Sunday Photo – Removing a Brick Path For Nanny

Brick Path

Nanny moved into her house about 4 years ago. I helped with the garden by laying a brick path. The path was great for her when she first moved in but now she’s not as steady on her feet, she’s decided to have a garden makeover. It doesn’t include the path so we dug it up.

Bricks for raised bed

Bricks for raised bed

It took weeks to put down and only a few hours to dig up!

We’ve bought the bricks home and Ant’s going to use them to make my new raised bed 🙂 We were going to make it out of gravel board. Now we have the bricks, we’ll be saving around £100 from the cost of our garden makeover! The raised bed is going to look much nicer made from bricks and I can’t wait to plant it up.

Frog Spawn – Garden Update

Frog Spawn

After making a start on the garden last Monday, it’s been left as it was ever since. I came down with an awful cold. It’s lasted longer than colds usually do although I am feeling much better today.
Yesterday Ant was in and out fixing a puncture on Aiden’s bike and he said he kept seeing movement in the pond. He wasn’t quick enough to see what it was but we assumed it was a frog.
He went and had a closer look and discovered about 5 clumps of frog spawn :oD

I was delighted and had to go and take photos! We saw 2 frogs, one stayed under the water while the other kept popping up and posing for a photo!

Frog Spawn

Frog Spawn

Frog Spawn

Frog Spawn

 

Big Makeover Planned – The Year Of The Garden!

The Year Of The Garden

You may have seen, from previous posts, the state of our garden and the previous plans we’ve had for it. It’s worse now than it ever was and it’s going to take lots of hard work this year to get it sorted. It needs a big makeover. For all the plans we’ve had in the past, we’ve never really got round to doing anything except the pond.

I love the pond! It’s the best part, but I’m starting to get the urge to get out there and get the rest of it looking just as nice.

garden pond makeover

Makeover

We need to create a place for the bikes. The kids each have one and they’re currently on the patio under cover, leaning against the table.
The patio keeps getting used as a place to dump things we don’t know what else to do with. It’s looking decidedly messy again but where to put everything?

I think we’re going to need to hire a skip this year, as well as pay for the annual council fee for the green bin.
We started a compost heap last year but as it’s right at the top of the garden, we’ve been a bit lazy with the kitchen scraps. We just throw them in the bin. I’m going to make the most of the compost heap this year. Even if we pay for the green bin, it only gets emptied fortnightly. That will be fine when the garden’s done and there’s not much waste every week but while it’s in the state it’s in, we’re going to end up with lots and lots of garden waste.

Fruit Trees

We still want fruit trees at the top of the garden but that’s going to be the hardest part to do. It’s full of weeds and piles of wood. It’s going to need completely digging over once Ant’s sorted the wood pile. He’s going to get a chainsaw from somewhere and chop it all into manageable sized blocks.
We want to build a firepit so we’ll need to create storage for the blocks.

Planning

There’s much planning to be done. We made a start yesterday because I want it finished this year so the earlier in the year we get started, the more chance we have of completing it 🙂

garden before

Ant chopped back all the bushes and I made a start on digging them up. I want a total change 🙂

garden after

He also chopped down the butterfly bush. We haven’t decided where to replant it yet. It was only planted there, as a tiny plant, temporarily but it got left there and went giant sized!

garden before

After

garden after

To be honest, the garden is looking even worse now than it did when I took the ‘before’ photos but I know it has to get worse before it gets better!

 

 

Mirrors in the garden

Garden ideas

When I watch gardening programs and see them putting mirrors in the gardens, I always think to myself, bet they haven’t got any kids!

I know any mirrors in our garden wouldn’t last a week with those girls playing out there.

I love the idea of having mirrors in the garden, especially when they make it look like there’s a magical path leading to somewhere special but really, it’s just an optical illusion 🙂

optical illusion mirrors

Click the picture to be taken to the website for full instructions 🙂

As I said, though, I worry about it getting broken when the kids play in the garden.

A safer option would be to use silver acrylic mirror sheet. You can have it cut to the particular size you need,  it’s stronger and lighter than glass mirror and shatterproof.
It’s highly weather resistant and has impact resistance 10 times greater than the equivalent glass mirror.

The top of our garden is a mess. It’s overgrown with weeds and has a pile of wood as high as the fence. There’s also a big muddy mess in front of the shed where the greenhouse used to be.
We have plans to turn it into an orchard. I think some mirrors on the fence at the top would create a great effect and make the garden look bigger than it is.

I like the idea of using the acrylic sheet in the girls’ room as well. Kaycee’s getting older now and taking pride in her appearance. She’d love to have a full-length mirror in her room to she can see how different outfits look. I’d be happy putting an acrylic mirror in their room.

It’s very versatile and can be used in lots of places like a home gym, dance studio, display cases, DIY projects amongst other uses.

 

 

Summer flowers

Summer in the garden

Even though the garden’s looking a tad messy and needs lots of work doing, we do have some lovely summer flowers at the moment.

The girls planted the bulbs last year. We got lots of green leaves last summer but no flowers. I was quite disappointed!
I’ve planted quite a few bulbs of different types of flowers and only got greenery. I figured it must be something I’m doing wrong.
I haven’t done anything to this pot of bulbs this year, it just decided to flower all on its own!

 Summer flowers

freesia flowers summer flowers

freesia flowers summer flowers

freesia flowers summer flowers

freesia flowers summer flowers

freesia flowers summer flowers

freesia flowers  summer flowers

We’ve also got gorgeous lilies and beautiful pink hydrangeas 🙂

light pink lily flowers  summer flowers

dark pink lily flowers summer flowers

The lilies are by the patio doors and when I came home today, the whole house smelled of them. They’re my favourites, I absolutely love the smell, unlike the eldest daughter.
She keeps crinkling up her nose whenever she smells them!

 

Rain….yay!!

Rain rain, don’t go away!

When we were tidying up the garden to get it ready for my birthday party, we accidently pulled the hosepipe out of the waterfall on the pond. We lost a lot of water before Ant noticed and emptied the water from the rain barrel into the pond. It didn’t fill it to where it had been but it looked a bit better.
Ever since then, we’ve been wishing the hot summer sun away in favour of rain!

The hot weather hasn’t helped the water level and we switched the waterfall pump off to try and save as much water as possible.

pond before the rain

pond before the rain

Finally, rain!

Today we had 2 really good downpours, so much so that I was excited enough to text Ant (who was in Sheffield, dropping Kaycee off at her sister’s) to let him know it was raining!

It stopped for a while then came back with a vengeance. I’m pleased to say the pond is now fully topped up and there’s even some water left in the rain barrel 🙂

All the plants are going to need a little while to recover I think. There doesn’t seem to be as many as before.
We couldn’t add tap water because it’s a wildlife pond and we didn’t want the water to upset the balance.
It’s got an excellent variety of pond life such as dragonfly larvae, tadpoles (still!) and baby frogs amongst others so tap water wasn’t an option.

pond after the rain

Waterfall

We’ve been able to switch the waterfall back on today. I didn’t realise how much I’d missed it until I heard the running water again.
I just hope our wish for rain doesn’t mean we’ve seen the last of the summer sun. It would be a shame if we don’t get the chance to sit out and enjoy the pond now it’s back to its former glory!

Getting the garden tidy – before and after

Getting the garden tidy

We’ve been wanting to get the garden sorted for a while now and we finally managed to get the garden tidy last week, in time for my 40th birthday BBQ. I love before and after photos so here they are 🙂

We’ve still got loads to do, especially at the top of the garden; it’s being used as a bit of a dumping ground at the moment but we have plans to turn it into a mini orchard. It’s going to look lovely 🙂

Before

Patio area before - garden tidy

After

Patio area after - garden tidy

Before

Patio area before

After

Patio area after - garden tidy

Before

garden before - garden tidy

After

Garden after - garden tidy

Before

garden before - garden tidy

After

Garden after - garden tidy

Garden after - garden tidy

Patio after - garden tidy

Lilies by the patio door - garden tidy

My lilies are starting to open in the one planter, in the other, they’re still quite small. They’re new ones I planted this year and I didn’t label them so I have no idea what colours we’re going to have! The ones that are starting to open look pink on the outside but yellow on the inside.

Lilies are my favourite flowers and I can’t wait for them to fill the living room with scent 🙂

 

Shed Makeover #PimpMyShed

#PimpMyShed

You may remember that we started work on our garden the other week. I’ve been planning on lots of changes this year in the garden after it having been a bit neglected so when Ocean Finance challenged me to #PimpMyShed on a budget of £75 I said yes, of course!

We’ve been hampered by the rain somewhat in the past week but we finally managed to transform the shed from a boring storage area into a place where the girls can go and relax and have their own space.

Kaycee’s planning on using it to film her YouTube videos (the link takes you to her channel and if she got a comment or two on one of her videos, she’d be so excited!) and both of them have asked if they can sleep in there sometime!

So onto the photos.

Before

garden before 01 #PimpMyShed

We had to move the greenhouse and take up the brick and slab base.

 

Garden before 2 #PimpMyShed

Then store everything in the greenhouse that was previously stored in the shed.

Greenhouse  #PimpMyShed

empty shed #PimpMyShed

After

Shed after #PimpMyShed

Hanging basket on shed #PimpMyShed

Metal Butterflies on shed #PimpMyShed

Inside shed #PimpMyShed

I’ve just noticed that I forgot to get Ant to paint the pointy bit blue near the ceiling….I wasn’t tall enough to reach!

pimp-my-shed-011 #PimpMyShed

pimp-my-shed-012 #PimpMyShed

pimp-my-shed-014 #PimpMyShed

Handmade sofa #PimpMyShed

pimp-my-shed-016 #PimpMyShed

Moshi monsters #PimpMyShed

Shelves inside shed #PimpMyShed

Kaycee and Ella enjoying their shed #PimpMyShed

Super wonderful handyman husband!

I have to admit, we haven’t done the full transformation for £75. The sofa, for instance, was made by the super wonderful husband using wood, sponge and material that he’d saved over the years in case it came in handy!

The paint for the inside of the shed was all from leftover tins we’ve collected over the years. We used some light blue emulsion as an undercoat. We bought it for Aiden’s room a few years ago and had over half a tin left.
The magnolia was leftover from when we moved in here, the pink was from when we last decorated Kaycee and Ella’s bedroom in the old house and the dark blue was again from Aiden’s room when he had a Spongebob themed bedroom!

Shed Paint

We bought the paint for the outside of the shed from B&Q on the bank holiday weekend, they had it on offer, 1 tin for £22 or 2 for £23.

We’ve got enough leftover to paint the other shed as well which is great because it looks horrible at the moment.

The bookcase and ottoman are out of the girls room.

The cushions, heart lights, battery operated pretend candles, bird wind chime, and metal butterflies were from B&M and came from the budget, as did the flowers in the baskets and planter.
I already had the hanging baskets and planter so saved money there.

Ant also had lots of carpet tiles stored in his garage from when the computer shop closed so we didn’t have to buy flooring either 🙂

We spent £25 on plants and the rest on the various decor items.

There is still a lot more work to do. We want to put a patio in front of the shed for the girls. Ant wants a mini orchard up there as well so we’re getting some fruit trees soon 🙂
It’s still looking very messy up there but hopefully, we’ll get lots done this summer.

This post is in collaboration with Ocean Finance.

Started work on the garden, finally!

We ok, me! keep changing our plans for the garden but one plan that hasn’t changed was to move the greenhouse and rotate the shed that’s behind it, leaving a gap between it and the other shed so we can put a roof between the two where the bikes can be stored.
We’re also changing the shed from garden storage to a playroom for the girls 🙂

garden before 01

We’ve finally made a start, on the hottest days we’ve had so far! It’s safe to say the heat makes the job much harder and I’ve discovered that it doesn’t take me as long to get sunburnt as it used to when I was younger!

We got rid of the rubbish (well, we filled the bin then moved the rest to another part of the garden until we can get to the tip!) then took all the glass out of the greenhouse.
It didn’t take as long as I thought it would.

Garden before 2

We’ve put the greenhouse by this fence….

Old shed and fence

but I haven’t got photos yet. I was exhausted after working in the sun all day and forgot to take photos before we came in.

We’ve got so much more to do, the hot weather is set to continue (which I’d usually be happy about!) and I’m not looking forward to all the work but I can honestly say I’m happy we’re finally getting it done 🙂

We have baby frogs :)

We still have loads of tadpoles in the pond, some with the start of legs, some still waiting for them but some have completely changed into tiny frogs.

They’re so cute!

Baby frog on a lily leaf

Baby frog on a lily leaf

Baby frog on a lily leaf