Monday, 10 May 2010

Dream Garden VS Garden for Children...

Some of you may remember that last year we started the process of transforming the small piece of land at the back of the house into a garden. A digger removed some of the soil as it was full of stones etc.. We were supposed to have some top soil delivered and set about making a garden but that didn't happen for different reasons, time and weather being the main ones.

At last, it's back on course again. It is a big task... Removing all the weeds and looking for Victorian china and glass. There is plenty of it buried in the earth!

This is what we are tackling, a fast expanse of weeds...

The temporary black weed cover marks the boundary between our garden and the field.

Eventually the hedge which backs on to the lane/road will be replaced with a high stone wall which will run from the end of the garden right up to the house. This will give our back garden total privacy as it will no longer be seen from the road.

Not a pretty sight the "In between stage". I'll be glad when it's all done

We plan on converting the stone shed into another room, possibly a utility room. The garden first though, that will come later.

I would like to have a vegetable plot where the washing line is at the moment but we are still working on the design of the garden. I know exactly what I would like but there is one problem...Being in the countryside, Miss P can't go the park and play on swings etc as often as she'd like. So...she is REALLY keen to have a swing and a trampoline in the garden... I don't mind a swing but I like a garden to look aesthetically pleasing and the idea of a big trampoline in our garden is one that I am not too enamoured with ;-(

I have never liked gardens geared for children (climbing frames, slides, trampolines etc...) not pretty, not a relaxing environment. Selfish of me I know but I'm being honest. I'd like a summer house, a vegetable plot, a nice green lawn and an abundance of roses and scented shrubs and flowers. I think that you are getting the picture, a peaceful, pretty and relaxing garden....

I have always seen trampolines as an eyesore. However, I have to consider Miss P's feelings and would like her to have fun in the garden. After all, It's not just about what I like... This why I have to start my plans from scratch again. The objective being how can I somehow not make the trampoline the first thing you notice when you step in to the garden. ;-)

Some of today's finds

Miss P keen to help

We have bag and bucket full of pieces of broken pottery, all found in the back garden.

When the garden is finished we will go through all the pieces, clean them and make something with them. I have different ideas, we'll have to see.

It's a bit colder again this week, we've had to light the fire a couple of times. Let's hope that the warm weather comes back soon. ;-)

A bientôt!

Isabelle X


All things bright and beautiful... said...

As I am gardening mad, I understand your dilemna totally. My children are now grown up but I remember similar issues :)
If you decide to go with the tramploline you could trellis & plant the area it is in but you might get away with just breaking the eye line from say seating area to trampoline with a large mature specimen tree???????
Just an idea. I admire your honesty.

Anonymous said...

Hi Isabelle
On the trampoline subject, I have recently visited a garden where the trampoline had been sunk into the garden, with the top being level with the lawn. Not such an eyesore then. Hope that maybe of some use.

Serenata said...

What a lovely place to live. I would imagine your garden will be fabulous once it is finished.

We do have a trampolene and it was one of the best 'investments' we ever bought for our boys.

Yes you can see it, but we have a well established garden, so it is not too much of an eyesore.

Lynda said...

O mean one of those BLEU huge trampolines????? ..........why not try to win little missy's heart with...uhm...a sandpit?uhm...her own little veggiegarden? uhm.....pont????? ANYTHING????? SIGH....we have a temporary swimmingpool during the summer in exactly the same "lovely" I'm warning you because I know!!!!!!;)......
I trust you to come to a compromise;)



Pink Feather Paradise said...

I feel your pain... Jamie would like a trampoline... I suppose a screen of something evergreen and then grow a climber over it... if you kept it low enough so that you couldn't see the trampoline then when she jumped on it she'd look like she was bouncing on your flowers! lol ;D

lots of work there... but I am sure it will be amazing... I went out and bought more coal... brr some of these nights are chilly!

x Alex

Lalabibaby said...

I think compromise is the order of the day Suzy .... your little one will soon outgrow swings and trampolines so let her be for the moment. How do you come to have so much broken pottery in the ground??? Are you near an old pottery and this is the waste? I can see some lovely mosaics in that blue and white china.

Cottage Garden said...

Your ideas for the garden sound great Isabelle. I hope you manage to reconcile the two requirements!

You are so lucky to have that stone outbuilding - it would make a wonderful studio I think.

We've had a log fire on a couple of evenings too - unheard of for us in May!


stefanie said...

oh, treasure hunting fun..I went to this antique store and they poured a slab in front on the entrance to there barn and used all broken china,,,it was gorgeous!!!! go for the kids are getting bigger and ours just sits there lonely, I miss watching them jump and laugh!!!

Blondie's Journal said...

All of your plans sound fabulous. How I would love to look out at a green field instead of my neighbors house!

Regarding the children wanted one and as fast as the wind can blow, they changed their minds!!! sister broke her ankle on one. I don't know how safe they are. A swing hanging from a tree would be very quaint. And I too am wondering how you came about all of the pottery in your yard. I'd love to hear some of your ideas for it.

Well, I am very excited that your garden plans are underway. It will be a lot of hard work but well worth it! :-)


Cape Cod Rambling Rose said...

How exciting to find all those treasures buried beneath your ground! We usually find old apothecary bottles; not much china. But I did once find a clay marble and a penny dated 1856!

Have you ever considered one of the smaller, portable trampolines? Just enough for one person to jump on. They can easily be moved around and put inside when playtime is over.

It's me said...

How exciting...all that blue stuff............!! i really be curious what you gonna do with it Suzy..............and how the garden will be............

Happy happy week hugs from Ria

Beth Niquette said...

How perfectly fabulous! I'm envious of your backyard treasures. You should make stepping stones with them! A friend of mine does this with broken pottery she finds in the local dump. They are just beautiful.

When I was a girl when Grandpa would till the fields, we'd find pottery and other unique things.

winnibriggs said...

Your plans for the garden all sound lovely, but I go with the thought that a trampoline wont be needed for too long, after all they grow up so quickly nowadays. Time enough for the beautiful manicured garden of your dreams.

Lori said...

Isabelle, your garden ideas sound lovely i can't wait to see how it all comes together...keep us posted!!!

Josephine Tale Peddler said...

Hello Isabelle, I will not be popular with Miss P (don't tell her) but I'd say NO to the trampoline. They are one of the leading causes of accidents in Australia for children. Not only with broken bones from falls but severed fingers. I was having the trampoline conversation with a lady in the park who had to get rid of hers because her child broke her arm. We are fortunate to have loads of parks near as its the inner-city. I envy you all the lovely space and stone buildings of course! I think sometimes we just have to learn to say NO to our children and sometimes we have to be a bit selfish. It will be a trampoline today, a pony the next, an outdoor swimming pool afterwards. Create your vision, is my humble belief.
But don't tell Miss P I said that! She might get cross at me. Or, how about one of thoe tennis sets? The totem tennis, Or her own herb garden with a fairy garden created in it and lovely scarecrow. Or a beautiful little cubby set up that is something like Martha B Rabbit's house for Miss P. There's a few ideas. Or - if she must or bust on the trampoline, can you hire one for a month or so and so it's not always there?
I love your garden and the stone shed and the back of your house looks wonderful. In my hometown of Oatlands, they create a lot of dry-stone walls. I love them s much. I could weep over a dry-stone wall.
And thank you for your lovely comment on my Blog. Daisy and I still enjoy snuggling up to read Martha B Rabbit stories. I also wanted to live in a rabbit burrow. I cannot wait for the Helena show. I hope they bring it to Australia. Helena and Enid Blyton together will be so perfect! Enjoy your day, Isabelle. Let us know what you decide with the trampoline. xx

ps here's a link to this lady's Blog who made a gorgeous cubby for her lovely daughters. Miss P might prefer a lovely cubby shed!

Torie Jayne said...

What a great space, can't wait to see the final results, and what ypu do with the beautiful pieces of broken pottery. Have a sweet day!

Mrs Yappy Dog said...

What a lovely big space to work with - you should be able to buy some mature plants to screen a trampoline and if you design your garden in curves, you can take the eye away from it - maybe to a walled area - dry stone walls look beautiful. We have a garden about 12 ft square! ridiculous, so have not been able to have a trampoline, but I know it is the one thing my boys would love. The pottery is interesting, you could set it into a wall or part of the floor of a small water feature and it could be really unusual. Lots of hard work ahead! Can we have progress updates please?

KC'sCourt! said...

I'm afraid I'm with you on the trampoline bit, the swing when outgrown and be used as a frame for growing climbing plants which my parents did in the seventies with mine! All that lovely broken china, make wall in the patio area or even a table top or both if there is enough. never know Miss P may love to grow things in pots I know I did when I was her age!

Mumxie said...

A trampoline is the best thing I have ever bought my children. It also brings out the kid in many adults. I'm lucky I have a corner plot and my garden is disjointed and is in 4 separate areas - 5 now I have an allotment. There are those trampolines that fold up like table tennis tables. I agree with Jane a swing from a tree sounds lovely. I had tomboys, so we had a tyre - not so pretty. Good luck and fun with the garden!

bellaboo said...

What a dilemma! Would there be room to maybe screen off the trampoline with some fast growing hedge,so it would be hidden from the rest of the garden?
You're going to have fun with all those pieces of china...look forward to seeing what you will do with it all!

Bellaboo :0)

Jessie said...

What a gorgeous garden it's going to be! I'm a mum (they're near;y all grown up now)and although it's great to have swings and things, I think its important to make a garden other things too. Not just for you but for the children's memories and inspiration for their own gardens one day.xx

Bobo Bun said...

That looks like a lot of hard work, but I bet it'll look fantastic in the end.

We had the same trampoline dilemma, but I'm glad I went for it as our girls spend endless time on it and have done so for the four years we've had it. The hens use it to shelter under when it rains so they're happy too.

We put it to one side behind a plum tree which is now growing nicely to cover it. I also like the fact that when the girls are going nuts with unused energy I can chuck them out there to burn it off have a giggle and come in a bit less nutty.

Good luck making your mind up.

Lisa x

Floss said...

I adore your pottery finds - I studies archaeology at university, partly inspired by excavating a georgian midden in my grandparents' garden.

We have similar problems to you with our nasty above-ground swimming pool. My husband has built a really smart, zig-zagging trellis fence up which we've grown clematis, passion flowers and other climbing plants, which successfully hides the pool from most sides of the garden. I bet you could fit in a trampoline with some kind of screening!

Flaviana said...

Dear Isabelle
your garden has great potential, I'm sure it'll be lovely when it's finished! You live in a charming place .. I wish I could live where there are no neighbours !
I wonder what you're up to with all those pottery pieces..I'm curious!
Have a great day !
xx Flaviana

Mummy Boo Bear said...

Oh I just know whatever your plans your garden will look great. It is hard balancing between child friendly garden and what you want or dream of. We do have a inflable trampoline, so you can dismantle it quite easily when they are done. Its full enclosed too so reasonably safe i think. I dream of having a garden large enough to have in segments one day. A common area for the family and a seperate area for veggies and outside animals.

Would love to know why you have so much pottery in your garden, it looks beautiful. I wonder what your plans are with them.

Take care and have fun planning.


Country Style Living said...

I agree with you re children's gardens, my son has a trampoline which we cannot hide, I move it around a lot depending on the time of year and how the garden looks at the time. But it is surprising how you can live with it.To be honest it is the best thing we could have bought for him, as he is an only child, he spends a lot of time out there on it with his football, which does seem to entertain him. I would also reccommend one with a net...

Pixiedust said...

What an amazing space, I'm sure your garden will be beautiful when its finished. xxx Pixie xxx

a mermaids purse said...

what a lovely wild back garden- it makes my little yard look very titchy must be wonderful to come up with ideas/plans for it.
Though always tricky to make it all flower beds with kiddies about...maybe make one end of it a fun area gated off and the rest more of a relaxing pretty bit?...ive ended up using pots and thats my bit for 'me' and then my daughter can play on her bike and other toys with out worry of 'sqidging' all the flowers and sure you'll work it out...Those trampalines are massive tho!! x

Country Cottage Chic said...

What fun to find all those bits of china & glass in your garden! It looks like a big project but I bet it will be lovely when it's finished.

On the trampoline issue - we had one & the novelty wore off quite quickly so maybe you can persuade her to just have the swing & what about a nice pretty play house instead?



How enchanting your home and land are! It is fascinating that you find the pottery and china pieces as you are digging your garden...that must be such a fun treasure hunt! I am so glad you joined my blog today so that I could in turn find yours. I am so impressed and have joined to follow. I have just posted a giveaway on my blog, so I welcome you to visit again and enter the giveaway. Have a lovely week. ~ Angela

Nostalgia at the Stone House said...

Hi Isabelle,
I know too well how you feel about your garden space and how it should suit you all...
In our current garden we put up a lovely set of swings for our girls when they were younger. It had thick wooden poles, with real jute ropes - strong enough for adults to use too, so they were, and still are - (they have lasted us for around 11 years so far,) very robust, but also visually pleasing.
I personally think that trampolines are danngerous, so would not allow the girls to have one. Our summers tend to be so short lived anyway, so more fun can be had with a paddling pool, or perhaps Miss P could have her own area to grow things, or to make bug gardens with?!
A large area of lawn can be great when friends come to play too...perfect for dancing, putting on a show, or running races etc. Its often the simple things that they remember and enjoy, I think.

I love the broken china that you are turning up...what a great find...I'm sure you will make something wonderful with it.

Good luck with all the hard work!
Niki x

Handmade in Gibraltar said...

It's nice to have all that potential isn't it. I wouldn't have the trampoline ;as those things are much more fun with other children they aren't worth having at home. I love your pottery treasure trove, those blue bottles used to hold poison you know. I have a mini collection of them.
Louise xx

Paris Pastry said...

What treasures you found in your backyard! Amazing! Hope the wheather will turn around!

Rubyred said...

Thank you for your sweet comment about my dresser! You have some lovely plans for your garden! These things take time to evove don't they!
Lets hope the weather warms up soon!
Rachel x

sittingohsopretty said...

Hi Isabelle, just popped by to say hello!!!Will look forward to reading your posts, gorgeous home!!!I love renovating, we are doing the same although your home is more rural than us and I have to say very beautiful! Have a great weekxxxKarenxx

Enitram said...

Marvellous broken poteries!!!!!!
Have a good day or week-end!!!!!!!!

Duchess of Tea said...

Oh! darling you just spoke from my heart. I too hated the idea and the look of a garden geared for children. My children won the battle and for years which meant I was unable to have my dream garden. Looking back I am glad it worked out the way it did. Good luck with the garden, I am certain Miss P will be delighted with her little space, you are a good mummy.

Love & Hugs

Julia said...

Hello Isabelle

Oh your home is so very pretty, and is in such a beautiful location so I can see why you want to have a relaxing and beautiful garden too. I know the problem of play furniture littering the garden and yes it is an eyesore. What about an attractive screen so you can kind of hide the trampoline a little, so its not so obvious? I know there are some beautiful willowy screens you can buy. Its just a thought of course, and Im sure you will find a way to solve it so everyone is happy!

Sending you love
Julia x x x

Monica@The White Bench said...

All those buried blue treasures... you make me drool, Isabelle! I'm sure you'll find the just perfect compromise for the garden. I wish I could have a home like yours in the English countryside, maybe, sooner or later... a girl can dream!:)

Madelief said...

Hi Isabelle,

Just read your comment! My grandmother came from Belgium as well. She was born in Kanne and married my grandfather, who came from Maastricht. When I was young I spent a lot of holidays over there. I still love it very much! My mum and I will visit her brothers, who still live there.

Your plans for the garden are very exciting!! Looking forward to see how it develops. I know what you mean about the trampoline....Unfortunately I can't give you any ideas about how to camouflage it.

The pieces of china are great! How about a mosaic? You can make a garden feature out of them!!

Wish you a happy weekend!

Lieve groet, Madelief

Dogwood said...

Oh, my are adorable and I love your blog. Thank you for stopping by my blog.

Actually, I do not live in Tucson but in California. I am in Tucson visiting my brother who recently had a heart-attack and by-pass surgery. He is doing better each day.

I hope you come back and check out some of my old blogs.

What fun to be developing a garden. That is such great pottery/glass that you have found. You will have fun creating with that!

I bet you look sweet in your vintage clothes.

I'll be back soon.


Hi Isabelle, thankyou for visiting us at Heartfelt in Watchet, so sorry we weren't there to welcome you. If you are ever over again on a Sunday, let us know and we will meet you there. Thanks for your support and great comments
Mandy xxxxxxxxxxxx

Madelief said...

Hi Suzie,

The name of the cafe you mentioned sounds familiar to me. I can't remember where it is. I will ask my mum! About my age...I was born in the 60s, so I must have been to the cafe as well and our paths could have crossed indeed!

Happy weekend!

Lieve groet, Madelief

Auntie Cake said...

Sounds like a big job, but hope it goes quickly and wonderfully for you. I love all the china pieces you have found, what treasures you have!

Enjoy your weekend,

Belle Vie said...

What a charming home you have! I sympathize with your delemma, I too appreciate a beautiful garden; however, I know all too well how quickly our children grow. Wishing you a beautiful weekend. xoxo, B

Josephine Tale Peddler said...

Dear Isabelle,
It thought you might find these facts on trampolines of interest that came with our paper today. The inventor of the trampoline, George Nissen, died last month aged 96. The trampoline was intended to be only a training aid for gymnasts like himself
From 2002-2008 Victorian hospitals saw an average 1024 cases a year of people who had fallen from trampolines (and that's just falls - total number of injuries may be double that)
Queensland Injury Surveillance Unit has also recorded 4842 admissions for trampoline injuries in the past 2 years. Unit director, Dr Ruth Barker, estimates that's a quarter of the real total. Trampolines cause about 4000 injuries a year in just 2 states.
In NSW, the outcome of a government safety review of backyard trampolines has been ordered after injuries doubled in four years at Westmead Children's Hospital - is due within weeks.

I wonder what the trampoline safety stats are in the UK? Perhaps Brits build them better or there may be less due to the weather? Just don't tell Miss P where these figures came from!

ps on the right hand side of my blog, I have a few Blog friend's buttons. I would love to use your little image of the flowers and wallpaper as a badge button for your Blog to join them if it is okay. So far, I have Daisy Cottage, Secrets of a Butterfly and Bluebird Vintage. Next time you visit me let me know if it is okay. xx