Thursday, 30 April 2015

End of Month View – April

This will probably be my last ever post from this garden, I have today got a YES to my application for a house swap, only per email but I have been told I can sign contract on Wednesday and that means I will be moving on Monday the 11th May. It has been a very frustrating process all this waiting around not knowing if I was going to move or not, not sure if I should start packing or not - and more so because I have just come out of hospital after dislocating my hip replacement again and all I should really do is to rest and take it easy. I have spent the last 6 days taking phone calls and writing emails chasing people just to get answers and decisions. It seems like the trend in offices now is that no one answers their phones. All I get is an answer phone and no one seems that bothered about ringing back when I leave a message. Sending emails isn’t much better, I have tried for a month to find out if the rent at the new property is charged in advance or in arrears, kind of vital as I would have to come up with one month’s rent money I don’t have if it was charged in advance as my current rent is charged in arrears. After a whole month’s chase I finally have the answer, I don’t have to find the money for the rent – housing benefit is paid directly. Phew.

Today I have booked a removal company and they will transport my plants the day before, and come back the actual moving day for the house content - that was the simplest solution for me even though it cost a lot of money. But I have to have my plants with me, can’t leave them behind!

Here is my garden today, on a distance it actually looks just as usual. But I can assure you it isn’t. I have been lifting plants for what feels like ages, only interrupted by my unfortunate accident on the 15th April. I spent a week in hospital worrying about all my potted plants, which now need a lot more water than usual being in pots and containers.

My kind neighbours watered my plants for me when I was in hospital and most of the plants seem to have survived fine. Everything is in crates, ready to go apart from ONE plant I didn’t have time to lift. Not sure if I will manage to do anything with it, the Clematis armandii 'Apple Blossom', I wanted to dig it up and try to take it with me – or at least dig it up and throw it away so the next tenant wouldn’t inherit such a monster plant (read: headache!).

There are crates everywhere.

Even the bench is full. 80 crates are filled with plants, 20 crates are still empty, ready to be filled with gardening stuff.

It is amazing how my garden has burst into flower while I was away in hospital and recovering afterwards. At this time of year I can see changes in my garden every day.

These amazing calla lilies started to flower last week, first time I have them as I bought one plant last year and got one in a swap but neither flowered last year. I will find a space in the ground for them in my new garden and I think they will be happy to come out of the container they are now growing in.

These lovely late daffodils are blooming their heart out, the last of the spring flowers.

And I have fuchsias again! Mrs Popple has got buds ready to open very soon. I have missed having fuchsias after I had to cut them down in the winter. No sign of any Fuchsia Gall Mite yet but I will spray them all in May just as a precaution.

This Dicentra is happily flowering after having been dug up and squeezed into a pot, I hope it will be happy in the pot for a while as I think it will take some time before it gets a permanent home.

Here are most of my huchera collected, in one crate. A nice collection for my new garden.

And the amazing Camellia japonica 'Takanini' is still flowering, for the 6th month! This little twig of a camellia will get a permanent home eventually, just imagine in a few years’ time when it gets much bigger – camellia flowers for over 6 months a year every year!

All the hellebores are in pots, with fat seedpods despite being dug up. It’s great to see how resilient the plants are :-)

This beauty of an acer is still in the ground, one of two plants I will come back for later in the year when I have planned my new garden and know where it will be going. I don’t want to lift it yet as the clump will be way too big for a pot and the roots will just dry out if not planted straight away.

And here is my new house, a bungalow in a quiet close off a quiet street – perfect. Five houses on the left side and three houses at the bottom, the one to the bottom right is my new house.

My new house is not exactly a building of aesthetic beauty, more a functional abode. 

This is the back of the house and the windows are the kitchen door and the living room window. I have missed having a living room overlooking the garden, in my current house I can’t see the garden from any window downstairs, in the new house that will be very nice for days when I can’t get outside.

The garden is just over 100m2, compared to the 62m2 I have now it feels larger and it has a nicer layout.

And it’s got some nice features – not one but TWO sheds! The biggest shed has light and electricity and is more than tall enough for me to stand in so this will be my potting shed for rainy days. Yay! Another great feature with this garden is the back access, no more hauling plants and compost through the house. And I am sure I will find space for a greenhouse somewhere here - I have wanted a greehouse for ages :-)

All I need to do now is to pack up my house and get out of here. I have had to call in a lot of favours from a lot of nice people to get help with the packing, and as this is a house swap, everything needs to be packed up and moved out on Monday the 11th as nothing from the house can be moved into the new house until that day – the tenant coming here has to move out first, and he can’t move out until I have emptied my house. A logistical nightmare, we literarily are going to meet down the road with a lorry each with all our belongings and swap house that day. Fingers crossed for no accidents or lorry breakdown or anything else, hopefully it won’t be bucketing down with rain.

I am sorry there is no video today, I managed to take some photos but that was it, video was just too difficult with my sore hip and two crutches. There will hopefully be a video next month from my new garden :-)

I am linking this post to Helen at The Patient Gardener’s Weblog. Please visit her blog for many more March gardens.
Until next time, take care.

52 comments:

  1. Very nice. Perfect that the garden is actually quite a bit bigger! I would help you move if I lived in London! It seems like this location will suit you, and having a window out onto the garden will be a special bonus!

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    1. Thanks Beth, I know you would have helped, I wish you all have lived here in London, would have been very nice right now! Fortunately I have had help of friends and neighbours and I think I will be ready come next Monday!

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  2. Dear Helene, so sorry to hear about your hip replacement dislocation. Certainly the very last thing that you need right now. On the positive side you got the house that you wanted. Yay!!!
    Considering you current garden, I am certain that you will make a dream yard out of the new one. That it is a little bigger than the old one is certainly nice. Can't wait to see you getting started. But for now all the best for the move and even more important hope you hip is healing well and you are pain free asap.
    Warm regards,
    Christina

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    1. Thank you Christina, I can’t wait to get started on my new garden, it is going to be an exciting project. The first thing to decide on is if I am going to have a greenhouse – and where it should be if so. I have always wanted a greenhouse but can’t really start planting until I have decided on a good place for it.

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  3. Helene, How wonderful that this has worked out. Like Beth, I wish I could help too. I know I will enjoy watching all that new space turn into a beautiful garden.

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    1. Thanks Shirley, I wish all my gardening friends were neighbours right now :-) It will be a long project to get the new garden up and running, but I am not setting a deadline for myself, it will take as long as it takes. But some spare hands would have been nice!

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  4. Så flott da! Det skal bli godt for deg å få flyttet både deg og alle plantene tenker jeg :)
    Ditt nye bosted ser veldig flott ut, og så mye større hage du får!

    Lykke til med flyttingen!

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    1. Tusen takk, jeg ser frem til å komme meg i orden, har vært en frustrerende prosess med litt for mange komplikasjoner. Nå får vi bare krysse fingrene for at plantene overlever sommeren i potter og at vi ikke får DEN knallsommeren, jeg tror nok mesteparten av plantene fortsatt er i potter til høsten men her hos oss kan vi jo godt plante hele året så det er jo bra.

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  5. Wishing you a speedy recovery Helene. Couldn't have come at a worse time, eh?
    I do hope the move goes well, without a hiccup or at the very least only minor ones. Wish I lived nearer too but by the sounds of it you have some wonderful friends who are lending you a hand.
    Loving the look of the new place and what a quiet looking street. You will be chomping at the bit in no time once you've settled and unpacked.
    Good luck with the move and I look forward to hearing all about it.

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    1. Thanks Angie, accidents like this always come at the worst time!!
      I wish you lived a bit nearer too, would have been great for when I am starting planting. I have had good help with packing, but I only have one gardening friend here and she is very busy with her job. I hope I will get some new neighbours with an interest for gardening :-)

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  6. So sorry to hear you ended up in hospital again. Terrible time for that to happen. I hope you're not pushing yourself too much when you're supposed to be resting up. Fingers crossed that the move goes well and nothing else untoward happens to you. Even though you say your new bungalow isn't that aesthetically pleasing at the moment, I know you'll change all that very soon. It looks like a cosy little corner and I can't wait to see how your new garden develops.

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    1. Thanks Bernie, I am trying my best to rest, but you know, the deadline is looming and I just have to get on with things, haven’t got much choice. I am going to sleep for a week once I am safely installed in my new house!

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  7. Oh, Helene, you have SO much going on! Congratulations on the house swap! I'm sorry to hear about your hip and hope you're recovering well. I, too, am sorry I can't help but, with all the advance planning you've already done, I expect it'll go smoothly. Every move comes with stress and a certain number of glitches but, take a deep breath, and tackle each as it comes. Best wishes!

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    1. Thanks Kris, I am so happy with the new garden, it is a gem, much bigger than all the other in the area. I am trying to tackle everything with my usual way of planning and preparing things, with one more week to go I am quietly confident :-)

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  8. I'm glad you have the green light and am sure you will make a good job of prettifying your new home

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    1. The bungalow is pretty standard, not much to shout about, but the garden is a gem and why I took it when I was offered it – much bigger than any normal garden down here and I am already planning in my head what I can do with it :-)

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  9. Helene, I'm so impressed with how organised you are with all your plants, ready for the move, and with your hip problems. Plus, you have lots in flower. That has to be the most attractive looking garden-about-to-move I've ever seen.

    Sorry to hear about the hip. Not good timing, though I guess no time is good for such a thing. I hope it heals quickly and you are fine for the move.

    I'm looking forward to seeing how your new garden grows.

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    1. Thanks Julieanne, I am normally a very organised person and in my current situation it helps a lot :-) I have had help from a lot of people and will get more help this week – come next Monday I think I will be ready for the removal men, fingers crossed!

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  10. Goodness you have been busy and it looks so organised. I am sure your move will go well and it won't be long before you are deciding what will go where.

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    1. I can’t wait to start on my new garden! I am afraid my house will probably have to wait, unpacking boxes will be a lesser priority than working on the garden :-)

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  11. Sorry to hear about your hip, but glad to know you are out of hospital. Your meticulous care of your plants is amazing and your new garden will soon be even better than your old one. Best of luck with the big moving day.

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    1. Thanks, I am so looking forward to start on the new garden, I just hope we won’t get a blazing hot summer like last year as it will take a long time to get everything in the ground - watering all the pots will be the biggest challenge. Moving day is 11th May, fingers crossed I will be ready!

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  12. Good luck and I hope it all goes well. :o) I'm glad you're out of the hospital and able to move to your new home.

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    1. Thanks, I am better now, still recovering with restrictions and hip precautions but for every week I get a bit better. Once I am in the new house I can take it a bit slower, no deadline :-)

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  13. First Congratulations with the house, only one week and the moment is there. I hope you don't have to much pain of you hip, and be careful so that it can heal. I can imagine you have lots of ideas for your new garden, I should have lots of ideas too. It's a comfortable bungalow with garden view from your window, perfect. I guess, when you show us pictures of this house and garden next year, it will look heavenly in summer. I can imagine it already planted with all these plants from the huge number of crates.
    Wish you lots of success and take care.

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    1. Thanks Janneke, I am so looking forward to having a view out to the garden from my living room window, I really have missed that here where I live now. That was one of the top priorities when I looked for a new house. The garden will look VERY different next year, when all my plants are in place I guess it will look just as much a jungle as my current garden looks summertime!

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  14. Oh Helene - 2 sheds! You lucky, lucky gardener! That big shed looks like it'll take a comfy chair, a kettle and a radio. You seem to have some established plants in the new garden and your potted plants are looking so well - you are going to have such fun siting them. I don't suppose there is any point in mentioning taking things easy once you arrive in your new home? I'm looking forward to seeing your new garden coming together. All the very best with the move.

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    1. Thanks Sarah, I will try to slow down a bit once I have moved in, things are rather hectic right now but once I have moved there is no deadline anymore. But gardening isn’t work anyway, that’s what I do to relax :-) The big shed will have a comfy chair, a table for potting plants and I will try to buy a apothecary chest of drawers second hand for seeds and stuff - if I can find one cheap enough. I have always wanted one of them, I have seen them on E-Bay but they have been quite expensive.

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  15. Glad to see you out of hospital and starting on the road to recovery Helene. A bungalow, thats what we should have considered at our age. I think it looks great and the bigger garden is a bonus. I feel very happy for you. Oh, wow calla lilies so early in the year.

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    1. Thanks Alistair, I am recovering well, slowly but that is to be expected – I am not exactly lounging on the sofa all day….once I am safely installed in the new house I will sleep for a week! Yes, a bungalow was first on my list and I am happy I held out until I found one, they are few and far between down here. I looked at quite a few other properties, ground floor flats with gardens, but I don’t like the thought of having neighbours on 3 sides. In the new house I am on the end and will only get one neighbour and next door there’s only a single person living. After having lived in Victorian terraced housing I am longing for some peace and quiet!

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  16. We look forward to watching the progress of your new garden Helene. I am so impressed that your previous garden was so small and you got so much in. Bet your new lawn does not last long!
    I have several Dicentra spectabilis in pots and they grow fine
    I love Mrs Popple!

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    1. Thanks Roger, you are right, my lawn is going to go pretty quickly, I can’t see the point in having such a small strip of grass that needs moving so often, and that will free up space for something else. I think I might have to put the greenhouse there if I am having one, seems like the only good place to put one, although that means pruning the ceanothus hanging over that space, which is not ideal. I will have a lot of decisions to make once I am in :-)

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  17. Wow Helene, you have been so busy! What a good thing you started potting up your plants so early. The crates are a really good idea. Good luck with your move and I look forward to seeing pictures as you start to develop your new garden!

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    1. Thanks Ruth, I have been lifting plants for ages, and in fact I have been planning a move for the last 2 years so many plants that could have gone in the ground have been planted in containers instead. Now I just have to manage to keep them alive until I can find a permanent home for them all. I guess it will take some time to get sorted so the summer will be a challenge.

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  18. I will miss seeing your present garden, but am excited to see the transformation you will make in your new home. Hope you heal quickly, Helene, and all goes well with the move! I would say to take it easy and rest for awhile, but something tells me you are going to be out planting as soon as possible:)

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    1. Thanks Rose, I find it difficult to take it easy yes :-) Although I try to be careful, I can’t have yet another dislocation so I just have to restrict a bit what I can do for now. I wear a hip brace now so it helps me to restrict movements, but it is uncomfortable to wear when doing gardening so not sure how that’s going to go. For now I won’t be able to anything in the garden apart from watering the plants, but as soon as my hip restrictions are over I will start doing a bit.

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  19. I am stunned at how much you have done given your injury Helene. And I love your new house...it has so much possibility....I can feel your excitement too. What wonderful neighbors to keep you plants going and how happy they are to go with you as they are blooming in their pots. Our last move was much like yours...paths crossing and well organized schedule of one out and another in....good luck with it all and glad you have friends who can help...

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    1. Thanks Donna, I could not have done this without my son’s help and a lot of other nice people, but good planning is also key here. I am writing lists and planning as much as I can, hopefully everything is finished by the time we get to Sunday evening!

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  20. Helene, I wish you all the very best with the move and hope you will be happy in your new home. I can't wait to see what you do with the garden. Exciting times!

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    1. Thanks, I can’t wait to be safely installed in my new house and garden, moving all the plants will be the nail biting part of it – I wish I could employ some gardeners to do it, but I just have to trust the removal men will take care of my babies and don’t break too much. Fortunately, most plants will grow back if anything breaks :-)

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  21. Look forward to see how your new garden goes Helene, your new home seems to offer far more alternatives for you not the least the ease of access, I expect you can't wait to get started. After what has happened you seem to be as resilient as many of your plants :-)

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    1. Thanks Rick, I hope my plants turn out to be resilient enough to wait for me slowly working my way through the collection and putting them back in the ground in the new garden. I guess it will take a lot longer than lifting them, possibly until next spring before I am finished. In a way it would be great if it rained all summer!

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    2. Be careful of what you wish for :-)

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    3. Ha! I suppose not everyone would like a washed-out summer this year – but rain at night and nice weather during the day would suit me really good this year! Now, where can I send my application….

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  22. It is so exciting to see your new place. It sounds like there are lots of great advantages to this new place. Won't it be nice to sit in the living room and see the garden. I hope all goes well. Fingers crossed!

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    1. Thanks Jennifer, it is the evening before the move – everything is packed up and ready to go – all the plants went today and it went well, hopefully the move tomorrow will go well too.
      I am so looking forward to moving into the new house, it’s been a long process!

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  23. Moving day! You must be exhausted from all the preparations, but now you can begin your new life. I think your bungalow is cute with tremendous potential. I am eagerly waiting to see the transformation that happens with your new space. I hope your hip will be OK, with no more dislocations. Take care not to over-do; this advice comes from the world's worse over-doer!

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    1. Thanks, I am trying my best to pace it, now that I am safely in my new house, but it is difficult – there’s so much to do and my garden is calling for me to come out and get started! I am however very tired, could sleep for a week if I just had time, I will just have to take things a bit slower for now.

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  24. Congratulations! You must be thrilled to finally have things happen one way or another. Your new place looks amazing. I can hardly wait to see how you will transform it into a flowering oasis. But first, you must take care of yourself.

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    1. Thanks Rosemary, I am trying to take it one step at the time, at least I have no deadline for things anymore but I am eager to explore what the new garden has to offer.

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  25. Hi Helene
    I hope your move has gone smoothly. Your new garden will certainly keep you busy, how lovely to have more space & a fresh start.
    Looking forward to your new journey x

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    1. Thanks Jane, it will be a long project but I am looking forward to it, gardening isn’t really work, more something I do because I enjoy it :-)

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