Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Well - I'm floored!

I spent last weekend on our annual 'Mums Weekend' at Whitehall Outdoor Activity Centre in Derbyshire with 25 other women aged from 17 (not a mum!) to 65 (grandma!) all doing activities usually done by 10 to 16 year olds, ranging from canoeing, mountain biking, ropes and assault courses to climbing, caving and stream scrambling - yep, you read it correctly - stream scrambling AND climbing waterfalls under a deluge of icy water on a cold late September day and I enjoyed it!!! However, the associated aches, tweaked ankle and awesome bruise collection meant that a bit of R&R was deemed more necessary than gardening this week - but at least several hours immersed in the icy water meant that I didn't get huge swellings to accompany the bruises! Anyway, my enforced rest has given me chance to take you back to a weekend in late March of this year when it finally warmed up enough to work outside again ........

In Yorkshire the phrase "I'm floored" usually means "I'm amazed/astounded/gobsmacked.....!" etc, but today it means that my Tea House finally got its floor!

Himself added extra floor joists for strength and put batons in to rest the insulation on.
Batons in place.

First piece of insulation being slid into place.

Floor insulation complete - I'm going to be SO toasty warm in there!

Cutting notches out of the chipboard flooring panels to go round the vertical posts.

Checking for fit.

Last board in place as the sun starts to set.

Building the frame for the last solid piece of wall.

Me attempting to hold the outer waterproof membrane in place in a high wind whilst being about 4 inches too short AND stood on a wobbly plank over the water.........again!

Outer plywood panel in place and painted - job's a good 'un!
Himself is a star!

Whilst Himself was grafting away on the Tea House, I was busy in the garden and greenhouse. Here are some of the products of my labours, picked recently!
Apples - variety unknown as the tree was a freebie, given away when we bought 3 other fruit trees last year. They taste delicious.
Autumn raspberries still going strong.
A pear from a pear tree we didn't know existed until we took down a cankered apple tree on one side of it and chopped back the ceonothus on the other side of it. Given space, it has blossomed and born bucket loads of fruit this year!
My first ever string of garlic - it may not be the most beautiful or the neatest, but I'm strangely proud of it!
Heirloom tomatoes grown from seeds sent to me by Monica at Garden Faerie's Musings. Thanks Monica, they've been great.
And look what Last-Born bought me .........I absolutely love it and it certainly beats the skanky, tatty bit of paper I used to pin to the door! Thanks love :D
Yesterday's haul of goodies.
Meet Baaaarney, the newest member of the family. I found him for sale in Devon where he made me smile during another very wet walk round the grounds of yet another stately home.

...and he still makes me smile now!


healingmagichands said...

What a lot of work you have accomplished! Your tea house looks fabulous, I really like the fact that it is partially over the water feature.

Baaaaarney will never get loose and eat your fuchsias, either.

HappyMouffetard said...

Wow - what an exciting and exhausting-sounding weekend you had.

The pear looks lovely. We don't have a pear tree, so my mouth is watering looking at yours.

And Baaaaaarney is wonderful!

Rob (ourfrenchgarden) said...

You should demand a National Homebuilders Certificate and a 10 year guarantee from himself in case of any structural flaws!!! Bet there ain't any, in fact he'd probably offer the paperwork before you ask, ha, ha.

All good stuff mind.

Like your string of garlic by the way. Of course UK supermarkets would reject it for not being perfectly symetrical or something. Talking about apples, watching Food on ch4 last week, I didn't realise 20% of British apples are rejected by UK supermarkets on size and unwanted distinguishing marks and so on - just nuts.

For a minute, I thought the sheep to be an optical illusion.

Liz said...

Hi Liz,

Glad to see the Tea House has a floor now - I hope you actually have walls too and it's finished by now!

Oh, lol, just noticed the updated profile shot of you with a dalek... Oh no, you're not one of those Dr Who fans are you??!!! :P
There were some outside Sheffield transtation a month or two ago, some colleagues at work obviously had to have photos of them too.

Cameron said...

Love the form of your Tea House! And, that photo of you in the sidebar is wonderful!

What a great garden bounty!

I know that I've missed so much on the blogs for months while taking care of Charm. Trying to catch up and get my life back to normal.

Pondside said...

The wonderful times you'll have in your tea house! Will it be a Hot Chocolate House on snowy days?

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Healingmagichands. Thank you. Yes, the tea house is wonderful and, although Himself moaned (a lot!)when I said I wanted it over the water,he does now admit that it looks fantastic - and when the stream is running it sounds amazing too!
Baaarney doesn't eat the plants - but he has developed a tendency to move around the garden semi-independently........we pick him up and move him on a regular basis - quite confusing sometimes as to where he is! :)

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi HM - I had a great weekend, but I do have spome rather awesome and painful bruises now! It wouldn't be a weekend at Whitehall without them though!

The pear crop is quite an amazing surprise this year, especially as it's never cropped before in the 8+ years we've been here. I don't actually like pears - it's the texture, so feel free to pop up and help yourself to as many pears as you like! :)

Hi Rob - I suspect he'd probably give me the Part P electrical certificate as well if I asked him! Just wait till you see where we've got to now - it is a thing of true beauty!

I'm glad you like the garlic string - I did wonder if you'd approve as I was making it :)
I get SO cross with supermarkets for not stocking enough local and British crops and even more cross when they only stock 'perfect' produce - all that waste! I totally refuse to shop at Tescos as I hate their world domination policy!

Nope, the sheep isn't an optical illusion - he's not a deep thinker can see right through him!!!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Liz - it's got walls, doors and insulation in the roof now - only the wiring to finish, the walls to clad and the cork tiles to go on the floor before it's useable, if not complete! Happy day :D

Don't knock my new best friend!!! Actually, Last-Born was an Amy Pond look-alike at a 'Dalek Invasion' weekend at Yeovil Fleet Air Arm Museum in August and wanted us to go with. It was quite good fun....once I got used to walking into the green room full of daleks, cybermen, pig men and weeping angels!

She's doing another one at Magna in November and I'm back-up again ....fancy popping in to say hello?!

Hi Cameron, it's so nice to see you back in blogland - many of us have had to take a blogging break over summer, so we're all on catch-up too :)
I'm loving how the tea house looks now - just doing a wee bit of pond extending at the moment.....!

Oh Pondside, what ideas you've put in my mind chocolate eh?! Mmmmmmm :D

Woody Wilbury said...

Ey-up Nutty. Tea House is looking good.

And I do like Baaaaarney; is he by any chance related to my garden intruders? And does he perhaps have a sister - BaaaBaaaRa?

Nutty Gnome said...

Ey up Woody - I suspect that Baaaarney does way less damage than your wooly intruders did!

Baaaarney does indeed have smaller, younger siblings - BaaabaaaRa and and Maaaaahry, but Himself put his foot down about me bringing them home .......they may well yet appear in the garden - I'd quite like a little flock up in the copse (as it were!)

O.I.M said...

hi nutty. I was exhausted just reading your first paragraph. good for you! the tea house and harvest look great. I had a good crop of garlic this year but not nearly as good as yours. congratulations.

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Irena - it was excellent fun, as ever - but you should see the bruises! I slipped when roped up climbing up a waterfall (as you do!) and have a corker of a bruise right down my shin dresses for me for a few more days yet!

I think this is the best ever year I've had for vegetables - excluding the broad beans. I don't think I'll be buying garlic for some considerable time! :)

joey said...

I so love visiting and hate to leave, especially tempted by your colorful harvest and dream of one day joining you for tea :) A wonderful post, Liz. You are surrounded by bountiful blessings, including Himself!

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Wow, the tea house is really coming together. In that one photo is does look like it's floating! And warm will be good. It's funny because I think everyone I gave seeds to had better tomatoes than i did, lol, but it's nice to see them happy!! We call caving spelunking. I like it.

Diana (Di) said...

Liz, your tea house is coming right along there and looks wonderful! Himself is indeed quite gifted. Aren't you the lucky one. ;)

Our nights are getting cooler so our garden appears to be winding down a bit. Fall is here, and I'm not quite ready. lol too bad, eh? Have a great week.

Nutty Gnome said...

Joey you'd be so very welcome at any time of year! For tea I'm thinking...hmmm, maybe steak and ale pie followed by either summer pudding or bread and butter pudding with home made ice cream - are you packing yet?!

You're so right - Himself is my most bountiful blessing and I thank my lucky stars on a regular basis that he chose me :)

joey said...

Oh, don't I wish! But I think you are my new 'bestest' friend :)

RobD said...

Is there ever a bad garlic plait? If it stays together, it's OK in my book! Love the tea house.

Shady Gardener said...

Liz, Oh! I'm so excited that you are "floored!" ;-) Your Himself is such a wonderful fellow! You WILL be toasty out there in your tea house. If Joey comes to visit, may I accompany her??

What a wonderful assortment of garden treasures... feast for the tummy and the eyes. Your Baaaarny will never be bad! :-)

Nutty Gnome said...

Hey Joey - bestest friend is good for me too :)

Hi Rob, nice to see you. The garlic plait stayed together, but the onion plait didn't - but I was on a looser there anyway as the foxes had eaten most of the onion tops!
Can't wait for the tea house to be finished!

Hi Shady - you most certainly must come with Joey (and Monica) for a visit. I'd love it! :D

Kathryn said...

Everything you are growing looks so perfect and healthy, Liz! You must be doing everything right. Is the tea house finished? How lovely to have that to yourself!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Kathryn - it has been a very good year for the fruit and vegetables, but I am sort of making it up as I go along!

The tea house is well on the way to being finished looks finished from the house anyway! :)
There's the insulation to finish,wiring to be completed, chipboard to line the walls and cork tiles to put down before it's useable....then there's a cupboard to make, door latches to put on and the veranda to build - and then I've got to finish extending the pond, complete the new bed, finish digging out the bottom, yes, it's nearly there! :D

Andrea said...

Hi Liz, i wonder why i haven't been frequenting your blogsite, you have great sense of humor and fun, starting from the profile introduction to everything.hahaha. I love it that way. But most of all i appreciate Himself in doing that work, he is great, congratulations for having Him. I love your new teahouse, how i wish i am just nextdoor!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Andrea - thank you for your lovely kind words and welcome to my blog ...I hope to be seeing you here again :)

I appreciate Himself and all his work too - it's ben a long slow process, but it's a fantastic building and I can't wait to get in and start using it!

Next-door-but-one is up for sale!!!

Carolynn said...

Wow, it's really coming together! You have very talented helpers...

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Carolynn - I do indeed have very talented helpers ...although Himself is the main contractor rather than just a helper - I'm the helper on th tea house I think! :)

Jindivick Wildlife Care said...

I love Baaaarney!!!!

Nutty Gnome said...

I know - he's lovely! He's looking a bit chilly out there surrounded by leaves, rain and wind, but he still makes me smile!