Categories
garden buildings garden wildlife natural pest control

A New Summerhouse for Avocet

There comes a time when every wooden garden building reaches the point when it can no longer be repaired – beyond the point of no return! This recently happened to our summerhouse which looked out over our wildlife pond. It had been up for 12 years or so and I have lost track of the times I had to repair weather damage from sun, wind and rain. So the time arrived when we had to bite the bullet and order a new one.

We ordered a replacement which would sit on the footprint of the original, not an easy task as it is an unusual shape.Normally we would have erected and painted it ourselves, but with serious hand surgery in the offing we had our new summerhouse delivered, painted and erected as part of the deal. But we did demolish the old one – we were not going to miss out on the fun!

We wandered down to the bottom of the garden and set about the destruction heartily, with lump and sledge hammers and monkey and gorilla wrenches to hand. We had week of bashing fun!

sh3-01 sh3-03sh3-05 sh3-07sh3-10 sh3-11

We made some new spidery friends who were hibernating behind panels so we had to re-house them. They are an essential part of our wildlife pest control unit so we had to look after them.

sh3-09

And so with our spider friends rehoused we raised the old summerhouse to the ground. For a while we had a see-through summerhouse and then none at all!

nsh-1 nsh-3nsh-4 nsh-5

We then had to break up the old wood to use as firewood for the woodburner.

sh2-02 sh2-01

Before the new summerhouse arrived we had to prepare a level solid base for it.

sh2-03 sh2-05

We were delighted  with the new summerhouse and were soon looking forward to painting the inside and putting the furniture and artifacts back.

sh1-5 sh1-3

First though we had to paint the interior as we want it to be as light as possible. Once the paint dried some of our artefacts soon decorated the walls.

 

We can’t wait to take advantage of our new summer house and sit inside admiring our garden while we drink coffee and enjoy some of Jude’s delicious home-made cake!

A few weeks after completing our summer house build we added a deck which would sit in front of it and go out over the end of the pond. Our son and son-in-law, Jamie and Rob came with their families to build the deck for us as following surgery on my thumb I can only use one hand. We sent for the cavalry! While the boys constructed the deck daughter Jo worked away in the new Arabella Garden adding edging to the borders  and stopped frequently to give advice.

The final jobs were to put down carpet, varnish the deck and get the furniture and pictures back in.

     

We are so pleased with our new summerhouse now it is finished and are regularly enjoying spending time relaxing in it.

 

Categories
colours garden design garden photography gardening gardens grasses half-hardy perennials hardy perennials irises light light quality meadows National Garden Scheme NGS ornamental grasses ornamental trees and shrubs Powis Powys The National Gardening Scheme" trees Wales woodland

Three Welsh Gardens – Part Three – A Garden of Two Halves

We visited another garden in the countryside of Powis, our neighbouring county. It proved to be very much a garden of two halves. We approached “Cil y Wennol” on foot up a gently sloping curved driveway with trees on both sides dotted around in grass. Closer to the more formal front garden there were interesting land forms with a small meadow facing the sun on an embankment. Moon Daisies shone out almost glaring in the sunshine. As you have gathered from that statement we were experiencing bright sunshine.

This Betula with its beautifully coloured peeling bark had enticed us up the long drive where we were greeted by this bank of smiling daisies.

2014 06 07_0046 2014 06 07_0047

The front garden was a typical cottage style with interesting plants such as Astrantias, Lilies and Irises dotted throughout.

2014 06 07_0049 2014 06 07_0050 2014 06 07_0051 2014 06 07_0052 2014 06 07_0053

We had now realised that we had visited this garden years ago so we were not surprised by the sudden change in the garden design that greeted us as we entered the back garden. Here the design was much more modern. It was a garden to explore slowly taking advantage of the invitations presented through good design.

2014 06 07_0054   2014 06 07_0068 2014 06 07_0069 2014 06 07_0070

One path invited us into woodland, a relief for a while from the brightness and warmth of the sun. We were impressed by how a beautiful woodland can be created with the commonest of tree species. It proved you don’t have to have rarities to impress. Here the gardeners grew just native Birches, Rowans, Cherries and a few non-natives to add a touch of spice. A lovely atmosphere pervaded this space.

2014 06 07_0071 2014 06 07_0072 2014 06 07_0073

Leaving the woodland we were again presented with several options, different paths to take with different views and different plants.

2014 06 07_0074 2014 06 07_0075

2014 06 07_0080 2014 06 07_0081 2014 06 07_0082 2014 06 07_0083

Closer to the house a gravel area gave a completely different feel. Here were neatly trimmed conifers and Cotinus with their skirts lifted to expose twisted limbs. Soft planting among these features reflected the planting in the nearby borders.

2014 06 07_0084 2014 06 07_0085

2014 06 07_0104 2014 06 07_0103

2014 06 07_0086 2014 06 07_0087 2014 06 07_0088 2014 06 07_0089

 

Moving around the side of the property we found another path to take through gap in the hedge where we discovered a swimming pool overlooked by a summerhouse.

2014 06 07_0091 2014 06 07_0092

We walked from here along a narrow path below a wall with soft planting above, beautifully backlit by the sun.

2014 06 07_0095 2014 06 07_0096 2014 06 07_0097 2014 06 07_0098 2014 06 07_0099 2014 06 07_0100 2014 06 07_0101 2014 06 07_0102

This was most definitely a garden of many parts beautifully linked with winding paths found through enticing arches and gaps in hedging.

 

Leaving the garden along the central pathway of the front cottage garden we enjoyed the view behind this wonderful gate. A great garden – it was good to return.

 

2014 06 07_0048