Monday, November 29, 2010

Snowy Troon

Today we were treated to another dollop of snow, along with some quite meaty - sounding thunderstorms!

Just a few pics taken on a short walk out of the village today, once it stopped snowing:





Thursday, November 11, 2010

Back from the printers...

This year's Christmas cards. I have illustrated my own Christmas cards now, since 2001. I used to print them myself, on the old inkjet, but it took so long and cost so much, I ended up getting it done at Vistaprint much cheaper and as good quality, and envelopes too!

Last year I had to break with my tradition (because of the move to Cornwall) and send out shop bought cards. This raised howls of disappointment from friends and relatives, who look forward to my quirky, very personal and very Cornish designs.

Worry not.....I'm back on the case.....and they're all done and printed, it's not even December!

 The inside reads: Nadelik Lowen ha Bledhen Nowyth Da   Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year (Cornish and English)

Here's the front design clearer:


 And a little detail......that's me, hubby and Charlie the Jack Russell. We're wearing our Pirates rugby scarves, as is the seagull atop the chimney! (What, you didn't know seagulls watch the rugby? Have you never seen a seagull mug a tourist for his pastie on Penzance promenade? )

We don't live in an old converted Engine House, wishful thinking, that!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Our small front garden

Well, we've been here almost a year now and at last the front garden is looking more like I envisaged. Originally a patch of grass, bordered by gravel paths, the lawnmower had to be lugged from the back garden, down the communal lane alongside next-door's house and around to the front. Given that the grass was little more than eight feet square and our petrol mower more suited to our old, large garden, the actual mowing was done in just a handful of passes! Not ideal, so I decided to banish the grass at the front and create something easier to tend, that would provide the backdrop for some more plants.

 I saw this (below) at the Lost Gardens of Heligan and liked it. I've also seen a more intricate pebble pavement at Perranporth, part of a Cornish-time sundial on the clifftop.(look at the pattern of pebbles, placed on edge, it's lovely!)

However, all this was beyond my present means. When the builder working next door kindly offered me a few barrowloads of gravel, I decided to have a circle of gravel, rather than pebbles, in the hope that one day I could afford to replace the gravel with a nice pebble circle. So I set to, taking off the turf. This only took a couple of hours (remember I'm 57 and not as fit as I could be!). Another day I set about marking up the circle, digging it out and setting the logroll edging. As I had some logroll left over, I decided to put in a smaller circle, offset slightly, for planting up. The next few days the weather was vile. Then a couple of days later the sun came out and the wind dropped, allowing me to lay the fabric liner and start barrowing gravel...from the back garden, down the communal lane....etc etc. It was then just a matter of raking it out and trimming away and tucking in the liner. I shall add a little more topsoil to the surround and rake it level. I think it looks ok, not bad work for an old bird! Now for the plant planning!

As the front faces southwest it gets plenty of sun and the existing planting, lavender, santolina, sage and rosemary has done well. (All right, the lupins were claimed by slugs the size of small family cars; they'll have to be moved to the back or go in pots.) I have a weakness for rather exotic plants and am looking at perhaps squeezing in a palm, cannas, aeoniums and the like. Although this is Cornwall and therefore a bit milder than the rest of the UK, up here in Troon we are prone to wind (!) and I shall have to bear that in mind. Watch this space!