The Pink Button Tree

The Pink Button Tree: February 2014

Friday, 28 February 2014

February in our courtyard garden

Over the past few weeks I've been dreaming about our garden and planning what I'm going to grow this year. Our outside space is a shady courtyard garden, it's a unique urban space sheltered by the wind and our own peaceful haven in the city.

At this time of the year I enjoy noticing the changes occurring in our courtyard. The light levels improve, there are new visitors popping by to use our space, and there are small buds forming across some of our plants, all signalling the garden waking up from its winter slumber. It has been a really wet winter so our space has been really damp and grey. I didn't get round to planting bulbs last autumn so our space has been looking in need of some love.

Our courtyard is rather shady making growing plants sometimes a real challenge. I'm gradually learning what does well and not so well in our urban garden. Over the years I've had many gardening disasters but also some great successes. This year I'm going to embrace our space and try again to make our garden productive and a fantastic space to spend time in.

I enjoy growing flowers and herbs in containers and pots and always try new things each year to see if they will work. I've been longing for a dry weekend to get out in our courtyard and to start making our space look more spring-like. Last Saturday that moment arrived! I took the opportunity to enjoy a rare dry morning in our courtyard. The weather was sunny and warm, perfect conditions to get outside in the fresh air and sort out our space. I took a trip to our local garden centre and picked up some primroses, daffodils and hyacinths to add to our window boxes and pots in our garden.

I came back with a little more than planned! I bought a few new tools, some brand new herbs to plant out, two types of potatoes, a few packets of seeds and some new compost.

On Saturday I had a limited window of time so I decided to focus on planting up our window boxes with primroses and daffodils

and adding the other flowers to a few pots by our back door creating an instant change to our garden.

I'd forgotten how therapeutic getting out in the fresh air and planting things can be. With months of being inside and having to ignore our outside space, the chance to get out in the garden to tidy up and plant flowers made me feel more alive.

Seeing our window boxes with the bright pink and yellow primroses perks me up every morning and gives me a spring in my step.

Over the next few weeks I'm going to plant some seeds and prepare the potatoes ready to plant, I'll let you know how I get on and keep you updated with the progress of our space.

Today is the last day of February and the last day of winter! Spring is moments away. If you have chance this weekend why don't you try growing something. Whether it is a small pot of seeds on a warm sunny windowsill, or a window box with a few herbs or flowers, growing something however small will help you welcome in spring and say goodbye to the winter blues, bringing new life to your space.

Let me know how you get on, I'd love to know what you are planning to grow this year.

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Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Embracing the year so far

We are nearing the end of February, the evenings are getting lighter and blossom is appearing on the trees. The year is already passing by at speed and spring appears to be on its way. After weeks of rain and storms things seem to be calming with more frequent sunny and dry days brightening the week.

The past two months I've been using the time for reflection and for planning the year ahead. The month has been busy and I've tried hard to embrace the year and everything that has arisen so far.

I've been...


At the end of January Mr C and I took a refreshing holiday away to the Yorkshire Dales, our first holiday away since May last year. We certainly needed it and forgot how good it was to escape for a week away. We had a lovely trip and stayed in a converted barn with our close friends. We enjoyed days out stomping in the countryside, seeing waterfalls, caves, amazing landscapes and pretty towns. Afternoons of drinking tea, eating cake, reading books and snuggling next to the log burner became a regular routine.


We've had some work done in our little flat turning the place into a building site and a dusty mess. Luckily most of the work was completed while we were away on holiday but we had a few days of cleaning our home top to bottom to get everything back together. Despite the building work being really disruptive I found huge positives in amongst the mess. It was the perfect time to do a huge spring clean, time to assess what we own, a chance to get rid of the old and give to charity, a time to make space and plan changes to our home.

Taking time to assess what we own and cleaning our home top to bottom was so therapeutic. We cleaned our windows, tidied through cupboards and storage boxes and reviewed our book collection, making our home feel fresh again with space to move. The space we created will not immediately be filled with new things, we want some space to breathe and a space to slowly add to as we find new pieces we love.

With our house tidying and planning came a refresh and a brand new and improved space for me to sew and make. I'll tell you more over the next week but I'm delighted to have a really special place in our home to dedicate to my passions and have space to create. Having the space has enabled me to get stuck in with some making and planning projects for the year.


I've been picking up work in progress projects and sewing together rows of patchwork for my new cushion cover...

and cutting out triangles and piecing them together for the back of the cushion...

and then packing up! My sewing machine decided that it needed a service so while I'm waiting for my sewing machine to be fixed I've been busy making more crochet granny squares for my blanket.


I've been busy catching up with special friends over brunches, visits, tea and cake, and long distance Facetime catch ups. Some of these catch ups haven't happened for years, others months and some weeks. However long our time apart our friendship bonds are still strong and taking time to catch up made me so very grateful for the friends in my life and the brightness, warmth and closeness they bring.


Its been a month of receiving lovely pieces of post and parcels. A few weeks ago I received a long awaited crochet book as a late Christmas gift, and last week I treated myself to a few new patchwork books. The books are already inspiring me for my next quilt and crochet projects.

I've mentioned before about how much I love receiving post. This month I've been so lucky to receive two beautifully hand written thank you cards bringing with them warm words and kindness, receiving them made my day!


My word Embrace has been at the forefront of many things over the past two months. It's surprising how many things can happen in the space of two months that I've looked to my word for direction and guidance for. I've embraced unexpected changes and embraced challenges that have arisen so far. I'm embracing the moments and embracing reflection by keeping up to date with my Project Life album and my diaries. I'm embracing the now, embracing the space and embracing positivity. I'm loving this project and I'm feeling more connection to my word too.

I hope you have had a good's time to wave goodbye to the wet and stormy months, and look forward to welcoming in the clear skies and calmer weather ahead.

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