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Friday, 18 October 2013

The back garden at Pixie Towers

For some time Ian and I have been pondering about our garden, a tidy up was needed,  rearranging possibly, some fresh thoughts on how it should look. We needed to ensure a little privacy but also ensure that the kitchen received as much light as possible, it's been made the darker by next door's ugly extension.

Looking down the garden, the ground below the non productive apricot tree is always dry however much rain we have for example, these trees block the light to the house.

The end needs a tidy up, to the right there are brambles, this year with few blackberries, in a small garden these beds don't add anything to the beauty.

This poor Fatsia Japonica is suffering from lack of light and space, apart from which we cannot pass it to reach the compost bins, to the right mini jungle comes to mind!

Fortunately for us, friends had recently had their garden redesigned, they were full of praise for Kingston Garden Services who carried out the work so we emailed them. We described our problems, added photographs and the next day had a call to make an appointment to look around. Notes were made on the printed out email, much helpful advice was given.  Once we received the quotation we accepted; yesterday was given as the date for the work. Was not to be, in a phone call on Monday we were asked if the work could be done the next day, Ian agreed so a very efficient team of three worked from 8am to 3pm, taking away three lorry loads of vegetation to be chipped and reused.

Work in progress, initially the guys used our mower, the very young lad had never seen a push along hand mower before although it wasn't quite up to it so their more powerful model was called into action.

The clear path now the plant has moved to the far left hand corner, the bare earth on the left is where there were dips in the ground so the grass should grow through, grass seed was added so if the pigeons don't eat it all we should  have a good quality lawn. The tiny birds haven't realised the new location of their feeders, given time they will so we can watch them from the kitchen window.

A view of the right hand side of the garden, there is newly laid turf as well where trees and bushes were moved or removed.

From a slightly different angle, looking a little more washed out here even though these three pictures were taken at the same time of day on Wednesday after the rain.

Finally, a view from first floor window, giving an idea of the end of the garden with the big table and bench on the paving, plus an aerial view of the grass growing through.

We intend to add more colour into the beds, at present the garden is fifty shades of green.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Fun afternoon

Today Ian and I decided we'd been indoors a little too much, it is so easy to stay at home, read, knit (me), study maths or paint (Ian) so we decided to take advantage of the dry afternoon and our Kew membership.

We were in for a treat, so rather than my attempts to describe the pumpkins and squashes and then the tea party by the glass house I will download the photos. to give an idea of the IncrEdibles Festival in these Gardens.

In the Waterlily House,is the Pumpkin Pyramid, four metres high with 75 different types, including one called Munchkin.

We could have purchased squashes or pumpkins, instead we bought eating apples, £1.00 for six, a Norfolk variety, grown in Berkshire and hadn't been sprayed.

Nothing could be removed from the table, all the china had been screwed firmly in place, likewise the chairs were fixed but useable.

After seeing all this we went into the Princess of Wales Conservatory, I took these two pictures of orchids, to commemorate keeping our three alive, I think through neglect and finding the right spot.

I forget that although Princess Diana opened this new conservatory it wasn't named for her but Augusta, Princess of Wales, a grand daughter of  George II.

Friday, 4 October 2013


Walked into my sitting room/study/den/studio/bolt hole/spare bedroom after breakfast to find my collection of large format knitting books on the floor along with the Beaver and Tapley shelf. We hadn't heard them fall.

 The picture below shows the damaged wall caused by the fittings and the lower shelf, nothing was broken or damaged - just dusty.

Massive clear up assisted by James our Dyson, we made a joint executive decision that perhaps the books shouldn't return to these shelves so they have been moved  downstairs to the bookshelves in the hall. The photo albums meanwhile came upstairs to Ian's study/spare bedroom etc. as we have had A Clear Out. Just this morning Ian took a pile of books in his ex-company trolley bag to Kingston Oxfam bookshop where they were gift aided. It was fortunate for me there was Instant Expert Knitting by Ros Badger in the shop so he kindly bought it for me. Thank goodness it had a new safe home near the Vogue book.. 

In the afternoon Ian effected repairs, drilled, filled, painted so the two shelves can be filled up with treasures and stationery

The smaller format books remain on an adjoining shelf, below the new look.

For example the Art of Needlecraft by Polkinghorne (red lettering on spine) belonged to my mother, it has some beautiful, and sometimes unintentionally amusing, instructions for all forms of craft. The tea pot I bought for myself in Moscow, when I lived alone it was used, the paper weight with the old style British Airways logo dates from my days of working in BA offices in Victoria.

A lower shelf houses the scanner I bought with John Lewis Vouchers given to me when I left Book Data. The instructions were that I was to buy something for myself, not the family or home. Also I have my own printer a 6 year old lap top on which I'm composing this, Ian uses the all singing all dancing printer we bought when Martha was studying here. Mine is a Kiss model - (Keep it simple stupid!) 

Need to go and knit, have been enthused to keep on with hexipuffs, whilst sewing cardigan together and struggling with the wrap.

 More later .....sometime.