I’m thrilled to have joined such a wonderful group of women for a global writing challenge that was recently started by a group of blogging friends—Gail from Is This Mutton (UK) Deb from Deb’sWorld (Australia), Mary Katherine from MK’s Adventures in Style (USA), Michelle from Following my Muse, Penny from Frugal Fashion Shopper (UK) and Jill from Grownup Glamour (Australia). This month, the group expanded to include four others (including myself): Australian blogger Sue Loncaric from Women Living Well After 50, Leslie Clingan from Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After and Marsha from Marsha In The Middle.
On the third Thursday of every month we’ll respond to the prompt “Tell Us About XXX” which could cover any subject matter. It could be a blog post with opinions or memories; a poem, photos, anything at all. This month, the challenge is ‘Gardens & Gardening’ and was prompted by Penny from Frugal Fashion Shopper.
I did chuckle when I read this month’s prompt because I am absolutely useless at gardening. It’s just one of those things that I’ve never really been interested in. My husband, Michael, on the other hand, is quite happy to be the one planting seeds and growing flowers, vegetables and so on. I am, however, very happy to enjoy the fruits of his labour though! I particularly love it when we have chard, courgettes and pumpkins to eat…all fresh from the garden.
Since selling our old house and moving into this rental (while our lovely new home is being built across the street—literally), I must admit to missing the old garden. It really was lovely, especially when in full bloom. I loved sitting beside the pool and smelling the glorious scents of the jasmine flowers. We also had a beautiful Datura plant which smelt divine. The rental property we’re in, has no flowers at all. The only item of interest in the garden is a rather large fig tree, as well as a few vegetables that Michael planted when we moved in. Another reason why I miss the old pretty garden is that it was such a great spot for taking my style photos! These days I really struggle, which is one of the reasons I don’t post as many style posts as I used to. But that will change again when the new house is finished (YAY!).
Even though I’m not terribly interested in gardening, I enjoy watching TV programmes about garden design. I had a particular favourite some years ago which featured Diarmuid Gavin; we even bought his book, which I might have a look at again soon, to see if we can get any ideas for the new build. It’s quite exciting, the prospect of designing a garden from scratch. Having said that, there won’t actually be a huge amount of room for a garden per se. It’s a big house, and there’ll be a pool and large driveway. There are a couple of distinct levels to deal with too, so I’m not quite sure how we’re going to go about it. We’ve also got a really big tree to contend with (see below). But it’ll be fun nonetheless. Here are a few pictures of the plot before we got stuck into it.
If I could have my dream garden, it would be a courtyard garden surrounded by old red brick walls, like something out of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. But we’re in Portugal, not England, and we just don’t have the space for a brick walled garden! Having said that, I also really like Japanese style gardens too. Let’s just say my tastes are quite eclectic! Once the shell of the house is built, we’ll have a much better idea at the space we’ve got for the garden, and then we can start planning properly. I’ll keep you posted!
Now let’s see what all the other fab girls are talking about for this Gardens & Gardening prompt…
Deb, from Deb’s World Deb admits she likes gardens but isn’t much of a gardener herself – preferring to take photos instead. Find her post about gardens here. Her photo shows her back garden in late afternoon sunshine.
Gail from Is This Mutton shares her spring and summer planting and tips.
Leslie, from Once Upon a Time, Happily Ever After Happily is sharing a look at her oasis in the far west Texas Chihuahuan Desert. The photo features her backyard shortly after sunset with the solar lights just flickering to life.
Marsha from Marsha in the Middle, talks about how her winter garden now exists in her memory and in a few photos. But, for her, it always be home. A peek at the sunrise through the winter branches.
MK from mksadventuresinstyle tells us about The Hobby That Got Out of Hand…
Michelle from Following My Muse writes about how gardening is like quilting. She was amazed when she realized that she plans her gardens the same way she plans her quilts. Gardening is Like Quilting.
Penny from Frugal Fashion Shopper loves both gardens and the physical act of gardening which she has returned to in her new abode. She takes you through a journey of how her love of gardening developed.
Sue, at Women Living Well After 50, shares the health benefits of spending time in the garden and enjoys exploring the public gardens in Brisbane and near her home. The health benefits of spending time in the garden – Women Living Well After 50.
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I do love our garden, but don’t like working in it. But I love all the green and the birds that are singing. When can you move into your new home? Can’t wait to see it! And I also love to watch the telly for garden series. Monty of course, telling what to do for the weekend, lol.
I’m with you, Nancy! Gardens are for enjoying not working in LOL!
Big hugs xx
I can’t wait to see how your garden develops. Michael is a talented gardener judging by the size of the chard and pumpkins! I guess your warmer climate will dictate what you can grow successfully. A Japanese garden would be incredible! Thanks for joining the challenge and sharing your first post xx
Thanks Gail! I did suggest to him about a Japanese garden but he wasn’t too impressed lol! We’ll see 😉
Hi Suzy, welcome to the Tell Us About team :). I loved reading your post and can’t wait to see what you do with the new house and garden. How exciting for you 🙂 That block looks a bit challenging but you’ve got it all organised by the sounds of things. I haven’t been to Portugal but am tempted while I’m visiting family in the UK for a few months – it’s just a dream at the moment but it could happen!
Thanks Debbie! The problem coming over to Europe is that there are so many wonderful places to visit, aren’t there? I wouldn’t know where to turn next…but if you can spare a few days, Portugal is rather lovely, Debbie!
Wow!!! Those pumpkins are huge! How do you prepare them? I cannot wait to see your new house as it’s being built. And, a pool…hmmm…maybe a trip to Portugal is in my future!
They were pretty huge, weren’t they, Marsha?! My favourite recipe is pumpkin and potato curry, it’s delicious. I’m not a big pumpkin pie person but I don’t mind it occasionally, so we have made that a couple of times. Same with the soup. I quite like it simply roasted in the oven with a drizzle of honey!
HI Suzy, exciting times for you building a new home. I don’t have greenthumbs either but I do love to sit and enjoy the blooms. Your husband certainly had a bumper crop. I have only visited Lisbon in Portugal at the start of a tour of Spain but I certainly would like to spend more time there.
Sue, if you ever get the chance, you should come back again and see more of Portugal. It is rather a special country!
The outdoor space at your old house is absolutely lovely! Like you, I enjoy many garden styles too. And what a fun (and maybe a little daunting) prospect to design your gardens from scratch. I have no doubt you and Michael will figure it out though. So exciting!
I’m sure we will…I just hope there aren’t any heated discussions over it lol!
Hi Suzy – it’s great to hear of your plans for the house, and I think the garden that you have will be great too, especially with Michael’s green fingers. It must be so exciting!
It really is, Penny! I can’t wait…but it is rather tedious at the moment, especially when we have days when there are no builders there at all. Luckily, they’re busy today though!
Hi sweets!! Have been out of town or would have stopped by earlier. Cannot wait to see your new home once it is built. Do you have an approximate move-in date? Hopefully, since you are currently living nearby you will be able to move in easily, a bit at a time. I know you must be ready. Looks like grand progress has been made in clearing the lot. So glad the trees were saved.
The outdoor space in your former home was quite lovely and cozy. Hope you can replicate it in your new home and enjoy many pleasant days and evenings out there.
Thanks Lesley! We don’t have a move-in date yet but we’re hopeful we’ll be in my next summer but in Portugal you just never know lol!