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It's Good To Be Back.......Pt 1


Well, I’ve had a very nice but busy AND expensive week off!

As some of you will know, we are celebrating 3 birthdays this week and so had a BBQ last Saturday with the kids and grandson around. Myself and Ali were out bright and early Saturday morning to pick up Cuprinol Autumn Gold fence paint on offer in Wilkinsons at £5 for a 5ltr tub – ready for our new fence should it go ahead – and also to get the food and drink for the BBQ. All was going well until we came out of Asda and the car wouldn’t start! Half hour later we admitted defeat and called the AA who duly towed Ali and the car to the garage, which was shut until Monday whilst I made my way home with all the shopping in a cab! She followed in another cab from the garage!

Anyway, the evening was a great success and both Ali and her son got rather tipsy – fatal for Ali as she is not a big drinker! So fatal in fact, that the next day, my birthday, saw me spend the whole day alone watching TV and doing a spot in the garden whilst a certain someone slept off a BIG hangover and was sick through the day!! Still, we couldn’t have gone anywhere as we were carless and remained that way until Wednesday night when we finally got it back. The crank saft sensor had gone and was a real pain to replace on our petrol VW Golf – £180 worth of a pain and that after just short of a grand spent on it in January!! Money we have not got and was put very reluctantly on the card!

So, whilst there have been some down points to this week, we have also had some good things happen too and none more than in the shape of the garden, which is slowly finding it’s form again.

We let it go a bit the past 2 years with other things going on and with my long hours in work, I didn’t always feel up to it but hopefully, we are finding our feet again so I thought I would share a few pics with you.

Some of you may remember we had large conifers right down the one side, which we tried to make into a woodland area. Well, those trees were taken down last year and with next door’s huge Oak now gone, we have a lot more sunshine and our best show of Bluebells since our daughter gave us a load 3 years ago from their garden.

This is how the side of the garden looks presently with the Conifers gone – Rowan still intact and doing mighty fine…..

The pieces of wood you can see attached to the fence and trees were done by me during the winter storms/winds as the posts of the fence are rotten and would have gone over had I not battened down the hatches – at 12.15am in the lashing rain back a few months ago!!

From some of the thicker trunks of the felled Conifers, I got creative and made a kind of wood sculpture-type thingy and intend chiselling out the top one to plant in – an ongoing project! Meanwhile, I have simply placed some smaller containers on the different levels to create a flower stand of sorts…….

The lady from across the road moved about a year ago after her husband of 25 years came home from his job in Saudi for a 2 week family visiting trip and duly asked for a divorce on his last night! She has now got over it and literally moved on but was kind enough to give us quite a few bits and bobs. None moreso than this nice little wooden bench, which we have at the top of the garden in front f the Potting Shed. Well, on some of the thinner Conifer trunks, Ali had the novel idea last week of using some of them as tables for drinks by the side of the bench – who’s a clever girl?

Yesterday, on an unexpected day of sunshine, we visited the daughter to say Happy Birthday and then came home for a few hours in the garden. Spurred on by her idea for the tables, I left her potting on a few bits in the Greenhouse – Cosmos, Asters, 1 Lavender, Rudbeckis and also planting some new seeds – and took a few small metal buckets that we acquired a couple of years ago and set to work. Popped a Lobelia in each one and now just wait for the colour to show and trail….

What do you think?

And one with a Passionfruit Cider sat upon it – well deserved after 3 hours in the early evening sun planting and bending!

A look down the garden and some new planting in the long wooden troughs – some grasses, Purple Palace Heuchuras and a few snapdragons for a splash of colour – when they flower.

Just behind the Conifer stump structure lies the old tin bath we got 2 years ago from a boot sale for a tenner and now planted up with a couple of Hollyhocks and some Ivy…..

The central veg patch this year taken over with many flowers – some bought, some grown and some moved from pots on the decking…..

Lots of activity in the GH…..

Toms coming along…..

Runner Beas fighting hard against the slugs!

A few years ago, I bought a few slug traps that you pour beer in and wait for the buggers to party on down. Well, I hadn’t used them until this week because my 3 mini Dahlias were getting chomped away at and it has to be said that whilst not stopping it completely, it is slowing the process down and they are climbing into the traps. Spurred on by this success, Ali came up with the idea of a homemade slug beer trap – only on a grander and cruder scale – see the result below nest to one of the bought ones…..

Red Sun Sun Flowers coming along……

And the Cherry Tree we bought 3 years ago for £4.99 in Wilko’s and left in the bag for 3 weeks before planting – oops!

The flower is lovely and now the cherries are forming…..

I also bought some Sloeberry bushes online from a Nursery and they are coming along nicely too….

I won’t bore you anymore as this is already rather long but I will finish by saying that with the flowers and sun comes wildlife and we are slowly getting some back. the birds never really went away as we have always maintained the feeders for them but tonight we were able to confirm that along with our Saprrow couple who have been nesting just under the roof for 3 years, we now have Blue Tits nesting in a bird box I put up on the back of the house also 3 years ago! So exciting!

I leave you with a few different shots of the garden and will be back soon with Part 2……

And how was your week?

More blog posts by oddbillie

Previous post: Some progress - slowly but surely!

Next post: It's Good To Be Back.......Pt 2



I really enjoyed reading the ups and downs Ob, you sound really positive,
I love the inspired planting in your garden, the wooden tables are a brilliant idea, and using them to hang plants from looks really fun! about hanging a couple more of the wee metal planters, add ice and you have a handy bottle cooler :0)

23 May, 2014


Thanks Pamg, glad you enjoyed.

Love the idea of an ice cooler and maybe a small bottle of wine or even beer!! Lol!

23 May, 2014


It must make a huge difference to the garden with all the trees gone and the new sloe's and cherry will give the birds somewhere better to sit. Best of luck with keeping the cherries away from the birds!
The amount of containers must keep you busy watering later in the year. It will all look stunning when they all get into full growth.

23 May, 2014


Not boring at all, its good to read how things are coming along with your garden, not so good about the car but it always comes with the territory doesn't it, almost as though a gremlin likes to throw the spanners in the works just when we think we are ok again..
Your garden is looking a treat, I like the tables and plantstands that you've used the logs for, they look so natural, I'm hoarding bits here ready for a stumpery, waiting for hubby to buy some more granite for his driveway so as I can pinch some, then I will need some more ferns, he doesn't know though, lol..
Wasn't the weather good last week, we also had a bbq at my son's and although very merry we didn't suffer the hangover afterwards, lol, its good to let your hair down with family celebrations, glad you enjoyed yourselves.
Lovely pics Ob.....

23 May, 2014


I really enjoyed that look round your garden, Billie, but fortunately it hasn't left me with a hangover. Poor Ali!
I like your innovation with the tree stumps - just my kind of thing. Those being used as small tables will look great when that lobelia gets into its stride too. You have some great photos, especially in your close-ups. The poppy and gorse (?) is a pretty shot and that final one is stunning - such colour.

HB, I've been coveting a stumpery too - not sure if it will ever happen though.

23 May, 2014


Some great ideas you`ve come up with OB its nice to see the garden all coming back together.

27 May, 2014


Fab ideas and such great pictures!

29 May, 2014


Hello again ! Well...where do I start ! Have just found your page and have really enjoyed your blog. You have some lovely pots and brilliant ideas too. I love Ali's idea with the drinks table, but wasn't that bottle of cider sliding off ! lol.
Your garden is great. I love the sunset picture too !
Off to look at part two now !

11 Jul, 2014


Apologies for the delayed response but not been about for a while and had no notification by email to tell me anyone had commented, which I normally do so apologies again!

HS: We had some lovely looking cherries and about 25 or so this year - they were there and slowly turning red and next day, we got in from work and Ali sowed me the tree - cherryless!! She was gutted as she wanted to try one but their's always next year. Always busy watering but the ground, whilst lovely soil, is full of the old conifer roots which are a nightmare but I will eventually dig them over. The biggest difference since the trees have gone is the show of bluebells and tulips and other odd bits that always struggled a little and this year, best show ever on nearly all the plants in the shaded area.

Lincslass: Thanks for the comments and keep pushing hubby to get the required parts for your stumpery!! Glad you enjoyed your BBQ as well and the weather was ace as I remember it!

TB: Glad you enjoyed the trip and the Lobelia is staring to sprout up now so some more pics soon I guess!

Stroller: Thanks and yes, very satisfying to see things looking clean and colourful out there :o))

FG: Thanks for the kind comment.

Rose: Glad you like the different pots and ideas we've used. The cider was on there for photographic reasons and had it slipped, it would NOT have hit the floor because I would have caught it first.....!!!! Lol

Glad you enjoyed and your garden is lovely.

11 Jul, 2014


Thank you once again Oddbillie ! Was you laid underneath the bottle then with your mouth open ! Hahaa!

14 Jul, 2014

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