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Summer house revamp

After ten years our summer-house, our little quiet place of escape at the bottom of the garden, was beginning to look worse for wear. The back wall faces directly south so gets harsh sun on it in the summer months and as our garden is at the bottom of a hill temperature inversion in the winter means that the poor summer-house feels the full effect of  the cold frosty air as it rolls down the hill to hit our summer-house first. The first two pics show the summer-house as we began work, with the original interior on the left and the first stages of cladding the walls on the right.

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We decided to re-clad it inside and out and then repaint both the inside and outside. A job that ended up taking us a long time as we fitted it in between more interesting gardening tasks.
But at last we have finished! A big sigh of relief can be heard all over the garden!

So, first let us share with you what it looks like now.

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The summer-house is our little secret place where we hide at the bottom of the garden and ignore the telephone and doorbell, pretend that television and computers don’t exist and believe there is no lane passing our house.

It catches the evening sun in the last few hours before it sets, so is a great place to end the day. We sit and listen and we can appreciate a different view of our garden. We listen to the calls and songs of our garden birds and those passing over our heads. We can share the intimacy of their bathing as they come to freshen up in the shallow end of our wildlife pool. A square of decking sits in front of the summer-house and hangs over the pool.

Please share the view from our summer-house seat.

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To give you an idea of some of the special things we can see right now from our little house I have taken a few shots with a long zoom on my camera.

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As we enjoyed a coffee in the summer house today, a female blackbird came to bathe almost splashing our feet. She must have been enjoying a few moments off the nest, a few moments to herself. A house sparrow also came to bathe when the blackbird returned to the nest. On the nearby bird feeders a nuthatch noisily bashed away at the peanuts with its long powerful beak and took small bits back to its young in a hole in a nearby tree. It soon returned for more and we heard its beak tapping on the metal mesh of the feeder.

A blue tit couple are rearing young in a nest box fixed to the summer-house and we watched as they appeared with beaks full of wriggling caterpillars. We could hear the fledglings begging as they open their yellow wide gapes to beg for their share of the wrigglers.

In the pond itself life lives on the film of water and secretly below the surface. Pond skaters dominate the surface but they are frequently joined by sub-surface dwellers in need of a gulp of air, newts, water boatmen and water beetles. Below the surface we can watch tadpoles of frogs and toads feeding and fattening themselves up.

The pond is home to many of our pest controllers such as newts, toads and frogs who all breed here at our feet.

But as we look out and appreciate our garden and its life, one nosey bird looks in to see what we are up to. A robin comes close, perches on the nearby malus and watches us with head cocked to one side as if bemused.

As we rest in our little summer-house world the garden and its wildlife busily carry on close by.

By greenbenchramblings

A retired primary school head teacher, I now spend much of my time gardening in our quarter acre plot in rural Shropshire south of Shrewsbury. I share my garden with Jude my wife a newly retired teacher , eight assorted chickens and a plethora of wildlife. Jude does all the heavy work as I have a damaged spine and right leg. We also garden on an allotment nearby. We are interested in all things related to gardens, green issues and wildlife.

11 replies on “Summer house revamp”

What a spot to have! I don’t mean to be rude, but I’m stealing several ideas from your garden and retreat. I love the pond and your overall layout. Thanks!

Oh Malc…what an absolutely fabulous place!!! I just LOVE it! I can totally understand how you could spend hours here. In one of your pictures I see what looks like rolling hills of green and some yellow flowers? or something. That looks wonderful too!

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