Thursday, 19 August 2010

A tour of Shangri-La Farm!

As promised, I am now ready to take you on a whistlestop tour of our Shangri-La Farm! We have not officially named it this as there has been a few negative reactions. It was a bit of a joke to start with but I like it and so do lots of my loyal readers, so we will just wait and see...

So this is the bungalow, on the right handside as you come through the gates. The door to the right is supposed to be the front door but the other door (with all the potted plants outside) is the one that gets used all the time as it leads into the kitchen/living room.
 Opposite the bungalow, on the left as you come through the gates, is our barn. Impressive eh? We have just ordered a new roof for it as it needs a big dose of TLC. There is a greenhouse attached to one side. 
That square thing under the blue tarpaulin is an ancient Safe that we found inside the barn, it is over 100 years old and quite ornate (and empty!). It is so heavy that Felix and Jonathan could only manage to get it just outside (they used the method the Egyptians used to build their pyramids!) and no further, and I think that is where it will have to stay!
Here is the greenhouse. Look at that lovely old wooden potting table! Lots of space to grow plants from seeds next year and for tomatoes, aubergines, peppers etc.
This is the view between the barn and the bungalow looking down towards the stream and the field. The trees at the left hand side are our boundary on that side. You can just see Jonathan in front of the hedge. He is digging a hole for a pole to hang the washing line from.
 Here is a view of the stream as it goes under the little brick bridge, the water level is very low at the moment. We have started damning and widening it above to make more of a pool. I can't remember why this is happening but Felix and Jonathan are very keen on it, they must have a plan, maybe involving fish? There are little fish in the stream, but not anything we could live on!
Now I have turned to my right to look up stream and towards the 'garden'.
Here is the garden, well just a big expanse of lawn with a couple of beds full of heathers and shrubs. The little house was a treehouse that the previous owners left behind. Felix cut it's legs off and plans to make it in to a hen house. The line of Poplars at the end is our other width boundary. We hope to carve out part of the land at the back there and build a house to sell. With the money from that we will build our own house where the bungalow is. This is a long term plan.
Now I have turned around to look back at the house and our little 'patio area' such as it is! It was a glorious day on Sunday when I took all these photos and I managed a few hours sunbathing on the steamer chairs later. Jonathan plans on building a raised veranda with decking and french doors so we can get access to the garden from this side of the house, which sounds lovely!
Now I am going to walk over this little wooden bridge and into the 'back lawn' area which leads to the field.
Here we are looking out to the field. It goes a long way back, in fact you can't see the end from here because of the brow of the hill, but we do have 7 acres! All the debris around here is from Jonathan and Felix knocking down an old outbuilding that was here and cutting back all the overgrown weeds etc. There is another line of poplar trees that you can see to your right, these had been planted by the previous owners once removed as a screen, they had the land as a flower garden. Jonathan wants to have a lake in the middle of the bit of field you can see here, with an island in the middle of the lake. He wants to attract lots of wildlife and then he will build a treehouse in the furthest away poplar tree and use it as a Hide to photograph the wildlife. This is another long term plan...
I dicovered a plum tree in the middle of the 'back lawn'! I am so excited about this as plums are my favourite fruit! Look at them all, clustering together, looking so inviting. Just need a few more weeks to ripen up so they're big and juicy... (calm down Jo)
Now I am looking back towards the gates. This is another of the ramshackle outbuildings. We hope to build a new workshop here some day and perhaps convert the barn into a 'flat' for Felix to live in or perhaps for holiday lets. There is so much potential here, all we need is money and time! The big bush to the left of the outbuilding is an enormous buddliea which is always covered with butterflies.
Here is a huge apple tree, absolutely covered with apples! 
We are not sure which type but they are deinitely 'eaters'. Not quite ripe for picking yet, though Felix has already made chutney with some windfalls.
 And here is my washing line all finished and I've even got my towels hanging up! Can you see what Jonathan has put at the top of the pole?
This cute little birdhouse that I have had on a shelf in the kitchen for years (not really very helpful for the birds!). This is so high up that maybe we will get a little family to move in next spring.

Well that's it then, I hope you have enjoyed this little tour. I am really feeling incredibly happy and privileged to live somewhere like this, we have been so lucky to find it and be able to buy it. 
I will keep you up to date with all our improvements!


  1. Wow, Jo!!! That looks so amazing, I can't believe how much land you have!!!! Fantastic. Do you have a dog? And a cat? And hens, a pig, a goat maybe.......ah, the possibilities! I wish you health to see it bear fruit (literally as well as figuratively!)and as for the name? you call it whatever you want, it's yours!! I always wanted a wee cottage called Applegarth after Merlin's house in my favourite Arthurian novels. One day!!

  2. What a wonderful spot. You have so much potential here, and even if you can't realise it all straight away you can have so much fun planning and dreaming.
    Sunday was such a beautiful day over here too - I do hope the sun comes back again soon!
    Good luck with all your most immediate plans.
    My dad's grandparents had a house in Fife called Auchenflower which I've always thought is a lovely name....and you should call yours whatever you fancy. Juliex
    (My parents have a 7 acre field, which is let out now, but when I was gowing up it held, along with a couple of additional paddocks, up to 40 ewes, a few cows, hens and occasionally horses too. It was fantsatic.)

  3. Okay Jo I'm offically in love with your place! It is HUGE . . . and so much potential. As for the barn CUTE! I want to move in!

  4. What a wonderful place you live in! I so enjoyed seeing all of the pics!

  5. Wowser Jo....great place...thanks so much for the tour.

    So...where are the barn cats?:)

  6. Amazing and so beautiful..Your plans sound fantastic..and I love the name :)

  7. Oh sooo much potential here and it sounds like Jonathan and Felix have been busy already. Looking forward toseeing all your plans taking shape. Just love the little bird house at the top of the clothes line pole. Thanks for taking us on your garden tour.

  8. Beautiful! Your new home looks like you belong here all. Like it was waiting for you to find it. Great pictures! ~Cliff

  9. Wow, how heavenly! I love the barn, the greenhouse, the hen-house-to-be, the bridge- hey, I'd even move into the bird house! And I have a real soft spot for apple trees- that's what really makes a home to me!

  10. Ah, I've just come back for another look, it's so lovely! ;)

  11. ooohh, you have such a pretty blog, I love these photos - Aussies can never believe just how green grass can be over there! Have followed along for you, please check out my (new) blog @ Jane:)