Before DEFRA decided that we needed to keep our hens in, they had free reign of the bottom of the garden. Barry put up a fence that’s about 4ft high, which actually posed no problem to them to fly over. While they’re billed as not very good at flying, they can flap enough to get a bit of height, especially if they can “hop” from one thing to another, say… from the ground to the compost heap, to the potting shed… and then right off it.
Gone are the towering artichokes, tiny peas and failed onions from last summer’s beds. As of last week, in trays in the potting shed, we have cauliflower, broad beans and chives, and he’s also chitted our potatoes; a verb I wasn’t even aware of until last week. It means setting them out in the sun to sprout ready for planting (for the uninitiated, like me!).
I realised that I hadn’t posted some of the most glaringly obvious changes in our house, but there is a reason for it. We had someone come in to paint the whole of the downstairs but it got left half done and so I never actually wrote about it, still thinking it would be finished off at some point.
Cringing, I’m going back and checking dates; I wrote a post about choosing a green for the kitchen in August, and we had the guy round the same month. For the sake of showing progress, here are some before and after photos, but bear in mind most of this needs a second coat, no skirts, doors or radiators are painted, and our little toilet is embarrassingly still half lime green and half pale green, six months later. It’s the Harvey Dent of bathrooms.
Back in July, I wrote about the front garden looking a bit overgrown. This photo of Barry and Scarlett picking rosehips is from September, and as you can see, they should really have taken food and water, and maybe one of those survival bracelets with them to battle their way out again.
There are some lovely plants in the front, no doubt about it; delphiniums was probably my favourite surprise as the flowers appeared over the summer. But again, like some of the features that didn’t make the cut in the back garden, there are metaphors about coats and cloth here, and we’re not landscape gardeners, we both work, and we’ve got two kids.
Plus, it’s been a bit of an eyesore over the winter and the drive desperately needs redoing. This is what the front garden looks like from Jude’s room. Hope you appreciate this photo; I may or may not have put my phone in mortal danger trying to take this through the inch gap of a safety locked window.
I wrote about my ideas for Jude’s room way back in August when I had a few-weeks-old baby who fed pretty often, but also napped about 70% of his day away and I had loads of time on my hands. We’d done nothing to his room apart from me making curtains in the summer, poor lad, he’s a real second child. He has Scarlett’s bedroom furniture aaaaaanndd… that’s pretty much it. That was his room. To be fair, he didn’t care, he’s a baby, but I was feeling bad about it. His baby book, which I recently forced myself to fill in, asks for the nursery colour scheme and accessories. I couldn’t bring myself to write “magnolia” and “haha”.