Early Summer in the Edwardian House

IMG_1079Here we are in early summer. There have been a good few warm days so far and also some very heavy rain yesterday. This means that the garden is having an explosive growth spurt. All of the spring bulbs are spent, as are the primroses, although a few yellow pansies remain.

IMG_1081Hydrangea with new growth.

IMG_1082The lavenders have doubled in size.

IMG_1085Hydrangea at the other end of the garden bed also looking healthy.

IMG_1084Last week I planted this new Japanese maple to replace the other one that was planted last year. This one has more robust leaves so I hope it will withstand the exposed position a little better. The other one kept drying out as its leaves were like little feathers.

IMG_2210This is what the front garden looked like a year ago when we were right in the middle of Stage 2 of the renovation.

IMG_2225It’s good to look at photos like this and see how far we have come.

IMG_0997Out the back the fern garden is coming along nicely. You can see that I have moved the Japanese maple with the delicate leaves to this more protected postion.

IMG_1010The view from the kitchen window is improving. Avert your eyes from the crazy paving path and the leaning fence. All in good time…

IMG_9809With the new fern garden in place, we decided it was time to scatter the ashes of dear old Doris and Orlando. Doris died in Australia in 2009 and Orlando in Liverpool in 2011.

IMG_9810We scattered their ashes in the garden bed around the Dicksonia Antarctica fern that was imported from Australia.

IMG_0369Doris and Orlando loved their fern garden back in Australia, so it’s only fitting that they should have one here in the UK too. You can also see a more mature Dicksonia Antarctic tree fern that Doris is lying under on the left of the photo.

IMG_9638Oliver and Ruby are well.

IMG_9817As is Rosie, who had her fifth birthday in late April.

IMG_0919I finally got around to framing this limited edition print by the artist Paul Bommer which illustrates Christopher Smart’s poem “For I will consider my cat Jeoffrey”.

IMG_0921It was one of the first things I bought for the Edwardian House when we moved in.


It’s a great piece and I could look at it for hours.

IMG_0922It is in the breakfast room right next to the cat tree.


In the back garden I have cleared one corner that was dominated by an overgrown holly tree and a shrub underneath it. The entire back fence will need to be replaced so I am just trying to clear it enough for access. The soil level is quite high here too as this was an old garden refuse heap, so we will need to do some digging to lower the ground level.

IMG_0985The lawn hasn’t been cut for three years, though I am managing to get a handle on controlling the bindweed that used to grow in the beds by the compost bin.

IMG_0981I am also tackling the other pest – the blackberries. It’s just about keeping the whole back garden under control until we can re-landscape it.IMG_0984At least you can still see the path down the other side of the house.


The wall of ivy has this year’s new growth too.

IMG_1002Our neighbour’s beautiful lawn. If only we could annexe her garden somehow…

IMG_9684Grey squirrel helping herself to the bird food.

IMG_0936In the guest bedroom we have replaced the single bed with a double, in preparation for summer guests.


In other news, we had a nice time on our holiday to the Cote d’Azur.

IMG_0027We stayed in Nice.

IMG_0364Lovely views from the Colline du Chateau (Castle Hill).

IMG_5904We had a day where we drove along the Grande Corniche past Eze, Monaco and Menton and went into Italy.

IMG_5912Eze from the Grande Corniche.

IMG_6121Dolceacqua in Italy.

IMG_0048We visited Renoir’s house in Cagnes-sur-Mer.

IMG_0069Built around the same time as the Edwardian House it was great to see that Renoir also had a quarry tile floor in the kitchen.

IMG_0070It’s just like ours except his tiles are hexagonal and ours are square.


Interestingly, when I visited Monet’s house in Giverny last year with Frogdancer, he also had a quarry tile floor. I’m glad we kept ours.