gardening

It’s been quiet in my little corner of the internet recently. I’d like to say we’ve been sipping caipirinhas by a pool somewhere sunny all summer. The reality is a little less glamorous. We are spending the summer at home this year which means our days are a little more spent playing in the garden, drawing, making lego creations, den building, fruit picking and picnics on the lawn.

As much as I would really like to jet off somewhere exotic, the truth is we just can’t justify it this year. With a wedding to save for and the house mid renovations, we are just going to have to wait until the honeymoon to get our fill of ocean breeze and sand between our toes.

And you know what even though I quote holidays as my favourite things (after my children and husband to be of course) we are making memories right here in our beautiful home together. When I look back at my summers as a child, I do remember lovely family holidays but I also remember long lazy summer days at home. Days when I tipped my head back so far on the swing that my hair trailed along the floor and just kind of hung there until all the blood rushed to my head. Oh and the sheer delight of cocooning myself up in a makeshift den with sunlight streaming in through the cracks in the sheets. There is no finer joy is there?

Shopping for Summer with TK Maxx

To perfect our family picnic dinners, we paid a visit to TK Maxx to purchase some lovely new outdoor bowls. It really is one of my favourite shops here in the UK for hunting out cool home accessories. I love the variety and the prices and have been known to easily lose an hour or two in our local shop, before realising it’s nearly half three and I need to pick the children up. Whoops!

Turns out we were a little bit late to the party as a lot of the summer range had been and gone (to make way for super pretty autumnal goodies!) but we managed to pick up these beautifully decorated Indian enamelled bowls and tray in exotic jewel colours which I just love. They make me happy!

Stylish and practical, our new set is crying out for us to take them glamping. Wouldn’t that be cute? In the meantime they will have to make do with our makeshift tipi in the garden.

This summer we’ve also decided to go vegetarian as a family so have been broadening our horizons in the kitchen. I’ve discovered I make a mean Veggie Lentil curry. I’m working on a recipe post to share my secrets with you all over on my foodie blog. In the meantime you’ll have to make do with my photos. Trust me, it’s delicious, even the kids love it!

Disclaimer: Thanks to TK Maxx for inviting us to try out your exquisite summer range. As always it’s fabulous!

 

One of my favourite things about our house is the garden. It’s large, full of plants and a lot of work! But if you remember back to when we were house hunting, a big garden was very high up on my wish list. I just love the idea of the children having plenty of space to play outside.

With the garden not having been touched for a very long time, there are plenty of big trees and hiding places. I was reminded of this again this week when Babylish decided to hide behind a tree for a good five minutes, frightening the life out of me. Only at the point when I was nearly in tears and reaching for my phone did she step out and say ‘Here I am’ with glee!

Did you know often your fondest childhood memories are outside? Have a think back, is it true for you? For me it definitely is and I can remember every inch of my childhood garden and local parks which I adored exploring.

Creating a natural play area

The back part of the garden was a jungle like wilderness on arrival. We’ve cleared it and are planning on making an area for the girls to play to their hearts content. We’ve membraned the area to stop the weeds and put down chip bark as a soft surface for them to play. Like lots of families we have a climbing frame and trampoline already but I also fancied being a little creative. I love the idea of creating something magical and natural for them.

I’m not going to lie I’m totally rubbish at gardening and don’t have the first clue about flower varieties or the plant nutrients needed to have an amazing garden! But I am good at being creative and using my imagination (well that and Pinterest) and the idea of a natural type play area that encourages imagination and free play sounds wonderful to me.

I’d really like to create a space that blends in with the surroundings taking inspiration from nature. I want them to be able to run wild, having secluded areas to relax, places to be whatever they want to be! Pinterest is my go to for inspiration for projects like this. I thought I’d share my Pinterest board with you because I think I’ve found some real gems!

Truth me told we’ve been working so hard on the inside of the house that we are both feeling a little jaded. Living in a house you need to renovate while working and having small children is a slow process. Sometimes people ask me if it’s worth it, if I’d still chose to do it all again.

The honest answer is yes, I love this house and our garden. Even on the worst days, all I have to do is take a look outside. I’ll see the girls racing around giggling in the sunshine and that’s it. I fall in love all over again.

white-lilac    Life is really hectic at the moment. Yes I’m at home with Babylish but this does not mean we are here having peaceful days of togetherness, taking naps and batch cooking. Second time around seems much, much busier. Littlelish is at school so we have school life on top of life with a baby. Yesterday for example, Littlelish told me it was Viking dress up day 10 minutes before we had to leave for school, I kid you not. I most certainly win the Epic mum award as we managed to russle up a half convincing Viking outfit complete with fur gilet (I only felt slightly guilty that it was 24 degrees outside! Next time she won’t let me know so late hehe)

eldeflower

On top of all the day to day business, starting a new family lifestyle blog with my friend Sarah, we are also busy renovating the house and giving the garden a makeover. If I’m honest I have days when I feel like the stress of all of this is choking me. I’m drowning in little toys, pureed baby food and dirty washing. Whatsmore Babylish just won’t seem to settle. On these days I’ve found there is only one remedy, I leave it all behind and head out into the garden.

purple-rhodedendron

I’m lucky to be the owner of quite a lovely garden. Stepping foot outside into the sunshine of my green little paradise is healing. We have birds nesting in the dogwood and tiny blue butterflies fluttering between the bushes. Our enormous Willow tree rustles softly in the breeze and the sunlight dapples through the garden. When we first moved in it hadn’t been touched for many, many years. Originally owned by a lady who loved gardening and lovingly planted many wonderful things, it was now very overgrown and many of the bushes had grown into large trees. The back part of the garden was totally ovegrown with brambles. It’s a big job but we’ve slowly been working on bringing it back to it’s former glory and we are making progress.

berries

We’ve entirely cleared the back section of the garden and chipped the cut down bushes and trees into bark to spread over the back. The trees that were once bushes have been cut right back and we have removed some that were beyond saving. We’ve been clearing out lots and lots of weeds including the formiddable ground elder. We’ve even planted some of my favourites from lupins, foxgloves and hydrangeas.

plum-tree

Keeping on top of a garden is a lot of work but incredibly enjoyable. As a newbie gardener I’ve been doing plenty of research into handy tips and tricks. Recently I’ve been contacted by my voucher codes who wanted to share with me their guide to creating a beautiful, easily manageable garden over on Pocketful of Rye. It shares loads of tips on garden design, different plants and handy hacks.

Did you know many everyday items can help your garden achieve its full potential? Here are some of my favourite garden hacks from the kitchen.

Beer – Beer is a great slug killer for your garden. You wouldn’t want to use your prized craft beer for this but any out of date beer is fine. Simply fill some paper cups with the beer, submerge them in the ground and watch the slugs get drunk and die.

Coffee granules – Your left over coffee grounds can be used to enrich the soil and is also a great deterrent for creepy crawlies.

Egg shells – Egg shells contain lots of nutrients that help your plants to grow faster. In addition, keep any water that you use to boil your eggs, this will have the same nutrients in and is great for watering seedlings and young plants.

Rice water – In much the same way as egg water, the water left over from boiling rice also contains a number of plant friendly proteins to give your plants a nutritional boost.

Why not check out My Voucher Codes latest Wickes vouchers and save on your essential gardening equipment.

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