So for those of you who saw my Twitter feed or Facebook over the weekend, you’ll have caught up with my not-so-exciting news. I fell over during roller derby training on Thursday night (I wasn’t even skating, I was just turning around to listen to our coach and my feet got in a tangle) and I managed to break my ankle in two places and dislocate it at the same time.
Here’s my leg, just about to go to surgery (I went along for the ride)
Unfortunately when we got to the operating theatre it turned out that my ankle was too swollen to operate on so I’m now on total bed rest, with my foot raised at all times, waiting for the swelling to come back down. When it does – hopefully later this week – I’ll be back to surgery for something called an O.R.I.F. which is a posh way of saying they’re going to put a whole load of pins, a metal plate and some screws in my ankle to hold it all together. Ouch. And then I can’t drive for three months, or put any weight on it, or basically do anything. All of which is a bit difficult for the only driver in the household – with a school run of 12 miles a day – and for someone who doesn’t sit still for more than five minutes I have NO idea what to do with my time. Apart from write and potter online or learn to crochet properly. And learn how to be a mother from a fixed point. I suspect it might actually be quite good for me, in some ways.
So I’ll be here. Not gardening (but hopefully directing the gardening from a chair) and not doing anything too physical. So if you’d like to share with me your tips for dealing with boredom, or your favourite blogs to visit, or anything else at all – please do!
5 Tips For A Cozier Garden
Now that spring is here everyone’s focus is on getting outside and getting the garden in order. Okay, maybe not everyone, but anyone who typically enjoys a spring and summer garden ought to be in that mindset by now. You know the drill: heading to the closest gardening center for a few new seeds for a few of the best spring and summer flowers, planting and taking care of those seeds, and otherwise grooming and re-organizing the garden. It’s a task and a hobby all at once.
There are always fun ways to upgrade the gardening experience though, so that it’s not the same old thing every year. For example, this year one fun project can be to make your garden a bit more accessible. You don’t exactly have to pave a sidewalk from the driveway into the heart of the garden – but here are a few things you can do to make your garden a more appealing place not just to plant and look at, but to spend some time.
Tip 1: Arrange a path or two. I already said you shouldn’t pave a sidewalk in your garden, and truth be told nothing could make it less attractive. But a more tasteful path simply gives you a way to walk in and among your plants more easily. This might mean laying down stones, or even using some new MySmartBuy hedge clippers to make a maze-like path through shrubs and bushes. Really, it all depends on the size and arrangement of your garden.
Tip 2: Invite the birds. Some people prefer that birds stay out of their gardens, because they think birds are messy or loud. Really, this is a silly perspective. The truth is, birds eliminate pests in gardens, keeping your plants neat and healthy, and they also provide a fun natural vibe that nothing else quite can. A trickling birdbath or hanging bird feeder should do the trick, and bring you a few atmospherically friendly chirping friends.
Tip 3: Make it smell nice. Your first thought might be: duh, plant a few roses and the problem is solved! And this is certainly one solution. But think about getting creative with garden smells – even something simple and green, like mint leaves or cilantro plants can give the place a pleasant scent.
Tip 4: Think about props. Too many garden props can be a bit gimmicky, but a waist-high statue here or there can work wonders for atmosphere.The same way art in the house makes a room feel more comfortable, garden props can make your garden a bit more accessible.
Tip 5: Think about furniture. Going beyond props, nothing invites a human presence quite like a nice garden bench – or, if you really want to branch out, a gazebo (maybe with ivy crawling up its pillars). These features give you and your family or guests places to lounge in your garden, so you can actually enjoy it instead of just planting it!
Three months on.
Approaching 70,000 downloads, and 199 (almost all lovely) Amazon reviews.
To celebrate three months of Sealed with a Kiss being out there in the wild (and it’s been a pretty amazing, whirlwindy sort of three months) you can download the Kindle version absolutely free today. Tell your friends!
For Amazon.com users, pop over here.
And thank you all, so much. I’m in the process of moving all my writing stuff over to the Rachael Lucas author blog so this is probably the last one of these sort of posts you’ll see here. Coming up later this week: cake, cats, and a review of an amazing book I’ve been reading.
Simple features to spruce up your garden
We often don’t get as much out of our gardens as we really should and they can sometimes feel more like a chore than something to enjoy and gain satisfaction from. If you can find the time to be proactive about your garden you could completely change your outlook on it and a good place to start is by adding some simple features to your garden.
You can dramatically change the feel of your garden by adding the simplest features and it’s also a great way to enhance your existing garden design. Water features, seating areas and pergolas are amongst the most popular types of garden features but simply adding some additional lighting or some raised planters can make a huge difference.
A colourful planter can really brighten up an otherwise dull garden. This handmade wooden planter is simple and attractive and would work well placed on a patio with a variety of other planters, or stood alone on a grassy area of the garden. If bought from a reliable source, planters are extremely high quality and will last years and years. Raised Planters can be hugely beneficial as they provide added protection against pests for delicate flowers and they are great for growing your own vegetables and fruit, as they keep the produce away from pesky pet. They are also perfect for elderly garden lovers who might find it difficult to bend down to tend to their plants.
Another simple way to spruce up your garden is to add featured lighting. You can use garden lights to either feature specific areas of your garden or illuminate areas that you haven’t previous enjoyed or used. There are various options available from solar powered tealights to battery operated lights to energy efficient cabled lights. Your favourite standing plant covered in delicate lights can add real sparkle to your garden, and so simple too!
If you really want to transform your garden, a water feature is perfect solution. Most gardeners shy away from water features as they’re thought to be overly expensive but there are actually options for every budget. Whether it’s a striking and illuminating waterfall or a quiet and unassuming pond, a water feature can be the perfect focal point for your garden.
If you’re looking for some DIY options, why not make some hanging planters out of halved milk bottles or brighten up your flower beds with some colourful handmade pinwheels, which is also a great craft activity for the kids!
Whatever you choose to do, sprucing up your garden can leave you with a great sense of achievement and pride and ultimately means you can enjoy your garden that little bit more.