Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Take Me Out Into The Green Garden



It's been positively tropical here in sunny Walsall over the last few days. Other than a vintage fair, the pub on Saturday night and a Sunday morning car boot sale I've barely left the garden.


Several years ago we'd grand ideas for growing our own but soon realised that we'd neither the time or inclination so it went wild. It's taken three days of solid graft to clear it of weeds and two trips to the council tip. 


I love ferns and luckily they grow in abundance around here. We've moved a heap of them from where the new shed is going and added a bit of interest with some tree stumps from the wood pile.


When I've blogged about the garden before a couple of readers asked about lawn and yes, we have one. Jon's mown some of it today.


I love this ivy covered apple tree (one of a pair). The apples aren't the prettiest but taste fine. 


Here's Jacob, loving the warm weather and looking fabulous at 41!


Digging unexplored areas of the garden have yielded a few more chimney pots.

Click on the collage for more detail!

The headless gnome and ghostly mermaid came from the parental home, they belonged to the previous owner and are probably Edwardian - so not looking too bad considering they've been outside for a century.

Click on the collage for more detail!

The chicken wire torso (Jon's creation) is threaded with plastic flowers from a 1960s craft kit. I dug up the pots.

Click on the collage for more detail!

Kitsch tat from the house.


The car boot sale is brilliant for plants. I spent a fiver on Thursday and came back with three carrier bags full. Anything that could fit a plant got utilised including rusty oil cans (jet washed first).


I'd admired these Green Man wall plaques at the car boot a couple of weeks ago, handmade by the stall holder. At £2 I'm not sure why I didn't buy one weeks ago. I am a dimwit sometimes. 



I couldn't resist these succulents at 50p each.


This poppy has been threatening to burst open for days and today was the day. I hope the poor thing doesn't get battered by rain later.



That's me done. I'm going to reward myself to an ice cold lager. Cheers!

Wearing: Levi 501 cut-offs (nicked from the stockroom), Vintage block printed top by Indian Imports of Rhode Island , Inc., (99p, charity shop in Weston Super Mare), Aldo boots (£1, car boot sale last year), Tooled leather belt with lion head buckle (33p, charity shop bargain bin), 1970s sunnies (99p, charity shop)

Linking to Patti and the gang for Visible Monday.

See you soon!

102 comments:

  1. Your garden is just like you very individual, I loved the walled garden part and the green face is a great find at £2.oo xxx

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    1. Thank you! You should look out for the lady who makes and sells the wall plaques, I'm definitely going to get a couple more. xxx

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  2. Beautiful! The garden looks great too! Ha! I wish we had car boot sales here, cause I need to find some cheap plants. :)

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    1. What a shame you don't have car boot sales, they're amazing for home grown plants - and you get planting advice for free! x

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  3. Wow looks stunning! - the garden and you hon! Saz xxx

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    1. Fancy seeing you here, gorgeous lady! See you soon. xxx

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  4. I'm again in awe of your garden, Vix, and imagine having a garden large enough to yield a couple of chimney pots. I love the ferns with the tree stumps, and the amazing green man wall plaque. I am a little bit jealous of your weather, though. It's been a bit up and down (mostly down) here lately. Knowing my luck, it will be nice here in a couple of weeks, when I'm Wales, where it will then pour with rain ... xxx

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    1. I spoke too soon, it's been so cold over the last couple of days that the central heating has clicked back on and a couple of traders were wearing gloves at the car boot yesterday!!
      I'm keeping everything crossed for a sunny UK Summer - festival season starts next week. xxx

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  5. I love ferns, they will make a lovely shady spot for you and the poppy is spectacular! I like your green man a lot, a bargain for £2

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    1. I love ferns and hostas, too - I'm all about the leaves!! I was spoilt for choice with the green Man plaques, I liked the friendly face on mine, some were a bit scary! xxx

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  6. Man, I *never* find good leather belts for even £6 let alone 33p! (and I really need one because my old one is cracked and much too big!) Always lovely to see Jacob, I was wondering how he was doing :)

    btw as I was reading about your garden, this song came on:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbCWkzSvSLI

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    1. Good song choice!!
      I can't resist a tooled leather belt - must be the Walsall (centre of the British leather making industry) coming out in me. xxx

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  7. With all that it has yielded, perhaps you should get a metal detector - who knows what other treasures lay hidden. Love your green man mask, and only £2! x

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    1. I dug up some 1960s sunglasses on Tuesday! Jon put me off saying that there might be a decomposing body somewhere underneath the soil - I'm hoping they were my Mum's when she lived here. xxx

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  8. Oh my, what a cheery, springy & charming garden you have!
    What is with all the chimney pots? Is that a common find where you live? Love those other parts you dug up, the stone toadstools too. on't the Senoritas get mouldy in the rain?
    Love those Aldo boots!
    xox

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    1. When the Brits got central heating installed in the 1960s and 1970s they threw out their chimney pots, my Grandma couldn't help rescuing them (skip diving runs in the family!)
      Those Flamenco dancers were missing their bases and cost 25p each so I'm giving them a new life - albeit a short one. xxx

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  9. Loving your garden gang. Isn't it nice to outside. I've added two pink flamingoes to ours this year and three wire bread baskets. Need I say more.
    It looks mahoosive your plot. Can't wait to see it in the flesh xxx

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    1. Pink flamingos! Love them. I've yet to see one at the car boot sale but you never know, do you?
      Won't be long now. Excited! xxx

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  10. Well done, you and Jon for clearing the wilderness! Your garden is looking fab and I love the Green Man - I am keeping my eyes peeled for one, too. I love your succulents, irises and ferns. You have dug up some amazing finds - those pots are beautiful.

    We bought lots of plants in Ely at the weekend at the plant sale in the cathedral but talking about dimwits (!) I left 2 carrier bags full of Larkspur behind when I turned around and spotted some rhubarb! Didn't realise until we got home.

    You know you're getting on a bit when you get excited by plants, gardens and gardening programmes...

    Have a great week.

    Veronica
    vronni60s.blogspot.com

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    1. Oh no, fancy forgetting your larkspur (off to Google it right now....)
      I made rhubarb crumble last night, ours was threatening to take over and needed cutting down.
      Ha! You're right, I even listen to Gardener's Question Time occasionally. xxx

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  11. It's Jacob! I look forward to seeing his pictures so much! xxx

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    1. He's been slow out of hibernation this year - can't say I blame him! xxx

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  12. I could happily hang out in y our garden, no wonder you are spending some time there. Gardening or just being one is good for your soul.

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    1. You're more than welcome to join me for a lager under the lime trees and London Planes, Sue! Gardening and sewing are great for the soul and keep me occupied whatever the weather. xxx

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  13. I love your garden - Jacob looks very happy there. So many neat bits to explore.

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    1. Thanks, CC! Other than a brief foray to our previous house, Jacob's lived here all his life. xxx

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  14. You guys did a terrific job and the garden art is spectacular. It looks fantastic (and so do you, dear Vix!) xxoo

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    1. Thanks, Carol! We're working flat out on it so we've got a peaceful haven to retreat to between festivals. xxx

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  15. It's still cool here so I spent the weekend weeding and going to the garden center. First stop; the half dead $1 plants. Most of them perk right up when they get planted in the ground and get a good soaking. By the way, there's some teenager posing in your yard.

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    1. I can't resist the clearance plants either - most last longer than the full price ones. xxx

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  16. The garden is cosmic love....and so are you! It certainly hasn't been tropical down here....I wore a sweatshirt today! (worry not, it was vintage, one from my brother's uni.) F**k me, 33p for that amazing belt and two quid for the glorious green man...you know how to shop! Lovely laburnum btw.xx

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    1. Laburnum - is that what the yellow bush is? It's huge!
      We were puzzled by a news reporter on the TV earlier this week in a coat and gloves when I was in a strapless top and shorts - it's cold enough for a fake fur today! xxx

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    2. It looks very much like it to me....and did you know it's poisonous?

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    3. Its not, is it? Better investigate further. Can't be poisoning the cats! x

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  17. Whoot Woo! Look at your lovely legs. Those shorts are fab. Just the thing for gardening in the sun (although you would need leg warmers up here). Your garden looks amazing. What a lot of hard wok to clear ground but it is looking great. So are you going to take the big veggie plunge? They are surprisingly easy to grow you know. If you go with courgettes you will have a never ending supply all summer. Your Green Man will have a word with Astarte and you will be set. :) Xx

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    1. Thanks, Kelly! We've tried (and failed ) with the veggie growing. Trouble is that over the Summer we're only home for a couple of days a week and I think a veg patch would either dry out or be eaten alive by slugs. I love courgettes though, wonder if I could grow a couple of plants in pots? xxx

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    2. They grow fabulously in pots but they are hungry beasts and need fed and watered daily. You will get squillions of courgettes though. Xx

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    3. I might just give them a try if I can get away with planting them in pots, the cat sitter wouldn't mind giving them a good watering when we're away. xxx

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  18. Oh my goodness, how I love Jacob! It is so neat that you've had him for such a long time. He's looking very well and happy. As are you in your cute gardening outfit. And excellent post, my friend!

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    1. Thanks, Lou! Jacob is properly vintage, isn't he? xxx

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  19. Oooh, so nice to see different parts of your garden! It is vast, isn't it!!!
    Chimney pots are super for growing potatoes in! My mum used to do that! Jacob is a handsome beast!!x

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    1. He's very friendly, too - loves a tickle under the chin! xxx

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  20. Jacob looks like pretty neat guy.
    I notice one of your tree has a net around it. Our veggie garden has a fence so to keep those deer away.
    But any new plants have to put a fence around until they get some size.
    Coffee is on

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    1. Jacob's no trouble at all, the ideal pet - asleep for 6 months of the year!
      No deers here but we do have a lot of greedy wood pigeons, they'll eat the fruit before we get a chance. xxx

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  21. i wonder if that is a california poppy which obv grow wild here. also, i have a statue head that is missing its body in my garden. maybe the 2 should get together. you look GD amazing woman! x

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    1. Awww, cheers, Juanita!! I wasn't sure what type of poppy those big blousey ones are - I've Googled them and I think it might be an opium poppy. It doesn't look anything like the delicate Welsh poppies (yellow) that spring up between the paving slabs. xxx

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  22. hello pretty gardener! :-)
    love ferns too! they sneaked in from the wood around and i moved them to new places too because of construction work.....
    we spend the weekend in the garden too - a tan & sore muscles on monday inclusive. we planted some tomatoes and mediterranean herbs, put all the houseplants outside and seeded salad. and installed an outdoor sink - makes for less cleaning the bathroom - hehehe!
    much love! xxxxxxx

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    1. I love your garden, its how I want mine to look, including having you in it!!
      Great idea with the outdoor sink, there's always a muddy trail leading to ours! xxx

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  23. Wow, that's an awful lot of work, you've certainly earned that lager. We tried having a veg patch once, but it was simply too much work on top of everything else. Your fern patch will be smashing. Ours is now a heap of weedy rubble.

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    1. Veg growing does seem like more trouble than it's worth. Our market is so cheap and its locally grown, too.
      Hopefully ferns should be low maintenance and spread like wildfire. xxx

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  24. I am convinced my Friday a.m. must be spent greening and coloring up my place. What a terrific retreat.

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    1. Thanks, Sam! Hope Friday stays dry for you! xxx

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  25. Wow, you two! Brilliant work, and it must be so much fun to unearth treasures, The ghostly angel is beautiful. I miss our cottage garden so much right now. xox

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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    1. Thanks, Patti! Sometimes I wish our space wasn't quite so vast but it is fab to spend time pottering about in when the weather's warm. xxx

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  26. Wow! you have been busy! We dug a veg plot and left it a year before realising that we wouldn't ever do anything with it and returned it to lawn. I hadn't thought about planting ferns, but they are very pretty, it'll look great when it starts to grow and fill the space.
    Jacob is a cutie, we looked after Grandma's Tommy at the weekend - if you let him out of this run he's much quicker than you'd expect - gotta keep an eye on him!
    Love the green man, most are a bit creepy but he is a friendly looking fellow.
    Love that you fill anything and everything with plants - I do that too!
    You certainly earned your lager.

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    1. Thanks, Hazel! Ferns seem to grow in abundance around here so I hope they'll prove to be low maintenance in the bit we've moved them to. Veg growing sounds magical but in reality seems very restrictive - constant watering and de-slugging.
      I want to see Tommy! How old is he? xxx

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    2. I'll post some pics soon. No one really knows how old he is. He belonged to Andy Grandma and now his parents look after him and we 'baby sit' when they go away. He's been around as long as anyone can remember so he must be over 50.

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  27. Jacob is so sweet!
    I love the fern garden you've made. It's beautiful and will only get better as they spread.
    You and Jon have such a gift for making a space your own!

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    1. Thanks, Bobbi! I'm hoping they'll spread like mad. I don't like seeing soil, it looks too naked! xxx

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  28. Your garden is a magical wonderland, complete with tortoise and flamenco dancers! I love all the cool things you have placed here and there, and it is a great example of re-cycling. So nice to see a photo of Jacob - does he ever wander away, or is he content to stay in your garden?

    You're a sassy looking gardener in your cut offs and boots - now go get that lager!

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    1. Thanks, Shelley! Jacob has a large pen, it's open to the elements but has shelter and some mown grass he can burrow into at night. We let him have a wander about the garden occasionally but only under supervision, he's a nippy little sod when the sun's on his shell! xxx

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  29. I am jealous of your garden. I live in Florida and it is nearly impossible to have a nice garden....trust me, I have tried

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  30. Looks great, I love the hand holding the lantern

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  31. Is Jacob browsing for wild strawberries? I envy you this handsome Tetsudo hermanni, Vix: I believe he'd make himself very useful as a dandelion eliminator on my wild lawn. (He'd also relish the pumpkin blossoms from the vines that sprout in the compost pile.)

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    1. The strawberries aren't quite ready for him yet, Beth - he likes them bordering on the squashy! He's had all the dandelions, I'm going to have to put a call out on Facebook for local friends to donate theirs. xxx

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  32. I LOVE the Green Man wall hanging!! We have a pub called the Green Man and it's one of my fav motifs... Like I think it would be cool to have a stained glass window with the Green Man in it at my house. Is that weird?
    Cut-off shorts and vintage leather belts are srsly the best summer look!

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    1. I love the sounds of a Green Man stained glass window. It's a common pub name here, too (as well as an amazing music festival!) xxx

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  33. Everything you touch turns to beauty. Love the details in your garden. And love that Jacob is 41!

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  34. Love it all. Enjoy your sun! In your fancy gardening boots.
    Xo Jazzy Jack

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    1. Thanks, JJ! Those boots must be the best £1 I spent last year! xxx

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  35. Look at you in your Daisy Dukes and your cowboy boots. If you're garden wasn't so very very green I could almost imagine you were out here in California. Sweet.

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    1. When I Googled "fern planting" I came across loads of images of California. I need to go and visit. xxx

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  36. Hi Vix, I love your garden and what you have done so far. Love Jacob, he's amazing. The green porcelain face is really pretty. But really, I can't believe all the stuff you dig up in your garden, wow! You look really cute BTW.

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    1. Thanks, Cherre! Wondering what I'll dig up next keeps me motivated to continue with my explorations! xxx

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  37. I love your garden, especially the ferns they look grand! I am pretty jealous of your weather as winter has arrived here now. Also I LOVE seeing Jacob on your blog - he makes me so happy for some reason xo

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    1. Thanks, Trees! I hate Winter. One of the things I most enjoy about blogging is seeing my virtual pals enjoying their Summers when I'm in the depths of Winter. xxx

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  38. Just read Jon's comment about the decomposing body. He's so naughty, but it's really made me laugh! Wasn't it lovely, all that sunshine? Someone at work reckons we're going to have three months worth this summer, a heatwave from Africa. I'll take the same as we've been having and be happy with that. I want to be out in the garden this year instead of always working. Love the ferns and tree stumps, it's really romantic, and it's always a pleasure to see you and Jacob. 41 is so impressive! I'm on the train to Brum at the moment! That's Vix country! Xxxxx

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    1. Oooohhh, Brum bound! Have fun.
      I've heard the same rumour about this heatwave, I'm wondering if that's why I'm all excited about getting the garden sorted, some weird primordial thing in my head telling me that I'll be spending all my free time basking in the sunshine (I hope!) xxx

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  39. Love your garden! Very funny about the decomposing body, but I know what you mean about finding things in a Victorian (or older) garden. My last house had loads of Victorian terracotta tiles that looked great in the garden. In this one we have found horseshoes, which now adorn the windowsill and lots of huge flint boulder-sized stones, which are edging the grass. It gives the garden lots of character.

    You look lovely in blue, it really suits you. The warm weather seems a distant dream, now. So chilly!

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    1. Hi Tanya! Horseshoes, how interesting. Was there a farm or a farriers yard where your house is now? My first ever house was built on an old buckle factory and I was always finding rusted up belt buckles if I did any digging.
      The last couple of days have been so cold. I want Summer back! xxx

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  40. You are radiant, and Jacob is a lovely creature, a youth in perfect shape! I love turtles! Your garden is great, you're doing this has been very good, green furnishings are stunning and very original, the flamenco dancers ?! I love you guys!
    And beautiful flowers!

    serena

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    1. Serena, I'm glad you like what we've done so far! Jacob is only a baby in tortoise years, he's a bit grumpy today - like a stroppy teenager - he hates cold weather as much as I do! xxx

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  41. Maybe you ought to dig a couple of test pits (1 metre x 1 metre) in the garden to see what you have? If you go deep enough you might find very old discarded glass bottles, china, or the odd cannonball (don't laugh, I've seen some strange things in test pits). If you're lucky, maybe you'll hit a cache of Roman items like the people you read about in the papers.

    Love the boots/shorts combo-you look like the coolest lady in town.

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    1. That sounds like a plan. Maybe I should persuade Time Team to come and dig it up and save on the manual labour?
      You looked pretty hot in your shorts, too! xxx

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  42. Isn't pottering outside just the best? Never look as good as you though,- more like a mud covered jumble of happiness! And what a magnificent brick garden wall - wonder how old that is? Thx for the post Vix. Xx

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    1. Hello JP! Isn't it just? I love the sun on my back and my hands getting grubby. The sun's back out this morning and I've already been out watering barefoot.
      I think the top part of the brick wall is Victorian but our house (originally three tiny farm labourers' cottages) dates back to 1760 so the base could be earlier. xxx

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  43. Hi Vix! Such a lovely, feel good post to read. Jacob made me smile. A lovely tortoise in deed. The weather has fortunately got warmer even up here in Finland. No need for thermal underwear anymore. :)

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    1. Hooray for abandoning the thermals, A-M! Its wonderfully warm and sunny here this morning, Jacob has already munched his way through half a lettuce. xxx

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  44. I love a wild English garden, and yours couldn´t be more you.Full of wonderful things and magic stories.
    How not to love you and everything you touch?
    Happy weekend, my dear Vix
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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  45. Loving your cut-offs with the boots and that green man.

    Your garden looks large enough to get lost in.

    You got a great deal on those plants!

    It suddenly went from a very cool spring and jumped straight into a hot humid summer. Today it is 37 C and I'm wearing one of my vintage 1950's cotton dresses. I fear the ac might be coming on tonight.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. Crazy weather! I'm keeping everything crossed that your humid weather lasts until September and you get to rock all those fabulous vintage dresses all Summer long! xxx

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  46. What a lovely post, very inspiring, as we're preparing ourselves for a similar task in our little garden. Beautiful work! And I think this might be the first time I see you in jeans (jean shorts). You look like you're 16! :)

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    1. Thanks, Natalia! I used to live in denim cut-offs but feel more "me" in floaty frocks! xxx

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  47. Your garden is so immensely awesome + beautiful + fun. What a great price for your new Green Man plaque. I'm sure he'll do a great job of watching over and helping to keep order in your magnificent garden.

    xoxo ♥ Jessica

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    1. Thanks, Jessica! I've been watering it like crazy since we got back from our festival weekend, I never expected it to be so warm and sunny! xxx

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  48. Looking fabulous Vix, love the shorts! Your garden is great, so interesting and full of character x

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  49. Love the shorts (I couldn't! but you can) and your boots. I also have a green man. He's a resin duplicate of one at Rosslyn Chapel and spent 10 years peeping out from ivy on my (now soon to be demolished shed) so is now on the kitchen wall despite the years of birdshit eroding him. Can't work out how to post a photo, though ;-)

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xxx