In which we put down roots…

Figuratively AND literally…

Nathan has always been keen on growing vegetables, but I always found that as much as his keeness increased so too did my apathy for anything that could even remotely be considered ‘green fingered’ activity. There are, after all, only so many times one can fake excitement at yet another gnarled cabbage being thrust under one’s nose before it starts to become tiresome. It has come as quite a shock, then, to discover that in ‘putting down roots’ in Auchenblae we have turned into ardent horticulturalists! Great weather, loads of space, the knowledge that we never (ever!) have to move again if we don’t want to, and being surrounded by an abundance of natural beauty (not to mention our neighbours who have a gorgeous and well maintained garden!) have all combined to drag ‘gardening’ from way down at the bottom of the ‘to do’ list to somewhere near the top! We’ve no idea what we’re doing, of course, and it will be a long time before perfection is achieved, but in just a couple of weeks our courtyard has gone from this….

….to this…

I know that ‘self-praise is no-praise’, but still I think we’ve done bloody well! In fact, feeling positive about the changes that we’ve made to our home thus far, Nathan and I were only too pleased to take a break and use his corporate membership to go and look at some National Trust properties for inspiration. First up was the House of Dun, a magnificent Georgian country home where we enjoyed a private tour (it wasn’t private because we were getting some kind of special Mothers Ruin treatment, you understand, but rather because the place was totally empty!) of all of the rooms and then a stroll through the gardens…

…followed the next day by Drum Castle – where, inexplicably, the ‘no photography’ sign was displayed right by the exit, by which time it was somewhat too late…

More enjoyable still was the discovery that NT properties sell propogated plants for PENNIES! £50.00 over two days bought us two boot loads of perrenial plants and shrubs, from hebe and hosta to delphiniums and dahlia, astilbe and allium to peony and primula….

Even the weeds in the garden have started to look more inviting, knowing that they are OUR own weeds from OUR own garden!


It’s not just us that have been enjoying the benefits of getting outside, though – Dexter and Archie were finally allowed out after a good settling in period…

In other news, the bedroom has finally been finished. It’s not fully dressed as still have tonnes of stuff in storage, but if you look beyond the bare walls, the mirror that still needs hanging, the missing window treatments etc then these will give you an idea of what i’ve done. I only actually took one poor ‘before’ picture, I’m afraid…


(The furniture will probably move once everything is in order, as it looks a little like each piece is waiting for a bus. The waistcoat hanging on the side of the wardrobe is a genuine vintage item with a hand-stitched silk lining – a long time ago I could wear it, but, alas, the years have been unkind to my waistline…)

I need a wide-angled lens to get some decent pics of this house! Oh well – you get the idea…. It’s very green and very 1930s…

We’ve already moved onto the guest room and I’m very excited about the next challenge! I’ll keep you all updated with my progress, but for now I’ll share the pictures of the room in its current state…

There’s more to share but, as ever, the duties of running a new home will not wait forever and I must get on. The new kitchen and bathroom are going in soon, not to mention re-paving the sun terrace and painting the front of the house AND we’ve only just got rid of the roofing team and glazier!!!

Oh dear friends, family, sewing machine…. “We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know wheeeeeen….”

More soon


MR xxx





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