June 6: Pool and lawn success

I can’t take any credit for it, but the pool is clean and slowly filling up.

Leo was up early to tackle the task and did a great job. It’s tempting to jump into it now, half full! While he did the pool, I finally, FINALLY!, finished the lawn. No more holes to fill!

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“I’ve come to clean ze poooool”

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From this …

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… to this! Yay!

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Liliane dipping a tentative toe … hopefully in a week it will be warm enough to dive in

We also moved a fridge into the little annex area under the balcony where the two pink geranium pots sit. We cleaned it, set it running and filled it with our drinks! We lost the bar fridge in the kitchen to make way for the dishwasher, so now we have another that will be just as handy throughout summer.

It’s another stinking hot day here today. We’re off to the Muse concert in an hour or so. Can’t wait!

Update: I forgot my 30-Day Challenge, of learning three to four new plant names each day!

The texture of these lamb’s ear plants make them one of my favourites. I knew their name before but now know the Latin name, Stachys byzantina. Unfortunately, there’s none in my garden but they are abundant in the Rosengarten in town. Sometimes, one leaf accidentally falls off the plant when I visit, and I rub my fingers over it constantly for the rest of the day. 🙂

The aeonium haworthii x urbicum grows willy nilly on the terrace, after I took them from the large pot and spread them around the rock garden under the bushes. They’ve multiplied like crazy, provide great colour, with their green centre and pink edges, and have beautiful long-stemmed pink flowers towards the end of summer. We also have smaller reddy brown aeonium spread in the same place.

We have a pot with fuchsia hanging by the front door. The flowers are a mix of pink and purple sections – pink undercarriage and purple centre. They hang nicely and I hope the flowers keep coming thick and fast!

Wishing you a wonderful day.

June 5: A scorcher!

Today we baked. Not in the kitchen but outdoors. Wowsers, 30 degrees Celsius here, with no wind, feels like 40 degrees in Australia. Or as I mentioned before, maybe I’m just becoming acclimatised to the (normally) year-round cooler weather.

But I refuse to be defeated! I donned all my long gear, gloves, socks with my Birkenstocks (please, don’t tell anyone, but my feet got burnt during the week and I hate the t-bar tanlines!), hat and neck scarf and set about filling more holes in the lawn with soil.

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The lawnmower with trailer attached to the front (now that makes for interesting driving!) It was full of soil yesterday – we need more!

I forgot to mention yesterday, before I could fill the holes with soil, I had to load the trailer with the dirt! Man that was tougher than I thought it would be because the soil mound had been overgrown by weeds! But it was great being able to drive the lawnmower and trailer around and fill the bucket as needed, rather than filling the bucket from the source all the time. What a nightmare scenario that would have been!

So today, I thought I’d be able to finish everything, but I ran out of time and soil. Yesterday, I was so precise (hate being a perfectionist) and took out all the stones and packed it in nice and tight … After four hours today in the sun, I was practically throwing handfuls of soil into each hole and wanting to be done with it!

Saved by the bell! I was very, very happy to see Sandra arrive, so I downed tools and we hung out. We haven’t seen each other since we went to the BEA festival in early May.

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Sandra came to help clean the pool!

We drank glasses and glasses of water and chatted under the terrace umbrella. Leo arrived home early which was great, so we three had a “welcome to the weekend” beer before Sandra went home.

Then we joined Rene, Liliane, Eve and Paul under the pool tent for dinner and played rummy (cards) til about 9.30pm. It’s been another great day.

The only downside is we were supposed to clean the pool this afternoon and start filling it with water. Unfortunately, Rene was unwell and didn’t emerge from the house. Neither Liliane nor I knew how to empty the dirty water from the pool, so we’ll do it all tomorrow morning before the Muse concert in Biel.

I may not write a blog tomorrow (unless I write before the concert), as we will be away from home from 3pm to midnight or so. We’ll drive the 40 minutes to Biel with the Vespa, and fingers crossed the expected thunderstorms don’t eventuate!

Really excited to see Muse, a three-piece English band, again. I love live music, and these guys know how to make a lot of noise and entertain people! They have an amazing stage show and presence.

My 30-Day Challenge continues. For fear of this turning into a gardening blog, I won’t post any example photos! I’m learning the common names (and maybe the Latin names?!) of three to four new plants per day. Today, I’ve memorised delosperma, which Liliane has in her garden, blue delphinium, which is growing in mine, and stonecrop angelina sedum which is growing in both our gardens.

Right, it’s time for bed! We’ve got a pool to clean and dancing to do tomorrow!

Wishing you a wonderful day.

May 27: Five hours in the garden

Today was a busy, do-it kind of day, as opposed to yesterday’s nothing kind of day.

First off yahoo, the sun came out!!!! so it was time to scoop the leaves out of the pool to prepare for summer fun. In the next few weeks, it will be cleaned with a power hose, old water out, clean water and chlorine in and then final ingredient – just add people.

Rene kindly ‘made’ me a pair of gumboots from an old pair of fishing waterproofs, which came up to his thigh. They’re really old and he never uses them anymore, so he cut them off just below the knee. Because they were about five sizes too big, I wore a thick pair of socks and a pair of slipper kind of things as well. But I was dry and clean, and in this mess, that’s all that mattered …

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Gumboots at the ready …

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… let’s clean this thing!

The leaves and algae/gunk on the bottom were quite think and the smell was pretty foul too. Leo came home quickly on his way to a meeting, so he snapped some pictures to prove I stood in that cesspool.

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Had to block my nose!

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Dumping the leaves and getting a little sunburnt

I forgot to take an after photo, but all the leaves are gone and plenty of the gunk/gunge is still floating on the bottom but at least it will flush out easily with the jet hose.

Then Rene mowed the lawn and I whipper-snippered a large section behind the garage, where the forest is creeping closer and closer.

It’s amazing how fast the time goes when you’re working outdoors. I definitely gave my arms a good workout, scooping and snipping. And there’s a bit of colour on the back of my neck and arms. Oops!

Speaking of colour, here are my little garden photos at long last.

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Pinks and purples and one red one

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Lots of colour in the pots

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In the corner near the herb garden

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Geraniums and snapdragons on the kitchen window …

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… and geraniums on the unused, north-facing balcony

Wishing you a wonderful day.