Melanie’s August Monthly News

Welcome to Melanie’s August Monthly News and this month we are starting things off a little differently. A very dear friend of ours passed away on Sunday from Cancer. I am doing the race for life on September 12th and am running for Anne. I have known Anne and her family for many years and I can鈥檛 imagine what her family are going through, we feel just awful, but I will try my utmost to raise some well deserved funds for this awful disease. My race or fundraising sadly hasn’t been able to save Anne but it might save someone else鈥檚 precious family member. If you feel able to give a little, please do. The link is below.

https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/page/melanies-race-for-life-2882

Melanie's August Monthly News

Garden Renovations – Again!

We have had more fencing done so there has been a lot more garden renovations. When you start tidying areas, the other areas that have sat unkempt for a long time, really start to stand out and look neglected. The area in front of the studio looked ok……. but I felt it needed a little TLC. So the photo below is before….

Melanie's August Monthly News

…and the photo below is after! I staggered both the sleepers, filled them with soil and planted some plants. Three pretty coloured Heuchera’s which should add a splash of colour through the year, a geranium and some woodland plants. Its not all that sunny this side of the hedge, there used to be tall Sycamore trees that sadly died so we just have the stumps and plenty of ivy now.

Garden Renovation

The other side of the stumps, above that area on the lawn side, is brighter and sunnier. It has been sorely neglected with ivy and grass having taken over. The photo below shows the starting point….

Melanie's August Monthly News busy in the garden

The photo below shows the area planted up. We had an old sleeper not being used so I added that as an edge, flattened out the soil, dug out the weeds and tied back some plants. I then visited to our local plant nursery with a gardener pal of mine. He helped me choose some plants, so we have some more Heuchera’s, an Astelia, Tulbaghia Violacea and a Tanacetum Volgare. I’ll add some close up photos below.

tidy garden all planted

Here are a few close up photos of the plants if you are interested in seeing them. It’s great to plant up this time of year as you end up choosing plants that are still flowering. It does give you a longer flowering season. I may add to the bed with summer flowering plants but I will see how it is all looking next year.

Osteospermum
Melanie's August Monthly News - Tanacetum Volgare
Tanacetum Volgare

The next stage of the fencing

So finally the fencing between us and our neighbour is complete. I have been trying to find a before photo from this year. The only one I could find was one where the chicken run was put there out of the way as a temporary measure. However you can see how old the fence was, it was being supported by posts either side so it didn’t collapse!

Fence from earlier this year

So here is the fence all completed with the addition of the picnic bench. I have yet to plant up some of the grasses I have bought so its not fully completed, but it looks tidy. I’ll post a pic next month when it has naturalised a little.

New fence!

Melanie’s August Monthly News – Live Moth Trap!

Our friend Steve came to visit for the Bank Holiday weekend which was lovely. We have known him since we were in our early 20’s and went to art college with him. He has recently bought a live moth trap and studies different types of moths. So he bought it with him when he came to stay. I took a photo of it when we set it up in the bottom of the garden. We did two days … or two nights or moth catching, photographed them and then released them, hiding them in our log piles. We have plenty of hiding places for wildlife at the bottom of the garden.

Moth trap

I will add a few photos of our favourite ones below. They are incredible to see close up. The first was our favourite moth, so camouflaged especially when on the tree bark. We love his little stripy legs.

Moth

This was a hilarious photo that was less about identifying moths, but more about how close you could get to see his face. We all said he looked a little like a yellow gremlin.

Melanie's August Monthly News Funny moth

These two were very camouflaged. I was only using my iPhone to take photos. I think if I was doing this more often i’d have to invest in a lens for the big camera. We did try to take some with the SLR, but it was just too far away. Taking photos of artwork is a completely different kettle of fish to macro photography!

Two Moths

A very pretty moth that could be mistaken for a butterfly. It flew straight up into the Buddleia which was a great place to take a pic before he vanished.

Beautiful moth

Another moth in the undergrowth

Melanie's August Monthly News moth

And possibly my favourite of all… a beetle managed to get in there! Isn’t he amazing! All in all, it was a lot of fun. Finding out what goes on in our garden over night when we are all fast asleep was brilliant!

Beetle

Bosherton Lily Ponds

We took Steve to Bosherton Lily ponds in Pembrokeshire for a day out, it was a beautiful sunny day and we took many lovely photos. I have added a few below. We have visited before and have added photos on our blog previously, however the beauty never ceases to amaze us. Have a look on the Bosherton National Trust website about the area, if you are nearby it’s well worth a visit.

Melanie
Bosherton Ponds
Melanie's August Monthly News - Lily and the lily ponds
The lily ponds

Melanie’s August Monthly News – Paddle boarding

My friend mentioned during the summer that she wanted to try paddle boarding and I have always wanted to have a go. So at the start of August we headed down to Llys y Fran lake where they hire out boards and wetsuits and – had a go! We decided not to have any tuition, we felt that we could probably pick it up as we went along. We had a quick run down of how to use the board and paddle from the lovely lady who set us up with our equipment, and having viewed a few you tube tutorials, off we went!

Unfortunately the wind was fairly strong that day, so having set off on our knees, it took all of our strength to paddle across the lake to get to a more sheltered spot to see if we could stand up. We used the waters edge to help give us confidence and we were soon standing and paddling. The most ironic thing about the day was that the safely boat would patrol making sure that we were ok… but the wake of the boat toppled us quite a few times. Thankfully I never fell in, I just landed on my knees on the board, but once I was aware of what was going to happen… I always watched out for that wave and got down on the board quickly. I’m sure with more practice and experience you can learn to ride out the waves as they say!

We had a lot of fun and having survived two hours without falling in, I felt very pleased with myself. My running friends have now booked a session locally to us and so we are heading out on Sunday. I wonder if I will be as lucky not take a fall in the water next time?!

Paddle boarding
Melanie's August Monthly News - Melanie Paddle boarding
Melanie standing on a paddle board!

Pet Portrait Oil of Max & Wallace

I took a video of both Max and Wallace prior to packing when the portraits were framed and ready to go. I have added them below, only short videos, but I hope they show how beautiful both paintings are. Nicholas has excelled with them, they are just stunning. We hope you enjoy the videos!

We hope you have enjoyed reading Melanie’s August Monthly News. If you would like to catch up with last months blog post, hop on over to our Melanie’s July Monthly News. We love to hear from our readers so leave us a comment below if there is something you would like us to add to our news each month. Feedback always welcome!

Why not sign up to our Monthly newsletter accessible at the bottom of our website which comes out on the 1st of each month. Catch up on news from our Art Studio! Please don鈥檛 forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel too, follow our Instagram @petportraitartists and Facebook @petportraitartists . You are more than welcome to comment below too, we love hearing from our readers!

3 Comments

  • Kathleen Stanton September 7, 2021 at 7:14 am

    Wonderful changes in the garden, you truly do have a sense of design! I love landscape gardening and so am always interested in what others are doing with their land. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • petportraitartist September 7, 2021 at 9:56 am

      Hi Kathleen,
      Lovely to hear from you, I hope that you are well. So glad you enjoyed our blog this month 馃檪 Seeing before and afters are always fun, I love looking at other peoples gardens and homes when they have made improvements. It’s great fun to watch isn’t it. The garden has been a lot of work this year, extremely exhausting at times, I cant quite belive we have done so much out there, but it really will make a difference. Only a few more jobs to do, some tidying and we can then relax. As that what gardens are meant to be all about! 馃檪
      Melanie x

      Reply
  • Melanie鈥檚 September Monthly News - Melanie & Nicholas Pet Portraits October 1, 2021 at 2:15 pm

    […] Melanie’s September Monthly News. If you missed last months blog post, why not visit our Melanie’s August Monthly News and catch up! we hope to see you here next month – keep well and safe […]

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