The morning skies are now filled with the beautiful bee-eaters which I love. I guess that where we live must be a favourite eating place for them with all the aromatic herbs currently flowering and attracting the bees. They have a distinctive song and when I don't have a camera in my hand come swooping in the garden and when I do sit just that little be too far away for a really clear sharp photograph!!
The one and only Clematis I have in the garden is now in full flower - when I bought it I wanted a red one and asked if this was red and was told that yes, indeed, this would be red but as you can see is simply pink - pretty but not what I had hoped for - with the bright sunshine the pink gets washed out and I had wanted a much stronger colour.
I want to grow another climbing plant on one of the other walkway uprights but want something with a nice fragrance that will hit you as soon as you walk through the gate. My sister kindly gave me some money to buy a plant or plants for the garden for my birthday and I haven't actually spent it yet so I think I will go and get something soon and then I can let her know what I purchased and it will remind me of her. I also have a number of geranium cuttings from her garden which I brought back with me and which are at long last getting established and beginning to flower.
John and I were having a day at home together working our way through the to-do list of things requiring attention before Debra arrives. For this I gave up my regular trip to the coffee shop for Greek even though it is only supposed to be an hour it really puts paid to the whole morning!
Having looked at our neighbour's little bit of front garden which was rather messy with grass growing through I decided to give that a tidy and then moved on to George and Pam's front garden which was also looking a bit of a state and gave that a bit of a tidy too before tackling our own jobs.
Anyway This job took a little longer than it should have done because John had built a removable decked area to be placed in front of the barbeque and when he came to lay it he realised that he had put the top pieces of wood on the wrong side of the framework so they had to come off, be turned over, sanded and stained whilst I was doing the decking.
The wood looks so much better once it has been stained and to be fair we haven't done it for two years so it has done very well. We put the round table and chairs which used to be outside the kitchen on the deck - this furniture has seen better days but will do for another season and we don't actually use that decking very often so it is fine there for the timebeing. One more job that can be ticked off of the list!!! Clearly the imminent arrival of a guest concentrates the mind!
So back to the aforementioned removable decking... in front of the barbeque we had a shingled area which was ok but attracted weeds and was quite uneven underfoot and John still has the big old Cyprus-style barbeque which he uses for souvla which he stands on the shingle and which could be a bit precarious so he decided that, as he had quite a bit of wood to use up, he would build a decking area which could be lifted up and moved if required.
We got the wood stained and the area leveled and the framed bedded in and screwed all the planks along the top and there is is! I think it looks great and sets the barbeque off nicely - that just needs a quick coat of masonry paint where it has not be tiled and one more job can be ticked off.
I noticed that the front garden had got a bit overgrown as the last couple of days have seen things go wild in the aisles. I decided to give the lavender a quick snip and then ended up spending a good hour or so chopping back and filling a blooming great bucket into the bargain! The ladder is not a permanent feature in the garden but has to remain until the plumber comes next week by which time I may have grown a climber up it if John isn't careful!!
We actually got around to taking the pool cover outside and giving it a clean this morning so that John was happy to start using it again and hopefully by doing so it will ensure that the water is reasonable should Debra fancy a dip! Whilst the cover was being unused during the pool project it had got covered in dust and bits and bobs and John did not want this getting into the pool.
The cats love it when we spend the day at home and are never very far away but it does mean that they start mithering us early for their tea and that means will chance their paws again a bit later for seconds. We try and make them wait for as long as possible and clearly in the photograph Charlie and Boris have got bored with the waiting and are beating the shit out of one another - Minnie is staring long and hard at the fridge door and Chivers is there because the other three are but he isn't entirely sure why!!!