Monday, 30 May 2011

DIY satisfaction and my great bargain from the local Tip

I have had such a busy couple of weeks what with clearing a corner of the garden which resulted in many trips with a car full of garden rubbish to the local tip.  It must have been fate because on one of the days at the tip I spotted a sideboard that looked rather 'vintage ' to me and it was marked up at £10 !!! the hubby took one look and said NO, but undeterred I insisted it would be perfect for the hall (fantastic storage) and it would look amazing perhaps painted cream and distressed (which was what the hubby was at the time !! ha ha)

So we went home got some cash and went back for my 'Treasure'  inside one of the drawers was a brass button that said 'Lebus' furniture and in the middle of the button the initials H.L. We got it home and it fitted the hall, what luck !! as we stupidly in my excitement forgot to measure the space. I looked up Lebus furniture on line and sure enough the company started in London  in 1900 and closed down in 1969 the HL stands for Harris Lebus, see the link below. 
I haven't found out the date of my sideboard YET, but at a guess it's late 1950's to early 60's so definitely vintage.
I sanded the doors which someone had varnished dark and oddly (but luckily) they had left the carcass and drawers the original colour. It took me almost 3 hours to sand 2 doors and I am so thrilled with the result that I have decided not to paint the whole unit, but just the top looks good painted lightly and then rubbed off. Here is a photo of the after I wish I had taken one of before. I did take one on my phone but not with the camera, shame !

It's a quirky design as it looks like it has six little drawers but it is only two long ones. The door fronts are veneered so they look like four doors in the photo, but it's the inlay of a lighter wood in the veneering.
I still have work to do on it as it's far from finished, but I really love it and can't believe my luck.

My second DIY project was to paint my summerhouse which I stained in Red cedar when we first bought it. I hated it as soon as I had done it and almost five years later have decided to get on and do it in a 'Natural Stone' Cuprinol garden shades colour which looks more in keeping with the 'Seaside' theme inside and makes it stand out more in the garden instead of blending in with the fence behind it.  Again work still in progress as I haven't finished the horrid little window pains on the bow window and the little windows on the french doors need another  coat of paint.

Before in Red Cedar

After (well almost) in Natural Stone. It's a kind of putty colour and changes in the different lights

I do have lot's to post about the allotment but I will leave that for next time as by then I will have some photo's.  The broad beans should be ready to harvest in a few weeks, the globe artichokes are growing well, the asparagus seems to have taken this time around and they have the dreaded beetle, but I didn't panic this time I just knock them off into a container every time I go up to the plot and them kill them ( I know I am a terrible person!) and the eggs are like hairs down the stem, so when I can spot them I squash them too.

I hope to catch up on my blog reading this week to see what you have all been up to. Have a lovely week.
M x

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

The biggest pile of POO ever

For the last two days a friend and myself have been digging into this very large pile of Horse POO at a riding stables in a nearby village. We have filled about 20 bags and maybe a bit more since yesterday, and we haven't even made a dent in the pile !!! It's well rotted and doesn't smell, so that's a relief !!!

Frances has the first dig

Then it was my turn
I can't believe that a pile of POO made me happy, and especially that it was FREE ! I don't know what that is above my head but I  promise I am not wearing a Tiara !!

We look like 'Thelma and Louise' of the POO pile !!! ha ha

Job done and Frances car is all  loaded up

We think this is enough for the time being. I don't know how but we were still smiling , we had a good laugh whilst filling the bags,  good job we are both fit as it's hard work !!!

We still managed to get back and unload it all at the allotment, and after a quick stop for a drink and a snack we were both busy on our respective plots.  I planted my dahlias that were potted up, planted out two tomatoes, and two courgettes, one yellow and one green.  I still have lot's of things to come out the greenhouse that need planting, and have to pot on my 'Cape Gooseberry' as it's growing like mad and really needs a bigger pot as do lot's of chillies, peppers and tomatoes that are staying in the greenhouse.
As usual I am all gardened out !!!!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

New Asparagus plants and an allotment update

My asparagus plants which I planted last year weren't a great success, only three out of ten survived.  I don't know why as I planted them all the same, in the same way and the same depth, and the three survivors look very healthy.  Anyway today I received ten new very healthy  replacement plants kindly sent by Stephen and Serena at Victoriana Nursery.  Here they are all planted up  looking small at the moment, but I have a good feeling about these, some are planted in another row just out of view.

Thanks to  Stephen and Serena for replacing them !!

I harvested the last of the Purple Sprouting Broccoli at the week-end. Out of six plants which had all grown very tall and looked healthy until our severe winter, only three survived and only one of those gave any decent pickings. It really wasn't worth waiting any more for the measly pickings left as I needed the bed to get my canes up ready for the runner and french beans.

So the bed is ready for the beans which are growing like 'Jack's Beanstalk' in the greenhouse and need to go in. I will probably get them in next week, surely we wont get any more frosts after next week ????

The Greenhouse is productive !

The Tayberry is doing amazingly well and has had loads of flowers, so hopefully lot's of fruit this summer.

There are so many flowers on the strawberries, and not just on my plot. Everyone else's plots seems to be having a successful year with the strawberries too.

Rhubarb has been amazing this year. It's the third year now so all the different varieties (which I forgotten the names as the tags are now lost !)  are at the right stage of maturity for a full picking. YUM !!!

The gooseberries are full of fruit, but I am a little concerned about the colour of the green gooseberry fruit as it looks like it's tinged a bit pink !!  and NO this isn't the red gooseberry which is green at the moment, but does turn red later on. The labels are still on the bushes from when I first planted them, so I know I haven't mixed them up (as the hubby suggested) so it's a bit of a concern in case there is something wrong with the green one (any Ideas anyone ????) I just clicked to enlarge this photo and the fruit looks a bit spikey doen't it ?  I must go back and check this out tomorrow.

The green gooseberry (honest)

The red gooseberry (it goes red later on) below. I checked the original tags still intact and it really is the red variety

 And finally, broad beans (doing very well) and red veined spinach, I love this variety and have also grown the larger leaved green one and a baby leaved variety as well ( Look out Popeye !!!!)

I almost forgot the Blackcurrant ! also full of fruit waiting to grow and ripen, it's going to be a great year for fruit. The late fruiting raspberries are growing like mad after being cut right back.

Such a long post ! isn't it nice when everything starts looking fruitful ?
M x