Creating a garden barn – from a recycled shed

When we moved into our house we inherited a play house shed which was filled with spiders and leaked quite badly. It was also sited in the most inconvenient place obscuring the view down the garden when you were in the room at the back of the garage which we had wanted to turn into a gym.

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Making Plans for our new gardens

Since I last shared on my blog, things have moved very slowly towards ownership of our new house.

Our offer was accepted back in November, the valuation was done and mortgage was secured then came Christmas and everything ground to a halt. Come the New Year we had a couple of minor setbacks, one was about the additional parcel of land at the bottom of the garden (which is the reason we are buying the house anyway!)

It seems although the seller owned the land it hadn’t been fully transferred into his name with Land Registry so our mortgage company needs further checks. Also our buy to let mortgage, secured on on current house to release funds for the new house, had expired in early February. Due to a miscommunication between the solicitor and bank, but actually due to the banks error our application has been put on the cancelled pile! However as it was the banks error they have agreed to re-instate the application.

All that means we still haven’t exchanged, although hope to by the end of next week! Maybe!

We do however have a completion date arranged of the 23rd March so all being well we still hope to meet that. It is pretty essential as our temporary Monday to Friday rental finished at the beginning of March although the owner has agreed we can stay until 23rd, so there is quite a lot riding on this! Not least the prospect of being homeless in the week, or travelling nearly 1 1/2 hr each way every day!

Nevertheless we have made a start on planning that lovely garden and I’ve been buying all the bargain summer bulbs I can find ready for one of the big plans we have……

More news next time……..

The Spring Garden – 10 must have plants for spring colour

So Spring is officially here, getting home from work to the light and warm makes everyone feel great and there is nothing better than sitting out in the garden with your cup of tea to just enjoy the colour that is starting to emerge at this time of year.

I have created a few gardens over the years and always to seek to add certain plants which I know are fairly low maintenance but will give the earliest colour.

My 5 recommended shrubs which give colour at this time of year would have to be;

  1. Photinia – this is a woody shrub which is evergreen, so will remain green all year round, but the new leaves when they emerge are this lovely bright red. I tend to leave this to its own devices generally although I do give it a good prune around August time and again in October else it would grow huge.Photinia
    2. Ceanothus – This is another woody evergreen shrub, but with gorgeous blue flowers which gets brighter as the weeks pass. You can buy slower or faster growing varieties but either way produce this lovely blue colour.ceanothus
  2. Forsythia – This time a yellow flower which is formed before the leaves emerge. The plant loses its leaves over winter so the bright yellow colour is the first sign of growth on this plant. Its a very easy plant to multiply, just cut a branch off and plant in in the ground alongside and it will form a whole new shrub which can then be planted.forsythia
  3. Ribes – A fantastic pink flower on another woody shrub. Its deciduous plant and again the pink flower appears before this years leaf growth.                                                                                 ribes
  4. Kerria Japonica – A bright yellow flower with heads that look like pompoms. This is a very pretty plant which is deciduous and again the flowers emerge before the leaves. Another easy plant to propagate, just cut a branch off and plant alongside and it will soon grow to create a whole new plant.                                                                                kerria Japonica

My 5 recommended flowers to give colour at this time of year are;

  1. Daffoldils – You can’t fail to love the earliest yellow blooms that pop up year after year. Pop in some bulbs one year and as long as you don’t disturb them they will grow year after year.                                                                                                                                          Daffodil
  2. Tulips – Similarly with tulips, once the bulbs have been planted they’ll keep growing every year with so many lovely colours to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for choice.                                                                                                                                              tulips
  3. Primrose – you can pick primroses up for any garden centre or flower shop so cheaply at this time of the year, but the key to these coming back year after year is that they love the shade.                                                                                                                          
  4. Forget-me-not – These lovely delicate flowers are quite weed-like really they pop up suddenly and then spread everywhere. I let them flower with their beautiful blue colour and once they start getting a bit mildewy, I pull most of them up. This makes sure they don’t take over the entire area but still give lovely colour at this time of the year.                                                                                                                                         forgetmenot
  5. Bluebells and Fritilery – Easy to grow bulbs which if undisturbed will pop up every year, adding extra heads each year. The key to any bulbs is they don’t like being disturbed so I like to plant them at the base of a tree where I’m not going to dig the soil over .                                                                                                                                                                                                          SONY DSC                         FRITILLARIA MELEAGRIS 2

All of this colour will last for the next month or so before the summer flowering plants start to come into bloom.

Enjoy your spring garden

Sarah x