I love almost every colour of rose, but I think pink roses are my favourite. And even though it goes against my California-native/drought-tolerant principals here in California, I couldn’t resist a few David Austin roses in my new planting schemes. This
is one of my all-time favorites, Gertrude Jekyll, planted last year and finally hitting her stride. Doesn’t she look great against the grey of the deer sage?
is a new friend, Charles Rennie Mackitosh, planted in February and about to reward me for my faith. You can take the girl out of England… 🙂
Happy Labor Day! While the distinction is irrelevant in SoCal (where September is often the hottest month of the year), for most Americans today symbolises the end of the summer. So it seemed appropriate to mark the day with a summary of the summer chez nous.
Work on the house has seen less progress than we’d like. We do finally have a fence at the back of the kitchen garden so that’s one promise kept, but the original doors on what used to be the kitchen proved to have termite damage and it has taken FOREVER to get new ones. Hopefully, once they arrive it should be a fairly quick process to finish the floor and paint the walls. That said, the spa area is almost complete…expect a longer post soon!
As distractions, there was a wonderful weekend in Charleston with my Lovely Man and visits to family in England and France. As to the rest, just kicked back and enjoyed the summer!
I defy anyone not to love sweet peas. Totally girly with their delicate, pastel-coloured petals and sweet scent and completely impractical for anything other than decoration. But irresistible nonetheless. These are from my father’s garden in England.
It is wonderful what benign neglect can achieve! I planted this pomegranate towards the end of the summer last year and have done nothing more than water it since. But nature is a miraculous thing…
You already know that my Lovely Man and I like wine…
Our new spa is in place and functional, if not very pretty. So I was trawling my favourite source of inspiration for ideas about how to make it look less of an eye-sore when I found this:
Very nice but not really practical.
But then I followed a related pin and stumbled upon the idea of a wine barrel. I admit that thoughts of the Duke of Clarence did cross my mind, but when the barrels look like this…
…how could I resist?
I thought once our roof was on we would be done with heavy machinery. But no…
Once the house was done we wanted to add a pool. The original plan was for a classically-styled in-ground pool with a spa and a tanning platform, all tastefully landscaped to match the rest of the house. Then we found out how long the planning process would take and what it would cost in permits and fees before we even broke ground, and we simply didn’t want to wait. So, on to plan B.
We’re neither of us big swimmers, and there isn’t much room on the terrace, so we decided to go for an above-ground swim-spa. It has seats around the edges for relaxation, and a deeper section in the centre where one can do water-based exercises, or swim against a current. We chose one made by Arctic Spas, which arrived on a lorry from Canada, and after some palaver getting it off the back of the truck, sat on our driveway for a week or so while we did the prep work on the terrace.
But, it weighs 2000lb, so there was no way we were carrying it around the back by ourselves! Which brings me to the heavy machinery…
First came this
Which lifted the tub off the driveway, across the garden and into the back…
And then came this little baby
which was walked through the garden onto the terrace, where is did this…
…and then this…
After some maneouvring
the pool is in place and in use.
It’s not as pretty as we would have liked (more landscaping required!) but it took eight weeks to install, from placing the order to swimming. Yay!
So exciting…! I have been so preoccupied with house and visitors that I have rather neglected my kitchen garden. But this week I got two new presents.
First is a pair of gooseberry bushes. It seems gooseberries are not popular in California but Lovely Man loves them. And so I managed to track down some plants. Here’s hoping…
And second is my first actual produce……mulberries. Not going to be making jam any time soon, but it still very rewarding to have results so quickly. Now if I can only keep the birds off until they’re properly ripe!