Tuesday, March 22, 2016


This is to be a year of consolidation

Each year since we've been here we have started new projects.

With generous, energetic and expert help from our friends we have renewed, repurposed and reimagined the place.

Looking back, the transformation is amazing!

But there remains a lot of 'finishing off', from the slating of the roof to painting the windows of the felt studio (and re painting the first doors we put in!)

The great spell of weather has enabled us to tackle the front garden.

A real Sleeping Beauty when we found it, completely overgrown

overgrown from road to house - 45 feet of foliage!

We spent the first Autumn cutting and clearing, got back to open space, and waited to see what grew.

Here's the first post about it back in 2010:

However, when we took the roof off the house, this was the inevitable result:

a deluge of timber, slate, stone and birds nests!
Well, after a happy week in the outdoors, we're back to where we were:

clear paths and a flower bed

a little panorama shot, we've got about half way there!
So, a few more days and we'll have the front garden where we want it; clear of invasive species and mowable.

A Treat of a Seat

One of the bits of detritus to be cleared was one of the roof purlins.
It is a massive 4.1 meter piece of pitch pine, at least 100 years old.

You can see it in situ in this picture from 2013:

on the left the big purlin timber
Here it is on the ground, out of the garden:

We've always wanted a simple wooden bench in the garden looking down past the trees to the Mournes.

This was the perfect piece of timber!

Here's  how we made it today:

beautiful pitch pine, 100 years old, in the elements for 3 years,
8 months of which lying on the ground, still rings like a bell
mock up

our mini wood henge!

halving joints: first time with a chainsaw

the plan

quite neat actually!

dead henge!
 We put it under the blackthorn hedge, sheltered from the North, open to the valley and the view

and finally in place - beautiful!
 Just Perfect.
and, of course, the view

Monday, March 14, 2016

Looking Forward to Spring

This Thursday, on St Patrick's Day we're delighted to be hosting the Wedding Lunch for Lisa and David. We're really looking forward to it!

High pressure presides over our weather, and a wonderful calm sunny spell of weather is in progress.

We're enjoying the beginnings of new life that Spring heralds.

This was just the day for getting the garden looking good, mowing the lawn for the first time this year.

Here's some pictures of the garden, the views, and a close look at the budding new life

looking up across the greening fields to Slievenaboley
and down to the majestic Mournes, across the newly mown grass

Alder catkins 
This Alder tree is full of catkins

Flowering currant a real splash of colour this time of year

beautiful primroses

lesser celandine

goat willow
the winding path down the hill
hawthorn in bud, and lichens
glorious lichens
hawthorn in the new hedge
cherry plums flowering very early in the fruit garden
currants in bud
bursting with energy, the rowans
currant in leaf

It's heartening to see the year turning green! I'll post an update in a while.