Some Things We Have Dug Up In Our Garden So Far

Lets pretend that we are digging for time team instead of landscaping our garden.

Here is a list of what we have uncovered in our garden –

  1. Some vintage crazy paving
  2. A plastic pond shell (still) buried in the lawn
  3. A whirligig spike
  4. Half a dried out dead frog (all that was left in Toad Hill. Read this lengthy post if you want to know WTF I am on about!) And no, I don’t know why there was only half of a frog either. We never did find the top half.
  5. A used syringe. Nice.

I saved the best for last did’nt I? I really want to believe that one of our house’s previous owners/tennants was diabetic. But somehow I think not.

The Plans For Our Garden

Its another long post about our garden I am afraid. I promise this will be the last one for a while! I will eventually get round to sharing more about the house. Thats the fun, colourful part. Or at least I think so!

Below is a little mock up that Rob put together quickly, when he planned out the garden. He had to (literally) draw it to explain it to me. I always get a mental block and can never visualise what he is droning on about!

The deal in our house is that I plan the house and Rob plans the garden and the camper van. I am the interior designer and Rob is the builder. Obviously neither of us will do anything the other really hates. After all, I stopped myself from putting doilies in our bedroom, much to Robs relief*. Luckily both of us are pretty laid back and have similar tastes, so this arrangement works pretty well. Except when Rob tries to explain his plans to me.

garden-designSo this is the plan for our future garden. If you look back at the photos in this post, it makes more sense. On the right hand side will be 5 levels down (the plan shows 4) with raised vegetable patches. We then have our future patio area with a raised bed along the side, made from decking timber, and the plan is, to also provide extra seating for BBQ’s and the like. Then a nice new path made from some bricks our friends generously gave us. We are keeping the huge pine tree, and the massive bush. Down the side of the lawn we will have low maintenance edible plants like Bay, Thyme etc. I hope.

So thats me explaining years of back breaking labour in a paragraph. Now lets show some more photo’s of the work so far.

The below images were all taken by Rob on his iPhone.gar b4 1

The demolished Toad Hill.

The almost demolished Toad Hill.

weedy lawn



.....and after

…..and after

Tod Hill is no more!

Toad Hill is no more!

other side

Rob is future proofing, by laying pipework to get his dream workshop/shed at the end of the garden wired up.

Rob is future proofing, laying pipework to get his dream workshop/shed/man cave at the end of the garden wired up.

gar 3

And finally. Poppy was as helpful as I was with the gardening. In that she lazed around and watched Rob do all the work!

And finally. Poppy was as helpful as I was with the gardening. In that she lazed around and watched Rob do all the work!

*Did anyone see Kirsties home for free the other day, where they dyed some doilies for a bedroom on the show? Hah! Same great taste is all I can say! And yes, the male half of the couple who’s home they made over hated them! 

Our Garden Currently

Warning – This is a long rambling post to introduce our garden on the blog!

I am hesitant to share these pictures on here. Our garden is a long term WIP and these photos are from the last few years, plus how things currently look. It will be years before I can share the final ta-dah! pictures. But I do want to share the progress we have made so far and show how far we have come. And are garden projects ever finished?

Plus I am showing the interwebs just what a state our back garden has been in. Hint – really bad.

We are very lucky to have a large back garden. Councils built their houses back in the 1950’s on huge plots of land, compared to the postage stamp sized gardens that new build properties come with these days. Although (and I apologise for sounding like a huge dick to all the peeps who live in flats and yearn for a garden) I do think it might be just a tad too big. It just scares me the amount of weeding, mowing and maintenance that it requires. I would happily just concrete over the whole lot, but Rob wants to landscape it……and then spend his free time gardening. What a weirdo.

Another not so great thing about our back garden is that it slopes downhill, and is very lumpy and bumpy. It had some shocking “improvements” made to it over the years, and then was not properly maintained for decades (pretty much like the rest of the house!)

When we first moved in, there was a crumbling shed at the end of the garden, which I have no photos of, that was full of empty beer cans. We ripped it down and burnt it in our garden incinerator. We are now left with a handy concrete patch at the end of our garden which we will in time either put a shed or greenhouse on. It currently has various piles of bricks, car tires and crap on it.

We also have three original brick outbuildings that have asbestos in the roof (nice), and originally housed the outside toilet. These were also left full of rubbish, as the previous owner of the house did not bother to clear them out when he sold us the house. So when we first moved into our house back in 2010, we took many trips to the local tip in the Beetle clearing away rubbish. These days things have changed. We now do it in the camper van! I jest, I jest! – Nope, we just spend a small fortune on Hippo bags!

We also inherited a huge tree trunk. Who knows where this huge random log came from. It was just left in the middle of the lawn. We could not shift it for love nor money! It was too heavy for two men to lift into a wheel barrow to wheel it away. Poor Rob tried everything to get rid of it over the years –
Sawing it – man vs log. Log won.
Burning it – two bottles of parafin later, it was barely scorched.
Chopping it – Rob borrowed an axe. The log blunted the axe.
It was like Chuck Norris this bloody log, it was a hard arse that refused to be defeated/die. Eventually it met its nemesis when Rob borrowed a chain saw from a friend. Rob enjoyed that day. Victory was sweet! Plus he got to play with a noisy power tool! Boys eh!

Lets start by sharing a cute picture of the garden in the snow. Its not so bad eh? But everything looks pretty in the snow. This is just to ease you in gently. The V shaped lump at the end of the garden is the Chuck Norris log BTW!snow dome o shite 1snow dome o shite 2I love bright yellow period. So we painted the outbuilding doors in sunny yellow and planted some fruit trees in yellow trugs, which have so far bore us bountiful harvests of zero fruit.

Below is another snap of the patio area in the rain. Note the overgrown grass and rubbish piles. Please prepare yourselves, there is much worse to come!yellow doorsWe also had the worlds worst patio™ that was always covered in weeds (shown in the photo below). Basically a previous owner of the house had laid some plastic over the crazy paving shown above, piled some sand on it, not bothered to smooth it out , then piled some patio stones on it. It was pugly, wonky, a trip hazard and was contantly overgrown with those pesky weeds.patio of shame

fucking weedsThis photo was not staged for my blog! I hang my head in shame at what a state we let our garden get in. How embarrassing!

Earlier this year Rob lifted the patio stones and uncovered the crazy paving. I love it, its cute and retro in a kitschy Retro Renovation way. Unfortunately it does’nt cover the area that we want for our future patio, and Rob is not up for my suggestion of smashing up some new stones to create a crazy paved extention. So its going. Sob. It was nice knowing you Mr Cray Cray P for this one summer of love at least.

Another thing to mention was that at the end of our garden was a huge mound. We think it was an old compost pile, and this took us three years to shift it away. We named the mound Toad Hill, as every time we dug into it, loads of frogs would leap out of it! I think they liked the damp woody conditions, thats the only reason I can think why they lived there, we don’t have a pond, nor do any of our close neighbours! Anyhoo, these slimey little hoppers scared the s**t out of me and Poppy. Eventually we covered Toad Hill with a camping ground sheet in an attempt to kill the weeds that grew on top of it, and the frogs packed their bags and moved on.cut your grassI would point out Toad Hill, but its hard to spot amongst all the weeds and overgrown grass. We do mow our lawn, I would like to point out. Honestly!gah grassAt least the blanket on the washing line is cute I suppose. Right, now I have disgraced myself online (yet again) by sharing all the above photos, its now time to show how the garden currently currently 1garden currently 2garden currently 3Its a bit of a building site at the moment, but so much better! I can’t tell you enough how good it feels to look out the window to see this, instead of what I used to see.

I will talk you through our plans for the garden in another post, as frankly, Im bored s***less of blogging about gardening!

Well done if you made it to the end of this post BTW!

I Carnt Spell

The blog post title is on purpose! ↑

But honestly, I am a terrible speller. Im a bit gutted as WordPress has binned its spell checker button thingy in the latest update.

I don’t think its just me not seeing it, as I have noticed a few typos on other WordPress blogs recently that usually have perfectly written posts.

Its a shame that I cant seem to spot them on my own blog!

I need to find a plugin for dummies like me to spellcheck with. Its bloody hard work Googling how to spell words!

I have a long wordy post about our garden due to be published in the next few days. I apologise in advance for any errors made that might make any readers wince!

Tuesday Tune

Its been a while since I did one of these posts! Today I am posting two tunes. Why? – Because in my head they kind of go together.

In that they don’t at all.

But the inside of my head is such a random, vague place. Full of thoughts about fluffy kittens, where is my next meal and is it right to eat this much Nutella in one sitting.

The first tune is by Chvrches and called The Mother We Share.

Its one of my favourite current songs played on the radio at the moment. Its just so nice. There is no other word for it. Its just the perfect cheery, poppy song with pretty pink sparkly bits. If you hate it, there is probably something wrong with you and you have a heart of stone.

And the band are all so shiny, young and cute in the video. Adorable!

The next tune is by The Knife and called We Share Our Mothers Health.

It has nothing much in common with the first tune. Just two of the same words in the song title. But listening to the Chvrches tune made me want to listen to The Knife again.

It is poppy in its own way I suppose. Its from 2006 (I say it again. WTF? Time flies) and I love both tunes equally.

Its All Gravy!

gravy trainConfession – I have been buying some vintage Pyrex on EBay!

We recently had a good sort out/spring clean, and I sold some unwanted stuff on EBay and made a tidy profit! And yes, I might have spent a little of my pay-pal moneypot on some Pyrex!

Some people might call it cheating, but I have a slim to none chance of finding any Pyrex out in the wild. My local charity shops are very expensive and don’t have much decent vintage for sale. Rob and I hardly ever go to boot fairs either, as we will always choose a lay in over rising at the crack of dawn. I’m just not a dedicated enough treasure hunter to sacrifice my beauty sleep!

Soon after my blog confession about leaving some Pyrex behind and regretting it, I decided to console myself with a little online purchase. My first win was the snowflake 50’s gravy/sauce boat. I won it for £3 plus £3 P+P. Then a few days later, having written off my chances of finding Pyrex in a local chazza ever again, I found the Cottage Rose patterned gravy boat for £3.99 in my local PDSA. Not cheap as chips, but cheapish for my area!yellow gravyThe snowflake yellow sauce pourer/gravy jug/soup bowl (all of which I have seen these described as on EBay, take your pick!) is from the late 50’s/early 60’s I believe and has the handy feature of a pourer on each side, so can be used by left handed or right handed people.yello sauseThe Cottage Rose patterned gravy boat is from the mid 60’s/early 70’s and has a pourer at the front, which can be also used by lefties and righties.

Rob kind of groaned and rolled his eyes when he saw this. He thinks its horrible! Well tough luck, because it is currently displayed in pride of place on my kitchen nick-nack shelf with its other milk glass friends, and is staying put!roseyrosey treasure


Truck Festival In Photos

So this time, unlike Glastonbury, I took my camera with with me. But I did not bother to take any pictures with it. I relied on Rob to be my official photographer again.

Its better for everyone this way. I am a lazy-point-and-shoot-on-auto-and-hope-for-the-best type of photographer. Where as Rob enjoys learning photography and likes to practice his night time and gig photography techniques. He uses the camera on manual and everything!

So here are some of my favourite snaps from our weekend at Truck!tim from ash

Tim from Ash with a purple face. Ash are so good live. Great fun!Mail Attachment copy 3Truck festival is held on a working cattle farm (as most festivals are!) One of the stages was in a cow shed, which was a great venue. It even had a slight whiff of cattle essence in the air and everything! I cant remember who was on when this photo was taken. I just like the blinding lights and reflections.gazGaz Coombes feeling the heat. It was boiling hot at this point – phew!fight like apes ladyLady from Fight Like Apes. And just the top of someone in front’s head.billyBilly from The Subways. They were ace!charlotteCharlotte from The Subways doing her best cousin It impression. Sorry Kim Deal, but I think she is my new favourite female bassist. She is just so cute and bouncy and she has so much energy!rarrr!Love it! Nice moment caught by Rob.