Sunday, 1 July 2018


What?? No Room For More Plants!
This day has been coming for years. Allen started to threaten a moratorium on new colourful plants in the garden a long time ago, but this summer, Kelly, our gardening guru, put her foot down too. Jill, of course, pointed out an open spot 
beside the driveway hoping for a satisfying trip to the
 half price sales at the local nurseries.
Kelly scratched the surface with her hoe 
to prove that there was no root room left!
Jill went to the nurseries anyway, but came back 
with this colourful Mexican Rooster instead.
See how well it sets off Allen's eagle. The rabbits love it too!
More colour was needed though, so she went back and picked up these newly caught fish for the other side!

This frog on the dock now has some competition.



Monday, 2 April 2018


If you follow this blog, you’ll know that last year, about this time, we gave up on our old lawn and had sod installed. 
The new lawn had a glorious spring and summer, a so-so fall and a dreadful rainy winter. What we thought would last a lifetime fell victim to the same rain and tide saturation and began to slip into the river….just like the Old Lawn!
Another flurry of phone calls from Mexico, 
another round of landscapers coming to assess the scene….
and here is the tale of what we settled on.
The first difference is that this Lawn is rooted 

in a thick layer of gravel for better drainage.

Before anything new could be put in place, the Old Lawn 
(or what was left of it) came up and was carted away.

And then the gravel went down over the mud.

More gravel is wheelbarrowed to the yard...
....and then gets levelled, creating a new base.

All is now ready....
 for this!

 It must be the new grass!

It gets carefully measured....
rolled out....
trimmed some more....
 and fitted into place.

Wondering what these nails are for....
we see them hammered into the grass.... 
and realize that this Lawn is not going anywhere!

After some tidying up....
the new Lawn is ready for its Photo!
What do you think? Cora reports that so far, guests like it
....and no one is put off by the fact that it's not really REAL!

Sunday, 31 December 2017


In December, we added a couple of new things to the Duck Inn to celebrate the end of another year. Dave (our contractor who has created many parts of the cottages) and his girlfriend Betty (our painter) replaced our old laminated PARKING signs with this lovely new piece of art.
Dave is quick to point out that he was not aiming for a perfect oval when he cut out the background....he actually wanted a duck egg shape, which we think he achieved!
The Duck started as a bit of 3D garden art, propped up in a planter. Betty rescued it and restored  its colours.

Those of you who have stayed in Willow Cottage have enjoyed building fires in the wood fireplace for years. 
In 2017, as we all got older and tired of splitting logs, slicing cedar shakes into shingles, carrying wood up the stairs and ashes down, we made the decision to SWITCH TO GAS
.....just in time for Christmas.
 We wanted a new fireplace that resembled the old wood one as much as possible, so it took a long time to find the perfect substitute. We think this one sets just the right tone,
 and guests love the comforting heat it radiates. 
As an added bonus, it has a remote control.
Allen's heron is happy beside it and wishes you all

Thursday, 24 August 2017


Back in 1996, the Willow Cottage balcony looked like this....and we looked a lot younger!
To provide some shade, we went through many umbrellas....some vanished.....blown away in winter storms
There was no hint of ivy on the staircase then!
 But we all knew there was no stopping its growth 
and it soon began to creep up
                       Once it started to cover the shade awning,
 Allen and Henk got out the serious garden tools.
And cut it down!
We added some curtains to create shade.
And are enjoying the new view
Cora and I love to put favourite sayings on the office bulletin board and we think this little tale of the balcony changing back to a new version of its old self is a small example of what T.S. Eliott meant in this maxim!


Sunday, 9 July 2017


Allen wanted his in a spot where all sides of it could be seen!
Even the little fish get their moment in the sun.
 It has a fierce end....where the birds are expected to nest.
And a peaceful one, which is my favourite.

Cora chose to hang hers in the old cherry tree, 
where it is almost dwarfed by all the greenery around it.
But it looks pretty content in these closeups
 The lucky birds that choose to make it home 
will have first choice of the cherries!

 And our new lawn is flourishing, except for this boggy corner
 where the grass really had no chance.
Allen and Cora decided that it would make a good place 
to display all this driftwood that hasn't been carved yet!
 Perhaps someone will turn this piece into a companion for the Big Boned Gal.
Or sculpt a new creature from this one!
What do you see in it?


Wednesday, 31 May 2017


And this year we brought two!
This one is Allen's birthday present....a bit of Monty Python
This sweet one is for Cora, who endured one of the worst winters on the river while we enjoyed the sun in La Paz
We don't have hanging spots for these yet,
 but they will join the others in our garden.
This Painted Lady
hangs in a secluded spot next to our driveway.
The birds love her.
This Hacienda is happy among the wisteria and clematis 
in the pergola where I park my car. 
I see a nesting pair flit in and out....will there be babies?
The Cheshire Cat loves the Willow Tree
 This fanciful Duck Inn which Allen hung in the Canoe Shelter
has it's own Mexican Palomas on the porch!

The birdhouses are made by our La Paz friends, 
Judy and Alex.
He builds them, she does the painting....and of course they have dozens in their charming garden. Judy created this collage of some that have birds nesting happily inside.