2018 Review in Pictures

I should’ve probably written this post on 1st January, but I was busy finishing off my greenhouse and since then I’ve been back at work and feeling somewhat tired. It’s amazing how quickly you get out of the habit of getting up early and doing proper adult things. Every January when I go back to work I struggle to keep my head above water because I’m so tired and suffering from the January blues. I always manage though, and soon we’ll be through January. February’s not much better, in my humble opinion, but its saving grace is that it’s closer to Spring and you can finally see that the days are getting longer. The end of Winter is in sight!

I downloaded the top nine app which makes you a collage of your nine most liked photos on Instagram.

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I like all these photos (as, apparently do the people who follow me on Instagram) but I didn’t feel that it represented my year as I remember it. Of course, I only started my blog and the accompanying Instagram account (greengirlgardener for anyone who’d like to follow me) in July so it’s not representative of the whole year, but there’s not one gardening photo on there and that was a massive part of my 2018. I also realise that I need to be careful not to use a photo I’ve already posted as my featured blog picture because that’s how I’ve ended up with the same photo twice. 

Anyway, I thought I’d look back on my year and try to select my personal favourite pictures, and maybe you’ll find them interesting.

We managed to keep our fur babies healthy and happy in 2018 – this really isn’t a chore because they are just so delightful. I couldn’t not include my favourite pics of the gorgeous twosome from this past year.

How do I choose my favourite pictures from the garden? Honestly my phone is full of pics of plants and garden paraphernalia! I’ll try to narrow it down.

This is what really sparked my enthusiasm for the garden when we had the jungle chopped down and I could really see what we had to play with!

It inspired me to create our bistro.

I soon added other features to give character to our space.

My wheelbarrow planter.

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My planter which was made by my Dad for my birthday which I love.

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My raised beds ready for growing fruit and veg in the summer.

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More recently my greenhouse which I’m really excited about.

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The garden gave me so much pleasure this year. I can’t possibly show you everything that I planted or managed to nurture, so I’ll try to narrow it down to a few of my favourite photos.

When the cats were kittens it was impossible for me to crochet because they would run off with my yarn, but this year, now that they’re the ripe old age of three, I rediscovered my love for hooking and I also resubscribed to Little Box of Crochet. Here are some of my makes.

I also met Amanda, the owner of Little Box of Crochet at the Grand Sale Event.

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I went on three holidays. Lanzarote at Easter with hubby’s side of the family.

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Sandybrook Country Park near Ashbourne with some of my best and oldest (in time, not age!) friends for May Bank Holiday.

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And Mexico in November with hubby.

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2018 saw the last of my school year turn 40. My birthday is at the beginning of the academic year so I turned 40 in 2017, but my best friend celebrated her milestone birthday in style in 2018. We went to London, saw Les Miserables in the West End and had afternoon tea at the Dorchester.

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I don’t even like tea, but I was in the Dorchester and I was drinking tea whether I liked it or not! I look thin in this photo – might print it out and stick it to the fridge to motivate my New Year diet!

This is really not in chronological order because this happened in February. It’s just in the order that it’s fallng out of my head! We finally knocked our teeny tiny kitchen through to the dining room to create a big kitchen diner. It’s the best thing we’ve done to the house – we no longer fall over each other when we’re trying to cook, and we no longer risk going up in a puff of smoke like we did using our old dodgy cooker!

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Hubby and I went to Thorpe Park with two of my work friends (one of whom made a rollercoaster fwiend – sorry, in joke!) Until I went to Orlando for the first time in 2016 I’d never been to a proper big theme park. I used to go to a local theme park when I was a kid, people can’t believe that I’ve never been to Alton Towers! I loved Thorpe Park. It was so much fun.

My youngest brother got married in August and I gained another sister-in-law. It was an amazing day and really made me appreciate time with family.

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Oh, almost forgot! I got a promotion and became an Account Manager. I’ve tried to embrace my new role and am enjoying the learning process. It’s not always easy, and I’m spending a lot of time outside of my comfort zone, but I’m relishing the challenge and am determined to succeed and prove myself. That reminds me, I must ask for new business cards!

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I think that’s the major events of 2018 covered. So, what’s to come in 2019? If all goes according to plan, then I’ll travel to Orlando and Spain. I’ll return to Sandybrook with the girls. It’s highly likely that I’ll visit the south of Italy with work. I’ll visit the Hippodrome to see Peter Pan and the Alexandra Theatre to see Thriller Live. I’ll pay an extortionate parking fee at the NEC when I visit Gardeners’ World Live with my best friend. There are tentative plans to go to Kew Gardens, do pub quizzes, visit Tallinn and to remedy my not having been to Alton Towers. I’ll take part in my first CAL (crochet-along) with thousands of people around the world when I follow attic24’s sweet pea blanket pattern. I’m planning to decorate the downstairs loo, redo the bathroom and obviously there will be exploits in the garden. I did briefly toy with the idea of a huge PVC igloo on the lawn today when I was daydreaming (and imagining myself to have won the lottery) but I’ll satisfy my gardening dreams by beautifying my greenhouse and growing my own fruit and veg this year.

I hope you all have plans for 2019, whether big or small. Life’s for living!

 

 

 

The cutest greenhouse in the world

Happy New Year! I wonder what 2019 will bring for us all.

Well, for me it’s going to bring homegrown fruit and veg because the greenhouse is done! 154 screws, seven hours and more than one or two rude words later my new greenhouse is erected! It’s really little, six foot by four foot, and it’s super cute. After I’ve published this post I’m going to peruse Pinterest to find ideas to make it really pretty (as well as functional).

Hubby had to work yesterday so I asked him to take the box out of the garage for me so I could start building it while he was out earning a crust. When it arrived I couldn’t believe how small the box was.

I wouldn’t have been at all surprised if there had only been half a greenhouse in there, but amazingly it was all there.

It’s actually a green greenhouse!

I got the first few bits together quite quickly and easily and it was starting to take shape quite nicely.

I had to abandon ship (or greenhouse) when the light faded because I couldn’t see what I was doing, and I was also cold right through to my bones because I’d been out there for five hours. My poor fingers were so cold that I was struggling to actually hold the screws and nuts. I’d managed to get most of the greenhouse in place though, all that was left was the opening window in the roof and the door.

We headed back out this afternoon after we’d had an epic snooze after the new year festivities last night, and it’s a good job there were two of us for the last bit because the door in particular was quite tricky to keep together until all the components were assembled, but with a little bit of teamwork (and a few more rude words) we got the job done. I nearly fell out with the door because we just could not work out how to attach it properly, but we worked it out with a bit of lateral thinking.

Here it is in all its green and cute glory!

I love it! Isn’t it cute?

Hubby has bought me some staging to go inside for Christmas, but because I was so busy at work and sorting out Christmas preparations, I didn’t actually get chance to choose it so he could order it until a couple of days before Christmas so it hasn’t arrived yet. It’s green as well! I’m really excited to put everything into use, but I need to be patient – we’ve got the cold months of January and February to get through first before I can start sowing seeds. In the meantime I can start beautifying it!

A lot of my Christmas pressies were garden and/or greenhouse related so I can put them to good use now.

I can’t wait to grow purple carrots! Do you think they’ll taste any different? I actually googled carrots last night because I had a feeling that they weren’t always orange. I was right, they used to be naturally white, yellow or purple but in the seventeenth century a strain was produced with higher beta carotene content which made them orange.

I’m excited to grow coriander too. It says on the packet that it’s a spice, but it’s a herb isn’t it? Either way, I love it. A curry isn’t the same without coriander and it’s lovely in a salad as well. I looked for coriander plants a few times over the summer and didn’t find any, so now I can grow my own.

Did you spot my environmentally friendly bamboo pots and saucers? I’m really going to try hard to cut down on the plastic that we use in our house and garden this year. It’s heartbreaking to see all the images of sea life swimming around with plastic in the ocean, crabs using yoghurt pots as shells, birds with their beaks bound to their breasts by plastic drinks rings.

Well, I’m off to surf Pinterest now for greenhouse ideas. Got to make the most of my last day of freedom before going back to work tomorrow. I’ve had such a lovely break (even if it did include solving a work crisis on Boxing Day!) and I’m sad to go back and lose all my free time again, but I’m excited to see what the working year ahead will bring, although I’m a tad nervous about what effect Brexit will have on my company. 2018 was very good for me professionally, and I’m hoping to build on that in 2019.

Six on Saturday

Good afternoon all. I think it’s still just about afternoon. Or is it early evening? I’m never quite sure where to draw the line.

Anyway, I went out for a quick peruse of the garden and was inspired to jump on The Propagator’s bandwagon and write my second ever Six on Saturday post.

Roses

I was amazed when I went out, to find that one of my standard roses and my patio rose both have buds! This really made me happy! Is this indicative of the milder than normal weather we’re experiencing? Not sure. Both of these were new to the garden this summer so I have no previous winter comparisons to make. Does flowering now mean that they won’t flower in the summer? Oh goodness, I hope not! Whatever the reason or consequences, it’s out of my control so I’m just going to be happy that it’s happening!

Hellebore Christmas Carol

How very apt that this is flowering now. I need to spend some time out there clearing away the fallen leaves, but this little fellow looks beautiful and inspiring despite its leafy bed fellows.

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My planter is still looking lovely despite the Hellebore being the only plant in bloom in there. Barney Bear and Robin Red Breast are providing a welcome splash of colour. I love the different shades of green and even the brown of the Milk Chocolate Carex.

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New Shoots and Dreams of the Spring

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If you were looking closely at the front of the planter above, you may have clocked the shoots starting to come through. How EXCITING! Sorry for shouting, but oh my this gave me a spring (pardon the pun) in my step! These are daffodils that I planted in the Autumn (part of my birthday present from my Dad) and they’re growing! Hopefully there will be lots more coming through soon – I shall watch will glee! My fingers are definitely starting to get a greenish tinge!

Loyal Grasses

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I love love love grasses. I simply adore the way they wave so gracefully in the wind. They repay my love with great loyalty. I really don’t do an awful lot in the way of care, although I did water them religiously when it was so hot in the summer, yet they continue to delight me with their waving and bristling in the breeze. Some of you may remember the blue grass in the first picture from the summer. This was a sale table find and it has thrived. I urge you all to go to a garden centre and run your fingers through a grass – they feel amazing! The second picture shows three Stipas – two of them 50p bargains which have gone from strength to strength. I have promised them that I’ll plant them in their forever home in the Spring. I have big plants for them.

Berberis

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This may seem to be a picture of a dead thing, but this made me happy this afternoon. This is my Berberis that was oh so beautiful when I brought it home from Hop Pocket. See ……

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….. but something happened once I planted it out and all its lovely golden edged leaves dropped. I dug it back up and put it back in its pot hoping against hope that it would recover, and I promised it that if it did, I would get it its own little planter to live in.

Well, it’s very early days, but you can see from the first photo that it has two new little leaves coming through! I talked to it gently and reminded it of its potential and I’m harbouring hopes of a full recovery.

Greenhouse

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I’m aware that this doesn’t look much like a greenhouse, but I assure you that inside that tardis of a box is a greenhouse. It’s my Christmas present from my Dad and it really is green! Obviously the windows aren’t, they’re transparent polycarbonate as you’d expect, but the frame is green. I’m very excited about this. It means I can grow things from seed and I can grow slightly more tender plants.

There’s a bit of work to do first though. I need to level the ground where it’s going to go and do some substantial weeding, and then obviously build the actual greenhouse. I’m intending to make it a really pretty greenhouse so I’m looking forward to better weather so I can get out there.

I’m so glad I went out into the garden today. I’ve been feeling so tired and blue lately, and seeing the new life starting to appear has given me a little bit of my usual joie de vivre and hope back.

I hope you enjoyed my Six on Saturday and I’ll try to pop back tomorrow to tell you about my Christmas preparations.