garden inspiration

A little sunshine made for a busy weekend. Bill was out spraying the oilseed rape for mealy aphids (which will take the goodness out of the plant) and sclerotinia (a fungus that splits the stem).

The rape is on full flower so some of the flowers get scooped up by the tractor and sprayer and left in the yard like small clumps of confetti,

just like the apple blossom lying on the grass in the orchard.

While Bill was working, I skipped off to look around a garden that was open under the National Garden Scheme. We knew the parking would be limited so decided to walk there, which proved a good idea as it was a lovely walk and seemed to put the garden into the landscape. In fact we later discovered we could have taken a different footpath to go into the garden through the back gate, which would have created a completely different entrance.

I’m not sure that I’m a good garden visitor. I’m not interested enough in plant labels to take note, walk too fast and chat too much, instead of sitting down and soaking in the ambience. I would love to be talented enough to perch on the wall, whip out a sketchbook and dash off a quick drawing but instead I have to take away half formed pictures in my head. It was a wonderfully relaxed garden with a hammock in the orchard, informal flower beds and a natural swimming pool with fringe planting and gently weathered decking that was a world away from the usual garish blue tiles and chemically cleaned water of regular swimming pools.

Tucked away in the garden were various little sheds and follies that made me realise how little we use the dovecote in our garden. Our dovecote used to stand in the corner of a farmyard ten miles away, presumably to keep pigeons for the big house next door to it, but was taken down and rebuilt in the garden here in the 1960s. I’m not sure how carefully it was rebuilt as there are no nesting boxes and apparently there were several bricks left over. But no matter.

Its windows are unglazed, with sliding slats to make it weatherproof and zinc mesh allows the air to circulate but keeps insects out. When we moved here the dovecote was filled with gardening paraphernalia  that I cleared out, determined to make a delightful summer house of the building. I fondly imagined candlelit suppers and a secluded space to sit, but the reality was that the children commandeered the space. They used to climb the ladder up to the loft (which worried me enormously as they never shut the trap door and I had visions of a child falling through the hole) from where they could spy on everyone passing or squirt their water pistols onto anyone in the garden.

But now I should reclaim the space. It only needs an old chair with a pretty cushion and perhaps a table. Maybe some bunting to hang along the walls or is that just too passé this days? I feel a pinterest session may be needed.


You may be interested in the result of that Pinterest session.


7 thoughts on “garden inspiration

  1. Jane says:

    When you said ‘dovecote’ I was picturing a wooden thing on a pole but then I realised you were referring to this beautiful structure! I can well imagine how the kids would have loved it. But yes, definitely reclaim. It looks like the perfect spot for a cup of tea and a good book or magazine.


  2. Mrs Thomasina Tittlemouse says:

    What an enchanting space! Definitely your turn to enjoy it now! And I love your idea about a little table and chair with a pretty cushion AND bunting! I’m afraid I don’t care whether it’s passé – there’s never a time not to have bunting given the opportunity! And it’s such fun to make! I am lazy and just cut the triangular pennants out of fabric with pinking shears and staple to a length of ribbon or flowery bias binding with coloured staples – you can easily run up a few metres like this in no time! I’ve done it too for themed work parties and ironed on bondaweb letters to the pennants to make a catchy phrase. All of the above is probably not washable – I expect the edges would fray, the staples would rust and the bondaweb applied letters detach themselves but i’ve not needed to and would probably make another batch the same way if it got rather sad-looking. You could also make a lovely knitted / crocheted throw to go with your cushion and chair – nothing too big or daunting as a project but something cosy for when the evenings draw in after sundown but it’s too nice to go indoors. What a wonderful summer project – doing up your dovecot! And at the present rate you’ve got a bit of time for your “makes” because the weather is not exactly invitingly the summerhouse lazing kind! Have fun with this! And do please post the results! E x


    • Anne @GtSlamseysFarm says:

      Why have I never thought of stapling the fabric for bunting? As a teenager I used to staple up the hems of my jeans and discovered staples last several washes before they go rusty. Thanks for the tip. And yes, a throw would be a good idea too.


  3. knitsofacto says:

    What a glorious space! I am now green with envy. Not that my little courtyard garden is big enough for a dovecot. All the things you describe – the right kind of bunting will never be passé – will be just perfect. Please show us what you do with it 😀


  4. Gillian says:

    How lovely to have a dovecote like this in the garden. I think bunting is always ok, especially in the garden. I’d love to see what you do with it!


Comments are closed.