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Changing the sky


I finally got around to reorganising my tabletop space. I’d used purple material as a screen because that was the only thing that came to hand that was the right size and opaque enough, but it wasn’t very unobtrusive, and was intended only as a stopgap.

I’d been intending to use a shower curtain (it’d be waterproof!) but couldn’t find the one I’d been given some Christmas – that’s what I get for being too quick to take stuff to the charity shop.

I got this at a local pound shop, cut it more or less to the right length (actually it’s a bit short, but I worked out that I could get three pieces of this size from one curtain, so I’ve got two spares), strung the top through the eyelets already there, then turned the bottom up over a length of string and held it with “all-weather” tape – hope it lives up to its name. (I’ve got a Big Bite eyelet punch, but still can’t get the hang of setting the eyelets). And this time I cut the slits for the wind before I hung it, not haphazardly clipping it afterwards.

That left a little space at the bottom. That didn’t really matter, because the screen was so that I couldn’t see into next door’s garden, and I’d have had to do a Groucho Marx to see that low! But the pound shop gave me another solution.

That’s an emergency blanket, silvered on both sides; two for a quid, how can that be bad? Hopefully the creases will drop out over time! it had only just been taken out of the packet when I took the picture. It’s not as reflective as a mirror, or even a mirror-like surface, but then that’s not what it was intended for. Still, if I ever get to the stage where the plants are small enough to show the backing, I’m bopping it’ll look misted-by-distance. At the very least, some sunlight might get redirected to the plants at the back.

I didn’t want to use a mirror, although it would increase the apparent depth of the display: partly because I didn’t have one that big and wouldn’t have been able to hang it securely if I had, but mostly because I’d read in a gardening book that mirrors shouldn’t be used because birds don’t know they’re mirrors, fly into them and die – I presume they mean mirrors in hedges etc that give the impression of a garden beyond the hedge. I probably could have used a mirror there, since I doubt birds would be flying in that space, but still…

The tray is one of those plastic planting trays that are supposed to stop your worktable from getting messy (never works for me). Got this from Lidl; it was much too big to use for its intended purpose, but I thought it might define and contain the planning area – I had some idea of putting thick layer of gravel all over, then putting the plants on top of that so they’d always get as much water as they needed, and I’d only have to top up the reservoir, not water every plant. But I didn’t have enough gravel and didn’t want the plants to stand in water till I got enough (I’d had enough probs with water pooling on the table as it was) and anyway the tray was too big so I had to tuck it behind the table. If I could only get something under the table to catch the run-off …

Then I put the old shelves up and loaded them …

The plants in the middle row are standing in large plastic trays with about two inches of gravel (scaled-down version of original idea), but when I went out after some heavy rain I found that they were also standing in about two further inches of water, so I had to hurriedly bale them out.

There must be a way to self-water plants without the risk of them drowning …

ps: it’s a bit pathetic, really, isn’t it? Everyone else has got gardens so big you can’t see the other side, and there’s me faffing around with a tabletop. Still, I suppose it comes under the heading of making the most of what you’ve got …

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Really like your blog Fran and how ingenious of you looks really good:)

5 Jul, 2011


wow, that was quick! thank you. I get a bit down at times, thinking of "what I might have" rather than "what I've got" - seems a bit Toytown sometimes. But it's what I've got and it's all I've got so I might as well stop envying what other people have and make the best of it - at least I DO have a personal private outdoor space all of my very own!

5 Jul, 2011


Fascinating project ...

... adding to GoYpedia Small Garden Ideas ..

I have similar thoughts to you on mirrors in gardens ..
not confident about doing that for various reasons ...

For instance, when I first moved into my house, a lovely young blackbird flew into the glass of the kitchen door and broke its neck .. so, immediately I stuck silhouettes on the glass .. and no more casualties since then ...

5 Jul, 2011


nods, it may not happen very often, but it's always sad when it does. If I ever had space to hang a mirror in the open, think I'd go for another silver sheet - hopefully the bird would be able to rip through it. Though i do wonder why the birds don't see another bird coming right at them and take avoiding action ...

5 Jul, 2011


That looks really lovely, well done you,

5 Jul, 2011


thanks *s* another rearrange coming up, at the time I just put them wherever they'd fit

5 Jul, 2011


I'm forever rearranging things!

5 Jul, 2011


lol that's part of the fun, finding what goes best where. but the petunias on top should be lower, so I can reach them to deadhead, and they're more on my eye level, and I did plan to have lavender along the back and sides, since I'd read tht squirrels don't like it.

Prob is to make everything reachable without my having to stretch too much - just beacuse I can just reach it does'nt mean I'll be able to lift it.

It'll be a year next week since I moved here, and didn't really start in the garden till I got the tables in May, so it's still very early days

5 Jul, 2011


Its coming along really well Fran, you will probably rearrange it loads of times as you add more plants, I think its great to see you making use of your space and I love your won`t be beaten attitude.
You have got a lot growing there, I suggest you have a browse at Balcony`s pages and see what he achieves on his balcony, be interesting to see what you do next, keep at it and enjoy what you do....

5 Jul, 2011


thanks, Lincslass, I'll certainly check them out

5 Jul, 2011


Well done, as they say Rome wasn't built in a day, I change things in the garden constantly, much to the annoyance of OH!! I agree with Lins ,Balcony has some good ideas too...

5 Jul, 2011


The day that a garden is finished, that's the day it's dead.

I've checked Balcony's pics, and have added so many to my faves, thanks for the lead.

5 Jul, 2011


I think what you've done is great. It doesn't matter how big your garden is. It's how you enjoy it that's important :o)

6 Jul, 2011


I know *s* "size doesn't matter, it's what you do with it"

6 Jul, 2011


Fran I would hate to ever say the garden was finished....

6 Jul, 2011


lol no garden's ever finished, it can't be, it's always a work in progress. come the day when I can't find something that needs doing, I'll give up completely

6 Jul, 2011

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