Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Home and Garden

Yesterday I found myself deciding whether to start cleaning the double glass doors that used to lead straight on to the patio, or trim and tidy up a few plants in the garden. I chose the former. Normally I would choose the latter or any gardening related task for that matter over any house chore that doesn't need urgency. But not this time.

Macrozamia communis

The double glass doors I was referring to used to separate the house from the garden, or rather our access way from the back of the house (where the kitchen is) out into the garden. With the recent addition of a conservatory to the back of the house, these double doors are wholly indoors now and must be kept clean even more so than before. The work in the house is far from finished yet and more mess and dust are still on its way to fall everywhere, including these doors. But by giving them a thorough clean now would mean there would be less layers of dirt on it to clean later. Hence I felt I should prioritise giving it a preliminary scrub before stepping out into the garden....

Anyway, much ado about cleaning doors! This is a gardening blog after all...

An accidental planting scheme and a nice view from the back of the house
It's pretty obvious, especially to those who have been following us for quite some time that we are avid exotic gardeners, plant mad duo, garden/nursery visitors, enthusiastic fish keepers, and garden DIY-ers. And pretty much most of our spare time outside of work pretty much involves doing anything of the above. But we seldom talk about our house and home until recently. Before, the home was just there for us to live in without thinking much about it as we pre-occupy ourselves with anything to do about the garden. We live in it but we seldom pay attention to the details within, it was set up already to the way we live and everything was and where to our convenience.

No kitchen just yet (the kitchen fitter is on summer holiday!) but the ceiling is now finished and painted. And on the left side of this photo you see the doors I was referring to above
But the time came the we felt the home needed some changes too, and drastic ones at that and once we made the decision to go ahead with the changes our attention and preoccupation has shifted dramatically.

Quite liking this rustic and temporary step!  The builders are yet to install the steps into the conservatory and it's quite a height so this will do for now.
The plant mojo is definitely still there. We never really lost it anyway even despite the fire. It's just taken a back seat as we prioritise sorting out our home first. Reading other gardening blogs and websites, and still occasionally taking the time to flick through plant books even for just a few minutes at a time keeps the flame going. Last night I even found myself perusing a nursery website and having a longing for more.....tree ferns! And loads of other gorgeous plants, too many to mention!

The Rhus typhina on the top patio is looking splendid this year
What keeps this blog going is our love for plants and our passion to share our interest with others. It is our main hobby and preoccupation after all and sharing our garden adventures via the blog comes easily. But at the moment gardening is not our main pre occupation so would that mean we'll just let this 'gardening blog' go stale?

Cleopatra, such a tough and strong lady. Seared down by flames yet it carried on growing and is about to flower - Canna 'Cleopatra'
Of course not, far from it but the way to move forward with it for now is to include our current main priority, our home. So for the next few months our gardening blog will become like a 'Home and Garden Edition' as we occasionally include snippets of what's actually happening inside our house as it undergoes major renovation.

The only thing is, neither of us are sure just yet of how much of the finished product we'd like to reveal once all the work and redecoration has finished. We'll think about it and decide as time moves on. Although initially we never intended to blog about what's going on in the house, if this is our main pre occupation then naturally it would come out and be mentioned on our posts for the next few months anyway. So might as well include it properly, at least the work in progress, and perhaps the finished product.

Like green butterflies rising from the ashes - Amicia zygomeris
The blog will remain largely about plants and gardening. The home will be included from time to time, snippets of it appearing appropriately in amongst the plant talk. And once all of the work has finished then it will be once again a mainly gardening blog.


But what is the distinction between home and garden anyway? Our garden is connected to our home, and our garden is our home too. Our gardening is part of the way we live as much as what we do inside the house. We grow plants outside of the house as well as the inside, so what is the distinction? 


I'm just being philosophical about it, of course there is a distinction, there are loads of distinction, too many to list on this post. Ok, I'll mention at least one - interior decoration - something we're both highly interested as well but we rarely broach outside the realms of personal conversations between us and a few friends. And I doubt we'll delve into it with detail on our blog apart from a broad mention here and there on future posts (and what can be seen on the photos).

Twinkles planning for the impending demolition of the 'Jungle Hut'
Knickers seeking my attention and shredding my jeans as per usual. We had the option to not live in the house whilst renovation is ongoing but moments like this with our pets makes it even more worthwhile.
Despite the inconveniences we're actually both, on the whole enjoying this house renovation business. How could we not when improvement is on its way? There are tons to do during and after the builders have finished their thing but so what? It's for our pleasure. And this coming bank holiday weekend the builders will carry on working in the house, leaving very little privacy for us to live in it until the evening. But if the weather is good that means we'll have lots of time to devote to the garden. And I'm so looking forward to it!

Mark :-)

39 comments :

  1. So much going on in your lives. It's all interesting. Looks like that kitchen is going to be spacious and filled with light and good views of the conservatory and gardens. Love it. That view from the back of the house is just stunning.

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    1. Thanks Deanne! Being the back north facing those sky lights makes a huge difference :)

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  2. It's all coming on so well, great seeing the progress of the house and garden.

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  3. It will be well worth it in the end, although the grit, dust and dirt gets everywhere even after oovering and hoovering but I love the peace with no builders, the decorating (not gloss paint) that gives the place a lovely fresh feel about it. We have also de-cluttered loads and are actually going to a car boot this week end, may help pay for the paint!!!

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    1. Thanks Libby but yes there are loads of hoovering to do and even more after all the work is done and will carry on for quite some time. Plaster dust does go everywhere isn't it?

      Good luck with the car boot, hope you have a good sale! :)

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  4. All coming on very nicely. Helpful hint:- 92.55% of all paint sold is Brilliant white or Magnolia :-)

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    1. Thanks Don and not surprised with the stats, they are safe colours and makes a good base :) We love white walls though, floods any space with light!

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  5. Wherever your enthusiasms take you, we will follow.

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  6. Your new kitchen area is looking very bright with the skylights. I don't know that you need to limit your blog scope too much and we would love to see the final product.

    The Canna Cleopatra photo made me look twice to find those distinctive stripes. It's good to see your garden is on the mend so quickly.

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    1. Thanks Shirley! With the kitchen north facing those sky lights do make a huge difference in brightening up the space. When I first spotted the Canna Cleopatra looking like that I though it had reverted to pure purple and looking more like an Australia but the lower leaves are still green striped. It's interesting the way it has grown like that this year.

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  7. In another life I would be an architect and design houses, and I love anything about interior decoration. So I will eagerly look forward to your posts featuring your home. A conservatory and a kitchen with skylights! What tantalizing tidbits! But in this life I am a gardener, and I am already hooked on your exotic bit of paradise. I look forward to seeing the restoration of your garden. So happy to see Cleopatra looking well!

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    1. Thanks Debs! Interior decoration and designing houses are such fun disciplines. With the quality of your garden I can imagine it will be natural for you too to embark on it :) But gardening is fab too!

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  8. You guys have such a strong design sense it's only natural that carry over into your home too, and we'll all eagerly anticipate and enjoy as much as you choose to share.

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    1. Thanks Loree! Hope you'll get the chance to visit again, so much has changed since then :)

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  9. I'll read whatever you want to write about!

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    1. Thank you Heather! Glad to hear that :)

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  10. Major renovations are so disruptive. My parents were always knocking houses around and now I find myself avoiding doing the same. I wonder if you need the old patio doors at all - wouldnt an arch of some sort be easier?

    Glad to see you still have your plant mojo despite the fire

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    1. Thanks Helen! Funny you mentioned about the patio doors, we were thinking the same yesterday whether to keep it at all or not. We decided to keep it so we can segregate the conservatory if we wanted to and also provides extra security.

      Thankfully the plant mojo still there :)

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  11. I would love to find out more about the conservatory you've added. I assume it will be filled with cold-sensitive plants, especially in the winter?

    As Loree said, anything you want to share about your remodel will be greatly appreciated by your loyal readers :-).

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    1. Glad to hear that Gerhard :) We're not sure yet which plants will live there permanently but it will come in handy in the winter. Most of the structure is up now but there's still lots of finishing left to do but as soon as it's finished will post pics of it.

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  12. In my view, all "proper" houses connect to the garden and vice versa. Linking your discussions of the 2 is natural and understandable, especially as I expect a renovation of this extent must be dominating your daily life at the moment. Blogging is a good way to handle the stresses and strains of both the interior and exterior work.

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    1. Thanks Kris and I agree with you about the both garden and home linking together. I do find blogging fun and relaxing :)

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  13. How wonderful! I hope that you took a lot of before pictures so that we can compare them with the in progress photos and hopefully the images of the finished interior! Glad you're enjoying this process.

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    1. Thanks Peter :) Yes we did take lots of before pics and looking forward to comparing them with the after pics once all the work has finished. The before pics are nice memento of how the house was in past years too.

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  14. Am also looking forward to anything most specially the developments to those burned and grow again.....Moreover, keep posting not only as your passion for sharing, but because you write very well, sayang naman! hehe

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    1. Thank you Andrea, pleased to hear :)

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  15. It's quite obvious that you're definitely in your element! You know what you want and you make it happen. Most people would give up on gardening because they simply don't have the patience, and house remodeling, wow, that's one hell of a job! It looks like you're doing really great, and everything seems to be on the right track - I can't wait to see once it's done. :)

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  16. Lovely garden photos. Love the Japanese Maples you have there. Looks beautiful in that setting.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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  17. It's lovely to see the progress on the house and garden. Amazing what survives a fire. Thanks for sharing all your updates and news.

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    1. Thanks Karen :) It's nice and cheerful to see some of the plants making a comeback. The only thing is some of them may have been weakened and another test for them will the winter coming (which we hope will be on the mild side again).

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  18. I'll enjoy it all, wether inside or out. Neither would be the same without the other anyway - they both boost and support each other. :)

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  19. Crikey guys - serious works in progress.

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  20. House renovation posts will be most welcome. I enjoy your ideas for the outdoors, so I'm pretty sure I will enjoy your tips for the indoors as well.

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  21. wow you've both got a lot of work on your hands. I look on my garden as an extension to the house and even down to co-coordinating the back garden with the colours of the sunroom that leads into the garden.

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  22. I think it's natural for you to blog about your home with so much renovation going on. And I would think most that love to garden love their homes, too. I like to find new ideas for my garden, and I like to find new ideas for my home. I think whatever you choose to disclose about your home will be warmly welcomed. With such a large project, how could you not include it?

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