The joy of gardens

I am very lucky to have a ground floor flat with a lovely garden, which is (as I'm sure you know if you read this blog regularly) my refuge as well as the root of all my financial woes - I just can't say no to a pretty tray of flowers. Take this morning for example, I was running round doing errands when I remembered everything at Homebase was 15% off this weekend. After about 2 seconds deliberation I had persuaded Nick that it was a good idea  to go and buy one lupin which would look perfect by the pond, only to emerge an hour later, £60 lighter - what happened?

But, despite the amount of time and money I spend on it, it's still 100% worth it. This blog is really an ode to the joy of gardening, so if you haven't discovered your green fingers yet, make sure it does happen at some point because even in a little square of grass and flowers in one of the biggest cities in the world I can feel completely absorbed by nature and totally de-stressed from all the frustrations of every day life - plus if your a visual/creative person it's like painting a big picture out of plants PLUS you get a lovely sun tan!

In the summer the garden is like an extra room (albeit when it's not raining). What with all the beautiicious weather we've had over the last week we have been eating breakfast, lunch and dinner outside and have rearranged the space so that we have our BBQ up by the house to maximise the amount of char grilled sausages , asparagus' and tuna steaks I will eat over the forth coming months - yum!

On Saturday I left the lovely confines of Kensal Rise to go and have lunch with my friends Mike and Georgie at Mike's parents house out in Surrey. This is a family which takes all my ideals about aesthetics, easy living style, garden obsessions and a true love of nature to a finely honed forty year state of near perfection. 

Surrey gets a bad rap and generally this is pretty deserved with its bling mansions and range rover driving yummy mummies, it's not really where I see my future. But this house is the exception to all the rules. Nestled down the end of an over grown lane it's a gorgeous little cottage in a beautifully wild garden with bee hives dotted around where the family make their own honey, no wonder Mike's t shirt reads, "I'm awesome".

In a nearby field they keep highland cattle and pigs and local people use some of the space for allotments.

Wandering back to the cottage you walk though a really magical wood with a stream running through it which a few weeks ago was covered in blue bells. As I've said to Mike many times, if I'd known his family owned a place like this way back when we were at university together then I would have definitely had romantic designs on him. 

I love a man in wellies.

 A little pic of me and my littlest sis' Lucy, hanging out in the blissful sunshine.

We wizzed back to London in style (my mate Webs has just got himself an awesome 1980's soft top BMW) so we flew back in that. I was in the back where it was a little chilly and ended up wearing a pair of Webb's jeans as a scarf, added to the glamour I'm sure!

I arrived home to find that in my absence Nick had got completely bored with writing his doctoral thesis and had entertained himself getting ready for some friends who were popping round in the evening - another BBQ!! But also another opportunity to bang on about how great gardens are and to show off our newest garden purchase - the fire bucket - ta da! This was bought with the aim of revolutionising summer evening outdoor dining. I think we will all admit that in England there are very few balmy evenings where you can actually sit outside of an evening and not start to shiver by about half past eight. Step up the fire bucket, now our garden is all about 24 hr garden enjoyment! It did actually work really well and last night was pretty chilly, the only downside was that we had our back door open and the house now has a distinct smell of fire wood.

 And lastly on to chair news. As I've said before, I've recently started selling in a lovely shop called Hutch Interiors on the Golborne Road. Hutch is owned by Georgia and the property consists of a ground level shop and then a basement area where Georgia runs day courses in all things crafty (think lampshade making and upholstery). There is also a second area downstairs which I am going to turn into a little pop up Hickey and Dobson shop where you can go and view/sit down on any of the chairs that take your fancy. I don't want to say too much at the moment but we are hoping to get it up and running within the next month and I will keep you posted with any and all updates.

I thought I'd leave you with a before shot of the future pop up - a really exciting project.