Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Recycled Bug Hotel building and gardening work

Hi Everyone,

Its been a few days since I was here last its been a busy couple of weeks and I have had a much needed computer break to. Losing my friend hit me hard my husband drove me up country for her funeral and it was a really heart breaking day I met up with some old friends that I haven't seen since leaving school to. I came home and switched everything off including myself for a while I just let the tears flow and kept busy outside. She was only 44 years old the same age as myself and to young to go she had her whole life ahead of her and I have had some quite times of reflection and re-evaluation of my own life. I never take things for granted, appreciate everything I have but its made me think hard about life and what we have and what we still dream of doing made us think about planning ahead for when our journey here at the cottage has to come to an end and although we are going to enjoy every day here while we can I think its also important for us to think and plan ahead to, to keep on keeping those dreams alive. I have been busy in the garden clearing, digging, painting and building whilst enjoying being out in nature listening to the birds feeding and watching the huge variety that graces us with their presence, from the Nut Hatch, Green finch , Gold finch, Bull finch, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long tailed Tit, house sparrow and the Robin each one so beautiful and our regular Pheasant to who comes every morning or evening to feed also. We have explored our surroundings to and found some gorgeous lakes and woods close by, bluebells cover the landscape around here I have never seen so many and cant wait for them to come into flower.

My first job was to paint the fencing that now makes our back garden which we sectioned off from the rest of the land. We  re used all my decking panels from my allotment which built my raised beds and I spent 2 afternoons painting them a lovely shade of blue.  I am really pleased with the way they look now and how it actually blends into the landscape.

If you click on the photo's they will appear larger for you.

I took this photo this morning it just gives you an idea of the space and size of the garden now, you can see the chicken house area at the bottom right. This area we are going to be working on to give us a private space and not worry about the field side so much.

I have also been making a little area by the chicken enclosure  after I painted the fence panel a shade of purple I hung up some metal bunting and a metal flower planter that I had in my old garden put the old lawn mower there that was being thrown out that I rescued along with some of my old pots. I have decided now though that I am going to dig that area out and make a flower boarder so that is one of my jobs this week. When I look out of the kitchen window I wanted something nice to look at from a distance.

I have also been clearing out the old coal shed of all its wood and rubbish. The photo on the left shows it full the photo on the right shows it empty apart from the coal and some planks of wood I wanted to keep for flower boarding edging.

I mentioned to my mum on the morning that they were leaving that I was going to clear out the coal shed that day and she poked her head inside and saw a black plastic bag and couldn't resist looking inside and pulled out all these Vintage magazines all from the 60's gardening ones and stamp collecting ones to what a magical find and to think these were going to be burnt they are currently waiting to be read :-)

As I mentioned in my last post my husband built a new log store which is just outside the back of the house now attached to the side of the shed. It was built using fence panels that were being thrown away as well as posts. He lined it all with plastic sheeting that we already had and then we did have to buy 3 clear plastic pieces of sheeting which cost us £18. We took the metal sheeting off one of the log sheds for the roof but sadly in the terrible wind and rain storms we have had its leaked so we need to replace the roof we are very exposed to the weather up here and its been a steep learning curve as we have had to rescue the chicken run roof to.

My son and myself started clearing the 3 log sheds so we can knock them down we hadn't got far and then my lovely parents came to stay for 4 days it was a real joy to have them here. They last saw the cottage in its original state after being locked up for 3 years they were amazed by the transformation we had made. Mum loves the countryside ( well they do live there themselves ) and gardening to in fact we are more like twins with our love for the same things and hobbies. Dad helped us to clear one of the sheds he climbed inside and was throwing the logs out to me and then my son was putting them into the wheelbarrow and then I was filling up our new log store. We cleared that shed but just left some long planks that we could re use. It was terrible inside and so dusty it hadn't been cleared for years.

Believe me when I say this shed was floor to ceiling full of year old logs, dust and dirt.  Now all that is left are a few long planks I want to use to build flower beds and those bits on the floor we will burn on the garden fire.

While Mum was here she cleared an area and made a little garden by the side of the house and I wish I had taken a before photo. Its where the hedge is and the roots had grown onto and over the path but snowdrops were growing here and it was crying out for a makeover.

Now if you look towards the gate at the bottom and to the left you can just make out the area there see the roots growing over the path.  While Mum was digging it over and splitting the snow drops and also walking around the grounds digging up other little bits of plants I was thinking Bug Hotel this little area is so natural looking I thought a bug hotel would look great. So with my wheelbarrow I went on the hunt for materials.

This is what I found the pile of rubbish is actually outside the front of the cottage. I found bricks, broken pots, a large brick with holes in it and a lovely metal piece which I assume came from one of the fires. I also found wood and boxes from the falling down log sheds.

Please click on the photos to view them.
I also collected some moss from the lawn, bits of twigs and branches and soil and crushed up rotten wood which had rotted into the soil by the garage.

And here is my little finished re cycled Bug Hotel :-) And I have to say I love it and its rustic appearance. It cost me nothing but my time, but I loved every minute of designing it on the spur of the moment and gathering and hunting the materials. And it gives this little space a much needed little focal point. I also added some broken pots to the area and logs to.

 Not the best photo but hope you can get the idea of the little rustic and natural little garden area. Not much will grow here as the ground is so hard and riddled with roots so a few terracotta pots added here amongst the snowdrops and the trailing geranium looks lovely I am also going to scatter some mixed wild flower seeds here tomorrow and see if they grow. The area by the wall that has the drain we are going to cover it with stones when we an afford to.

The Belfast sink was already there and did actually come from the cottage a few years ago. I found a bag of bark so scattered it around it to tidy up the area and give it a bit of depth.

This gorgeous log was in one of the sheds waiting to be burnt I rescued it and put it next to the Bug Hotel I love the fungus on it and I am sure the insects will love it to.

I made up this little planter in the same area again I got the bricks from the front garden, the crate was waiting to be burnt and the pots from the greenhouse I have some flower seeds in the green house growing that I will add to the pots in a few weeks time :-)

You can just see the little wooden crate potting area to the left of this photo. I love this little area now and I know its going to be added to. So when I come out of my back door now and walk towards my greenhouse I have a lovely little garden to look at thanks to my Mum and myself.

My chickens continue to thrive and are now nearly covered in feathers and i adore them and you will be amazed at their fast recovery as much as I am. I will share them next time as I have decided to do something extra for the charity to but I think that's enough for today.

Thank you for reading my little space here and for your lovely comments I am sorry I haven't been over to your own blogs for a while but I will be popping over later in the week.

Take lots of care

Until next time

Bye for now dee xx


  1. My goodness, you're going great guns. Where do you get your energy? The bug hotel is great and I love your planting area from recycled materials. Just my cup of tea. Happy gardening.

  2. Wow you have been very busy again, sorry about your friend, it is good to take time out or else things can just get too much, love the blue fence, I once painted some pots that shade.
    Take Care
    Love Marlene x

  3. Looking absolutely lovely, Dee! The colourful woodwork makes everything look so inviting at this time of year when there isn't much greenery around.
    Look at those magazines. they'd keep me quiet for hours!
    Very sad about your friend, it certainly helps evaluate our own lives. Live for the moment, don't wish your time away 'cos you never know what's round the corner. xxx

  4. I love you little garden with it's bug hotel, perfect corner of your plot.

  5. What a transformation, the whole area is looking amazing. The bug hotel is wonderful. My sincere condolences for your dear friend, it does make you evaluate your own and prioritize what is really important. Take care.

  6. Absolutely love then bug hotel. I saw a similar one at Wisley and have a photo on my phone to copy when I get my next garden. It's such a lively natural idea. The chickens would have loved it in their Area!! Nice to have your Mum and Dad helping too :)

  7. So sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. 44 is very young...I lost a girlfriend at 46 to liver cancer 2 years ago...still think of her each day. I love your bug hotel by the way :-)

    1. I am so very sorry to hear about the loss of your girl friend its good to keep those that have passed in our thoughts kind of keeps them alive in a way. Hugs to you. x

  8. Dee what wonderful progress. I, too, love your bug hotel and may have to steal your idea. So sorry for your loss. (I kind of know where you are coming from with the re-evaluation thing but this post is not about me.x)

    1. I would love for you to steal the idea of the bug hotel :-) you can say what ever you like on my feeds I don't mind its good to know others feel the same way or are experiencing the same things. x

    2. Only that at the time we were going through the early stages of getting to buy Bronllan Jon had a scare. It meant he either had one of two lung cancers or a benign condition called Sarcoidosis. Grateful thanks to whoever or whatever meant we only had the latter to deal with. That really made us think we had to get our dream for sure. Then he had a wobble of a similar sort a few weeks ago. Perspective about covers it and we have realised we both have to look after ourselves, not just for us but for the boys so that we have every minute and chance to live our lives. We have to live our dreams when we have the chance and for me that means chickens, soon. Lol!!xxxx

    3. I am so very sorry to hear what you have both been going through I understand it very well and when an illness occurs it affects the whole family and not just the person who is having to go through it. I was a carer for my son from the age 12 when he was diagnosed with wide spread Crohn's disease to much to write down but I was a single parent at the time with 2 boys and no family around me. Its been a long journey and we had to deal with things that no mum and son should have to. That gives you an appreciative out look to life but when something else happens it makes you again think about your life and how precious it is and its important to not got bogged down with the hum drum of daily life but to grab your visions and dreams and go for them while you are able. I am so very excited for you all about being able to live your dream just think those chickens are not far away in your lovely future :-) I love mine they have been so rewarding they are so comical and funny to watch and the more time you spend with them the friendly they become. Sending you a big hug, and thank you for sharing with me it means a lot that your able to. Take lots of care xxx

  9. Some how I think a friend dying makes you look harder at your own life, I'm so glad you were able to find solace in your garden.

    How amazing is all the work you have done, I am in awe. x x

  10. You are amazing, Dee. You get so much done. I love the idea of the bug hotel and how you made it...such a clever re use of materials and I am sure the bugs will love it.
    I am so sorry about your friend. It is so sad and shocking for you...I am glad you were able to be busy outdoors while you try to come to terms with her loss.
    Sending love
    Helen xox

  11. So sad about your old friend - it does make you reflect on your own life, doesn't it? But I always think that you and John work so hard to make your life together one of real fulfilment and happiness. The progress you've made with the garden is incredible! Keep going, Dee! Xxx

  12. I am so sorry about your friend Dee, so sad when someone so young leaves us. It is heartbreaking. You are keeping busy and that is all you can do, cry when you need to and know we are here for you.

  13. I love the purple fence and the way you decorated it. So cheerful.