Cardoon

I know some people think I’m mad planting one of these architectural thistles but I do love them. It looks great against the wall of the house and yes I also know I will be in for a hacking time down the line but for now its lovely and the bees are flocking to it.

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Evolution of a garden

Gosh, I last posted here is May. Apart from art trail 2018 has seen the creation of a new bigger garden in front of our house. Someone asked me why at our age we are making the garden bigger. The first practical reason is drainage, as there was far too much hard landscaping and  concrete  for a narrow  road with hardly any drains. The second is simply, I like gardens, but after digging the exposed patch over several times taking out at least half a ton of rocks and concrete that the digger missed, then doing it all over again to incorporate 7 bags of compost I was beginning to ask myself the same question,

The easiest way from there would have been to lay a lawn  which would give the drainage but I wanted a colourful patch buzzing with butterflies and bees so as well as the plants I had taken out last year I sent for more with the bee friendly label.

I ordered some in the depths of winter when the first spring catalogues came out and when the tiny things arrived I was assured they didn’t need pampering and could remain outside even in snowy weather. Humph! ‘The Beast from the East’ had other ideas so against  advice, I brought the poor things into our cool utility area.

We visited a garden centre in February for quite another reason but I couldn’t resist having a quick look at the plants outside. If you have never visited a garden centre in the depths of winter let me tell you its like a cross between the Marie Celeste and a pub with no beer. There was nobody there but the two of us wandering round an arctic waste with a few heavily discounted plants dotted here and there. In a recent gardening program someone said  he was a great fan of the “Half price half dead” way of buying plants. He would have approved of the four specimens I brought home, to be fair they were dormant. I put them outside too but took pity on them when the bad weather came, the result was an obstacle course to get to the washing machine but then who needs to wash in  winter?

Against  the odds all the plants have survived even after being planted out the day before ‘The Beast’ came back for a second rampage.

It has not been the best year for establishing a new garden  with severe frost and snow, then a cold wet spring followed by a Bank Holiday cloud burst which tested the new drainage system to the limit with several inches of water flowing onto the garden from the road and overflowing gutters, and finally a two month drought and heatwave but I LOVE it,

The new  buzzing garden has given both of us enormous pleasure and we often have breakfast and lunch out there with the bees. I like to think our neighbours love it too and judging by the passers by stopping to admire and compliment  I think they do.

Thats quite a ramble, now for the picture show.

…sometimes I just sits.

‘Sometimes I sits and thinks but sometimes i just sits’ to quote the converstaion of two old gents sitting on a park bench. That is very apt for me today as I am recovering from having 70 visitors coming to my house to view my paintings and studio over the bank holiday weekend.

I think I will do quite a lot just sitting in the sun today  though  I may mow the lawn before it becomes a hayfield.

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Trailing

Living in a quiet end of the road place by the sea has its advantages most of the time but at Art Trail time it can be a disadvantage. I confess I get a bit envious of those living in the buzzing  city of near by Chichester where there is a lot going on and many close venues to choose from but then I remember how lovely it was this morning to sit out on our new front garden having breakfast and feel the soft (today) breeze from the sea and I feel a lot better. Folk obviously don’t know what they are missing and there is a pub next door with lots of outside tables. But Hey, serendipity I shall enjoy sitting out in the glorious sunshine, a rare event on a Bank Holiday weekend.

5 days to go to Art Trail…busy busy

This morning the sun was out but there was a frost, is it really May?.  After yesterday’s continuous rain its a great day to get on with all those small but necessary tasks like making sure all pictures have D rings on the back for hanging, then there is painting the sides of new  canvases not to metion finishing off tasks in the garden.Tomorrow I tackle my studio?

I must tackle my messy studio!!

Art Trail prep on a miserable day

Time to get ready for the 2018 Chichester Art Trail. Its not until Saturday but anyone who has never taken part will not know how much there is to do. I just realised that although i have some nice new square cards I don’t have sleeves for them. No need to get wet, a quick trip to the Amazon has sorted that though  hope they come in time!

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Not long until Art Trail time

Its that time of year when everything needs doing – the lawn needs attention, the plants need feeding the garden needs tidying not to mention the house which is looking a bit dog eared after a really interesting winter weatherwise! In addition we have planted a new front garden  and the  plants need TLC. Add to this mix an impending Art Trail and things are about to get really hectic. Hey ho!

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