Tuesday 16 July 2024

The Raised Bed

Hi there everyone 😀

Whilst there was plenty of rain in June there was also some sunshine and we made the absolute best of it while we were at home … putting in a fair few hours in the garden.

We’ve finally managed to replace the raised bed … and it has been a real labour of love.

Just as a reminder … this was the raised bed at its heyday … just bursting with colour …
… and you may remember a while ago I shared photos of it awaiting some major attention and looking decidedly worse for wear …
Our first step was to empty it of the plants we wanted to save … mainly foxgloves and verbena … everything else having been relocated a few years ago when we starting to get ready to replace it …
Next … we emptied it of soil …
… which we bagged up for reusing later …
… and broke it down and disposed of the old rotten wood …
Then the real hard work started. A full day, with the help of our good friend Tom, along with his saw, measuring, lifting and cutting and then cutting again …
The build was not without issues … poor quality sleepers which had to be replaced, measurements of the sleepers not being quite as they should be, wonky edging bricks and screws which didn’t screw as screws should …
Finally we got it all together …
… with just three screws that just would not go in any further and neither would they come out. Martin did a fabulous job dowelling the rest of the joints …
… and ended up having to grind off the heads of the screws that didn’t behave as they should.

Yay … we were done and very pleased with ourselves.

It rained overnight and the following morning this is what we found 🙈🙈🙈
Fortunately we were planning on painting it … but oak was certainly showing us that it can be tricky to work with.

We were now on the home straight and the next step was treating and painting. Two coats of wood preserver and two more of Cuprinol Garden Shades in Wild Thyme …
Then we were on to lining … we have literally done everything we can think of to try and make this bed last for the rest of our lives … I don’t want to have to replace it again …
We thought that was it … just refilling and planting left to do … but we had an idea … we’d both been inspired by the pillared climbing roses we’d seen on a recent visit to Powis Castle …
Back home, sitting in the garden in the sunshine … Martin said … we could put a pillar in one of the corners. Straight away I was sold on the idea. We had been planning on an obelisk of some description to give a bit of height … but they do take up quite a lot of space. A pillar sounded like a great idea. 

Even better … we knew another of our good friends had been hanging on to a couple of old pergola posts for us … in case we needed them to help rebuild the bed. One of them would be perfect for what we needed. I do love a bit of reusing and recycling. 

It was soon topped and tailed and painted … ready for fitting. We even managed to find the perfect cap to top it with …
We decided on the corner where we wanted to place it …
… and all that was left to do was to attach plenty of ‘u’ shaped pins to tie the stems into, before attaching the cap and fitting it to the bed …
I’m really happy with how it’s turned out. The next step is to fill it with soil and then I can start planting … I can’t wait 😛 

I already know what rose I think I want … just need to find a nice specimen …

🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹

Monday 8 July 2024

Lodge Life :: June 2024

Hi there everyone 😀

In June we had a week at the lodge with mum … starting off with a stop off on the way for a lovely visit at Powis Castle, somewhere that none of us had ever visited before …
While we were away we were determined to make the most of the weather and we spent our first full day exploring the Ynysypandy Slate Mill … which most definitely did not disappoint …
We also fit in a visit to Penrhyn Castle, where our main focus was to have a look at the walled garden. Well … after our visit to the glorious gardens and herbaceous borders of Powis Castle we were more than a little disappointed …
It was a bit of an effort for us all to walk to the walled garden and it just wasn’t what we were expecting at all. It’s on a very steep slope with lots of steps and not much by the way of flowers at all. It’s a bit more like an arboretum than what I would call a traditional walled garden …
There were a few pops of colour …
… and the gunnerers down the bottom are impressive …
… but it is not somewhere I will be making the effort to visit again. Strangely for us … at Penrhyn it is definitely the castle that is the draw.

We did make the most of the sunshine on the way back to the lodge though … with a stop off for lunch at Y Felinheli where we found a good spot overlooking the Menai for our picnic …
In the spirit of June being a good time for visiting gardens we also managed a return visit to Plas Brodanw … one of the first places that we visited when we first took ownership of the lodge a couple of years ago.

It’s a lovely little garden, well worth a visit, and we all really enjoyed it. I took plenty of photos and will tell you a bit more about it in a separate post … but for now here are a couple of my favourites …
On the way back from Plas Brodanw we called in at the Tan y Bwlch steam railway station just in time to catch the steam train leaving …
It’s a lovely little station and we just had a gentle potter, and a sit in the sunshine, before heading for home …
Our last full day was intended to include a visit to Plas yn Rhiw, a small NT garden not too far away, but we were gutted to find they didn’t open on a Friday … bit of bad planning by me there I’m afraid.

Anyway … it was a lovely day so we ended up heading into Aberdaron for an ice cream and a bit of a wander …
We had plenty of time to catch the hedgerow views on the way back as it was rush hour …
That was it then … the week went by really quickly. After a quick stop along the seafront in Criccieth for breakfast sausage rolls … which is becoming a bit of a habit …
… we decided to head home via Llangollen, finally getting to call in at the other Plas Newydd for a pit stop.

This was a real treat and is a lovely spot for a stop off with plenty of places to picnic or a cafe. There’s not a lot of parking but it’s free to enter the gardens and I’m sure we will be visiting again …

**********************************************