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'Don't go down the coal bunker Granny, you've got enough ...


THIS BLOG WAS STARTED ON MONDAY NIGHT BUT I WAS TOO TIRED TO COMPLETE IT….so, what you see in it, all happened on Monday!

Well, Ali went to a Boot Sale on Sunday morning just gone and asked if I wanted anything…..??? How would I know what was there? It’s a Boot Sale woman, not a shop of specifics!!

Obviously I didn’t say that to her as if I did, i would not be able to type this blog now….! My fingers would not doubt have been chopped off and probably planted in the garden…well, it’s what they would have wanted as they seemed so at home in the garden!

DAN, you’re rambling again!‘,,,,,’SORRY MOTHER!’

No, I simply said that if she could find anything that I could plant in, then consider me.

She returned 2 hours later with some bits for herself and the following 2 coal scuttles……..

You may remember the previous scuttle I got from a reclamation yard? Well that ONE cost me £8…..

These TWO, cost Ali…….£4.50….for the TWO….B-A-R-G-A-I-N!!

So, obviously now that I had 2 scuttles/planting vessels, I would, theoretically, require something to plant in them. So, as we were looking to purchase some more compost anyway, we had a look in Homebase and I decided to plant in just one of them, for now. For that particular reason, I chose a tray of small Heather Collection which when planted, looked like this…..

As the weather was relatively good, I decided to set to work on the border area next to the decking and this meant a bit more heavy labour. 9 slabs had to come up for the required area. First 3……

Then another 3…..

And finally another 3….

They actually all came up pretty easily as they have been down for many years, by all accounts but what was waiting underneath made me jack that job in until another day. Must have been about 2" of rock hard cement on top of membrane and it’s going to take a bit more than just tapping it out so that will wait until another day!!

So, what else could I do on a rare day of quite nice weather? Well, I’m assuming it’s a girly thing what Ali does here at Corner Cottage HQ……allow me to explain and please confirm if I am right or if Ai is on her own in doing it……

I go to work every day for several weeks, nee months, and come home to the same lovely house every night. Everything is in it’s place and I know where to sit, where to find extension leads, even where the dining table is. Then, one day, every few weeks/months, out of the blue, I come home and I can’t find the extension lead….I sit down and fall straight on to the floor as the seating vessel has moved…..I stumble down in the morning to have brekkie at the dining table in the kitchen and as a place my Rice Krispies on the table, they drop onto the floor and create a milky mess of popping krispies.


Because Ali has decided, once again, that she needs to move everything around as she ‘was bored with it’. I’ve always smiled politely through gritted teeth – the male mind is not constructed to think in this female way – and afforded her her whims.

‘Where is all this leading to Dan?’

Well, I decided to do the same out in the garden and brush the decking down and move the tubs/pots around because I was bored with where they were!! SOoooooooo in touch with my femine side or what!!

It’s nothing special but whils i have nowhere else to plant at present, the decking is our area of colour in the garden and I obviously took some photo’s to share with you…..

The sweet pea and Japonica have stayed the same as Japonica seems really happy there and so he stays until after winter when he’s put in the border – I will get it done before then!! I’ve just added the 2 tubs of Iris/Peacock Orchids to the left where the Cosmos were…..

Along the balistrade, I have moved my home-made planter with Osteospermum and as you walk out of the conservatory now, you see this little lot leading down to the home-made water feature…..

And then where my Asiatic Lillies were on the corner of the balistrade by the steps, I have now brought the big barrel of Rudbeckia up and placed it with similar colours on the Coreopsis and the Calceolaria. Added the ‘bad hair day’ Delosperma nubigenum!! Next to that is the Gazania and yellow Begonia, which I have snipped back to allow new growth coming through on both.

Then you have the new/old scuttle with the heather in and as you get 6 lots of the heather, I planted 2 spares in some old plastic pots for now just to save them over the winter and replant next year…..

Looking along the balistrade from the heather and back up towards the Rudbeckia….

I’ve put the Osteo’s against the side balistrade now followed by Cordy. Cosmos in background on top of deck by steps….

Looking from path up to steps, you now get a nice welcome from Nod, the dog, who is overseeing the newly positioned Fuschias….

So, that’s the moving round done. Nothing spectacular but it was quite therapeutic and wiled away some hours whilst Ali was painting the small bedroom ready to…..wait for it…….move her sewing machine and craft stuff up to it’s new abode!! Overall, I’m quite happy with my first few months on the gardening scene and have truly appreciated the help, support and general banter on GoY. Sharing all your experience is a wonderful gift and its free and never-ending, so thank you one and all! Still looking forward to winter and more wildlife hopefully but for now, I will share some more of the pics taken on Monday. Hope you like them

Scuttle heather….

One of the spare heather….

Begonia – dark and green leaf mixed….

Droplets on yellow begonia….

Droplets on pink Sweet Pea….

Rudbeckia – ’We’re just a couple of swells….!’

Acidanthera – I know, but I can’t resist them. They just lend themselves to affording me some great pics so here’s another one…..

Fuschia – is it me, or does this look a bit like some sort of insect with its antennae and shape?

Nice segue into the final few pics of some visitors who joined me on Monday.

This little fella jumped out of my Begonia when Iwas doing a little pruning on the patio table. He jumped across to the Butterfly lavender, also on the table, before ending up on the table and flipping crazily around the tabletop before coming to a standstill….camera please!

He is apparently, a water boatman beetle – thanks to Bonkersbon for that one! Pretty cool I have to say.

Look closely and you can see his little eyes….

A little garden spider hurrying around the edge of a pot. Don’t worry girls, he wasn’t as big as he looks and certainly not menacing….

And now for a few shots with the cute factor.

‘Does my bum look big in this…..’

managed to snap this one in time before he shot out of sight again. they have a great little sound like ‘pfwee’ and just shoot down and back again with a stolen seed! The coal tit….

They’re definitley checking something out….

Something or someone is eating my Buddlia…..

But the Black Knight is still doing okay since settling in his new home….

And finally, for Lincslass, Crazydi and anyone else who has suffered heartache this past week or so……

SMILE, though your heart is aching….’

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Great blog as always Dan! But the BUGS!!! Eeeeeew!

9 Sep, 2009


Love the new arrangement!

9 Sep, 2009


Oh, your final photo is stunning. Loved your blog, very funny - also love your garden - very tidy - now how can this be if you're not a Are those pretty fairy lights solar powered?

9 Sep, 2009


Brilliant blog once again Dan, one of your scuttles looks like a german helmet, they are great, and well done Ali for spotting the bargain.
I think your Fuschia is taken at a cracking angle, what a shot! And as with all the other shots they are brilliant, love the insect and bird ones too.

9 Sep, 2009


Great blog and terrific photos, OB. I know just how that little sparrow feels :)

9 Sep, 2009


MP: Thanks for that, as always. It's knowing what to do but a little change here and there makes it feel new again for a while! Don't you think the bugs are awesome though? Great to have critters and allsorts out there!

Spindle: Not sure you'd say 'tidy' if you saw around the side of the decking. where the slabs have come up - work in progress shall we say! Ali does the veggies and I've taken responsibility for the flowers - I'm a novice but loving every minute of it. Wish I had more time to be 'out there' but work does not allow. Welcome to GoY, by the way! I need to get the hoover out soon as the leaves are already falling!

Bob: thanks mate. Thought you'd like the bugs! Maybe I should have tried the 'helmet' on for size first! Can't remember taking the fuschia shot but everything was 'drying off' on Monday so I was lucky with that one.


9 Sep, 2009


I love your unusual pots. Wish I had an 'eye' for bargains. They look lovely. Thanks for the welcome :o)

9 Sep, 2009


Ali is good at that 'bargain' thing and she loves to snap them up

It all stemmed from seein the first one in the reclamtion yard and thinking, that would be 'different' to plant in!

Now we keep an aye out for things and now I have 3 coal scuttles which is great. May even put one in the border next year when it's doen for something unusual. You get lots of great ideas on here and now, no doubt, i will get more when I visit your blogs/pics!!

9 Sep, 2009


i have a camera OK, I have just never uploaded photos before, but promise I will get round to it. My garden is only one year old, cos we've moved into a new build, so I would struggle to get decent snaps to show anyone. I'm also a novice gardener, but am learning lots of this site, and thoroughly am enjoying all the blogs. Thanks :)

9 Sep, 2009


Novice myself Spindle and only been doing the whole 'gardening thing' since about April.

We moved here a year ago this month...god, it's flown by when I think of a year! Anyway, it's great having a little escape and any pics are good pics so show everyone your borders so we can share your journey as your garden grows with you.......

GoY is full of great and friendly people and is also VERY addictive!!

9 Sep, 2009


OK, you've convinced me. Hubby informs me the camera leads and thingums are in the computer bag so I'll give it a bash tomorrow after work. Fingers crossed the weather is nice and I can get some good shots. Thanks for the encouragement - hope you dont live to regret

9 Sep, 2009


Thanks for taking me round your lovely garden the heather in the new scuttle looks striking. Pass on the spiders though!

9 Sep, 2009


Excellent stuff!

Rmember, no-one is going to criticise you. Gardens, plants, wildlife is all good and no matter how big or small a garden is, 2 borders or 2 acres, it's your garden and people are interested in it.

Some of the gardens I've seen on here I would have poo-pooed in the past and may not neccesarily have them myself, but when you see someone else's efforts, you appreciate it and that's why it's good to 'get out there' and start snapping away!

I only found this site by chance when looking for advice on ponds! My better half - she's asleep but best to be careful and call her that else I'll get! - had swine flu and this resulted in my staff not wanting me near work so as I had 2 weeks off after that week, I ended up having 3 weeks off end of July, beginning of August - very nice thank you sir!

If you read back over my blogs, you will see the journey so far and I will add you as a favourite so I know when those pics are posted!!

Good luck and take loads...remember, it's digital so no need to worry about wasted pics, you can just delete them!!

9 Sep, 2009


Fraid I'm guilty of the moving things around bit too - I used to move the furniture about every six months, drove everyone mad! But now you've discovered the joys of moving things around outside, which I've always done as well. Delightful blog, love the pics of the birds particularly, and very nice containers.

9 Sep, 2009


Hmmmm. As I say, you may live to regret your encouragement. But I would like to show-off my earwig eaten clematis if nothing - just for Drc

9 Sep, 2009


There you go then. You've got one up on me with your clematis. Ali planted 3 in a trough down where the pond now is against the garage wall to grow up the willow trellis.

In my naivety, 2 months ago, as it wasn't flowering and was really not growing, I assumed it was dead and threw it out........I KNOW, but I was new to it all and Ali just 'mildly' flipped until she remembered that I was a blokey and then she seemed to nod, knowingly.....strange that!

So, looking forward to some nice cloe-ups of the clematis....

9 Sep, 2009


Ob you made me laugh with your descriptions of yours and Ali`s changes inside and out,I used to change things around a lot but I was not allowed to move hubby`s chair or the bed. I well remember you joining Goy and you have really got the gardening bug,it looks grand and I have enjoyed reading and looking at your progress.smashing photo`s (except creepy ones) many thanks for the last one and think I`ll do an Ali and go bargain hunting,hers look great............

9 Sep, 2009


Seeeee Dan I told you it was "normal" to move things around in and outside the house!! Thanks guys for confirming it.
Pics look fabby as usual babe, just wish I could get my hands on the camera to have a go! Lol. x

10 Sep, 2009


That's my girl!

Since purchasing the said camera, you have had a perfectly good camera in the one this one replaced........

Some folk are just so ungrateful! What is wrong with a 'Brownie'?

Hope you have a good day at work dear!

Sad innit, when you have to communicate through a blog coz shifts determine you don't see eac other until tonight...:0(

In case anyone is wondering, YES, Aliwya is indeed, my extremely better half......

She has joined us GoYers but alas, has no pics as yet and her busy schedule doesnot allow hr much time but.... Welcome to GoY, babe!

10 Sep, 2009


Ok Welcome to GoY from me also Aliwya :o))

10 Sep, 2009


Nowt wrong with a brownie, Oddbillie, but you'd have a job to upload pictures from it....;-)

10 Sep, 2009


Love the blog Dan, fantastic pictures too. Who could fail to smile when looking at the last one :o))))
Glad you've seen the light on moving things around 'because you're bored with it', you're new arrangement is looking great, still plenty of colour there.

10 Sep, 2009


sorry im a little late Dan, only got back from hospital today, but im here now to see all your good work :o) i love the coal scuttles and look great planted up, im on the look out now lol, the deck planting looks great to and all your plants are doing so well, keep up the good work, glad i didnt have to take them flags up :o( your poor back

10 Sep, 2009


Just had another look at your lovely photos, think I need to go and practice some more! :o(

10 Sep, 2009


Hey! Welcome aboard Aliwya!! What kept you?
Welcome to you too Spindle, you dunno what you've let yourself in for!
No Dan, I just think the bugs are yuk! Bees & flutterbyes yes. The rest, no ta!

10 Sep, 2009


Brill blog as always BB lol...

10 Sep, 2009


Thanks kindly all and glad you enjoyed.

Lily, your pics are brill and getting even better with each blog. A fair few are discarded, let me tell you!!

Sandra: I've got another 15 flags to take up yet.....JOY!!

10 Sep, 2009


Welcome Spindle, don't worry about your new garden theres lots of ideas on here AND taking pics is a great way of seeing where you have come from, WE here love to see others ways of doing things whatever it is. A few years ago our garden here was child oriented (lots of lawn and space to be a footballer) now he's grown its changing.
Gardens are like that they evolve!
Great pics Dan and a brill blog as usual ! already met your better half but Hi Ali !!!

11 Sep, 2009


oh goody Dan bet you cant wait,, :o((

11 Sep, 2009


Cheers Indy, glad you enjoyed and try not to say 'better half' too loud or too catch my drift?

Goes to her head and just spoils things....:0)-

San: Uuuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmm......I CAN WAIT!!

11 Sep, 2009


lol, it will be all worth it in the end when you and Ali are sat on your patio next summer enjoying your hard word, you will feel so proud :o)

11 Sep, 2009


Mmmm....we'll see!

Hope to get a bit done when I'm off in a few weeks. Border dug over ready for winter to do it's bit on it and then go over it again end of jan ready for planting in Feb/March,

How's your cat been San? Still eating okay and all?

11 Sep, 2009


yes she seems ok thanx Dan, thats whats makes it hard to sink in, i keep hoping the vet has it all wrong, she does sleep alot lately but i put that down to weather, getting a bit colder at evenings, she normally sleeps in our room but has taken to sleeping in joe`s room under his chair, not sure why

11 Sep, 2009


Sure she's fine. Cat's are funny old things and she's just keeping you on your toes.

Have faith, keep strong and.......DON'T WORRY! It does you or her no good. Continue to love her and cherish her and she will reciprocate with a long life.

Chin up girl!

11 Sep, 2009


cheers Dan :o))

11 Sep, 2009


Great blog, great photos again OB.

Being female, I get really frustrated at not being able to move my furniture around as I now have such a small house nothing can go anywhere other than where it is now...if you get what I mean! My pots get moved about a bit, but again...once they are in the best spot for them, that's it! So Ali is definitely not alone in the moving stuff thing. :o)
I wonder why we do it? Is it the 'nest building' instinct I wonder?

13 Sep, 2009


Might be nest building, but my opinion of my own furniture rearranging habit is that you just haven't got it right, somehow, it doesn't feel quite right. I never do it now, apart from minor rearrangement of houseplants (have loads); I'd quite like to have a go again though, just for a change, but my tv is so heavy I can't move it at all... so it'll have to wait till I get a new lcd one, I guess! And if I do it now, it'll only be boredom with the way it currently looks, not because its not the optimum arrangement.

13 Sep, 2009


I used to do it at the beginning of each new year......made it seem like a 'fresh start' I think!

13 Sep, 2009


im the same always changing things about, especially ready for winter, get the lounge nice and cosy

13 Sep, 2009


What variety are those SWELL rudbeckia in the middle?! And what kind of camera does macro and zoom? The clarity of your images is impressive. When I went looking in Medford (OR) for an ash bucket aka coal shuttle to use with my fireplace, they are now considered antiques and selling for $100+! Ha! Lucky finds for you. Glad to see so many pots: rest of garden looks rather zen with gravel?

13 Sep, 2009


Hi Orgratis & welcome to GoY!!

The Rudbeckia are Sonora and seem to be thriving right now, which is nice as they brighten up any dreary day!

A lot of the digital cameras do the zoom and macro and a steady and helps, I suppose......

Ali - aka Aliwya, my better half - was very lucky with these at the boot sale and I was chuffed as well. Always on look out for unusual planting vessels as they 'mix it up' a bit!

Glad you like the pots and the gravel is merely down as a walkway around the veg patch and if you take a look back at some of my previous blogs, you will see the path I've put down to the back gate with gravel and slabs.

Thanks again for your kind comments and look forward to seeing some pics of your garden soon :0)

13 Sep, 2009


Theres me keepin shtuum about other halves and their betterness qualities, as requested, and youre goin round spoutin it every other comment, I don't know !

14 Sep, 2009


Inadvertent slip Indy.....SORRY!!

14 Sep, 2009


Or a badly twisted arm mebee!

14 Sep, 2009


Dunno 'bout better but you can be commended on making a wise choice! My daughter, with exorable condescension, is showing me how to work the digital Canon (w/zoom) and with exorbitant patience may even teach me to upload (?) photos. She thinks it's a riot I'm now online almost as much as she: we IM from across the house...

15 Sep, 2009


So patronising, the young, can't they be - my son was visibly shocked when he realised I'd already signed up for Spotify online when he was telling me about it...

15 Sep, 2009


For WHAT??????

15 Sep, 2009


Spotify - its a sort of music access station you can get on your computer - now you have to be invited to join, apparently - full membership costs, but I've just got the free version, which means you get an ad about every half hour or so, though I've never heard one yet. Its great, I can listen to Orbital while on the net...

15 Sep, 2009


Very good! I use Vuse!

15 Sep, 2009


Never heard of it...!

15 Sep, 2009


Its a music site too!
Free downloads.

15 Sep, 2009

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