Friday, 5 July 2013

Into the sun

At last, London had a weekend of sun and now, if reports are to be believed, a heat wave is coming.  Mr Flatzilla and I decided to celebrate the burgeoning sun by spending two days outside, working on our terraces. Up until now, all we’d done was painted one set of railings thanks to bad weather and empty bank accounts but pay day rolled round last Friday along with a bit of sunshine so we got going.

Our first task was to make Holly the sausage somewhere to call her own. Up until now, we’ve either had to carry her down to the street or sluice the terrace every time she did her business so Sausage Park was born. I’ve been watching various youtube videos about things called Porch Potties but the idea of shelling out vast sums of money for what was essentially a pimped up plastic box seemed nonsensical.

We already had the perfect box – an old Dilling under bed storage box from Ikea that we’d lugged over and two 25kg bags of soil so we hopped in the car to B&Q to buy a roll of turf.

The first step was to drill a load of drainage holes to stop the grass from becoming waterlogged, then we started filling with the bags of top soil. Originally, I’d planned to fill it to the top but as Mr F pointed out, this would've meant using almost 4 bags of top soil and meaning that the Sausage Park would weigh in at a staggering 100kg, or close enough making it virtually immobile. Plus, with only two bags worth, the soil came to a level that meant the turf fitted the box's width perfectly. 

And so, Sausage Park was born and Holly immediately hopped in and christened it, success!

On to the rest of the work and new purchases.Mr F grabbed sanding things, paint brushes and rail paint and got to work while I went on a flower binge in Homebase. Never did I think that I would be the type to spend my weekend wandering around garden centres and comparing different types of lavender but apparently something funny happens when you have outdoor space to call your own. £60 lighter, I'd acquired two types of lavender, a chilli plant, two veggie planters and an assortment of flowers. The lavender plants were both for inside and outside as we get an influx of flies at certain times of the day and after a quick google I discovered that they hate lavender and even though I'm not a fan myself, I dislike flies even more.

As money is tight (although not when it comes to plants, it seems), I've been scouring every website going to find a nice bistro set for the smaller terrace. We currently have a massive six person table sitting in storage, awaiting a time when we can figure out how to drag it up onto the roof but we needed something mini for the odd drink or meal outside. I became obsessed with the Soho set from John Lewis in yellow but when the red set suddenly went into the clearance sale, down from £69 to £48, I figured it would be a better choice as it wouldn't reflect the light nearly as much - there is no greater middle class problem than a bistro table that reflects too much sun as you drink your tea on a sunny Sunday morning.

So after potting, painting and unpacking, we finally have a little place to call our own sun trap (our bikes and remaining shower door that needs to go to the dump are cropped out of what you see here - that's THIS weekend).

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