The front of our house isn’t finished yet and I’ve had a change of mind about what I’m going to do with it since writing this post here. Since then I’ve bought an old marquise, a French glass porch, and I’ve been spent some time refurbishing it. It needed a professional to put it up outside the front of the house, and the putty now needs to dry prior to another coat of paint. So I’ll post again towards the end of the summer when it’s completely painted, I just couldn’t resist sharing now.
Here is the house when we moved in…..
…..and here is the main entrance now….
Here is a better shot of the lavender colour I painted it……
As you can see it was damaged as it was put up. The colour is unusual, but I think it compliments the grey of the ancient stone really well; it brings out a mauve hue don’t you think?
You can see the Art NouFaux stained glass that I recently finished (how I did that is all here). I’m really pleased how this has turned out and think it’s compliments the marquise really well.
I’ve added this period doorbell….
as well as the brass door handle and iron house number. If you look back in the original photo you can see that the door handle was a plain white and I managed to find this brass one which adds a lot more character. The house number is attached with no more nails. The fleur de lys design goes with the art noufaux and period of the house I think.
The doormat is just a simple rubber one that I settled on instead of the iron one I originally wanted. I saw it in a shop and it did the trick for a fraction of the price without the worry of rust.
Apart from the marquise I’ll be painting the garage doors in the lavender, as well as an external light to hang from the porch.
Outside the main door is this twirling topiary, which I think is so French. In fact these are the second set I’ve bought. My first was a set of topiary with two ball shapes. One of them was snapped in half by last year’s snow, then one of the others were burnt, literallly in parts, when we went away over the summer vacation last year. There was a heatwave here in France and the ball on top died. I ended up cutting that off and it’s now in its own seperate pot; I hope to shape it as it continues grow (perhaps I should take the label from that pot? 😳 😆 ).
Just before we moved in on the 20th December 2017 there was a Christmas fête here in our village and we went as a family. I took a photo of the house and it looked all sad and gloomy; I was already imagining how it would look the next Christmas. Lights in topiary were part of the Christmas decor I wanted to introduce. So when the previous topiary was damaged by the weather I wasn’t happy. When it was damaged again…..I saw it as an opportunity!
To be honest I’d always wanted the twirling ones, but they’re expense had put me off. I’d decided to throw caution to the wind and hope that they would fare better. We’re through another winter and so far they’re doing well.
At the moment the topiary are pared with these standard bushes and roses. My plan is to have some seasonal pots that I change in keeping with the year.
I’ve also been working on the planting outside of the house too, with more or less success. It’s amazing what a difference this makes. Whereas before it was very plain, with just a few hydrangea at the end of the house this is what it looks like now…
Not everything I saw in bloom yet, so you don’t get the full effect, but you can get the idea.
The hydrangea really grows well when it’s in flowering and has an ever increasing patch of daffodils surrounding it in the early spring – unfortunately I didn’t take a photo this year, but I’ll be sure to take a photo of the hydra again when it’s in bloom.
Under the dining room window I’ve planted this Camilia which has a pink flower. This year I hope to prune it so it fills out as it’s a little tall and spindly so far.
Next to them is, I think, a marguerite daisy which is on the verge of coming into it’s own. I chopped a lot back a few days ago and it’s looking a little sad still.
The other thing that I’ve planted were two Virginia Creepers, either side of the house. They’d just started to climb the walls last year, as you can see from the image above). However the second one has been cut off in its prime!
The village is very clean and the gardens well maintained and a few weeks back I noticed that early spring had brought weeds as well as daffodils. I’d deweeded my boxes, but not the edges of the step area or pavement and intended to come back and do them too. However they’d been removed, evidently by our villages groundspeople, and I was delighted. However when I spotted the lopped off Virginia Creeper I realised that that must have been culled too!
The creeper is what determined how I’d paint the marquise. As it will go from green to red I was wary of a colour clash and too much of a colour blend. I’m hoping the lavender will tone in nicely.
I intend to let the creeper grow to the bottom of the first floor or top windows to keep it in order and wait with anticipation when it’s in its glory. I love Autumn and it will be a wonderful sight!
As you can see I’ve mainly planted in grey pots, to give uniformity. The large, rectangular ones were my way of avoiding digging out paving slabs to create beds. In the centre is a rectangular box with a white blooming flower and a heather like flower….
I’m really not a gardner and can’t tell you what the name of the white one is, but it’s doing well. The heather flower is doing ok, but I’m aware that at some stage I may have to move it elsewhere as the white expands and takes up a lot of room.
These heather flowers are really popularity in France and people plant them in solid masses in banks. I love lavender (you could probably guess that from my interior colour schemes) and it was my attempt at recreating that look in a shadowy area. Alas for me they didn’t take well, so I’ve moved them out the back. Here’s what’s taking there place….
Just a long shot of my wisteria peeping through – it’s been there since we moved in, but I love it!
I’ve got more to do at the front, so when the marquise is painted and the flowers are in bloom I’ll post again.
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