To celebrate I weeded and swept the little patio at the back of my studio . . . we've put our 10th Wedding Anniversary Adirondack chairs there, and although they are nearly 10 years old (OMG! I've just worked that out – crikey!) they look lovely and mellow like driftwood (mmm? do Cliff and I look a bit like that too!).
So, I was standing back and admiring my bit of garden 'house-work' and I noticed that the big planter was looking pretty good too . . .
It's been there for three years now, but in March (when we had that teeny taster week of nice weather before the rains of biblical proportions) I was inspired to replant it; I popped along to my favourite local nursery and selected some plants that would look good against the lead grey.
I chose two Heucheras, Actaea Simplex 'Black Negligee' and a pretty Orange flowered trailing Potentilla. The New Zealand Flax was already in the container (I was amazed that it survived the harsh winter and -16C) and I added some plants I already had around the garden – a dark leaved trailing Sedum, a bronze Sedge and a lovely orange flowered poppy, Papaver Atlanticum.
I wasn't thinking about the Olympics when I planted it, but looking at it today in the sunshine it looks like a boiling cauldron of fire . . . very apt for the eve of London 2012.
Did you notice that it's not a real lead cistern?
It's actually an old green plastic water butt that sprung a leak . . . so I cut the top section off and painted it. I've found the photos I took in 2009, so here's how it was done . . .
I used external paint leftover from painting the walls of the house (luckily we had cream and black, so I could mix various shades of grey).
Then I sketched a design in pencil and painted a trompe-l'oeil moulded pattern on one side.
Here's a detail of the central flower . . . you can see the brushwork is quite loose, but it works from a distance.
It's stood outside for three years and amazingly the paint hasn't peeled at all! and I think the new plants make it look even better.
The sun's still out, I'm now going to make the left-over moussaka from last night's supper into pasties for a picnic.
Enjoy the sun and enjoy the Olympics (or avoid them if they're not your thing) who's going to light the cauldron?