Our little garden’s come a long way, since we moved into this house five summer holidays ago.
Back then, one flower bed was completely taken over by colossal leylandii, whose shadows turned our neighbours’ gardens (and ours) into gloomy black holes.
One of the first things we did after moving in, was chop those trees down, with the help of the in-laws. So now everyone on the street can enjoy a cup of tea (or margarita) in their garden, in the sun.
(When it shines, that is.)
Before Gwen came along, I used Austin’s nap times to paint our shed a candy-stripe blue. On a hot day, if you squint a bit, you can sometimes imagine there’s a beach hut at the bottom of the garden. When the weather’s dreary, the splash of colour is a cheery ‘sod you’ to the grey clouds sitting above the shed.
We’re also on our way to brightening up the garden with flowers and foliage. There’s still a lot of work to be done before the flower beds are the feast of colour I hope for (2015 will be the year for that, I reckon – what else am I going to do with all the extra time while Austin’s at school?). But we’ve made a start this year, planting, pruning, and sowing seeds.
The garden was paved when we moved in. After a lot of heaving and staggering, D managed to pull up all the ugly chunks of concrete. An advert on freecycle brought a woman, and three sixteen-year-old assistants, to collect them. One of the boys was her son; the others, I think, had been bribed and cajoled into helping. Their initial bravado (carrying the heavy slabs four at a time; cheery banter about who was able to shift the most) quickly turned to sweaty, puce-faced grumpiness (‘There’s more??? ALLOW IT!’).
Still, I’d like to hope they made good use of those paving stones. In their place, D laid a lawn; a good base for many a paddling pool, in last year’s heat.
And a good place to put this slide, which is proving to be the main attraction when friends come round to play. We were lucky enough to win Mark Warner’s first Blogger Challenge, with a prize of vouchers to spend at Kiddicare. As well as the slide, we bought this sand and water table:
which neatly turns into a picnic bench, where the children have been eating their lunch and tea almost every day since it arrived.
Who says you can’t live your life outdoors when you live in a city?
It’s been a lucky time for us. Not only did we win the Mark Warner Blogger Challenge, but we ALSO (and I’m swooning a little here) won a competition run by Mumsnet to write a post about Blogfest 2013. The prize was a trip to Mark Warner’s Levante Resort, on Rhodes, and we’ll be setting off very shortly on what I’m sure will be an amazing summertime adventure.
We’ll be back soon to tell you all about it. In the meantime, I hope the sun shines on all your gardens, parks and balconies here in Blighty, while we’re playing merrily on our Greek beach. See you all very soon. In the meantime, you can follow our exploits on Instagram or by liking The Pigeon Pair and Me on facebook.
I’m linking this post up with How Does Your Garden Grow, at Manneskjur.