Hello and welcome!

garden 2

This is my first test post, so sorry if I ramble, I just wanted to give a quick flavour of what my blog is about. The aim of this blog is to write a bit about doing up my first house to make it more homely and a big emphasis will be on the garden and growing our own. Where possible I will be telling you how to do low budget diy in the house and garden. We’re also interested in green living and cutting the affect we have on the environment.

So whose is we? Well I’m Kathy and he’s Simon, we’ve been a couple for around 4 years and we’re both in our 30’s. I’m from up Norf and he’s an actual Londoner. When we first met I was living in my 2 bed flat in Barnet, it was a lovely flat but had no garden. He was in Finsbury Park and moved in after about a year. When I first met Simon he volunteered in a permaculture group on Tottenham Marshes.

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Here we made friends and worked hard to make some raised terraced beds on slope next to a canal. We gardened in a way that would reduce the affect on the environment. We came every sunday and worked until it got dark.

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But just as it got going, it became apparent that the land wouldn’t be ours for much longer. Around this time, as Simon had moved in by then, I visited my local allotments. They’d just had a break in, and somehow my enthusiasm cheered them up and I was offered half a plot there and then.

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And like anyone new to a plot we dug in and got going. Soon we’d made our first bed, then the second, and then a compost heap and then we rescued the raspberries from the bindweed and couch grass.

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And with the help of a few friends, the allotment was feeling ship shape. The trips to Tottenham Marshes got fewer and farther between. Until it became apparent that it just wasn’t going to happen. And being a half an hour drive away, as opposed to the allotment which was a 20 min walk, the choice was obvious.

And after a year on the allotment, the plot looked great, but half a plot started to feel small. So we took on another plot as well, but this wasn’t just any plot, it was a giant one. Over 3 times the size of the current one. We could cope right?

Well we could sort of, we began pulling weeds and mulching and put up a poly tunnel. And then we went back to look at the first plot, which we’d kinda forgotten about. It was knee high in weeds. So we pulled them up. We redid the paths with woodchip and then went back to the large plot. But then that one was full of weeds, but not just any weeds- it was mares tail. It seemed like the more we dug the more came up. We didn’t want to use chemicals, mulching seemed to have little affect. So all we could do was dig it up, even though we wanted to be no dig.

But around this time, I decided we should move, as the flat felt like my place, and I wanted somewhere to feel like ours. So began preparing the house to sell and looking at a new place for us. And again the allotment got overgrown as we were so busy.

We’ve now been in the house for almost 7 months, so some of the posts will be to catch up with what we’ve done already and some will be written as I go along. The allotment has now been given up and we have started over yet again on a new growing space, our garden. And I’ve had new rooms to enjoy decorating.

So join us, as we learn on the way, sharing our fails as well as our wins. Trying to learn as we go as well as learning from my parents, books and anyone else who seems wise.

My parents are part of a generation were people were more handy, and thought nothing of wiring a plug, fixing a tap or putting up a shelf. I myself struggle with these very basic DIY tasks, so come on my journey and I shall pass on what I learn on the way, sharing my fails as well as my wins. Trying to learn as I go as well as learning from my parents, books and anyone else who seems wise.

So far we  have been in the place 6 months and a lot has changed in that time. Gone are the yellow walls in all but a couple of the rooms. Gone is the smelly stair carpet, the pub style fireplace has gone too. The pink tiled bathroom is still there, but wont be forever. I have pictures for a lot of these, so will write up retrospective blogs for these.

In the garden we have divided  the veg growing space from the more ornamental place, overlapping them at points. We’ve trimmed back some of the very overgrown shrubs and started to battle some of the nettle and dock leaves. We have a few broadbeans and garlic growing. We have had 3 of the worse trees removed and put in some fruit trees. The garden is a big job, so expect a lot of updates on this.

Thanks for reading!