In my garden: A first proper look after winter

Hasn't it been nice to have seen some sun this week? It was so nice that I ventured out into the garden one evening after work this week to retrieve the cardboard we've been accumulating as the preparations for the conservatory work continue.  But along the way I couldn't help but take a few pictures, and poke around to see what's going on. 

There was suddenly more colour than I expected, and some, like this kerria which is visible from the house.

The yellow pom poms of the kerria in full flower

I think it's the best I've seen this plant which has snuck through the fence from next door.  Patience it seems - as well as cutting it back hard - really does pay off.  It seems though that the forget-me-nots have much more patience, and resilience, than we do as once again they're back.

I do like them, but they arrive in droves, and so after a while we end up treating them like weeds.  But quite pretty weeds. 

Tiny forget me nots which we treat as weeds in our garden

Also just visible from the house is the reddy-orange flowers of the ornamental quince, and I can't work out if it too has more flowers this year, or if I've just spotted it at its peak. Who knows.

the red of the ornamental quince

The lime green euphorbias bring a zing around the garden, but in one place in particular when teamed with the vibrant lilac of the flowering honesty it is quite psycadelic.

the vibrant lilac of honesty against the lime green euphorbia

I was keen to see what the new(ish) camellia was up to as I couldn't quite work out what from my seat at the dining table. On closer inspection one white flower remained but one was in the process of decaying. As I've said before, no less pretty.

the white and faded flowers of the camellia

What surprised me though was that the cherry blossom was out. Every year though I think it provides one of my favourite photos. It's probably something to do with the freshness and that brick wall background.

The cherry blossom is out already

As I was poking around the cherry tree I spotted a pop of yellow where I wasn't expecting to see any colour. And discovered that I'm now the proud owner of yet another primula.

A new primrose has arrived in one of the sheltered pots

In the grass we could see a dark spot from the house, up close it was as I thought it was a patch of very tiny irises. I've a feeling they won't last for long as MOH is eyeing up the lawnmower and its first outing.

tiny irises have taken over the grass in spots

Closer to the house but hidden by the barbecue the replacement forsythia is in flower too.  I need it to grow a bit more this year, not only so we can see it and enjoy it, but also so I don't have to lean over the barbecue to get a photo!

a branch of flowering yellow forsythia

It shouldn't be a shock that many plants have suddenly grown given all the rain we've had, but even the box balls have sprouted so it won't be too long before the shears come out for those.  It's noticeable this year that the box balls that are more sheltered have already grown more rapidly than the one that's more exposed.

spurts of uneven growth on my box balls

The sensible solution would be to swap the pots around. But as the pots come past my waist and are full of earth, that's unlikely to happen unless we need to shift them so the builders can have access.  Actually that might need to happen, but if it does there should be some extra muscles on hand to help.

I am behind where I usually am with tidying the garden and sowing seeds, but it's been an exceptional year weather-wise so far and hopefully there'll be plenty of time for us to catch up.  

A woodland guest room

Like Toblerone and Dairylea, things that come in triangles are often pretty good, and this woodland guest room at this year's Ideal Home Show, designed by Black Parrots Studio is definitely up there with those two other triangular goodies.  

It's been designed as a flexible space transitioning from office to bedroom and "capturing the spirit of an off-the-grid garden retreat in the Scandinavian forest."

Like toblerone this triangle shaped woodland guest room was a hit

For a small space it was full of colour, textures and pattern - most notably that wallpaper, which I warmed too.  Although paired with the orange I did briefly think I might have been back in the 1970s, but the whole effect felt more modern than vintage.

Natural chairs in the garden pod at the Ideal Home Show

As you've probably spotted there's a bit of a jungle theme going on which aims to bring the outside in.  I think the space works, because although there's a lot in here, the restricted colour palette gives it a stylish, rather than cluttered finish.  Although if you do look at the wallpaper from a certain angle, it does have the look of OSB about it. 

Modern lights and pops of orange

As you can see it was busy outside, but inside because there was just a small viewing space I had the place almost to myself.

The woodland guest room at the Ideal Home Show

What I particularly liked was the geometric brass tables with their grouping of pots and plants.  It's simple, but striking and effective isn't it?  And even better it's something that would be easy to replicate.

Dark and sultry works just as well alongside the woodland theme

What do you think, would you have a garden pod and decorate it in a similar style, or would you it be something entirely different?

Corrugated colour and flip flops

From the vibe of the decor in the restaurant which billed itself as serving Rio street food I had high hopes for the decor in the loos in Cabana. As I reached the staircase, made of scaffold poles and planks for the treads I started to think I could be right, but I had no idea what I was to discover.

Scaffold poles on the staircase

It was quite a trek down, and on reflection the ground floor was a light and double-floored space so perhaps that shouldn't have been such a surprise.  When I entered The Loos, as they were signposted, this is what I was met with.

Quite an impression on first look

It was as if I'd walked into one of those storage containers, albeit a pretty pastel rainbow one.  Showing how pre-programmed we are, and conforming to type, I headed left to a door with pink flop flops nailed on.

As I had the space to myself I took a peek behind each of the pink doors.  The decor behind each door matched its place in the rainbow, but all of them had these funky, beaded oversized lampshades.

 LILAC

LILAC

 CANDY PINK

CANDY PINK

 CERISE PINK

CERISE PINK

But it wasn't just the paintwork or the corrugate finish. The mirror and sink also stood out - and behind the mirror there was a tame hand dryer, with a more ferocious one out in the lobby.

A sink with a difference

The tap almost looks out of place, but I coped.

Rustic functional and very pink

Fun isn't it?  And totally in keeping for the restaurant's vibe, but also far from what I expected when I opened the door.

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