Friday, December 27, 2019

2019 The Year That Was, But Was Not On My Blog

Hi Dear Folk,

2019 was the year I succumbed to Instagram.  Should I even peep into my long neglected Blog and share a post, still if anytime feels the right time it is now at the end of the year.

The biggest event of the year was having my she shed built which I absolutely love.  To see all my photos of this look at my Instagram on the side bar of my Blog.  Here are a few of my photos taken with my camera.

I had saved two sets of old 1920's screen French doors from my house porch when we had that made into a sun room and I also saved three columns, two of which we used on the shed.  I love the triangular look of the apex and columns, almost looks Grecian.

I painted, I'm a good painter but slow so took a lot of the summer.  I gave my She Shed a name and it is "deux portes Francaises" two French doors.

I bought the two windows from Habitat For Humanity Thrift Shop, they are brand new  and if you're happy with an odd size which was fine in a new build shed, because we could work with them, such a savings.

We were able to fit my shed between my lovely old oak tree and the fence, leaving enough room to meet borough regulations, and enough room so it is not jammed up against the tree, while maximizing the size of the shed and keeping within borough requirements.  So my shed is 9 feet wide and sixteen feet long with a porch obviously 9 feet wide by 6 feet deep.  I kept it in length with the garage and it meant I hardly had to dig up any of my gardens.

After winter I am so glad to get all my plants outside.  My orchids love living outside in the summer, and only tolerate wintering in the house.

The slope of the roof on my shed matches my garage.  I didn't think of that and was not around when the builder got to that stage so he came up with the idea and I like it.

Mr. B. did help me with the floor and the apex as I couldn't reach that high up.

My kitchen patio.

My Simla Room Patio.

Kitchen garden.

I have lots of little areas in my garden, this is the Pond Patio.

Oak tree patio.

Mr. B. actually drilled holes in these troughs after twenty years of asking.  Now I can put flowers in them and they don't fill up with water, before I just used to stand pots in them.

In the middle of winter you forget how lovely ones summer garden is, but looking back at the photos yes it is.

Here is my dear old lady Tuppy.  She is a senior at nineteen years old, which in human years is in her nineties.  Summer as always was very hot up to almost 100 f and I thought she was a goner because she got thinner and thinner, but I think it was the heat, she just didn't want to eat.  In any case she took to sitting on my kitchen tile counter top, which I never would have allowed, but I gave in as she is an old lady.  We have no central AC in our house is quite trying in summer.  We have one AC in each of the bedrooms that are used and we later on broke down and bought one for the kitchen.

She is still with us and we have fattened her up a bit.  She's a feisty old thing.  We actually do know when she is hungry because she bangs her food bowl up and down on the floor.  You can teach an old cat new tricks.

Have a few more posts before the end of the year.

If you want to see my world follow me on Instagram too,  Lilbitbrit007.

Take care enjoy time off with family and friends.


Sunday, May 5, 2019

Button Sewing

Hi Dear Folk,

Why does one so procrastinate over sewing buttons on?  Mr. B. gave me two items this morning.  One was a pair of shorts bought at the thrift where the button needed resewing on as it was hanging from some threads.  The other was a well loved and worn flannel shirt with a hoodie.  He has three of them and they predate The Boy so at least thirty years old.

Mr.B. came up with three buttons, I came up with one, that made four matching and it was still missing two more buttons, I found two that will do for the bottom buttons. So I sewed on six buttons and also hemmed some of the bottom edge that was fraying.  All this should have been done ages ago.

I've been working gang busters in the garden, to the neglect of my house.  Who wouldn't want to be outside rather than in dusting and hoovering?  But then though it gets to the point where it starts to drive me crazy and insane action needs to be taken.  Ashes still sitting in the stove from our last wood fire, stove door glass needs cleaning and a complete spring dusting never done.  Wood stoves cause a lot of dust.

I think my biggest nemesis is the Simla Room, it's been rather a sewing and yarn dump all winter, and I haven't tidied up properly because I keep telling myself that there is no point as a lot of things in there are going out to my new shed, if I can last that long.  I will really need to get stuck into painting it, all ahead on that.  I must completely finish it, I have a tendency to almost finish things but not quite.

Rob has been investing in some hi end video equipment and camera lenses to shoot weddings.  He has done that as a side line for several years, working for someone else and using their equipment. He may still carry on with that, but he's going to work with a co worker as that is their job expertise, only at work they shoot cars and all car related accessories.

He took some shots of me in the garden with his new lens.  Now this is a boy that takes such candid shots of his mum, that my sister phones from England and says "Why in the earth has Rob posted that awful picture of you on Facebook?  Get him to take it down."  Yes just a little too much reality.  But these I quite like.

No gardening today it is pouring and has been all day, plus they are calling for flood warnings, I've already got puddles on my lawn.  I look out of my Simla room window and the rain drops on my day lily leaves look like diamonds, you have to love that.

Have a lovely weekend.


Monday, April 29, 2019

Jenkins Arboretum

Hi Dear Folk,

A lovely afternoon out at Jenkins Arboretum.  I went with friends and we took a packed lunch.  Sunday was rather chilly and cold, in fact last night went way down to the thirties.  The arboretum is at it's best this time of year with the azaleas and rhododendrons, it's also known for woodland flowers.

Spring is that green here in Pennsylvania.

Trillium, I love them with their three leaves, they also come in white.

A deciduous azalea, I had two at my old house and wish I'd brought them with me.


Friday, April 26, 2019

Shed Shingles Maybe Tomorrow

Hi Dear Folk,

I was happy about breaking new ground for my rose garden, which is exciting, but a lot of work and will take me several days to just finish the making of the garden.  It sits right outside my Simla Room windows, so will enjoy that.  It will be dug out all the way to the azalea bush.

As I was working the area seemed to be a haven for these little black midge flies, they get under my glasses as I'm working and although you don't feel it at the time, sting you.  I must be very allergic to them, because the one side of my face and eye is totally swollen, itchy, the skin feels stretched, so quite painful.  It happens to me every year in the garden at some point.

I did enough turning of soil to plant two rose bushes.  I will monitor them carefully, because I am pushing the boundaries of where they can be planted.  Roses like 6 -8 hours of sunlight, and best to be first thing in the morning.  This area only gets 4 hours and not until the afternoon.  If they really don't like it there I will dig them up and move them.  So may not turn out to be a rose garden right there, but it will still be a garden, I have a few things to add to it.  Listening to Small Spaces Big Dreams, Monty Don, one can push boundaries, you just have to see.  I also decided to take out of a big pot and plant here, my Strawberries and Cream hydrangea.  The two dailyness and butterfly bush were already here.

On the whole my eight existing rose bushes haven't had the total attention that they have needed, so to rectify that I am feeding them a fish fertilizer that I saw recommended and see how that works.  Also I compost so have added that to the soil.

I thought the roof shingles would go on yesterday, but they did not and today rained most of the day and now it is very dark and looks like a thunder storm is coming in, yes it's pouring.  On the whole the weather has been favorable for my shed build.  I think it may be finished by the end of next week, but that depends on the weather.

The scaffolding is up to put the roof shingles on.

I'm second guessing myself on window light.  I love the porch on my shed, but it will limit the light coming through the French doors there.  Also the whole shed sits right under my giant pin oak, so a shady area already.  I have another set of French doors going in on the oak tree side, along with an almost floor to ceiling window, and I have another window going in on the street side, a little smaller but still a fair size window.  At the moment the two end walls and part of the side wall are still open and it seems dark inside, so I'm wondering if it needs another window.  I had originally wanted a little one on the apex opposite the front entrance, but they are so expensive, that unless I come across one cheaper, I was not going to put it in, but may need to rethink that.  Things are always a work in progress.  In fact I thought the windows I got were too large when I got them home, but now I'm thinking there is not enough light.  Mr. B. said there is no reflective light inside, so will definitely be painting the inside white and I think that will make a huge difference.

I am happy with the placement of the shed, because to get the width I wanted and distance from the street that the borough requires, I thought it might look a little squashed against the trunk of the tree, but it does not and enough room to walk through easily and give the tree room to breath.  Plus we had no need to cut into any of the roots and I was happy about that.

The builder mentioned at a future date insulating the shed, and panelling it, but I like the wood framework of the shed showing inside and on the whole I hate panelling, but maybe there is new stuff out there that I would like. I have some ideas about this, one painting the beams white, then using denim insulation, which is about two inches thick, the R factor is not as high as fiberglass insulation, but I don't have to use the shed in the depths of winter.  Over the insulation, which will go between the wood structure, I was going to staple a fabric.  Whether this will work I don't know.

Will step up onto the porch from my patio.

I will have a view right down the length of my garden from the porch, can't wait.  Iced tea lemoncello here I come.  This is something I've dreamed of for years and probably will wish I had done it years ago, still I'm enjoying it now.

I was asked the style of my house and it is Dutch Colonial, that is what it is called here in Pennsylvania.  We don't think of the Dutch as having a huge influence in America, but that is not true.  Many of the old families were of Dutch decent, such as the Roosevelt's, also New York City was at one time called New Amsterdam, and of course Harlem and you could go on.

Lots of work in the garden, here was one little job but took a lot of time.  I had one pot of hosta on the oak tree patio in an old plastic pot falling apart, so I split the hosta into three and planted it here. It was very heavy. I also lifted all those path stones, they were so sunken that roots from the fir tree had grown over them and every time it rained they were covered in mud, now they are a lot better.  My peonies are budding there, so I'm quite happy with this newly cleaned up area leading into one side of my Simla Room.

Every time it rains a different type of fungus pops out on the root stump of my old ash tree.  Such a rich brown and texture, covered in pollen from the oak.  I've seen blue fungi and red fungi, tall and short, different shapes, such variety and joy to see, doing it's work breaking down those old roots.

Have a wonderful weekend.


Monday, April 22, 2019

Rolling Right Along On The Shed Build

Hi Dear Folk,

Things are coming together on my shed build, a couple of boo boos but nothing major that can't be rectified.  The French doors are 80 inches high and we only made the side walls 78 inches high, we could have made them higher but didn't.  This can be worked around.  The doors leading onto the porch will be full height and will open inwards, the doors leading off the side will be need to be cut two inches and will open inwards.  The apex of the roof it around 9 feet high.  The builder kept the angle of the roof in line with the angle of the roof of the garage and I think that works well.

The two windows I bought are quite large so almost floor to roof line windows, that's ok lots of light and a picture window view.

I love my wisteria, the fragrance and beauty, the bees love it too.

The porch roof was added on today, it's truly starting to shape up.

My neighbors across the road are moving after 45 years, we will miss them.  He said when they moved in my pin oak was 10 feet tall.  Now after fifty odd years it is a monster, fortunately healthy with a life span of 120 years so a few more to go, it will see us out.  I don't fancy having to have it cut down.  I said to Mr. B. we could pay someone a million dollars and they would never be able to get rid of every oak leaf in our yard, it's never ending.  My neighbor said "the gift that keeps on giving."  Just after you finish cleaning the leaves then all the cattails with pollen fall.  The life of a gardener.

Just a couple of things in the garden, stag horn fern one of my favorites.

Columbine flower, always think they should be in fairy tale picture books.

Well that's it.  No not quite, I've decided to plant a rose garden outside my Simla room windows.  My aunt has over one hundred roses in her garden in England, it's heavenly.  I have eight in my garden dotted about, but a whole garden just of roses would be nice and they would get enough sun there.  I'm looking for some specific roses, several I wanted were already sold out, I guess I've left it a bit late.  But a couple still in stock are Julia Child's and Macy's Pride, I also liked Amber Queen and I am trying to keep within a certain price range.


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