Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Mixed Bag with Photos, 23rd September 2009

A view of The Deenery from The Fairy Hill. Once an impossible photo to take as the now demolished barn was in the way! The flat roofed section is the extension.

Blog Award

I have been nominated for an award from Pam's English Garden. It is rather a splendid one and Pam nominated me, saying, 'I pass it to Gina at BT-The Crafty Gardener who writes VOLUMES about her life and gardening in Ireland. She is constantly entertaining as well as informative.' Isn't that lovely? I am flattered. I will attempt to put the award in the appropriate place when I've finished tonight's blog. I also have to write 10 things about myself. Having done a few of these, I'm running out of things you won't know but I'll do my best.

1 As a child, we had a cleaner. She was cleaning our bath and said 'I have to clean round the plugole', in her cockney accent. I piped up 'It's plug hole, not plugole'. Oh dear, what a precocious little thing I must have been.

2 I have been able to swim for as long as I can remember. I must have learned in the sea as my parents had a caravan from when I was a baby.

3 I was captain of the school swimming team and used to swim breast stroke and butterfly and take part in the individual medley where you had to swim 1 length of each stroke, the 2 above plus backstroke (which I was ok at) and crawl (freestyle), which I was rubbish at!

4 I love stationery. Pens, paper, envelopes. I can't walk past that section in a store without stopping.

5 My love of gardening came from my father. From an early age I used to help in the garden and had my own little flower bed. We had an allotment for a while and I would accompany my father there to help.

6 When I took my O level English Language exam, one of the choices for the essay was 'Gardening'. I couldn't believe my luck and achieve a Grade B. I bet I was one of the few who chose that title!

7 Even when I have lived in rented houses, I have always worked on the gardens. I built a steep rockery in one of them and seeded the front garden with nasturtiums. Passers by used to stop and admire the display.

8 If I see a neglected garden, I want to go and sort it out, it seems such a waste of space to me and a lot can be achieved with a little hard work, a packet or two of seeds and visits to gardeners who will often give you some of their plants for nothing.

9 I have one brother and one sister. My brother had polio at 18 months old, which left him with knock knees. My sister, brother and I all went to ballet classes and within a couple of years, my brother's legs were perfectly straight. In his true fashion of being good at just about everything, he then got into the Royal Ballet School! He ended up taking the academic route though and became a University Lecturer at Cambridge.

10 Blogging has changed my life. I love the fact that I now have a 'diary' and somewhere to post photos, photography being a great love of mine. I'm sure you all know that fact for sure! I love the blogging world and the friends I have made.

The Barn Demolition

Here, half of the roof timbers have gone and if you look carefully, the digger bucket is just about to take down the last few.
The roof starts to cave in.
The gable end collapses!
In a shower of dust!
The rest of the barn was demolished while I was in the UK, so I have today taken some 'after' photos.
On the left is where the barn was! They have left some of the remains, which we wanted, so it will look a bit like a ruin plus giving us a degree of privacy if we sit inside it.

The view across to the Fairy Hill and the sleeping shed, previously hidden behind the barn.

This is the view along the back of the cottage which now has a path along it, from the barn site.

The inside of the barn. The walls need a bit of adjusting. The floor was always on 2 levels and the builders have made good the step down, which was badly worn.

The cottage from the side view showing the new extension and the ex-barn!

The beam that was above the large door opening into the barn. I'd love to get its age checked. Must have a word with my brother, who's an archaeologist. It's amazingly heavy.

This is my lovely grotto! Now full of stone. We realised this would happen and removed any important plants, such as the ferns, to a new bed.

To the right of the barn site, this is our new wider road down to the arboretum and meadow.

We have loved the fact that the sun now shines on the back of the house for much longer, now that the very high barn roof has gone.

The New Bathroom

Just a glimpse through into the new bathroom now the suite is in! I love the suite, the basin has super lines and the loo is very neat. Jim has done more tiling today, round the bath. More photos when it's progressed further!

The Garden

September has been a lovely sunny month and the flowers in our garden are still going strong. Some of them, like the primulas, have had a second wind. Maybe they think it's Spring again.

This lovely plant, grown from seed, has grown taller and taller and is just covered in flowers.

A lovely primula which has burst into flower, together with the white one below.

The petunias have also kept flowering since Spring. One above and five below.

The Kafir lilies are putting on a wonderful display. Here, one vies for attention with a late flowering montbretia:

A dark red antirrhinum has just flowered with the pink of a mallow showing behind.

The Spring flowering perennial alyssum has burst into flower again.

Below are the cornflowers, first the blue, then the white. They have flowered intermittently all Summer:

This is the bed, in front of our porch, that I have re-vamped. I emptied it of all the primula 'Wanda' and other plants that had taken over and put the ferns from the Grotto bed in here. The hostas were already there. This is a very damp spot, so ferns and hostas love it. I did this before my holiday and it's looking good already.

Phormium leaves, so beautiful.

Other Garden Work

Above the 'new' rockery (now the only rockery), was an area covered in ivy, bramble and stinging nettles. I have cleared it in the last few days. The top of the rockery was crumbling away, so I put some more stones near the top and planted some of the primula 'Wanda' there, plus some other ground hugging plants, to knit the soil together.

This is taken from the top, showing the cleared site, or some of it and the newly planted ground cover plants.


Sandy and BlackJack posed for photos in the sunshine!

The Woven

Do you remember the 'Disintegration Project' where I hung a parcel in a tree for months, took it down and made my wigwam like structure? It has been in the garden ever since August and is actually doing rather well considering all the rain it's been through. Seth Apter instigated the whole project.

This is a photo of The Woven when it was first finished.

This is it today.

One of my Christmas Cards made with pressed leaves for The Deenery, taken early August.
This is how they look today. Somewhat weathered and with a distinct loss of colour.

Butterflies on the original Woven

The bottom of that section. Some of the paper has fallen out and the colours have faded in the sunshine.
Here is the original woven section of the photo of an ibis, taken when it was just finished. Below is today's photo, rather faded and the purple colour has gone. The purple lines of weaving above the ibis have changed to blue in the photo below.

I will leave it to suffer the Irish winter and see how it has changed by, say, January 2010.

The Red Window

This is in the remaining barn. The doorway didn't have a door, so Jim made this window recycling one from the cottage. Don't worry, there is another doorway. He painted it red and I think it looks splendid. Now he has the other door to paint.

Sorry this is a bit long but I had lots to write about. My next post will be about all the lovely things I've received in the post this week.


Anonymous said...

Hi, I love the area where the barn stood. That is going to be a wonderful sitting area. The ferns you moved around front are also looking good. I cannot believe all that you and Jim can accomplish in the course of a day! It makes me tired to simply READ about it!!! Your flowers are all so colorful and I love to see Sandy and Black Jack enjoying the sunshine. I know you work very hard and we just see the end result, but to read your blog and enjoy your pictures is just magical to me - I thoroughly enjoy the scenery. Take care,

Lisa at Greenbow said...

So much going on. I haven't read your blog for a long time. When you mentioned the sleeping shed this intrigued me. Do you sleep there during summer ?? or is it a guest house??

Bea said...

Long but so worth it. Loved all the wonderful pictures. It's just a joy to see what's happening in your part of the world, you garden and your pets. :)Bea

Jason said...

Looks great without the barn, so open. The bathroom looks great.

Superb red door.


Stampmaiden said...

It was great stopping by. So much catching up to do and great stuff to see. Love seeing all the latest happenings your way. The flowers are beautiful as always and congrats on your award! You certainly deserve it. And now I learn that not only can you sing, but you swim as well!

Carol said...

Aren't blog friends fab!!! People who blog just don't get it!!

Love your 10 things...and if you ever want to come over and sort out our garden I won't stop you :-D

Love the photo of the red door and I love The Woven!!

C x

Heather said...

Glorious flower photos - I am envious! So glad you have kept a little of the old barn, but I can see that it was in the wrong place for you and more light is always good. You will now have a lovely outdoor seating/dining area which you will enjoy 'furnishing' with plants. The Woven still looks good and I love the red door.

Anonymous said...

your flowers are beautiful! And I like your garden wigwam that is aging gracefully in the elements.

jinksy said...

Now I've got to the end, I can't remember what I wanted to comment on originally! You've filled my mind with such a riotous pallette of colours from your flower photos, words have been eclipsed! xxx

Pam'sEnglishGarden said...

Love your "10 things". You have so.o.o many talents. Thanks again for participating in the award! I am sorry you had to remove the old barn. Ours was taken down many years ago and there is no part of it left - glad you are keeping a small part of yours. I, too, am intrigued by the sleeping shed? The photos of your flowers are beautiful. Keep up the good work. Love, Pam.
PS sorry you had trouble getting a link to my blog in your post. Anyone interested can get there from the link above. Thanks.

soulbrush said...

i love your posts, they take me three hours to read. so much going on, every single day, do you ever sleep? glad the cards got there, i enjoyed doing those two.