Spicker and Spanner

IMG_7937It won’t be obvious to you, looking at this picture, that I repainted the sitooterie this afternoon – but to me it is, especially as the numerous patches of white where the pink pigment for some reason had been washed out are no more, and neither are the green algae patches on the back or right hand side where it gets more shade. It definitely has a more spick and span look about it and, having taken a mere hour or so of painting time, was infinitesimally more manageable than repainting the house itself, which also needs doing but involves long ladders andย  scaffolding – and a new supply of Dulux Weathershield Waterlily Blush 4. And there is exterior woodwork too…sigh… Why are new projects always easier to get on with and more fun than basic maintenance tasks…?

At least the Rock Wall project seems to be complete, apart from planting that is, with the laying of three rolls of turf yesterday afternoon, sweat pouring off me in the dry sweltering heat as I cut it to fit, adding more topsoil where needed to level out the joins. The turf was not in 100% fresh condition, not surprising given the recent weather, but with regular watering and a bit of rain it should perk up. The current forecast is for almost non-stop rain tomorrow and Saturday, which would be most welcome but I will believe when I see it. Our weather monitor tells us we had 38mm of rain in July and there has been none at all to speak of in August. All nine water butts are empty and I have turned the pumps for the stream and other water features as ther is no rainwater to top them up…

IMG_7935The obelisks too are complete and ‘placed’ in situ; from this angle you can’t tell they are not vertical as the ground is too hard to adjust where the legs are placed, but our neighbours might perhaps question how sober I was when I put them in the border! They will await the planting of roses and clematis in due course and in the meantime the Golfer will knock up a mini dovecot on a single post to mirror the style of the obelisks and balance the border on the left hand side where it is too narrow for an obelisk.

IMG_7934Oh, while I remember, does anyone want any apples…? ๐Ÿ™‚


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35 Responses to Spicker and Spanner

  1. Christina says:

    Do you ever stop Cathy? I’m going through the usual feeling of exhaustion , that always happens in August, whether it is really hot or not it seems. Love you summerhouse, but do go and sit in it sometimes!!!

    • Cathy says:

      No, I rarely stop for long, but I am fortunate in having what seems to be limitless energy, so perhaps I am making the most of it while I can although I certainly don’t take my health and vitality for granted. In the first weeks after the informal garden opening I did make a point of sitting somewhere outside for at least one cup of tea or coffee a day, but it has been too hot for that in recent weeks. Lovely gentle rain today, which we are all the better for I am sure ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Christina says:

        Lucky you to have some rain, the forecast here is for a very hot coming week, certainly today it feels much hotter that the past week.

        • Cathy says:

          Did it rain here for two days? No it did not – just a few ml on Saturday… Hope it’s not going to get uncomfortably hot for you…

  2. karen says:

    I love your sitooterie! And the little seat in the shade of the apple tree. Just heavenly. Which reminds me… I need to re paint the greenhouse The potting shed and the summerhouse. Phew! x

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Karen – the original greenhouse used to be in that spot but it was too shady for it which is why we had a new one at the bottom of the garden instead. The design of the sitooterie changed even while I was building it to include windows on all sides – it just seemed a shame to cut out the views otherwise… Not the weather for painting this w/e, so yours will have to wait… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Pauline says:

    Your Sitooterie and obelisk look very smart indeed. We too made our obelisks about 20 yrs ago from Geoff Hamiltons plans and they are still going strong, maybe I ought to paint mine!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Pauline – I have always enjoyed looking out at the sitooterie throughout the year as it such a focal point from the kitchen windows. And I really am thrilled with the obelisks and how they look in the border (despite their temporary lopsidedness!). Yours were obviously well built too!

  4. smallsunnygarden says:

    New projects are always more exciting, and your building projects are always inspiring. โค Love the looks of the sitooterie and the obelisks. And 'yes!' on the apples ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, sadly that is the case with new projects!! Hmm, not quite sure how a bag of apples would fare on their way across the Atlantic… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. johnvic8 says:

    And I always thought it was “spickier” and “spannier.” Either way, your project is a marvel. Well done.

  6. It all looks splendid and I covet your sitooterie (and not only for its name!!). The obelisks make a strong statement and remind me of a garden we have recently visited , Houghton Hall, north Norfolk. I loved the repetition of the obelisks and they were all planted with Clematis ‘Perle D’Azur’ which looked great against the silvered oak . We plan to try and do our own, very small scale , attempt at this as we loved it so much.
    Gosh, you are working so hard, do you ever have time to use the sitooterie ?

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Jane. When I built it it was originally The Orangery, but the orange plants didn’t survive by which time we felt we were more a sitooterie kind of people than an orangery type and it was duly rechristened ๐Ÿ˜‰ And no, I don’t sit oot as much as people seem to think I should! Do you have access to the GH book? If not I could email you his diagrams.

  7. elizabethlyon says:

    Yes, please, from me for the apples as well!
    Every time you mention having planted the odd seeds when you were a teenager (Chinese asters or whatever) you then seem to go on to suggest it was just during a stage you quite quickly passed through and then forgot about (until fairly recently). Each time I have read of your doing it I have wondered about posting a comment on your blog, because I so clearly remember that doing horticulture when you grew up was the only career I think I ever heard you suggest.

    • Cathy says:

      Hmm – I recall being encouraged by my Older and Wiser Parents to stay on at school and do A-levels first, by which time my mind was on more academic things than practical horticulture. Who knows how my life would have turned out if I had followed that route after all… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Eliza Waters says:

    Very impressive sprucing up and obelisks. You’re so lucky the Golfer is handy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Chloris says:

    Your sitouterie looks very smart, may we see inside? I wonder if you ever take the time to sit in it? I love your obelisks. ‘The Golfer will knock up a dovecot’??? Is the no end to your talents, the pair of you? I just asked the Pianist if he would knock up a dovecote for me. No chance.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Chloris – as you have asked I will show inside one of these days, not that there is a lot to see (although I can guarantee some happy spiders!). I suppose we don’t see the things we do as ‘talents’ – they are just things we do. A ‘can do’ attitude to everything perhaps, so far anyway, but I daresay there may come a time when we have to admit that we no longer ‘can’… Shame about your lack of dovecote… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. What a beautiful apple tree. The bench there looks so inviting. I might worry that right now one might get a thump on the head from one of those apples. Your garden is looking so classy with those new obelisks and your spiffy sittooterie.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Lisa – you can certainly hear the occasional ‘thump!’ if you are out in the garden as another one falls…!

  11. [J+D] Apples: yes please! But of course, far far far too far away! Apples are as multi-functional as are onions, potatoes and other stalwarts of the kitchen garden.

    • Cathy says:

      Well, we are shortly heading in your direction but my throwing skills were never brilliant and there are a few island in the way as well as all that sea…never mind ๐Ÿ˜ฆ But thanks for offering to take some off our hands ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. AnnetteM says:

    It looks lovely, Cathy.

  13. So exciting to change things in your garden, I am sure you feel great, Cathy!

  14. Brian Skeys says:

    All looking spik and span Cathy. The obelisk looks good in place, visitors will think you will have paid a fortune for them

  15. Steve says:

    what a great word sitooterie is. we spent hours looking for the sitooterie at Blickling Hall but never actually found it so it was great to see one here!

    • Cathy says:

      Hmm, I would expect Blickling’s sitooterie would have turned out to be rather grander than ours, should you have ever found it…๐Ÿ˜‰

  16. Your progress the last few weeks is astounding. The obelisks are working well with the sitouter and your choice of colour is inspired. Cannot imagine you get to sit-in the out-erie often?

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Dorris – I tried so many different shades before I found Wild Thyme but as soon as I tried that one I instantly knew it was perfect. These days there is even more choice so choosing might have been even harder!

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