I have a vice.
In fact I think I have several, but let's forget about the others.
This particular addiction is for miniature things.
I don't know where it started, because I didn't have a doll's house when I was little, but I think Elizabeth Goudge and 'the little things' were partly responsible - how I longed for Queen Mab's coach! And then there were tray gardens.
What could be more perfect than a tray garden, with a small mirror as a pond, and paths wherever you wanted them, and tiny flowers and trees - and - and - and...
Welcome to a different world.
I suggested that we do a tray garden workshop with the kids at Beltra Country Market, and on the back of it, we've also introduced tray gardens as a new class at Beltra Show which takes place on the first Saturday of September.
Oh what fun, what happiness!
Obviously it required a serious practice run at home beforehand!
What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon? And who better to help me than my lovely wwoofers, the Chico Cavalry!
They have - sadly - now sped over the hill whence they came, blowing their trumpets triumphantly to mark the wonderful things they achieved during their stay! A little moon garden has now replaced a rather sad and weedy section of the flower garden, with the guts of a pergola at one end, for which I am enormously grateful and will always remember them, but I hope they will remember their last Sunday with us when we spent a blissful afternoon making a tray garden as a centrepiece for the workshop.
I love it so much, I want to move in.
I hope you like it too.
You might want to take a bite of Alice's mushroom first.
This was before the fairy and solar lights were added.
The lily pond and sculpture. The goldfish is hiding under the lily pad.
Tea on the terrace
The dovecote amidst the blossom trees
On reflection, we could have made the toolshed a tad higher!. But who cares? It is properly constructed from stone and slate!
Surprise, surprise, the deckchair in the flower garden has already been bagged! No doubt its occupant is keeping a beady eye on the dovecote.
A dove's eye view of the kitchen garden and its little central pond. The cabbages are coming on well and there's a bumper crop of carrots.
The vegetable garden after the installation of the solar and fairy lights. There's a garden fork in the cabbage patch, if you feel like doing any weeding.
Looking towards the conservatory from the sculpture and the lily pond.
Fancy a drink on the terrace after a long hard day?
There's a bouquet of roses on the table for you, and please help yourself to the Licorice Allsorts.
Looking towards the flower garden from the stream. This was before the stream ponds were planted with water lilies, and before the solar lights were installed along all the paths.
When that happens, there is no hope of recovery.