Saturday, 5 February 2011

A cobbler's children are always poorly shod.

Welcome to Rose Cottage. In lovely rural East Lothian. Him indoors and I are lucky enough to have moved here after years of searching for somewhere close enough to Edinburgh for work but far enough away from it all. Whatever it all actually is.
Now we've been here for 2 years and after the initial flurry of completely renovating the whole interior it's time that the outside gets some of the same TLC. Now as many of you'll know I'm a garden designer. Fixing sorry outdoor spaces is what I do. So that should be really easy, right? Hmmm. In my 'looking for an excuse as to why we've not done anything about it yet' days I tell myself it's because I've been busy trying to get my garden design business established. If I'm honest it's got more to do with changing my mind about what to do with it every 5 minutes or just plain not being able to put my garden designer objective hat on when looking at it. 
We're very lucky and have got a third of an acre, so big enough to grow lots of lovely plants, but not so big it's daunting. Allegedly. The previous owners of the house were a retired couple who spent lots of time tending the shrubs and flowers, picking & storing apples from the orchard, growing lots of produce in the fruit cage and enjoying the beautiful surroundings. They left it in a lovely, well manicured state. They even left us their ride on mower so we could mow the large swathes of grass. So how come we managed to let it get into this sorry awful state? 
We're both completely horrified when anyone comes to visit, most people can't hide their shock when they see the state of it. One day late last summer after planting up a particularly pretty country garden, the owner was waxing lyrical about how much she would like to see my garden and how beautiful she reckoned it must be. It was the kick up the rear I needed, and decided enough was enough. So late last year, Operation Rose Cottage swung well and truly into action. First was strimming the terribly overgrown grass back to see what we were dealing with, and even that made a huge difference. 
There are 3 main parts to the garden - the above photo is the back garden, and this is where we decided to start. It's got several large trees in it (Birch, 2 Rowans, Red leafed Maple, Laburnum), as well as some shrubs, roses and a rather dilapidated pond. There is also a fruit cage, greenhouse, a wee stone byre (where we store our logs), a garage and a gravel area where we park our cars. All in all pretty ugly and uninspiring. So this is where we've decided to start. 
We've taken the radical decision to convert the garage into a studio / office, so we needed to figure out where everything in it would go. No mean feat.
Getting a garden shed was an obvious first step, so we found a spot for one in the corner of the garden. Had the idea I could use not only for storing my tools, but a potting shed too. So here she is (It's a girl. Obviously). Not pretty or inviting. Yet. 
And then there's the greenhouse. A great size with lots of lovely potential but full of the previous owner's junk and covered in Ivy.
So this year amongst making other people's gardens lovely, I'll be hoping that some of the magic fairy transformation dust is sprinkled on ours. This weekend the clearing out starts in earnest. Mind you, there is one member of the household who might miss the mess...