Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Garden Ramble . . . & a new bridge

Good afternoon dear friends & readers

The local Altrusa Club of Te Awamutu asked me to take part in this years Garden Ramble
"please Julie ... we just need one more garden" they asked so very nicely
Myself - as per usual - opened my mouth to decline, & next thing you know . . . I find myself taking part !!!!!****!!!

This is run every year on the first Sunday in November
 It runs rain or shine ... or sleet or snow, or thunder & lightning ... whichever happens, it goes ahead
This year is the 19th Ramble & they are featuring 14 different properties - gardens, but also some homes as well
I am only making my garden & the Cottage available ... 

So as you can imagine, there is lots still to be done ... I work every single day in the garden & then at nights try to make extra stock for the Cottage
I have hung this Welcome Bunting on the outside of the Cottage for a number of years (I take it in each night)

Often it blows away & sometimes I find it, drenched, stuck up in the guttering ... 
I lost it completely over the winter & the farmer returned this sad, faded looking bundle to me last month
I decided it was time for a fresh new one . . .

Last spring I noticed I occasionally would get asked if I had them for sale
so I made a couple extra & bagged them up to sell

As I was down to only one teacup birdfeeder remaining, I sat down & sorted through my cup/saucer collection & made up another batch

With their little packet of "wild bird seed" I am hoping these might appeal to the garden ramble people

A couple of summers ago when The Mr spray painted my cane chairs & table for me (see here) I promised myself to make some cushions to adorn them
It was only yesterday that I actually managed to accomplish this task

... using a nice cheery curtain remnant & a huge $5 bag of stuffing, both from the Hospice shop ...

At long last . . .  it has only taken me 22 months !!!!!

When we first moved here (17 years ago now) I uncovered this old wooden bridge under all the wandering dew in my garden
My stepson commented on it the other day "I remember that bridge, we used to think it had been there since the beginning of time"
It kinda looked like it had . . . So I decided to revamp it . . . 
...bearing in mind I had very little time, energy or resources ... I simply pulled the old palings off, took one into my local Goldpine Store, conned the nice young man to cut me 21 lengths from some old timber "out the back" . . .

When I got them home I dunked them in some waste oil I found in the Mr's old shed & painted the sides of the bridge with some roofing paint (again, unearthed in the Mr's shed)
I then had to cover the bridge with chicken mesh for 2 entire days while the oil soaked in to prevent a certain small furry ginger being from dancing on it all day long !!!!***!!!

I must walk past this bridge at least 8 times a day as its on the way out to my clothes line ... its funny how you can actually not notice something until a comment by someone causes you to stop & look
I am so thrilled with my new/old bridge

The Mr had been playing around with my camera & snapped some photos of the kittens ... looking back through some earlier pics I had taken of Jinxy when she first appeared in our lives with her rattly chest, runny eyes & sallow look ... I loved how healthy she looks now

Timid Jinxy - taken in April

Alert (mischievious) Jinxy - taken in October
Thanks for staying with me through this photo heavy post dear readers
I may not be back here again until after the Garden Ramble
do wish me luck please . . . kinda feels like I might need it !!

It was lovely to have you visit here today
take good care as you are all very special

with much love & friendship,
Julie x0x0


  1. Nearly 7:30 over here Julie, on my first lemon tea of the day!
    What lovely colours and photos to wake up to....And, the
    lovely 'Welcome' bunting'..Might pop in on my paper round,
    if your in..HeHe! :). Bless!

    Love the cup/saucer collection...Though l think l'd prefer a
    'walnut whirl' rather than bird seed....! :>).

    And, of course the star of the show...Jinxy..She is looking
    lovely now!...Bless!

  2. Love all you have to offer in your part of NZ. The New bunting looks fabulous, funny that the wind gave the old one to the farmer! I hope the ramble goes really well and I know they will love what they see. I love my teacup bird feeder, but I confess I still haven't found just the right place for it. Gosh you are awesome making the new/ old bridge! Jinxy is looking very happy and healthy, hugs to her and to youxxx

  3. And now your building bridges!!! I'd love to make a bird feeder but how on earth do you get them to balance on those sticks?
    Have fun on the 2nd, might pop in if I'm passing...(if only). xx

    1. Hello E.E. I think you would really enjoy making the birdfeeders & am sure you have a good supply of vintage cups & saucers over your way !!! You simply buy your green garden stake (from the Garden Centre), I use a medium thick size one, then you find a nut, (no not me!!!) that fits your garden stake (they are all different sizes), then you need to get a flat washer (hardware store) & weld the washer to the nut. Your cup gets glued onto the saucer, the underside of the saucer gets glued onto the flat part of your washer & the garden stake gets screwed into that. So when folk buy them you can just unscrew the stake & wrap the cup saucer part & they can carry the stake by itself. I have found a good glue for porcelain/glass at my local Hardware store after experimenting with quite a few that didnt hold. Hope this all makes sense. Leave me another comment if it doesnt & I will do a post about it at a later date :-) Happy birdfeeder making x0x

    2. Thanks for that..."You simply..." made me laugh. Sounds tricky to me... might have to speak to my welding friend in the garage but they do look brilliant. xx

  4. I hope the garden ramble goes well Julie - whether you feel ready or not, I'm sure it will all look beautiful on the day. The new bridge looks like it has always been there - oops, it has been :-) It's makeover is great.

  5. Your garden and cottage will be lovely to visit I'm sure, it always is! And the visitors don't know about your list of things you didn't get to. I love the teacup bird feeders and your bridge makeover is perfect. Love little Jinxy too, she is shining with health. Hugs Wendy xx

  6. If you build it, they will come!! They're in for a lovely treat when they get there too. Wish I could come! Love those teacup bird feeders. Good Luck with it all, Julie. x

  7. I would come a rambling at your place any day Julie....shame about that ocean!!! Love everything! Your cane setting and new cushions look so cheery and pretty. You did a great job on your little bridge. I am sure the cottage and your garden will be much admired xx

  8. Hello Julie,

    What an honour to be asked to take part in the Garden Ramble. Love your bridge repair work, be careful the local council may want to employ your.
    Wandering Jew that was one plant that wasn't allowed in this garden. Glad to see the cushions on the chairs, now you are probably so busy you won't be able to sit on them.

    Happy gardening.

  9. I bet your garden is very ramble worthy!! Love your old/new bridge, might have to walk over that. Jinx looks so good, certainly growing fast, she is one lucky kitten. The red wicker furniture looks brilliant with the pillows you made, good find that fabric. Time I came over to check out your op shops and you.

  10. Dear Julie, the folk that will visit you on the "ramble" day are in for a real treat. I do hope that the sun will shine. That bridge looks wonderful and the red cane furniture with the lovely bright fresh cushions look divine. Hugs Shirley

  11. Oh good for you girl!! So nice that a whole lot more people can see your lovely garden & visit Threadbear Cottage. Excellent plan coming up to Christmas. Just love the huge old wooden wheelbarrow all planted up like that & the dear old bike. Gosh you must spend a fair bit of time on the end of a hose too then. You've found some fab & interesting bits over the years....really makes your garden so interesting. Yes, indeed they are in for a lovely treat. Seeing your bird seed in nice little packets like that I am reminded that the birds here love the cat biscuits the most. I put them out for Charlie & then two minutes later he's wandered off & the little feathered ones are in as quick as lightening, often taking 3 or 4 bikkies at a time. "Oh Mum....not cat biscuits again!" You really are the queen of transformation...imagine thinking of the waste oil to dress the wood for the bridge. Kind of like Parisian Essence for wood : ) Perhaps you could sell big pots of it with a clever label. Take care of yourself in these next few weeks eh. Good luck with the weather. I hope you feel very proud of yourself. You are amazing! Much love from your garden fairy friend Catherine x0x0x

  12. Hello dear Julie
    Gosh you are such a busy person - and with so much energy, you make me feel tired just thinking of what you do, ha ha!!!
    Everything's looking very ticketty boo - the Altrusa ladies will just love spending time in your beautiful garden and cottage.
    The "welcome" bunting is beautiful and I love that you've hand stitched the letters.
    Julie you really are innovative, who else would think of turning tea cups into bird feeders - the birdies will just love them
    Little Jinxy looks wonderful now, I'm sure she is a great help to you in the garden.
    Enjoy your weekend

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  14. I was wondering what you used to secure the teacup bird feeders together and how you attached them to the poles...I saw these on your blog and thought they would be a wonderful project for the ladies in my garden club to make...we meet once a month and do a gardening related craft along with our monthly meeting...and with spring right around the corner these little feeders look like a fun project....btw ... love what you did with the old bridge..dunking the planks in oil was an amazing idea.. I can't wait to try it the next time I need to age some wood.....I'm looking forward to reading more..thank you..Terina

    1. Hello Terina, I cannot email you as you have come up as a no reply blogger so I hope you get this ok. The teacup birdfeeders have a fitting glued underneath the saucer which comprises a screw nut with a washer attached to it. This then winds onto the pole that they are attached to. The screw/washer needs to be soldered or welded together which my husband does for me. Then I use a porcelain glue to attach this to the saucer & also to attach the cup to the saucer. I hope this answers your question for you. Thanks Terina


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