29 May 2008


The good thing about having a gardening quarantine is that you get to spend time in your garden actually doing other things than weeding. For me that means wandering about with my camera, stop and smell the flowers and enjoying the moment. Today it was the spectacular colors of my Clematis that caught my attraction……

Don`t forget to stop now and then and smell the flowers!
Hope you all have a lovely day

My poor darling

The day before yesterday my youngest daughter fractured her arm for the third time in a row. Poor darling! She was in so much pain. And she wasn’t allowed to eat or drink because the doctors weren’t sure whether or not they had to operate. We spent eight hours in the emergency ward and wasn’t home until the middle of the night. Luckily my daughter is a very happy, patient and calm girl and it takes a lot to upset or bother her. So when she got the result from the x-ray she just sighed and said “this is the third summer with a cast. That’s a really lousy tradition Mum…. ” . Well, amen to that! Today she was feeling much better and went off to school again. Returning with the cast full of autographs….

20 May 2008


My cottage garden is very old fashioned. The old lady that owned the house was very fond of her garden and had a lot of old plants. When she died the house stood empty for more than a year and the garden was unattended. The former owner lived there only for 8 months and wasn’t interested in gardening. He had enough work with trying to make the house livable. So much work I am sad to say that his marriage broke up and they had to sell it. We bought the house in the middle of last summer and didn’t have much time for the garden either carrying on where the last owner left off and trying hard not to let our marriage go the same way. So this spring the garden was all shambles and in great need of some tender love and care. I have been working hard with cutting down hedges of sleeping beauty proportions, digging up nettles and giving the weeds a hard time.

In the process I found rose bushes, peonies, monk’s hood, delphinium, foxglove, lupines, lilacs and an enormous amount of Lily of the valley. I have been working so hard in the garden that I got a sore hip tendon. I tried long and hard not to pay attention to it and by doing so pretending that the pain would just go away. But when I couldn’t walk properly any more due to the pain I had to stop pretending… So I put myself in quarantine. Gardening quarantine! Last weekend I didn’t even allow myself to visit the house because I new that being there I wouldn’t be able to stop myself from digging or mowing the lawn or planting flowers, or….It wasn’t easy I can tell you because now is the absolute most beautiful time of the year! My youngest daughter felt sorry for me and said we could spend some quality time together instead.

I am very proud over my two daughters. They are both talented girls and the eldest (16) is very much in to fashion, great at doing make up and has a lovely singing voice. She is a natural when it comes to horses and wants to study natural horsemanship for Monty Roberts in America. The youngest (13) is the creative one. She handles a sewing machine and a drilling machine with the same forte and wants to be an inventive genius when she grows up. She got her own sewing machine last Christmas and this Christmas her highest wish was a dress form. And she got one! Now when we had some time on our hands she wanted to sew a summer party dress. Said and done. We bought a beautiful fabric and a pattern that in fact was a ball dress with a long skirt but we decided we could always shorten it. I was a bit nervous because the pattern seemed rather difficult but we were determined to give it our best shot. I cut the fabric and my daughter did the sewing. Furter down you can see the result!

My poor garden.
So sadly neglected. Everything is buried in nettles and weeds.

After some TLC.
I still want it a bit rough and unattended looking but now the peonies, monk’s hood, foxglove, lupines, and Lily of the valley has a fair chance of growing and blossom.

My daughters dress.
Not bad for a 13 year old! The dress form was a great help!

And now my hip is so very much better and my walk only has a very small limp to it! I hope to be able to do some more gardening in a near future! Or at least be able to bend down and smell the flowers…..
Hope you all have a lovely week!

PS My dear blog friend Betty Jo has moved her blog. Please visit the new one and take a peak at an amazing verandah and a lavender colored house.

11 May 2008

How about some recycling fun?

Ever since I bought the book on metal craft I have a new passion. Metal is such an exciting material and it doesn’t matter if it’s shiny and new or very old and worn you can still make so many fun things out of it. I have started to build up a collection of tins and cans and my work room is getting way to small. Wool, yarn, fabric, beads, pearls, paint, brushes, tins, cans and a whole lot of other stuff that can come in handy is stowed away on a very tiny area. I am in desperate need of a new work room or a total makeover of the old one. That will definitely have to be one of my summer projects…….among many others!

Today I needed someplace new to store my vintage lace so I decided to make one. Do you want to know how I did it? Welcome to tag along!

I chose a tin can from my "collection"

I like this can as it is but sausages doesn`t go to well with vintage lace so I decide to redo it! I wanted it to be a bit more shabby chick and princess like in style...

I made a paper template ....

.....then I traced the template on the can using a permanent marker.

I cut out the crown using heavy-duty tin snips and I used a metal file to remove the sharp edges....

.....then I painted it white and added a few rosebuds, an old photo and the text princess on tiny scraps of paper with decoupage finish. I use Royal Coat because it`s acid free and fast drying.

This is the finished result! Soon to be filled with vintage lace !

05 May 2008

Alien nettles?

I wanted a small vegetable garden at the country house. Not much, just some rhubarb, salad, herbs, strawberries and one or two raspberry bushes. I had the perfect spot. The former owner had already planted rhubarb there so why not carry on where he had finished.

The place was absolutely covered in nettles but what the heck you just pull them up by the roots right? It took me 10 seconds to realize that pulling them up was out of the question. They had roots as big as my index finger and grew half way to China.

Armed with a spade I started digging. And digging and digging. Six hours later I had removed all the nettles from approximately 15 square meters and I was beyond tired. I had been going on autopilot the last hour or so and my husband had told me twice already to finish for the day. But if I stopped now all my hard work would be unnecessary because they would grow right back. So before I could call it a day I had to cover the ground with black garden matting in order to kill the survivors. And because it was a windy day I had to secure it with stones. A lot of stones! Thoughts of a long hot soak in the tub accompanied with a glass of wine or two were the only thing that kept me going!

Another hour and fifty stones later I was done! My entire body felt like I had been run over by a truck! I had muscles aching I didn’t even know existed. And I used to work as a physical therapist so I should know! But I was happy and very, very proud. My husband had already left for town and I just couldn’t wait to get into my car and drive home too for my long longed for hot bath! When I opened the trunk I found the five sacks of compost soil I had bought on the way down and forgotten to unload !!!! I wept. And as I dragged them out of the trunk one by one I could swear my foul language killed the nettles that were left…….

When I came back two days later I ran to look if my hard work had been in vain. Wow! It looked just perfect. No nettles! But wait a minute weren’t there nettles everywhere else instead? Oh yes! All my flowerbeds where full of the little bastards! So now I have a war going on in my garden. It’s between me and the nettles and right now it’s 5-0. To the nettles! When ever I turn my back on them they seem to grow up again. Poof and they’re back! Could they be aliens? Are they in fact planning on taking over not only my garden but my brain as well? I have been feeling rather odd a while now having a strange urge to just give up and let the nettles take over. Is that a first step towards being beamed up to the Mothership do you think?