Hang out the bunting

photo 5

I’ve been a little quiet lately because last Monday I knocked a large mug of coffee all over my beloved MacBookPro. It died; I was distraught. It’s now in the hands of the insurance company and I’m waiting to hear whether they can fix it or at least retrieve my data. While I wait to see what can be done, I’m using the family pc when it’s free which isn’t very often. I occasionally forget and go to my desk to write something only to find a Mac-shaped hole. And I’m very behind with my blog reading and emails – there is much to catch up on. Anyway. Enough of that. HELLO!

Summer is here at last. Throw open the doors and windows! Dig out the sundresses! Hang out the bunting! This past week has been mostly glorious sunshine and it’s forecast to be hotter than hot tomorrow. Hooray for our sea breeze. But, wait. I’m getting ahead of myself. What’s been happening here? The much anticipated Garden Safari, that’s what!

A bit of bunting brightened up the path from the gate down to the garden.
A bit of bunting brightened up the path from the gate down to the garden.
Cheery geraniums planted in our old chimney covers.
Cheery geraniums planted in our old chimney pot covers. (I’ve just noticed those cobwebs on the cladding!)
Our smart new compost bins full of rotting Shetland pony poo and composting materials. You can feel the heat coming off them.
Our smart new compost bins. You can feel the heat coming off them.
We prepared and planted up this little square with box, lavender, sage and hyssop. This small patch had been covered in building rubbish for months.
We prepared and planted up this little square with box, lavender, sage and hyssop. This small patch (about 1.5m square) under the kitchen window had been covered in building rubbish for months.


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With two days to go, my mother-in-law (never one to shy away from a challenge) even painted the old shed black. It looks much smarter now, don’t you think?
The red geraniums really stand out against the black.
The red geraniums  and osteospermums really stand out against the black.


My mother-in-law came to stay for the week and we all worked hard, and I mean hard, to get everything ready; thanks to her, we did all we’d planned to do and more. Happily Saturday dawned with blue skies and warm sunshine. It was lovely to put on some summery clothes instead of soil-smeared old ones and have some time off from all that planting, weeding, pruning and brushing!

I’ll admit it was a little odd having people wandering around the garden but everyone was lovely and interested in what we’d done and our plans for the rest of the garden. ‘Come back next time and it’ll be done!’ we said. Ha ha.

We had grandparents and the children helping serve tea and cakes in the afternoons, which meant the kitchen got pretty crowded at times (and the boys were more interested in polishing off as much cake as they could), but we managed to remember who’d ordered what and not spill anything on anyone. All in all the weekend was a great success and, best of all, I’m told the Safari raised a good deal of money for the local hospice. We’ll definitely take part again next time but thankfully it’s not for another two years.

Over the last couple of weeks I have learnt that black nail varnish covers even the most tatty gardening fingernails; empty jam jars make perfect mini-cloches for strawberries; there is still just about enough light at 10pm in the garden in late June to see what you’re doing; and you must never, EVER, balance a mug of coffee right next to your laptop.

25 thoughts on “Hang out the bunting

  1. So sorry about your computer, hope it gets sorted soon. The garden looks wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!! Fantastic!!! I love all the red geraniums in the different containers and the black shed looks fantastic, a real feature and yet it blends in well too!!! I am not at all surprised that everyone loved it so much. I hope that you enjoyed it!! Well done! It is great!! xx


  2. So pleased it was a success; the garden looks wonderful.
    I must have told my children a hundred times to move their drink away from the keyboard, but of course I’m sitting here drinking coffee as I read – though I have just moved the mug to the end of the desk.


    1. Thanks Anne. Yes, the number of times I’ve told my children not to eat or drink over the computer… Now I have demonstrated why!


  3. It all looks so jolly and seasidey Sam. And now you have a black shed (what a difference!) you must go to Derek Jarman’s seaside cottage and surreptiously look at the shingle planting around it. (It’s privately owned and occupied.) Or get hold of his very good book with wonderful photos taken by his partner, I think. And sorry to hear about the slip between cup and lip, it happens to us all from time to time.


    1. Thank you Sarah. I do love the shingle, seaside-garden look. That’s what we hope to achieve on the lower terraces. Next project!


  4. I told you so! So glad that it went well.

    Loving your little box hedge and wondering if my plants are too far apart. Wondering what the black poles are for? Punishing unruly visitors?


    1. Thanks Alice. We did pack the box rather tightly together to achieve the ‘instant garden’ look, so they are probably a little too close. The black poses are to have wires running between them for tying in the raspberries! They might be a little more ‘robust’ than they need to be but David doesn’t do things by halves.


  5. Oh well done, I’m glad the garden safari went well. I’d be totally daunted by the whole thing.
    Mike chucked gin and tonic over his laptop last year and that was the end of that really. He did get most of the cost of the replacement back from the insurance company though, so persevere with that!


    1. How funny – I’ve just left you a comment on your blog 🙂 I’m still waiting to hear from the insurance company. They have promised a brand-new one if they can’t fix it, so we’ll see. Glad your insurance stumped up.


  6. Your garden looks fantastic. I love the newly black shed too, that’s very striking and much nicer than I’d imagine without seeing it. I’m glad things have been going well, aside from the computer. Take care and have a good weekend. 🙂


  7. Ah, I’ve been wondering how the Safari went. Glad to hear it all went well – lots of hard work, evidently, but there’s nothing like a good deadline to concentrate the mind! I love the black shed, I started reading Derek Jarmen’s book about his garden yesterday funnily enough. Well worth a read, and the pictures are very inspiring (back to your last post!).
    Sitting here reading your post on iPad with v hot cup of tea in the other hand. If I had a free hand, I might slap my wrist. But will I learn? Probably not…


  8. Sam, I’m so glad your day went so well and the weather sayed fine. The garden looks wonderful and also the finishing touches of the black shed and bunting. Hope you can have some time to relax in your garden now and enjoy all your work ! Sarah x


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