Some of you know the trouble MrB and I have had with our backyard/garden. For those who don't: We've never really used it. I think we've sat out on a blanket on the grass on two separate occasions in the almost four years we've lived in this flat.
The main trouble was in that last sentence. There's -grass-. I'm very very allergic to grass pollen and being near a freshly mown lawn is quite problematic for me. For this reason, when we moved in, I asked MrB if we could get rid of the grass, deck it over or something because I wouldn't cut/mow it. It's not something I've ever done and something I'd rather not do, if I can help it. Especially on a weekly basis (or however often grass needs to be cut. See? I don't even know).
When we moved in in November 2006 the response I suggested decking over the garden and what I got was basically "no, no, no, I'll cut it. I'll be responsible for it. Don't worry. I don't want to deck it over."
OK, said I. Your deal. No problem. Problem solved.
Cut to August 2010 and this is what we were looking out at every time we lifted the blinds on the back doors...
The grass had been cut all of three times. With a weed whacker/strimmer. We own a lawnmower. A small, electric one. But it's never been out of the box. Ever. It's sitting under the stairs as I type, mocking me. The green tarp is there (in the garden, not under the stairs) because we were killing said demon grass and weeds because A. Year. Ago. I finally convinced MrB that decking the lawn would be best in the long run.
A. Year. Ago.
Just last month I finally got our bums in gear about getting someone to do the work we wanted done in the garden (are you sensing a theme, here? Read: Procrastination) and I spent two weeks sending and responding to emails that were bordering on the utterly ridiculous. One landscaping company wanted to charge ten to fifteen thousand Pounds to dig up what was in the garden and put some decking in after only seeing pictures of it, not knowing it's size! Another company had a much lower cost (about half of the low estimate) and even came out to see the space but every time I tried to ask specific questions about pricing for the extras we want (clothes line, shed for the bikes, etc) those questions weren't responded to in their return emails. Seriously? I'm asking specific questions and even outlining them for you and you completely leave them out of your reply? Thanks, but no thanks.
Anyway, the guy we chose to do the work not only answered all of our questions and gave a layered, detailed quote(s) but he was about half the price of the middle guy's estimate, too! Here's what he managed to get done after only about 3/4 of Day 1...
Amazing isn't it?! The only plants left are the ones we specified that we wanted to keep/had special plans for. I'm getting so excited.
I've also been working on things for my Etsy shop and have started my Winter Seasonal Celebration Cards (was that totally non-denominational, or what?!)...
I'm keeping it rather simple this year as last year I did cards that were very decorated and involved and I'm going for more ... how shall I put it... "reserved" this year. I'm also making twice as many as I ran out last year and that was quite annoying, especially considering how much I'd put into the ones that I did make.
The Mrs B bakes test kitchen is also working on a super new recipe for Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. Vegan, of course. (And the recipe is actually, technically, officially done, but I didn't take pictures of the test batch of cupcakes before they were devoured and I don't feel it would be fair to share a new recipe with you all without the accompanying, tempting photos!) So stay tuned for that! *grin*