You know when something horrible is happening, like a visit to the gynaecologist, and you mentally put yourself in your happy place? Well this is mine. It’s my back yard, and it’s extra special now with the recent addition of some new garden chairs. After having sat on the step all these years, Mr. B and I treated ourselves for Christmas to these rather elegant new garden chairs. They have completely changed the way we use this area, and it seems new somehow. I dream of years of lounging in the garden. Let me dream.
Early last year we triumphantly brought home two vintage timber ‘mortar and pestle’ type objects, used for grinding grain in Africa, we were told. We had stumbled across the first and only warehouse sale of Fenton & Fenton, a hip and bohemian home wares / furniture store. I’d like to say that I’m at the cutting edge of every design event in my local area, but it was just luck. It’s what you do with luck that counts. We turned them upside down and have been using them as stools / side tables. I love the contrast of the old, decrepit timber and the contemporary lines of the stunning new chairs.
This backyard has been a labour of love over the 16 years we’ve lived here. It belongs to the house we actually live in, not my veggie garden backyard next door. When we moved in it was all cracked concrete and brick paving, with a big old washing line, a derelict tin shed and an ancient grapevine supported on rickety old scaffolding posts covering half of it.
These days it’s a tiny, lush oasis in the midst of the crowded workers cottages and narrow streets of our inner city suburb. Many of the plants have been with us for years, or inherited or gifted by friends and neighbours. Almost all are in pots. The lush bamboo screening the back wall was bought from the Botanic Gardens plant sale, just a stick in a pot, when we first arrived in Australia in 1997. A neighbour from up the road had 2 olive trees too many for her place and we snapped them up. The largest palm, a Strelitzia Nicolai / giant bird of paradise was adopted from out next door neighbours when they first moved in and re-did their front garden. It’s massive now. You should have seen the palaver when we re-potted it last year!
We have built this place organically, over many years. There were no designer plans or instant transformations. We created this ourselves, and I love it the more for that. I love sitting out here, under the shady tree. It’s my happy place.
Originally posted 07/02/2014