It’s been a frenetic couple of days round here, the bathroom is complete except for varnishing the wood (no photos, a coat of varnish is currently drying and if I go in there and stick to it, MrC would not be best pleased.) It looks amazing, I’ll put up some photos when it’s safe to venture in there.
Friday I got nothing done in the garden except the regular chores (feed the ducks, water and weed the greenhouse, earth up the potatoes and make a mental list of what needs doing). We’ve had another skip delivered, looking forward to filling this and Gerald dropped off another digger for us, Saturday is going to be busy.
The greenhouse is looking awesome though, lots and lots of stuff to be planted out and the salad veg is coming along nicely!
Saturday Luke was supposed to be coming around to give me a quote for post and railing the meadow, but his little boy wasn’t very well so he’ll be coming over sometime next week.
Darren, however, most certainly did turn up! Fired up the digger and off he went… First job was to yank out some treestumps in the kitchen garden (aka the bit we can see out of the kitchen window, not a traditional type kitchen garden).
He dumped those in the skip and then he and MrC dismantled the coal bunker at the back of the house and that too went into the skip.
For the rest of the morning Darren and I played Skip tetris. He’d put in a layer of tree stumps and bamboo roots and I’d fill in the gaps with masonry (we’ve got piles of it everywhere). ALAS! The skip wasn’t quite big enough to take all of the stumps, so I’m going to have to get another one (and another days digger hire), but we’ve made a massive difference to the enormous pile in the meadow.
MrC was on a mission to finish the bathroom so he went shopping in b&q for varnish and a toilet roll holder and such like. When we returned he set to with white spirit to clean all the dust and then started varnishing.
In the afternoon it was time for Darren and I to tackle the bramble roots, he’d loosen them with the digger, I’d pull them out, shake off the dirt and remove them to the fire site. Any he missed I sprayed with paint so he could get them on the second pass. This worked really well on the bits near the house, but by the time he got to the back boundary of the property I couldn’t keep up anymore, so that’s only had one pass, and still has a huge amount of roots for me to collect. The place looks a bit like we’ve been visited by a demented mole.
About 4pm my back sent me a very stern message that anymore root pulling and it would hurt me for days and Darren was very short on diesel, so a few final jobs for the digger, pull out the tree stump in the woodland area that was stopping us getting the tractor through from the orchard, and finally the orchard had a hump of earth in it that I was tired of pushing the wheelbarrow over (MrC wanted me to flatten it by hand) Darren took care of it in about 5 minutes.
Gerald came to pick up the digger and we were chatting about this and that, turns out he’s got a fence post machine for hire, this hammers in fence posts without the need for any digging, so I’ll mention this to Luke when he comes to take a look at the meadow, I think it would definitely speed things up and might actually make the job a bit cheaper overall.
Have to admit, I might have overdone things a bit, had some spag bol for tea (I put this on in the morning before I went to work outside and the stove did a brilliant job of gently slow cooking it without any burning, and sometimes it was a couple of hours between stirrings, very impressed with the stove, this might put my slowcooker out of business). Slumped on the sofa for an hour watching telly, then headed to bed with a couple of super strength painkillers/anti inflammatories dog tired. Slept like a log 🙂
Sunday, my back warned me, had better be a bit more genteel or there was going to be trouble. Mr and MrsC snr came over to visit, bearing a couple of boxes of family treasures, photos, letters, account books and the like of the Casey family history, MrC is currently engrossed in them. Dread to think what would happen if I checked out my family history, probably be neck deep in skeletons…
Mr and MrsC snr took over from me on the bramble roots for a while (this isn’t a job you can do all day, little and often is the only way we’re going to clear these).
This is what we’ve removed so far, and we’ve only just started really…
I wanted to have a cut flower section in the fruit garden, I like flower arranging and love having fresh flowers in the house. So I’ve planted out 150 bulbs of all sorts of flowers, it’s an odd thing planting flowers as a crop, but I can’t wait to see them in vases come the summer. As flowers need foliage when being arranged I’ve ordered 3 eucalyptus gunnii trees, I’m going to put them in the woodland area as a screen against the road, they’re evergreen so they’ll provide year round cover. They’re only small ones so I’m going to have to devise some sort of protection for them against the deer. They grow quickly though, about a meter in a year, so they’ll be able to look after themselves soon enough.
After lunch MrsC prowled around the place picking up junk to fill the last few gaps in the skip (we may not have cleared everything we wanted to, but we definitely got our £200 worth!).
A few weeks ago I put a tarpaulin down in the veggie garden, hoping it would act as a weed suppressant, I was wrong… All it did was act as a cosy weed blanket keeping them nice and warm, they had grown better and stronger under the tarpaulin than in the areas not covered… I dug up the nettles and thistles then MrC snr got out the rotavator and gave the area a good going over. I’ve now planted out salsify, parsnips and carrots there. I’ve got cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and leeks to plant out once they’ve been hardened off and the last frost has passed. So the only thing left to go into the veggie garden are marigolds (not for eating, but they do deter pests) and swedes.
We’ve had to take out a lot of dead stuff, weeds abound and there is a huge amount of junk hanging about that needs disposing of, but, we’ve also inherited wondrous things here, the orchard is blooming and this large flowering cherry is a thing of outstanding beauty!
On the floating floofs front, we have 4 remaining.
List of stuff to do next week…
Put up the bird box Roger made for us
Cobble together a cold frame from an old window we’ve got hanging about and wood from pallets.
De-moss the orchard and put down grass seed
Continue to weed the flowerbeds in the front garden, and consider making flower beds in the fishpond garden
Finish the woodland path (bark chippings coming on Monday)
Rake the remaining part of the woodland and move the rubbish down to the meadow
Find some cheap Acer(that isn’t a sycamore -MrC) trees on the internets
Also find a cheap bench on the internets
Sow woodland/green manure seeds in the woodland area
When the nettles begin to die from the weedkiller, cut them down and sow grass seed
Order a brown bin from the council
General potting on in the greenhouse
Clean out the fishpond -URGENT and difficult, we have tadpoles in there now and I spotted a newt the other day
Mow the lawns
Dig up the fuchsias in the front garden and relocate
That’ll do it I think.