When I start my new job at the end of July, I'm going to need somewhere to work for the two days a week or so I'll be working from home. And ta-da! A home office to be proud of. All I need now is a desk, which'll fit along the left hand wall where you can just about see the mirror in this shot. And as it's the only room in the house which gets much natural light, it's also slightly jungly with all the houseplants in here. The best part is that J can't get too jealous of me hogging the room as there's plenty of space for (all five of) his guitars.
The garden too is looking great, if a little overgrown. All the heat, sun and squally showers has left it greener than I thought possible. I only handweeded the entire damn patio a month ago - and a green carpet is now covering it.
One of the surprising successes of the spring though is a fuchsia that came from Anne's garden, and almost completely died in the snows of last year. Little by little, it's been looking more and more lively, and finally rewarded my patience with buds this weekend. Look! Buds! And the fuchsia which was here first is also looking nice, too. Last year it had become completely clogged with suckers and barely flowered, but after a good clear out in the spring has come back with a vengeance.
The right hand side of the garden is completely overgrown, though, not least because the lilac plant there has shot up 6 foot since the spring, with a buddliea that has done the same but twice over in the same period of time. I need to get busy with the hacksaw next weekend. Another candidate for world domination (well, at least back-garden-at-26a-domination) is this.
What is it? And where did it come from!? I swear it wasn't there last year. One of the nice things about gardening here for the second year is the sheer volume of surprises every season brings. The landlady (who lived here for years before renting the flat out) spent summers in the south of France and came back with all sorts of cuttings, bulbs and seeds, which she scattered around the garden. So there are orange poppies pushing up underneath the wisteria-honeysuckle-jasmine-fuchsia confusion around upstairs' spiral staircase into the garden, and hollyhocks showing up in the raspberry patch. Which brings me to my favourite part of gardening: being able to wander around it when I come home from work, finding two perfectly ripe strawberries for eating *right now* and just enough raspberries to make a little pudding after dinner.
The best part is that only a few seem to ripen every day (just enough for a small bowl to share) but then there are always more getting ready for tomorrow or the next day. The garden-project though has not been without its trials.
This is pretty much me nil, snails one, at least where the marigolds are concerned. Four weeks ago, the planters on the right (begonias, which appear strangely slimy-thing immune) were lacklustre-looking green foliage and not much more, whilst the marigolds were a glorious mix of orange, yellow and red, giving a bit of much needed colour to what was then a pretty much green-and-white colour scheme. And what on earth has happened to my previously-luxuriously green rosemary? All I did was replant it into a larger pot, give it some compost to get its potbound roots to dig into, some fertiliser and started an organic (i.e. squish every last m.f. one of them) war against iridescent rosemary and lavender bugs. Oh dear. I'll leave you with the happiest member of the Smallwood-Darlington household where the garden comes into it: La Mojita, who manages to spend an extraordinary amount of time curled up in the pot, atop the soil, around the base of the lilac tree. Whatever makes her happy!