Churches in Sussex (2nd day trip)

If you read my previous blog post, Visiting Churches in Sussex (day 1), you will know that I am doing day trips to Sussex in search of the little churches often found in woodland, at the end of lanes, in hamlets or villages – steeped in history.  I’ve focused on Sussex as it’s not too far to travel by car and it’s a beautiful county.

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A dull & drizzly summer's day in my three square feet of outdoor space

Hi All.  Apologies for the lack of blog posts in the last week or so.  My younger son, who lives in Sydney arrived back in London last week for a week's visit and it's been full-on since he arrived. It's wonderful to have him home though briefly and I'm pleased that up until today, the weather has been excellent. It's drizzly and dull today but certainly not cold (very muggy).  I am amazed how my three square feet of outdoor space can still create an impact today despite the lack of sunshine.  Also, some of the plants have finished flowering and some are yet to flower so you there is always something new to see.

London has been basking in high temperatures recently and the warmth and sunshine have certainly helped the gardens. However we have had little or no rain so the parks are expanses of dry grass and we have to water our gardens every day. No hosepipe ban threatened yet thank goodness. 

As those of you who have been following my blog, my flat is on the first floor and I have no share or access to the back garden, just the tiny space outside my back door and the steps leading down to the garden belonging to the flat below. However this limited space provides me with a lot of pleasure turning it into a bank of colour.  The plants on the steps obviously grow towards the light so I do lose a lot of the impact of them, especially the trailers, unless I go down to the garden and look up. But my neighbours downstairs can appreciate it so it serves both flats!!

When I work on my tiny outdoor space, I use the same design principles that I use indoors. It's important to create "rooms" or areas of interest in your outdoor space with focal points. I learnt when I studied floristry that monotones are more effective (or shades of the same colour).  I have picked a colour palette for my outdoor space of blue, purple, mauve and pink which are all very similar tones and this palette has quite an effect on my very limited outdoor space. I then introduced a gentle orange as a contrast but complementary colour.

I'm a huge fan of blue-based colours, in particular purple and its hues.  Years ago I had my colours done by one of those colour consultants and I'm a 'Summer' so should wear blue based colours i.e. cool tones. I remember the consultant took ages to decide between Spring or Summer as a lot of blondes are Spring.  It seems I've transferred my cool blue-based colours into my interior and exterior decoration, but certainly not deliberately.  In fact I really dislike yellow-based colours; they really jar with me. For example, I love blue-based red but not a tomato red; I love emerald green but not olive green.

Here is a selection of photos I took this morning in the drizzle.  It was a joy to see so much colour.

In my kitchen I also have a bay with two windows.  I've had lavender in the window boxes in the past and last year I grew basil which reached about three feet tall. I had so much basil I ended up freezing it and it lasted most of the winter.  This year I bought Cornflower and Nigella seeds from Petersham Nurseries thinking that they wouldn't grow too tall. Well, the photo below says it all. The cornflowers are nearly three feet tall and the Nigella, still to flower, is over a foot tall.  I am hoping the NIgella will produce its beautiful soft blue flowers while the Cornflowers are still in flower but I may be disappointed. 

I'd love to hear about your outside space and if limited, how you maximise it.  Are you a blue-based or yellow-based person?  What colour palette do you have in your garden?  Is it a reflection of what you have inside? Do let me know as I'm always keen to hear from my readers.  I'd also love to get some feedback from you as to what topics you'd like me to cover in my blog.


If you’re working on your own home decorating project, either internally or externally and looking for some inspiration and help, please get in touch; I offer an initial free consultation.