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Author Topic: building and decorating blues  (Read 1076 times)

milla

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building and decorating blues
« on: July 25, 2015, 01:36:59 AM »
On Monday DH and I sat down after dinner to discuss the impending renovation of our lean-to (pompously called The Conservatory!). He started by telling me, in a rather worried tone, that the roof had to be replaced. I thought to myself: ‘Typical. I spend months/years trying to sell him a sensible project, then he acts as if it was his idea and goes for a demolition job.’ I asked why he thought that the roof had to be replaced. Btw, the roof is made up of re-enforced Georgian glass panels, which are very expensive and difficult to get and install. He pointed out that two of the panels had a crack. Nowadays, he said, people use plastic… I let him go on  for a while…  and he said ‘…and to fit the new roof we will have to cut down everything on that side of the garden, because they will not be able to get to the glass panels with all that’. Well, ‘that’ is what you can see in the photos: the side of our small garden that we have deliberately left a bit wild. Birds nest there; the buddleia attracts butterflies; and the brambles provide lots of fruit for the birds, and for us! I love picking a handful of blackberries to eat with yoghurt in the morning. I could not believe he said that. He loves watching the birds in the morning and he often complains about people who pave over their gardens and deprive wildlife of their habitat. I said: ’No way! It would be a heck of a job and there are nests in there; besides, those cracks are superficial; they don’t go right through. Even when it rains heavily, the roof does not leak.’ He looked gloomy. ‘Well let’s see what Steve says’ (Steve being the roofer/glazier/windows and doors person).
Well, we have seen Steve and he agrees with me. Huge breath of relief. He will replace the doors in August, and the rest will be done in September, hopefully. The wood cladding on the walls will come off and the walls will be plastered (I wanted to keep a wall with exposed bricks but was told that we would have problems with damp, so I gave up on that one), we will have a new floor and the small washroom will be completely renovated. More importantly, the birds, the bees and the butterflies are safe!!!!

Styyna

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Re: building and decorating blues
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2015, 07:13:34 AM »
Milla, I saw your subject and I was downcast. But then I read your post and I'm so happy for you! It's really going to happen! And I can see from your pictures and your description why you wanted to save the natural setting you have outside.

Too bad you couldn't have the exposed bricks but I understand why not.

Don't forget before and after pictures!
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To be kind to all, to like many and love a few, to be needed and wanted by those we love, is certainly the nearest we can come to happiness. - Mary Stuart

SusieQ

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Re: building and decorating blues
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2015, 12:32:14 PM »
That's beautiful, mills!  I'm glad that the birds and butterflies sanctuary is safe!
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milla

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Re: building and decorating blues
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2015, 12:33:59 PM »
I will post the before and after pictures even though I am a bit ashamed of the room at the moment. Well, all I can say is that it is clean and reasonably tidy, but it is shabby...not shabby chic, just shabby. But hopefully it will look beautiful after the renovation. I would hate to cut down those shrubs. I know that some people would prefer a 'manicured' garden, seeing as it is quite small, but I like to keep that side a bit wild. It also gives us privacy. There are birds' nests in the ivy and the bramble (wrens and robins). Btw, the blackberries are beginning to ripen and, as we've had some rain for the last couple of days, we might have a good crop...

SusieQ

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Re: building and decorating blues
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2015, 10:20:58 AM »
I personally like the look of your garden, milla. 
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milla

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Re: building and decorating blues
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2015, 02:16:53 AM »
It is a very small garden and I know that I need to do 'things' to improve it, but the wild bit stays!  I wish I could do something with the area at the end of the garden. It is very dark, because it backs on to a kind of nature reserve and there are some big trees that, which make the garden very private (excellent) but very shady (not so good for growing plants). The only flowers I have managed to grow there are snowdrops, which are very pretty but I wish I could have some colour all year round!

SusieQ

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Re: building and decorating blues
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2015, 11:23:03 PM »
I love the name of that plant, Snowdrop! I just googled it and it's really pretty but I can see why you like some colors to go with it.  Just the same, I think you little corner is quite pleasing.  A little serenity to just breathe and enjoy nature at its best!
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Styyna

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Re: building and decorating blues
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2015, 09:36:02 AM »
Most of my gardening successes have come in shady areas. In the past I've found that flowers and plants that prefer low light are fairly low maintenance. Because they don't get direct sun light they don't generally need watering as frequently. I experienced fewer problems with weeds, too, apparently because most weeds need more light.

As for the room looking "shabby" right now, that's part of the joy of before and after pictures. The contrast will be wonderful. Here's hoping that everything goes as scheduled!
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To be kind to all, to like many and love a few, to be needed and wanted by those we love, is certainly the nearest we can come to happiness. - Mary Stuart

milla

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Re: building and decorating blues
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2015, 10:19:50 AM »
Snowdrops are magic, they survive the coldest winters and they grow under the snow. When they pop out it is such a thrill. But we only get them in early spring. We also have bluebells in that corner of the garden; we have not planted them, but they just keep coming year after year. The good thing about that shady area is that we cannot see it from the patio, so I suppose it is OK. I also have 2 large pots there where I have planted  daffodils.

SusieQ

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Re: building and decorating blues
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2015, 09:48:43 AM »
Bluebells are so pretty, too. We have daffadils on our front lawn. I wonder if they will come up next year since we have a drougth and I don't water there as often as I would like.  :-\
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ILuvLucy

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Re: building and decorating blues
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2015, 07:13:26 AM »
Hi milla  :)
I'm happy to hear that the birds, bees, & butterflies will be safe.  I've been so sad regarding the problem with bees lately. 
I have several buddleia growing at my house, & I love seeing all the butterflies (& little dragonflies too) it attracts.  We call it "Butterfly bush" here, though I know that buddleia is the correct name.

We have some work that needs to be done on our house.  Unfortunately it's not anything exciting.  If we don't do something about the rotting siding, we'll have birds living IN our house!  :rollseyes:
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Styyna

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Re: building and decorating blues
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2015, 07:52:58 AM »
When we decided to add a room onto the end of our house we discovered, in the process, that our roof and siding were shot. Not very glamorous projects but definitely improved the appearance of our home. It was during the peak of the recession so we were able to replace the crummy, cheap siding with cedar shingles. With our house on the lake and lots of mature trees, they give it a very rustic but pretty effect.

So even the least glam projects do improve the appearance, not to mention keeping the birds at bay!
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To be kind to all, to like many and love a few, to be needed and wanted by those we love, is certainly the nearest we can come to happiness. - Mary Stuart

milla

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Re: building and decorating blues
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2015, 04:50:28 AM »
It must be absolutely lovely where you live , Styyna. Our house is in a row of terraced houses in London, but we are near public transport and not too far from the countryside. Our small garden backs on to a large teaching hospital. A few years ago, they did some work on the grounds and the residents campaigned for the area behind our houses to be left as a nature reserve. In my opinion, they could have taken it a bit further and made it into a park or gardens  but this was before my time.
House prices in London have increased astronomically and if we sold our property we would be able to buy a much larger, detached place …in the middle of nowhere. We thought about it, but decided that it was not a good idea. Now that we have two grandchildren (one in London) I am glad that we have chosen to stay here.
Btw, the door is going to be replaced next week. We decided to start with the door, it makes sense, because the walls will be done after . We were quite pleased with the quote we have been given, a bit less than what we were expecting!

Styyna

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Re: building and decorating blues
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2015, 08:23:09 AM »
It is truly beautiful where we live. We have one of the most beautiful views I've ever seen as there are magnificent bluffs on the other side of the lake and the lake is huge. The beauty, however, is the only thing that we continue to appreciate about living where we do. After 11 years in this area we can only count a handful of true friends; the picturesque village is pretty closed to "outsiders" other than tourists.

Where to move is an ongoing struggle. I'd love to live as you do, in a city with lots of life bustling about and close to many amenities - like grocery shopping for instance. DH, on the other hand, would like to live even more remotely than we do now. (I get the irony that he's unhappy with our current situation and wants to live in a place that will be even more of the same!)

You are fortunate to be sitting on a nest egg, with public transport, a bit of nature in your back yard, and a grandchild all so close. I love hearing about your adventures out and about. In fact, I'd love to hear more about your ventures out and about in London.

Good news about the door! You're off to a good start already. A door is a visible sign of improvement, generally without too much mucking around and tearing things apart. Don't forget before and after pictures! :)
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To be kind to all, to like many and love a few, to be needed and wanted by those we love, is certainly the nearest we can come to happiness. - Mary Stuart

SusieQ

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Re: building and decorating blues
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2015, 09:15:05 PM »
We do often take for granted what we have, don't we?  I wish the drought is over in CA so that I can branch out to more than orchids.  I love to try other plants and have a little oasis in my backyard.  Lots of things are dying in my backyard.  :cry:
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