A great summer to enjoy our redecorated conservatory

Looking back it seems a long time ago that we started to empty our conservatory in readiness for the work ahead, and it was - I can’t quite believe that was the end of April, and while the work hasn’t taken all that time, a great summer got in the way of my blog posts!

There was the newspaper discovered behind the architrave, as according to our builders there’s always newspaper, and the start of the dust. You’ll remember the week we went grey, and the one where the doors were on we had new flooring too, and then like any building project there was the final push.

Which only left the bill to pay, and get the conservatory furnished again and enjoy it with the beautiful summer we’ve had. This project hasn’t been without a mishap or two, and we’re sorting those out with our builders and are confident they’ll be resolved, but that final payment really is your negotiating bargain so my advice is to only pay that when you’re happy.  Our final payment is partially paid and the remaining amount reflects a price for what’s outstanding, because after all money’s tight in the building trade (and local businesses generally) and because everyone has bills to pay and mouths to feed.

So onto the reloading  

We were lucky that our builders were helpful and willing to do over and above, and they won’t know quite how grateful I was that they moved the dresser and bookcase back into our new space. Had I known I would have emptied the bookcase, as that would have made it much easier for them. But with the furniture back in place it was great to see how it would look with our new bifold doors at each end of the space. 

the internal bifold doors
external bifold doors and view to the garden

And yes, it looks completely different. Much more modern and distinctively less wood on show.  We can’t believe how this simple change had altered the look of our conservatory, and we’re already wondering why we didn’t do it sooner.  

Reloading the dresser and bookshelves following work in our conservatory

It’s changed how we use the space too, no longer is it a temporary store for everything from MOHs bikes and cycle gear to anything that doesn’t have a real home. It’s become another space to sit and unwind and we’ve spent many any evening as darkness falls sitting and enjoying the space. 

grouping objects in threes

It’s become the space to grab some chill time when we come home from work, for that cuppa catching up on the day, or the place for early evening cocktails when we need to escape the heat for a bit. And it’s been great to come home and throw open the doors to the garden, although this year our gardening has fallen behind what we’d like. 

The bifold doors really open up the back of the house

And now that the temperatures are starting to dip overnight we’re benefiting from the internal bifold doors too, which are a much better fit than the wooden doors they replaced. I’ve a feeling that our conservatory will no longer just be a corridor to the garden or a room for a few days of the year, I think we’re going to get a lot more use out of it, and from our drinks trolley which was a treat to ourselves, but more on that in another post.

Post Comment Love and Blogger Showcase: 12-14 October

Hello there and welcome to this week’s #PoCoLo - if you were here last week, thank you - it was great to see you, and if you’re new here this week then hello, you’re very welcome. Both Morgan and I are confident you’re going to find some great posts to read.

It’s just a short intro from me this week as I’m not sure how much internet I have so this is, I hope, a predictive taste of something good.

 Photo by  Andrew Slifkin  on  Unsplash

Blogger Showcase: Marina Rosie from Marina Writes Life

1. Who are you?

Hi, I'm Marina Rosie and I'm a 16 year old British girl living in Western France, blogging about beauty, lifestyle and my other passions on my blog, Marina Writes Life.

2. How did you discover blogs/blogging?

I discovered blogging through my sister who began before me. I used to see how happy she was with the content she churned out and want that feeling of satisfaction for myself.

3. Why did you start blogging?

I began my blog during a time in which I felt alone - I'd only just moved to France and, at that point, didn't speak a word of French and had no real life friends to talk to and converse with. So, I thought I'd make some virtual ones! I've also always had a real passion for writing and beauty, so mixing those two together was my idea of a perfect pastime. 

4. What do you find most challenging?

For me, the most challenging thing about blogging is finding the time to write the content, create the flatlays and imagery etc, as I'm, obviously, at a stage of my education that requires me to focus a lot of attention on exams and schoolwork and that's got to be the priority.

5. What is your favourite topic to write about?

My favourite topic is always beauty, particularly makeup over skincare - I've got draws and draws of palettes and lipsticks! I can't get enough!

6. Are you blogging for fun or do you have goals?

I am, at the moment, just blogging for fun but, if in the future, when I come to choose a career, I'm still just as devoted and passionate as I am now, it could definitely become more than that.

7. What is your favourite thing about blogging?

My favourite thing about blogging is definitely the wonderful comments I receive in the bottom section of each post - I love interacting with the people that have given up time out of their days to read my content. It makes me feel amazing. Of course, I have had some negative comments in the past but, in my case, the good definitely outweighs the bad!

8. Have you ever attended a blogging conference and if so, what did you think?

No, I haven't but I'd love to in the future to learn a bit more about how I should be going about things to continue to grow my platforms and social media influence!

9. What are your 3 best posts?

My 3 best posts... I've got to go with my most recent one "Channeling My Inner Unicorny Mermaid" (I tried some WACKY products within that post), my "Love Lola Makeup - July 2017" post because I'm still confused as to how I managed to take such a beautiful cover photo with not a creative bone in my body and, finally, my "May Beauty Favourites" post - surprisingly, something so simple became my most viewed post of all time and I loved making it.

10. Describe yourself in three words!

If I were to describe myself in three words, I would go with makeup loving maniac because, well, I'm obsessed with collecting and reviewing cosmetics and can be a little loopy sometimes!

11. Are you a tea and biscuits or coffee and cake person?

I'm going to have to say tea and biscuits as I'm not a coffee drinker but I'd love to be able to mix the two and say tea and cake because I do LOVE a bit of cake!

12. What's your idea of a perfect night out?

My perfect night out would consist of a roller disco (I love roller skating, especially to music and with good company) followed by a delicious KFC to put back on all of the weight we lost from the skating - marvellous!

13. What's your idea of a perfect night in?

My perfect night in definitely has to be a late night takeaway and some reality TV (guilty pleasure) with my grandma, Maeve - we have such a laugh when Come Dine With Me is on!

14. What would your best friend/OH/mum say is your best quality?

Most people would say that my best quality is my humour - I'm a very silly person with not only a visual but also a sarcastic sense of humour which means I can make everybody laugh and lighten the mood in a heavy situation.

Before you link up, take a moment to connect with Marina Rose on her social channels: Twitter - Facebook - Instagram

Containers with a difference at RHS Harlow Carr

Looking back at my photos from our Yorkshire trip earlier in the summer I realised I’d not shared any photos from my visit to RHS Harlow Carr, which was one of the main reasons for heading North. I still have ambitions to visit all four of the RHS gardens this year, and with Wisley and Hyde Hall already visited this northern gem was one that needed some planning, as it’s not just around the corner from South London. 

The final garden, if I manage it, is RHS Rosemoor in Devon, and you’ll not be sure to hear I have a plan for that too. I’ve already had one attempt visiting there scuppered by the snow, so I’m hoping everything aligns for a visit in November.  

But more of that another day. I do have plenty of photos to share from Harlow Carr and I’m starting with some unusual containers which lined the steps down into the garden, which I’m sure many people missed in their eagerness to explore the gardens proper, but I do like an out of the ordinary container or two and it was MOH that was shuffling me along to see what else we could find. 

And when it comes to succulents in an old boot, that’s a pretty tough job. 

succulents are at home in most containers, even a boot

I’d plans to plant up some old wellies, but MOH wasn’t so keen, but as you know that’s unlikely to stop me, and I’m sure when they’re in full grow he’ll be more appreciative. 

A plain cup and saucer was the perfect setting for this vibrant pink flower, which also had the look of a succulent about it. I’m less sure about this, mainly because I’m sure I’d definitely over water and end up drowning it, which wouldn’t be good. 

a cup and saucer with a difference at RHS Harlow Carr

Strawberries in a wire basket on the other hand could be just my thing. I’ve brought many strawberry plants back from the allotment which are currently growing in several trugs, and I really need to sort out how to grow them properly next year. 

strawberries in a basket

Olive oil cans have long been another ambition of mine, we do use olive oil but not this much and I’ve yet to source a supply of empty tins that works - I’m open to ideas on that one, if you have any! 

Olive oil tins make great containers

I think they’d make a great edging to a plain path or on the patio grouped togetuand would be ideal for herbs. Galvanised, or even lead buckets are also on my wish list, and seeing the succulents looking so good against the grey hasn’t deterred me.  

succulents in a rustic bucket

In fact you’ve probably already noticed that succulents and small leafed plants feature heavily in these containers, and I’m sure that’s no accident as they’re more likely to withstand drought and trying conditions. 

ceramic pots and a mini garden of plants at RHS Harlow Carr

Even the containers which had a ‘garden’ planted in them generally followed this rule of thumb, and these people at RHS Harlow Carr know their stuff.  

An enamel bowl gets similar treatment

I also have enamel bowl envy after seeing the photo above, though I’m not sure if I could use one as a container - I guess that would depend on its condition.  

So here’s a brief intro to my visit to the RHS’ most northerly garden, and there’s plenty more to come. But what do you think, are any of these containers for you?