Sunday, 27 March 2011


Saturday: Left screen and patio expansion

Sunday: Rose Trellis Front View

Sunday: Trellis Back View

While not totally finished, as there is still the inside framing to be done, the badminton trellis screen is finally up and cemented in.  It's been a busy weekend!  This creates a more private area at the back of the garden under the apple tree, perfect for those quiet moments of relaxing with a good book. 

The patio is being expanded by around 4 inches at the sides to allow for a more generous walkway; and the compost, which was delivered on Friday, in being dug into the beds in preparation for planting over the next month or so.

The bathroom tiles arrived.  They are beautiful.  I realise that sooner or later I'm going to have to go back to clipping the old tiles away from the walls, although when the weather is nice it's hard to stay out of the garden.


Wednesday night brought a strange visiter as this toad was found crawling around in the courtyard outside the front door.  Mid March is when toads emerge from hibernation and migrate to breeding ponds and I think this confused toad was attracted by the sound of water running from the pipes into the drains.  I couldn't resist getting a few photographs before releasing back into the garden.  Toads live up to 10-12 years in the wild (but up 20-40 years in captivity) and are useful garden friends as they live on a diet of slugs and snails.

We've seen quite a few toads around here as when we were laying the patio last summer we had to check under the sandstone slabs before concreting them in as they liked to bury themselves beneath them.

In China, toads and frogs are considered lucky and are said to attract wealth... and maybe warts.

Saturday, 19 March 2011


It has been about three Saturdays ago since I last had a chance to work on the bathroom.  Now that Spring is on us, it is very easy to be distracted by working on the garden, and some weekends just disappear in food shopping, taking clothes to the dry cleaners and getting haircuts. But today I finally managed to remove another wall of tiles.  Exhausting and very messy work, so it is something that you have to be well prepared for!


Young Sasa Palmata Bamboo
First Camellia flower
Climbing rose - new growth
Young Climbing Roses
Viburnum tinus 'Eve Price'
Bleeding Heart     


Kelly Hoppen is one of my favourite interior designers, so I'm overjoyed to have acquire this stylish piece for the bathroom.

Kelly Hoppen 'Waterfront' range available from:-

Tuesday, 8 March 2011


After a visit from an electrician this morning to quote about moving the main supply, I was left with enough time to work in the garden.  I had spent Sunday digging out the remains of the grass roots in the new flower beds, so I wasn't in the mood for more digging.  Instead I cleaned out part of the back area where the previous owner had a serviceable cold-frame that was filled with discarded plant pots and broken seed trays.  Once that had been sorted and several bin bags filled with rubbish,  I took the opportunity to build a fire and burn a lot of the old timber.  It's amazing once you have a good fire going, how it can consume so much!  I ended up with 3/4 of the incinerator bin full of wood ash, which is full of potassium and calcium, so it can be recycled back into the soil... and best of all, I ended up with a tidier garden.

This is how it looked back in September.

Since then...

Trellis painted - Check

Apple Tree pruned - Check

Area cleaned up - Check

Still left to do is to is to start transferring plants from pots into the beds.


Monday, 7 March 2011


My sister, with her passion for gardens, is kindly giving me her back issues of Gardener's World and has succeeded in getting me hooked.  There is something hugely addictive about gardening: Getting out into the fresh air and the possibilities of what can be made of rise from the soil, may have something to do with it.  There are also so many plants to choose from!  

Here is another unusual looking plant that caught my eye and looks like it could belong perfectly in the Garden of Anxiety.  It has a nostalgic, half faded and evocative look that I feel is interesting.  What is it about blue flowers that are so compelling?

Honeywort (Cerinthe Major 'Purpurascens')
12 seeds for £1.99 available from:-


This unusual and interesting plant caught my eye in a recent bulb sale:  It looks like a cross between an orchid and a passion flower, but has the unfortunate name of toad lily.

I think it is rather beautiful & exotic and look forward to studying it more closely, when I have my very own home-grown ones: A hardy perennial with a preference for shade and moist soil, I have the perfect spot for it.  It normally flowers in late summer / autumn.

These photographs are by André Karwath

Tuesday, 1 March 2011


Ophydia Glass

Silex Glass Tiles

Dune Solomon Stone Mosaic

Medusa Pure Gold

Hermitage Glass Tile

European Tiles Direct, who are supplying my bathroom tiles have a spectacular range:  Here is a selection of their dazzling luxury tiles.  Who would have thought that tiles could be so extravagant and decadent! 

Available from:-


As the bathroom already has a non-functioning extractor fan in situ,  it would be a shame to waste the airduct by not replacing it with something to reduce the build up of steam as well as eradicating any nasty bathroom smells.

Greenwood Airvac produce the Affresco range, which as well as functioning as an extractor fan, are fitted with decorative grilles or frosted glass panels and some even incorporate lighting.

I've opted for the Affresco Quatro (left) - Its frosted glass and simple square pattern, I hope to mirror the design when I replace the transom above the door.  I also think it will compliment the frosted glass lighting fixtures nicely.

Available from:-