A new lawn mower and a tidier garden

It always amazes me how cutting the grass can instantly make our garden look smarter. This weekend was no different, and it was nice to have some decent weather. We've had lunches in the garden and a barbecue too and as we're hoping to spend much more time in the garden over the next few months, this weekend we set about Operation Garden. 

So, instead of sitting and admiring the blue skies and yellow laburnum we got to work.  

LABURNUM

LABURNUM

BLUE SKIES

BLUE SKIES

My greenhouse - at the end of our garden - is getting fuller by the day. This weekend I've planted some spinach, beetroot, runner beans and sweet peas over at the allotment and yet it's still full of tomato, cucumber, lettuce, leeks, sweetcorn, celeriac and chard seedlings.  

I'm at the point where my daily ritual includes walking the length of the garden, often in dewy grass, opening the greenhouse and emptying it of seedlings and then doing the reverse in the evenings. And invariably my presence in that part of the garden is quickly followed by pigeons scrambling out of the cherry tree, guiltily. 

so the addition to my ritual is checking the cherry tree for cherries. So far there's still cherries, it's a battle you see. Me against the pigeons. Sometimes I win, but more often they do. Although I'm willing to reach a compromise of just having the cherries I can reach.  

But anyway, there's cherries in the making.  

CHERRIES IN THE MAKING

CHERRIES IN THE MAKING

Feeling the need to do something, I headed back down the garden armed with a saw and loppers. The fatsia was encroaching over the grass too much, and was almost reaching the middle of our garden. So a trim was needed. It's quite therapeutic pruning, and this is the pile of trimmings. 

THE TRIMMINGS

THE TRIMMINGS

WHAT REMAINS

WHAT REMAINS

And thankfully there still is some fatsia left too. I'd plans to cut many of our plants this weekend, but these were scuppered by a quickly full green bin and not much room in our compost bin. Plans were soon remade for next weekend. And to order another green bin from the council. 

With the fatsia trimmings in the green bin, MOH unpacked the new lawn mower and started to set it up. 

OPENING THE BOX

OPENING THE BOX

Leaving him to it I tackled the overgrown bed alongside the patio. The forget-me-nots had gone on a rampage and were in danger of overtaking just about everything, including the alliums that are in bud and the black grass that was supposed to keep them down.  

AN OVERGROWN PATIO

AN OVERGROWN PATIO

Along with the bulb foliage they were creating the perfect snail hotel. I couldn't believe how many were on this pot when I pulled it out.  I don't mind snails, obviously I'm not keen on them munching my plants but they don't make me squeamish, not like slugs. [shiver]

SNAILS ANYONE?

SNAILS ANYONE?

Having tackled the snails and the forget-me-nots, next up was the Chilean potato plant. Many years ago I brought a cutting home from my dad's garden. I planted it, forgot about it and never really thought too much about it. In the last two years though it's really grown and each May we have an abundance of these pretty flowers.  

CHILEAN POTATO PLANT

CHILEAN POTATO PLANT

The only trouble is that most of the pruning needs to be done about seven foot up. So out came the ladder, up I went wobbling and down came the canopy that had started to develop, making space for my sweet peas.  

By now the lawn mower was assembled. Oil was going in and next up was the petrol. Can you see the contentment on his face? This face is the product of intensive research online about lawn mowers and which suited him and our garden best.  

BOYS TOYS!

BOYS TOYS!

Back on the patio I was pleased to see my Gertrude Jekyll rose in bud. It was my fourth wedding anniversary present from MOH and the first few years it did well, then not so much. Last year I moved it alongside the patio, but clearly at the wrong time of year as there were no flowers at all last year.  

Which makes this photo very special. 

4TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY PRESENT: GERTRUDE JEKYLL ROSE

4TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY PRESENT: GERTRUDE JEKYLL ROSE

I'm hoping that our patio will be filled of these pretty pink roses where we'll be able to enjoy them. And I expect to have a well kept lawn too. That's only right, yes? 

* Collaborative post

My craft room takes a step closer

You'll probably remember that when we put the finishing touches to our porch I was left with a "spare" set of pigeon shelves. I quickly thought they'd look great in our study and my plan to transform that room into my craft room started to take shape.  Of course I didn't mention this plan to MOH as I was certain he wouldn't agree, but what I did sell to him was that these shelves would be a great way to store some of my craft items and would free up some other space. He heard this as I wanted to hang these in the study and fill it with more of my junk!  

Which I guess is a loose interpretation of my idea. This is how they ended up.

LOADED, PRETTY AND FUNCTIONAL STORAGE

LOADED, PRETTY AND FUNCTIONAL STORAGE

Not much junk there, hey?  Well I don't think so either, MOH has another view.

Despite making a template when we hung the first set of shelves, this was nowhere to be found. I'd probably cleared it out in a spring cleaning frenzy - that, or I've put it somewhere so safe I just haven't remembered where yet.  Please tell me I'm not the only one that does that?

A CARDBOARD TEMPLATE PATCHED TOGETHER WITH WASHI TAPE

A CARDBOARD TEMPLATE PATCHED TOGETHER WITH WASHI TAPE

With a new template made and hastily mended with some washi tape it wasn't long before the screws were in and we were trying to hook the shelves onto them. This time we'd hung it higher and it wasn't so easy to notch it into place, with a few scratches of the paintwork - thankfully we've not repainted yet, phew! - it was on the wall.

HUNG SUCCESSFULLY!

HUNG SUCCESSFULLY!

So it was time to fill it up. In the middle row I added boxes, twine, handmade cards, my pincushion, some notebooks, a pen pot and a fabric tray:

HANDMADE CARDS  , TWINE, BOXES AND A PINCUSHION

HANDMADE CARDS, TWINE, BOXES AND A PINCUSHION

A BOX OF WASHI, A FABRIC TRAY AND  A MAGAZINE BOW

A BOX OF WASHI, A FABRIC TRAY AND A MAGAZINE BOW

SOME NOTEBOOKS, POSTCARDS AND A POT FOR PENS

SOME NOTEBOOKS, POSTCARDS AND A POT FOR PENS

On the bottom there were storage boxes of ribbons, trimmings and bias binding, a pot of crochet hooks, some wool that I've promised to knit MOH some socks with and a photo frame waiting to be filled:

RIBBONS, BIAS BINDING AND TRIMMINGS

RIBBONS, BIAS BINDING AND TRIMMINGS

SPACE FOR A PHOTO, CROCHET HOOKS AND WOOL FOR SOCKS

SPACE FOR A PHOTO, CROCHET HOOKS AND WOOL FOR SOCKS

Which left room on the top shelf for more functional storage of buttons and threads, card blanks, my letter stamps and another pretty box and a ball of wool that my plan was to crochet some coasters from.  I still need to learn to crochet, one day soon maybe!

THREAD AND PLENTY OF BUTTONS

THREAD AND PLENTY OF BUTTONS

MORE WOOL AND A PRETTY BOX

MORE WOOL AND A PRETTY BOX

CARD BLANKS, ENVELOPES AND   MY LETTER STAMPS

CARD BLANKS, ENVELOPES AND MY LETTER STAMPS

Stepping back I was quite pleased with how it looked, but surprised how quickly I'd filled it!  The one in the porch still has some empty spaces because I'm looking for the right things to fill them - I think I could have filled this one twice over, but don't tell MOH!

And you can see it's alongside my new rainbow board too, with these two additions it's given this wall a brand new lease of life. 

shelves and rainbow board

And my craft room is really starting to come together - and MOH is resigned to the fact too!

All aboard! Join me on one of the new Routemasters

As we headed to the London Design Centre we hit one of those transport hiccups that you do on Sundays; for an unknown reason none of the tubes from Westminster were going to Wimbledon even though that was supposed to be their destination.  So we changed our plans got on the first tube and then got off at Sloane Square.  Slightly random but I remembered that previously I'd seen shuttles advertised between there and Chelsea Harbour so logic told me it couldn't be that far.

Well once outside the station and checking the maps, we realised it was a little too far to walk so Plan B (or is it C by now?) was to get a bus.  We headed up past the Duke of York Square to the bus stop and waited for our bus to arrive.  When it did we were in for a bit of a surprise - it was one of the new Routemasters - and we were probably just a little bit too excited about this.

Imagine then when we got to the top deck and realised we had it all to ourselves. There was only one thing for it.

Yeap, time to get the camera out!

Top deck all to ourselves
Route 11 to Fulham Broadway

Goodness knows what the magic eye thought of me if it captured me taking pictures.

top deck front seats

The seats had one of those mesmerising patterns on, you know the sort that boggles your eyes. 

front view
pshycodelic seats

And there were two sets of stairs. The more modern ones behind the driver here: 

stairs

And the more traditional rear stairs from the platform below: 

rear stairs
new routemaster
stop

And yes, someone was either enjoying the ride or pretending he wasn't with the loony taking pictures! 

seriously unimpressed

Well, I thought it was rude not to capture this, don't you agree?