Another day, and lots more gardening….

It’s so much fun being able to get out in the garden all day. The birds are singing, the horses in the neighbouring field are neighing, a little bit of traffic goes past. The sun is shining, the breeze is gentle, and the chickens are singing along to my music. To me this is perfect.

Have a great weekend…..

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Thursday 7th September 2017 – All day in the garden.

It doesn’t happen very often that I get to spend all day in the garden. Usually it’s either the morning or the afternoon. But today was a special day, and the weather was dry, so what better place to be then in the garden. Before I started on the garden, I got rid of a load of garden waste at the tip this morning, and because I’ve been in the garden all day, I’ve got more to take to the tip tomorrow. I’ve bought a couple of the fabric Hippobags from B&Q. They’re really good, and I can fit 2 of the midi sized ones in the boot of our car. They should last for ages, so that should make taking all that garden waste to the tip much easier. Once in the garden, I finished off “Ivy Corner”, so I won the war on that area. Although there is a little section of root that I can’t get out, so I’ll have to get some weed killer and finish the ivy off that way.IMG_4161

I then moved onto “Exotic Bed”. I removed all sorts of unwanted weeds and yet more ivy. But the bed is very large, so any of the ivy at the very back can stay as it’s creating some ground cover so will stop the weeds from growing through. I pruned various plants, and now it looks much neater. The bare soil that is now showing, I’ll fill in, using some of the plants that I bought with me. So it’ll look much better soon, and less naked.IMG_4162

So all in all, a very productive day. Now I really should go and have a bath before I start dinner as I’m very dirty.

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The war of the ivy!

It’s a little bit like the War of the Roses during the 15th Century. Although we’re not fighting over a crown to rule the country, but we’re fighting over who will rule the garden, which is far more important. I’m the House of Lancaster (they won) and the ivy are the House of York (who lost). The battle was intense in the garden, many ivy leaves lost their lives, and many stems of the ivy fell victim to the fierce army of secateurs on the Lancaster side. The ivy put up a fight, but in the end fell victim to the mighty Claire and her army of tools on the Lancaster side.

All was lost for the ivy army and they never returned again……

Yes I know it’s a bit dramatic, and possibly a bit over the top, but you’ve got to have a laugh..

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The next bed is underway…..

Now that I’ve finished with one bed, it’s time to start on the next one. This time I’m in the diagonal corner of the garden, and am having to deal with yet more ivy and weeds. But I have come across another enemy, a huge ornamental grass. This grass is testing my usual calm nature….

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Bed one is naked!

It’s taken a while, but I’ve finished striping the first bed. All the ivy, weeds and plants are no more. Now these things you expect to find in a bed in the garden, however, I did find a few things that I’m a little baffled by……

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Friday 25th august 2017 – Smallhythe Place & Victoriana Nursery.

The summer holidays are nearly at an end, and each week I like to do something with the kids, be it going to the beach (not far away now) or visiting a museum or a National Trust place. Now that we’ve moved, a train journey to London is about an hour and a half away, but there are other National Trust places that we’ve not visited before. So today the weather was wonderful, so off we went to Smallhythe Place, Tenterden, Kent. It’s about an hours drive away, but a very pleasant and easy drive. Being an artsy fartsy family, where many moons ago Mark and I we both in a local amateur dramatics group, and acted in many plays. We then went on to create a company of our own, so we could put plays on that we wanted to see but no one would ever put on. “Sexual Perversity in Chicago” is one of my favourites, and then Mark wrote plays that us and our friends acted in and put on to the public. “Unusually Tall Boy” was brilliant, and I was actually 8 months pregnant with Emily at the time. So Smallhythe Place, being the home of actress, Ellen Terry was fascinating not only for me, but the kids as well. The house is beautifully old fashioned, with all sorts of memorabilia from the time. The theatre is still used by companies who put on plays, and is so cosy and wonderfully restored.IMG_4115.JPG

The grounds are fantastic as well, with an apple orchard, and a nuttery. Sweeping views of the countryside, a herb garden, a small vegetable patch, a lovely rose garden where the smell of the roses as you enter is like entering a perfume factory. We spend ages just smelling each rose as we walked past them. They have their own bees, that are very docile apparently, and a very long arbour with climbing roses working their way up. Give it a couple of years and these roses will create a wonderfully shade overhead.IMG_4119.JPG

There is also a little church right next door, that was open, so we went in and had a look around. They didn’t have a full ring of bells, only one bell for chiming. It was lovely and calm and cool inside, and near the back of the church on the wall, they had a list of local residents who had died during WW1. They had a Horace Burgess and a John Burgess. Doubt if they’re any relation, but it was interesting to see.

We then went back into Smallhythe gardens, and I promised the kids I buy them an ice cream. But before I did we went into the little theatre, which looks like something straight out of the Elizabethan times. A good size stage, good lighting, and very good acoustics. Makes me want to “tread the boards again”, so to speak. I do miss being on stage, it’s such an immense feeling.

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After our ice cream, we started to drive back home. Now on the way, we drove through Challock, which is where Victoriana Nursery are. So on our way home we decided to pop in. Stephen, the owner was about, so we had a lovely chat about all sorts, and he showed me their extensive variety of chillies! They’ve got loads of them. The kids and I were allowed to see where members of the public aren’t allowed to go, we felt very privileged. They also have an ingenious way to scare the birds away, and it’s a black bird kite attached to a long pole. I bought some herbs to go in my new herb patch at home (better start sorting it out), and then started to drive the rest of the way home.IMG_4129

We were all exhausted when we got home, but I managed to pop out in the garden for a little while before I needed to start dinner.

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And so the new face of the garden begins….

What do you do with a beautifully sunny warm day? The answer is easy…. spend it in the garden. I’ve been very busy since I saw you last, putting together frames, and struggling with nuts and bolts. But today the real gardening has begun. Come and see…..

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