Tag: garden

5 things I’m looking forward to in 2019

Things I'm looking forward to in 2019 - young smiling girl running through field with text "things to look forward to in 2019"

I don’t buy into the whole New Year thing. It’s just another day. A passing of time. Only the fact it comes with a new set of numbers really changes it from the year before.

That said, here are some things I’m looking forward to in 2019.

I’m going to be an Auntie!

By far the biggest thing to happen this year, my sister and her boyfriend are having a baby, due in July. I’ve already known for quite a while. I went to their private 10 week scan just before Christmas which was just beautiful.

Things I'm looking forward to in 2019 - baby scan

They’ve now had the 12 week scan and everything is as it should be. I was amazed, even at 10 weeks, to see the detail in the scan, the shape of the baby and it’s little stumpy arms and legs! As you’ll know if you’ve read this blog for a while I have no maternal feelings at all! That said, I cannot wait to be cool Auntie Kel, buying all the shoes and having fun days out with my niece or nephew.

My job

Sad but true! This sounds like bravado but it’s honestly not. Getting made redundant from my previous job last year was one of the best things that could have happened to me. It made me reassess what I want from a career, and what I want to put into it. I’ve only been in my new role since November, but already I feel more motivated than I have in a very long time. The company is very forward thinking, I’m already looking after a brand, and I know there are lots more good things ahead.

My garden

To say 2018 was the year of the garden is an understatement. Our garden makeover combined with one of the best summers I can remember in years meant I was outside as much as possible. From early barbecues in April through to planting bulbs as late as October, I took every opportunity to be in my happy place.

Things I'm looking forward to in 2019 - flowers and pots in my garden

The joy of seeing plants come to life and everything look so pretty will never fade for me. Really hoping for more of the same this year!

More holidays and seeing more new places

This will hopefully be on my list of things to look forward to until the day I die! Unusually we’ve started the new year with nothing booked or even planned. This is mainly due to the Brexit uncertainty and not knowing what effect it will have on the travel industry. That said, I am currently researching a trip to Bergen in Norway. It’s my Mother in Law’s 80th birthday in June and she’s always wanted to visit the fjords.

Things I'm looking forward to in 2019 - seeing more places (coloured houses in Bergen)

Basing ourselves in a city then doing trips out on the water seems to offer the best of both worlds, so I’m 90% sure that will happen.

As for the rest of the year…who knows? (the husband keeps telling me he doesn’t want to do long haul flights anymore. There’s some work for me to do there!)

Whatever other opportunities come my way

A bit of an ambiguous one this, and not just because I’d run out of things to look forward to! More so that we’re only 6 days into the new year, so who knows what lies ahead in the next 359 days? Things can change so quickly and dramatically that there could be events and plans out there way beyond my comprehension. Isn’t that part of the fun of this wild journey we call life?!

What are you looking forward to in 2019? Let me know in the comments.

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

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My new garden

Remember when I blogged about the building work on our house, and I told you that when we bought it it was really weird?

Well it’s fair to say that the garden had it’s own quirks too, with a higgledy piggledy zoned layout that didn’t make the best of the space at all. These were the online listing pictures – we struggled to even understand how they related to the house until we went for a viewing!

 

We had some use out of the garden last year; getting outside to read/drink/barbecue whenever it was warm enough, and we bought some new garden furniture and prettied the space up with some pots, but it was just a temporary measure until we decided what to do long term.

Obviously, when we moved in, our priority was to complete the building work which would change the house from a 2 bed apartment with 3 garages into a 3 bedroom “normal” 2 storey house. With builders having a habit of trampling everything in their wake and covering it with rubble and dust, we knew that the garden would be a casualty once the work started in October.

It’s now 3 months since the building work was finished, and with Spring just around the corner (surely?!) it was time to start focussing on our outdoor space, which is going to be a HUGE part of of our life during the better weather. We’d had the shed built just before Christmas (it needs painting, we’re debating colours at the moment) and I’d spent many an hour with an axe and a shovel digging up long established but neglected fuschia trees and bushes last summer, so we made the decision to open up the space by moving a fence that split the garden area in two, giving us a big open plan area with a seating level, an upper level and the lawn.

Here it is in progress, after the fence came down.

We’d had bifold doors put in the extension that was built over the winter, which opens up the side of the house onto the garden. As much as I say I like gardening, what I really like is the pretty bits – choosing and planting flowers – so we wanted the area outside the patio to be low maintenance. The existing slabs were covered in a thick membrane, and we had 7 tonnes of dove limestone gravel laid down.

Which is the perfect area for our bistro table and outdoor dining table!

Obviously I had to test out the positioning with a glass of wine! How else would I know if everything was as it should be?

Garden phase 1 finished 2

There’s still lots to do – the grass is in a bad way and we need to plan planting of border with shrubs and bulbs. In terms of prettiness I shall be on the hunt for beautiful plant pots and curios and mirrors as I want it to be a really eclectic space full of quirkiness, but it’s such a massive difference already that I can’t wait to do the next phase.

Are you a garden person? Or do you prefer to be indoors?

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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A perfect summer’s day

Hey! I’m back from my week in Greece, more on that later in another post. It was so nice to land on Sunday afternoon and be met by warm sunny weather, rather than the usual shock to the system when you’ve been in warmer climes. Even better was having an extra day off in the form of Bank Holiday Monday to soften the blow of being home, and yesterday was gorgeously warm and sunny in Birmingham. Yesterday was everything that every weekend was supposed to be in summertime, but has mainly failed miserably due to our rubbish British weather.

I had a lazy start to the day, a leisurely walk to the shops for breakfast supplies, and ate a sausage and mushroom sandwich. Then I pottered around in my garden, trimming bushes and hedges, pruning my overgrown climbing roses, watering all my plants that were thirsty after a week with no love or rain, and repotting rose bushes and french lavender to give them more space to grow.

It’s been so long since I’ve been able to spend any length of time out there because of the rain and general non-summeriness. I’ve probably not had a proper potter since the beginning of July. I was in my element; it’s exactly how I hoped to be spending my summer days. In truth I’d written off any chance of it happening as summer draws to a close (boooooo) but it was great to have a last hurrah.

Sunglasses in the garden

I’ve loved populating my green space with pretty stuff. These ornamental ladders came via a well timed trip to HomeSense, after I’d spotted similar on Pinterest.

Ornamental ladders

I’ve stacked them with pretty lanterns and solar lights from Poundland; they have such lovely garden bits and pieces.

Garden ornaments

These lightbulb shape multi-coloured solar lights were last year’s Poundland, from the Charlie Dimmock garden range (there’s also a blue and yellow one hidden from view)

Solar lightbulbs

These are my favourite garden ornaments though; Easter Island head planters from B&Q with blue grass “hair”. We call them Bert and Ernie (Bert is on the left with the emo sweepy hair and Ernie has the big forehead!)


In the evening we ate Chinese takeaway in the last of the sun and then watched the last two episodes of Game of Thrones season 7, catching up on the one we missed last week while we were away, and yesterday’s season finale. No spoilers, but I was slightly disappointed; previous seasons have led to big expectations!

How was your bank holiday?

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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How does your garden grow?

Not gonna lie, this is a blatant way of giving a shout out to my new garden!

We got the keys to our new place on Friday night, and although we don’t have to move in immediately as we’re waiting to complete the sale on our flat, we’ve already been enjoying the novelty of having a garden.

When I was growing up I just assumed I’d get married, live in a house with a garden and have kids. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, at all. It’s just that I realised it wasn’t what I wanted out of life, even though I thought it’s the path I would take, because that’s what grown ups did. Instead, when I got together with the husband (who himself had already had houses and gardens and…shock horror…other relationships (!!) and other houses) we evaluated what we wanted and decided that actually we weren’t in the right headspace for the responsibility of a house and a garden (translates to couldn’t be arsed with the idea of mowing grass and the like) so we decided on a flat with beautifully manicured gardens, looked after by the estate gardener, and a balcony space where we could have a bit of colour in pots and some furniture to sit outside and soak up the sun.

Fast forward 11 years and our priorities have changed. We no longer want to be out and about multiple times a week – we love the thought of being at home in our own space, spending Saturday afternoons outside in the sun, welcoming friends for barbecues, and being more homebody-ish (that’s not to say we don’t still love eating and drinking out – one of our criteria for moving was the location which had to be in our beloved Moseley with it’s proliferation of restaurants, pubs and bars).

Anyway, to backtrack, we bagged our house and garden. It’s very very private – hidden behind a cul de sac so you wouldn’t know it was there unless you knew it was there. No passing traffic. A garden with different areas and lots of scope for al fresco dining and relaxing, plant pots, pretties and all the solar lights.

Here are a few pics!

I have bluebells and daisies – how exciting!

Lots of ivy and trees make the whole space incredibly green

Garden greenery

After a strong start on Saturday, we dedicated Sunday to buying sunloungers, relaxing, and looking up!

Are you a garden person? Do you love outside space?

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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We bought a house!

Well, to be technically correct we exchanged contracts on a house, which means that we (or the seller!) could still pull out but it would cost thousands of wasted pounds so isn’t really an option for anyone. So it gives us some peace of mind (at last). Hurrah!

The place we’re buying needs some work (pink bathroom suite, anyone?!) and some structural work to change the layout (it currently has too many garages and not enough living space) so it will be a costly and lengthy process to get it to where it needs to be, but it will also be nice to completely put our own stamp on it and make it into a place that meets our needs.

Plus the location and garden are everything we wanted but thought we wouldn’t get when we first started looking, so that’s great news.

I’ve been in a Pinterest frenzy for the past 3 months, with boards for garden ideas, décor and kitchen spaces, which I now need to revisit and start to narrow down into some sort of plan so that when we complete in mid May we can get cracking straight away. One of the first things to do will be get an architect round to draw up our building plans and submit them for planning permission (please be nice, Birmingham council!) as it can take up to 8 weeks to get approval. We’ll be glad of the garden in the meantime, and I have so many ideas for it, so lets hope we have a good summer!

Here are some of my fave home inspo pics that I’ve collected during the arduous home buying journey, and you can see more on my Pinterest if you’re of a curious mind!

Expect lots more housey stuff in the coming weeks and months, I’m sure!

Thanks, as always, for reading.

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