I love slate because it reminds me of childhood holidays in North Wales, and coupled with the dry stone walls I felt a surge of nostalgia wash over me. My love of nature was nurtured by long tiring walks over the Welsh and Derbyshire countryside, my dad used to tell us the names of plants, birds and tress and other useful nature facts such as how you can tell the time by looking at the sun’s position in the sky.
Nevertheless, though I am not entirely sure why, I have have been more influenced by the colours I saw in Morocco since moving into this house and the bright blue of these fishing boats in particular.
Not a colour you would generally see in my decorating palette, it does make a rather striking contrast to the browns and oranges in my home but also I feel, injects a bold energy into my new living space.
Firstly, I am using the Moroccan blue to cheer up these rather distressed looking boxes. Not make of the best quality or consistent planks of wood, these handy cuboids were originally rescued from a skip when Beeston fire station was demolished. They were used as a step to gain access to the fire engine and had black rubber matting stuck to the tops. Mr Bee cleaned them up and they resided in our garden for many years, hence the bleached and stained appearance.
They were so thirsty the first coat appeared dry in minutes but the stain seemed to be covering well. There is plenty left in the tin so I shall be on the lookout for other things that I can paint with it! It is fair to say that these additions to the garden will certainly be making a bold statement, but I think once I have added other splashes of blue and perhaps other bright colours, it will compliment the flowers in the borders rather well. I already like the colour against the terracotta fence.
I think it works really well as extra seating for our little table for two…
and I have already dug out a few other recycled bits and pieces to make the corner a little more homely. Like this cheeky little gecko that used to live in the bathroom at the old place.
It feels good to be creating a new home from old things, look out for my next project indoors.
Until next week
and keep creating