Summer successes in the garden 

To continue my little flurry of activity you’re currently experiencing on WordPress, I thought I’d share some of garden pictures from this summer.  As you can imagine the garden has suffered from neglect this year as our focus has been on the cottage, but I have managed to mostly win the war of the weeds, except maybe in the vegetable patch!  

When we uncovered the plastic sheeting to reveal the bare soil in the newly created vegetable beds, I decided it may benefit from some chicken manure, and to be honest I needed to shift some of it! So I happily spread it on, nice and thickly to ensure I gave the worms a good feed.  Unfortunately in my eagerness, I forgot one rather large thing…… Chickens and ducks eat seeds it would appear, and they must be particularly fond of buttercups! Well, who can blame them really, they are very pretty.  But sadly, as I didn’t leave my compost to ‘mature’ properly, I am now growing the world largest buttercups in my vegetable garden too, along with the odd pea or spinach!! Never mind, another valuable lesson has been learned, and I shall not been so impatient next time!!  

As promised, here are some pictures of my garden favourites so far this year. Enjoy. X

i do love aquilegia’s
the ammi majus are stunning this year!
this is a new rose I purchased
you can never have too many aquilegias in my opinion
this is my thilactrum aquilegiifolium
i bought this astrantia with me when we moved here, i think it approves.
an unusual double form of rannunculus acontifolium
i love the erigeron/forget-me-not combination
i cant remember the name of this geranium, but its a real champion the garden
another old rose
erigeron flowering it socks off
the foxgloves have been show stoppers this year
the lovely omphalodes
this little beauty is gypsophilia kermasina . i shall be growing this again next year
sweet pea ‘Lord Nelson’
a new geranium

A step in the right direction 

We’ve been pondering what type of floor should be in our cottage for almost as long as we’ve been here. We’ve considered the lot, and so very nearly decided on various different types of flooring.  As with most of our renovations, we aim to be as sympathetic and true to the age of the cottage as we can on our limited resources and knowledge.  We’re not interested in quick fixes, or modern interiors. Instead we like traditional and honest.  Our cottage would most likely have been farm or estate workers cottage, so it wouldn’t have been filled with lavish things. So what did we decide?

Well, after we decided the most likely flooring originally would have been earth or straw, which I wasn’t too keen on – it wouldn’t be very practical today, and think how muddy it would get in winter!  We decided to go for something that would last and be fitting for a house of this age.  Although slate was quite high on the list, I was concerned it would make the already dark cottage even darker on dull days, so we needed something a little lighter and maybe a bit tougher than slate.  

After much deliberation and Internet perusing, we settled on limestone.  I appreciate its not at all traditional and would certainly never have been here originally, but it’s almost as good, we think.  We opted for a pattern layout to maximise the rough and ready look of the tiles, and we asked the builder to space them as far apart as he could.  I’ve noticed in older houses, the spacing is much bigger than in modern houses and it seems to enhance the rustic feel of the tiles.  

Of course our little home isn’t big enough for builders and us when the downstairs is having new floor fitted, and we’d no way of knowing what was underneath the existing tiles until work had started, and therefore no real idea of how long it would take. So we had to pack our bags and move into the newly acquired caravan for a week, once we’d levelled the caravan! It’s almost impossible to find a level bit of land here! 

The weekend before the builders came was spent packing and moving furniture upstairs, into the summerhouse, the garage, the shed.  Basically, anywhere dry!  There was so much stuff, we both decided we need a jolly good sort out and it was about time we embraced our minimalist side! 

The builders were amazing. The old floor was up in no time, and to our delight (and theirs!) a relatively solid and sound base was found underneath.  We could see a damp proof membrane had been laid beneath the sound base, which was great news.  Levelling compound was laid and we hoped and prayed it would dry, which it did surprisingly quickly.  Then the fun started.

he looks like hes having far too much fun!
a good solid base
the levelling compund drying
the transformation begins
and continues…….

It would appear it’s quite difficult laying giant limestone tiles in a pattern.  They are heavy, and working out which tile should go where is no easy task! But a sterling job was done and boy are we pleased. It took them just one week.  Suddenly, the cottage has been transformed.  We had no idea it would look so good.

It’s always a leap of faith when you decided on something like this because you never know what it’ll look like until it’s done.  I’d spent the previous week whittling about how awful it was going to look and how we’d made such a big mistake, but I needn’t have worried.  

ok, so the bottom of the walls still need painting, but its good isnt it?

home sweet home

It’s beginning to feel like home.