Friday 10 July 2020

Tales of Lockdown Part Two.

After the guttering drama I had a busy week with work and suddenly it was Saturday again and I couldn't face being in the house any longer so I decided to do some gardening. I was in the mood for some heavy duty work rather than pottering about so I decided to do a bit of clearing at the bottom of the garden.  

You may recall we have that huge conifer tree there which means nothing grows under it apart from the endless ivy, and the derelict ivy covered shed. I had noticed that the neighbours had tried to clear the ivy from the fence on their side so I thought it would only be polite to do the same from our side too. 
I wish I had taken a before picture but I didn't think to. After about half an hour I hit concrete, I've started to refer to any work I do as garden archaeology as I keep discovering so many things! 
After a couple of hours of digging I had uncovered what I can only assume was once a cold frame and the paving slabs that lead to it. 
I also discovered an old rusted brazier, bits of rusted tool and some flower pots. More incredibly, not only did I dig this half circle planter up 
(now scrubbed and planted up with pineapple mint)
I also discovered this massive planter half buried too, I can't believe I never spotted it before. 
It also scrubbed up beautifully and is not full of strawberry plants. It took a whole bag of compost to fill it!
Himself got home and came to see what I was doing, so I showed him the pile of things I had found. He took one look at this huge spike I uncovered and said it looked like it should be hammered into the heart of the witch who is buried under us. 
I gave him a look.

He was a bit sheepishly and said it was the influence of a book he had been reading...

Over the 3 years we have been here I have discovered various roses in crazy places and have dug them out and potted them up. Two were tiny and really struggling but I absolutely refuse to give up hope on anything and this year one rewarded me with it's first flower.
The bottom rose I bought reduced to £2 in Wilko. It's called 'National Trust' and is a gorgeous old fashioned velvety bloom and as it gets older it goes so dark it's almost black.

So you know how I said I was going to dig over a bit of a veggie patch well in the end I decided to go down the container gardening route. As Himself pointed out, nothing ever really grew on that patch of ground anyway.
Since this picture I have added another crate two growbags and several other pots. I have collections of pots with tomato plants in three other places too. I have SO many tomato plants. I never thought all the old seeds would grow so I quickly dried and planted some more. Of course all of them grew and I can't bear to throw any in the composter. I have no idea what varity any of them are as I never made note when I dried the seeds. I also have peas, courgettes and FINALLY some french beans after buying and planting a third packet of seeds. the first two did nothing.  

The next weekend was another Saturday of me at home whilst Himself was at work. During the week I had had a brainwave, well I thought it was a brainwave anyway! 

I had been aware that the handbag collection was pilling up in the small spare bedroom and whilst walking up the stairs one day I looked at the bookcase at the top and thought this is the solution. I thought it might just fit in the space at the bottom of the bed and would of course hold the whole collection therefore clearing the floor. 
We plan to get rid of the knackered old single bed mattress from that room and take down the bed frame at some point and when we do my idea is the spare bookcase will hold all the books currently under the bed. 
Some careful measuring showed the bookcase would indeed fit in the space but investigation on their website showed Argos no longer sold this size of bookcase. Several fruitless hours of searching later it seemed neither did anywhere else, well not at a price I was prepared to pay anyway. So I went with a slightly smaller different design.

I was still confident the collection would fit and I would be able to get all the bags off the floor and get rid of the small unit I had been using too, freeing up much space. I had visions of a blissful day sorting and displaying my collection so piled the whole lot on our bed. I hoovered and dusted, put the bookcase in place and started to arrange. 

It quickly turned into a fraught day. 

It became very clear I had drastically underestimated the size of my collection and overestimated what the bookcase would hold. No matter what I did things didn't fit, they just didn't look right and I still had a sizable pile on our bed with nowhere to go. Argh.
I ended up with it looking like the above. I'm not at all happy and will probably use the redecoration when that ever happens as a reason to re-arrange again. 
As you can see I'm still using the small display unit too. My Corde bags our now on a unit in our bedroom.
I was slightly horrified at quite how many bags I had when I saw them all piled up and thought I really must stop just randomly buying, or just stop buying at all. 

I looked hard and long as to whether I could thin the collection and I'm slightly ashamed to say I could only bring myself to say goodbye to five.
I did actually keep to my word of not buying any more for about a will power AT ALL. Joking aside I am being a lot more thoughtful in my purchases though, and long may that last.
I did finally put up my Snoopy mirrors. So that was something good to come out of it all.

On the Sunday the weather was gorgeous so I started to paint our garden furniture. We had to move it for the scaffolding to go up and I took the time to wash it. 
It had been at least 5 years, if not longer, since it had last been treated and it was looking flaky and rusty. 
This wasn't without drama though  when Himself managed to knock a brand new tin of Hammerite off the kitchen table and it hit the floor and burst open!?! 
Cue much swearing and frantic scooping and moping up of metal paint with kitchen roll. I took a chance on using white spirit on the laminate floor to get rid of the stain, thank god I found some under the sink. 
I was worried it would lift off the protective coating too, but it was either that or a huge black stain. Thankfully it didn't damage the floor and as the paint was so fresh it cleaned off completely. I can do without moments like that I can tell you. 

A new tin was purchased and of course I didn't buy one big enough, it was that kind of weekend. So I finished the last two chairs the next week.
and after, so much better.

As I had half a tin left I painted various random metal plant stand and baskets as well. 
I finished not a moment too soon before the weather turned and we had an amazing storm. God how I love a good thunder storm. I was slightly concerned about the guttering but thankfully it held up and no more wet kitchen wall which is something at least.

I'll finish with a purchase. 
As you know I am a brooch fan and an Erstwilder brooch fan at that. I have long regretted not buying their cute crab brooch when it first came out  (I am a Cancerian after all.) Their ranges are limited runs and sell out very quickly. So by the time I did decide I just had to have it and hang the cost, you couldn't get one anywhere for love or money. 

Well this year they did some fan favourite re-releases and the crab was one of them. I did not hang about and snapped (excuse the pun) one up pronto, with a Benjamin Bunny because he is my favourite Beatrix Potter character and I had been dithering over him too, and thought learn your lesson woman! 
so here they are plus a pair fo earrings because why not?

There have definitely been some bag purchases but they will wait for another day.