Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically and to Permaculture principles, which we share with Chickens, Cats and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I am a Master Composter and have spent more than a decade as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council.
I'm a self employed Environmental Educator so I run workshops and events where I talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. I also run crafts workshops and Forest School/outdoor play sessions in our wood.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Monday 29 April 2013

Outdoor lighting, keeping the bugs away and and more plans.

With the nicer weather we have had recently, I want to sit outside in the garden a bit more. One of the problems with having a lot of land to look after ( and not a lot of income to do it on!) is that we very rarely get the time to just sit and stare and enjoy the loveliness of it all

So often it is easy only to see the jobs piling up and not see the flowers blooming or hear the bird songs. I have written about this in the past on a number of occasions but, as we get older, the jobs take longer! One thing both Compostman and I do try to do, is to stop for a tea or coffee break together, mid morning and mid afternoon. If the weather is good we try to sit down in the garden or on the bench at the edge of the wood. As the year progresses we all often like to sit outside in the evening, as well. We try then to simply enjoy the moment and NOT focus on all the jobs!

Our old garden furniture is getting very tatty and chewed up by Hornets (yes, really!) It would be nice to have somewhere comfortable to sit, out in the sunshine.. It would be so nice to have a decent set of garden furniture to use outside, maybe so we could even eat al fresco, once in a while ( if the weather gods co operate in 2013, that is!) Maybe not made of wood this time, though. As you know from my post last week I am also considering resin wicker furniture, as it will last a long time and I can clean the chicken poo off it.

One of the things I have talked about recently is that this year we will finally sort out the patio. I have a mental image of how it could be, and the thought of a new patio is spurring me on, in my on going search for possible new garden furniture (I am still looking and adding stuff to my Pinterest board!) I have grown some scented patio plants especially to go out around the new seating area (when it is eventually completed.) I lived in hope that I might get a couple of patio Olive trees for my birthday, even (I didn't)

Apart from furniture though,  we also need to replace various outdoor lighting around the garden. We use lots of solar lights around the garden and wood to mark paths and edges, but the wet weather of 2012 seems to have caused them all to die.  We kept a few useful bits (the spikes, especially, looked useful) and the rest has gone to the Household Recycling Site to have their components recycled according to WEEE regulations.

So I need some more solar lights and I also need some more Citronella candles to keep away the bugs - I react very badly indeed if I am bitten and I don't want my enjoyment spoiled by a Blandford Fly or Mosquito bite. I found some nice, large candles on the John Lewis website (a business I have used before, along with Waitrose) and I also spotted some  very pretty multicoloured solar fairy lights, suitable for outdoors and ideal for draping around a wooden gazebo structure, like this one at Garden Organic or even to decorate an outdoor tree for Christmas.

Now we "just" need to decide how how much bigger to make the patio, what alterations to make to the layout and then dig it all up and re-lay the patio slabs. We actually spent a fair bit of time today discussing what we would like to do/have done. We will use the JCB to do the digging, although I may find some one from outside to do the slab laying, thus protecting my bad back from more injury :-)

Then, if I ever get time to sit down, I can enjoy the view of the garden!

Disclaimer - I am writing a series of posts about my plans and hopes for the garden redesign - this post features a paid link to a company I already use. As always the words I write are my own and are my honest opinions.


  1. This sounds like it is going to be such a peaceful, beautiful place! I am wanting to do a patio one day just outside our french doors. I think our doggies and kitties would love it, too!

  2. I hope so Lana - the patio we have is ok, but the weeds grow up between the slabs and they are a bit uneven now - I want a better one!

  3. This sounds like it's attending to be such a peaceful, nice place! I'm desperate to do a area in some unspecified time in the future simply outside our French doors.


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