I’ve always seen myself as a summerhouse type of person – lazy summer afternoons with books, wine and music whilst bees and butterflies flitter and flutter from flower to flower around me. With this in mind the essential element to my new garden had to be the summerhouse and it was always going to be pink, or so I thought until the garden was finished, which is a term I use loosely as of course gardens are never finished. The gravel and sandstone paving give off such a beautiful golden glow that I felt pink would possibly be a blot on the landscape and eventually settled on a soft creamy yellow from Cuprinol. But the pink had to be an element so I went mad with the interior and used a gorgeous floral wallpaper and painted the floor with Annie Sloan’s chalk paint in Henrietta and filled it with lovely vintage pieces which I had been collecting for this moment.
Well I have to say I absolutely love it and it is everything I dreamed of but the reality is I never sit in it for more than a few minutes – I’m too busy planting, weeding and sweeping. I’m turning into my grandmother – have you noticed that Mediterranean grannies love sweeping? You possibly haven’t but I am very alert to any signs of turning into my mother or grandmothers and this is definitely a big sign! And raking – how I love raking my gravel. Somehow raking and sweeping are very therapeutic and contemplative actions. The Japanese are obviously onto something here with their Zen gardens.
The best bargain is the china cabinet which came from a charity shop for £15 and it spruced up well with a lick of paint. The rest of the furniture has been acquired from various antique/vintage places and stashed in my garage awaiting the unveiling. And of course the gorgeous eiderdowns, which remind me of my Scottish granny, so necessary before central heating, I can still picture the ice on the inside of the windows and dashing from bed to fireside to get dressed in my childhood. The rug and the eiderdowns came from a lovely website called Vintage Home, they have some lovely stuff and always something new to look at. Last, but not least, is the lovely accumulation of stuff mainly from charity shops but also presents and now pieces from our own collection.
As I write this the sun is shining and the clematis is starting to twine its way up the side of the summerhouse, alas my pots by the entrance look rather sad at the moment. They looked stunning in the spring when the tulips were in full flow but I have replanted with annuals. It’s my first attempt at growing annuals from seed and they look rather weedy but I’m hoping within a month it will be a flower bower, inside and out. I feel an inaugural tea party coming on – an afternoon of flowers with tea and cake and chit-chat and sunshine, hopefully.
Summerhouse Love by Jacqui Brooks
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