This will be our fourth summer at Fox Hollow. And we have never gotten our outdoor lounging/dining space right. We have the main garden rabbit-proofed and the veg garden in use but we just kind of stuck a table and chairs out in the yard and thought no more of it. But I always ended up feeling all at sea, and a bit exposed. It wasn’t relaxing enough.

So we stood out in the back garden and went through the pros and cons of different spots. There were a couple of questions we had to ask ourselves at each potential area.

1.How much sun will we get, and at what time of day.

2.How sheltered is it from the breeze.

3. How private is it.

So we whittled it down to the area beside the shed, where the rotary washing line had been residing. It gets the sun from breakfast time until early evening, its sheltered from the prevailing wind, and its a private little spot.

And so began the project.

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The boundary wall that runs around the garden predates the house by a hundred years or so. Therefore we wanted to expose some of it by gently stripping back some of the ivy. A slow job but worth it to see what was underneath. We chose alpines to plant in the crevices, the white flowers adding brightness to the grey wall.

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Further weeding of the bed underneath revealed beautiful rich soil, that should be easy to grow anything in, but we chose white foxgloves, bright hellebores and some slate grey catmint. The look should soften up the old stone wall behind, while still retaining that cottage garden feel, and the catmint should smell nice too.

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The shed was freshened up using Cuprinol Garden shades, Natural Stone for the walls and Seagrass for the trim and door.

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I had a panel curtain from Ikea that I have never taken out of the packaging so I used that to make curtains for the shed and a wallhanging for behind the bench.

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While I had the sewing machine out I made bunting from leftover fabric and some twine, just to define the area. And finally a set of battery operated outside lights from Penneys just to give it that outdoors vibe.

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So there you have it, our little outside haven , and hopefully we will get many opportunities to enjoy it this summer and autumn.

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Thanks for reading,

Bronagh x

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