Monday, 29 June 2015

Garden Revamp 3.0

Hello, I'm here with a little garden revamp update. The weather has been a little off lately which has slowed us down a tad but we're making progress, even if it is slow and steady. 

My extremely hard working husband has dug out the foundations in preparation for the building of the raised flower bed. The foundations have to cover a larger footprint than the actual structure itself, this is to provide sufficient support and hopefully prevent any unwanted movement. The digging and shoveling were no easy tasks as the ground is full of roots and rocks, so hats off to him because I'm sure it would have taken me days (or longer!) if I were to attempt it on my own. 
Looking from the back of the garden towards the house
Foundations dug for the raised flower bed
With the foundations in place we've been busy ordering the next lot of supplies (concrete and bricks) that should be delivered this week, and with a heat wave apparently on its way to the UK hopefully we'll be able to get lots done. It's a shame we won't be enjoying the heat wave relaxing in our garden because as you can see it is definitely resembling a builder's yard more than an oasis of peace and tranquility. 

Must. Remain. Positive. ;)

As always, let me know your thoughts or whether you have any tips you'd like to share. 

Claire x

Thursday, 25 June 2015

#WeBlogMCR - The Foundation Coffee House Meet

It took me just over a year to decide that I wanted to write my own blog. I caught blog-fever whilst planning my wedding, as I devoured a wealth of wedding blogs on a daily basis. Eventually I had had enough, I wanted in. My own special little place on the internet where I was free to be creative, share things that I love and build on my passion for interiors. One particular aspect that I wasn't really expecting but has taken me pleasantly by surprise is the blogging community. There are so many lovely people, all kind and willing to help each other out. It really is fab. If you are thinking of starting a blog, my advice is do it! 
One perfect example of the blogging community at its best is #WeBlogMCR. These Manchester-based blogger events are ran by Holly (Holly Goes Lightly and Dribble) who is the loveliest hostess, she makes everybody feel welcome, sets a really relaxed vibe for the event to run by and even brings prizes! I went to the first meet up a whole year ago and attended the third meet up this past week. Last Thursday evening saw me turn up to The Foundation Coffee House on Lever Street in the Northern Quarter of Manchester. If you're around the area and in need of coffee then you should definitely try it. The staff are delightfully friendly, my first ever matcha latte was scrumptious and the interior is a complimentary mix of industrial-cool and vintage charm. 

Holly said a few welcoming words and we soon got stuck in to the far-reaching realms of blogging and all its wonders. The group comprised of fashion, beauty, health and lifestyle bloggers all happily sharing tips, troubles and goals whilst snapping pics of our location, drinks and nibbles. The Foundation Coffee House was kind enough not only to supply the space (after their usual opening hours) but also provided espresso martinis and a super healthy juice shots. Yum. I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and getting to make some new blogging friends, as well as catch up with some old ones too. Make sure you scroll down and take some time to have a look at their links. Once again a massive thanks to Holly who put this all together whilst heavily pregnant! Absolute star :)
Matcha latte // espresso martini // skin juice boost
Great little styling details like the table leg and shelves
Scandi-inspired interiors
Hexagon tiles // subway tiles
Kat Horrocks
Oui Stephanie
Radiance Nutrition
Sarah Jane Jackson
EmmyLou Kelly Photography
Smile At Style
Greedy Sisters

Claire x

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Garden Revamp 2.0

If you remember reading my garden inspiration post then you will know that I am partial to a raised flower bed. Especially when it incorporates a seating area. Since I posted about my inspiration I found the below photo on Pinterest and fell in love with the design. The flower bed with the built-in bench allows you to get that bit closer to nature and I think it looks great too. I've decided that I want our rendered walls to be a dark grey - I've been loving the look of grey in the garden (as well as the home) for quite some time and seeing Sian's post over on Moregeous confirmed it for me. A deep and dark grey colour will allow the natural colours of the foliage and flowers to truly pop and stand out. I know that picking out colours is jumping the gun a bit because we are yet to dig the hole for the foundations. It's good to have goals, right? ;)
Olive Garden Design and Landscaping Ltd
Our design:
As mentioned above, the raised bed and seating area were non-negotiable so with the help of my super talented brother we've come up with a design which incorporates both. Perfect! I really liked the 'L' shape as it allows for extra seating and nicely links the flower bed with the decking area. 

To add another texture and area into the garden we're going to be looking at laying some artificial grass, on the right side of the gate as you look into the garden from the house. You might be wondering why we don't just lay some real grass but trust me, there is some logic behind this decision. That side of the garden is quite often shaded by the boundary fence and so grass would not happily grow in that corner. Our next-door neighbours used to have some real grass which looked mostly patchy and so they got rid of it. The flower bed has been positioned in the opposite corner as it gets more sunlight making it a better spot for the plants I'd like to grow. 

The grass won't be laid until the majority of the other work is completed but we should be going to have a look at some suppliers soon to get an idea on price. If you've used any artificial grass then please let us know what you think any recommendations will be gratefully received. 

What do you think of our design? Do you have any tips about building raised flower beds?

Claire x

Monday, 15 June 2015

Bloomin' Monday

Hello and a happy welcome to the start of a new week. I hope you had a lovely weekend. We've been looking into some suppliers for our garden, (more on this later in the week!) finally booking a holiday (woop!) and enjoying some time with family. This week is set to be a busy one but a fun one for me. What are your plans?

Beautiful blooming peonies on our kitchen table
I thought I'd help ease into the week with some of my recent favourite blog posts from the wonderful world of the internet. 

This Victorian-inspired HOME on Rock My Style
A delicious looking lentil and sweet potato SALAD from Dania Trapani
All black FASHION inspiration from Lizzy at Shot From The Street
Making the perfect G&T with Miss Pond

Claire x 

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Garden Revamp 1.0

Our garden revamp is well and truly underway! But first, allow me to whisk you back to where we started:
Our small garden back in 2013
The above photograph is of our garden two summers ago when the decking area was first completed. It all looked rather lovely. We had two flower beds on either side of a Yorkshire stone path (not visible in this picture) that allowed you to walk from the gate to the decking. Surrounding the path and the beds we had used bark to keep any weeds at bay. It was quite a rushed and fairly cheap job but it suited our needs at the time.  

An extremely overgrown back garden
Fast forward to more recently and, as you can see above, I felt out of love with the flower beds to the point where I completely neglected them. They inevitably became overgrown and started to look a lot more shabby than chic. As soon as the weather started to brighten up earlier this spring we knew that the garden had to be next on our hit list. That's when I shared a blog post about my Small Suburban Garden Inspiration

So where are we up to now? 

The old beds have been demolished, favourite plants have been salvaged, soil has been moved, two tonnes of sharp sand has arrived and basically a giant mess has been made. Nonetheless, I am excited about our progress and hope that we can keep going with this momentum. 

Garden revamp tip:
Even though the old flower beds looked like a disaster area they were still home to several plants that I wanted to keep and eventually replant into the new beds. This included lamb's ear, purple iris and pink geraniums. I didn't have any spare large pots so we had to improvise. My gardening-loving mother advised me that the best way to keep the plants alive during the renovation was to dig them out of the ground, keeping their roots intact with plenty of soil surrounding them and place them in plastic bags with holes in the bottom. In this state the plants have to be watered just as much as you would a pot or hanging basket. 

That's how far we've come up to now. I'll be back soon with more details on our plans.

Claire x
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