Friday, 17 April 2009

Turning a corner?

Easter Sunday: Not being much of a boozer these days I am afraid I have little sympathy for those suffering from last night's over-indulgence. K. managed three hours before he threw in the towel and Management and I were quietly unimpressed about how slowly he'd worked.

However, another full day of log shifting (Management) and exciting tasks like pulling out nearly all the contents of the compost heap and replacing them but with the addition of about a dozen barrow loads of the lovely cow muck that's been sitting on the drive all week (me) and all of a sudden we feel we have turned a corner. I also learned that the garden doesn't look THAT long or the slope THAT steep until you're pushing a barrow of poo uphill! A good reason why compost bins are usually placed at the bottom of an incline . . .

A novel experience is that we can now actually see some of the fence which means I can start on clearing the ground and digging it over in preparation for some hedging!

Monday: The day started brilliantly with another visit from Chris and his Exceedingly Large Trailer, once again full of well rotted muck from the cow sheds. That will probably be the last delivery of the year because the cows are likely to go out to grass next week and the farm needs what muck is left to fertilise fields.

I'm trying not to think about the fact that all of it has to be barrowed UPHILL.

A bit of lateral thinking and our mate R. came and collected the last few logs which hadn't made it from the bottom of the garden up to the big log piles; the suspension on his car looked under serious load as he drove away. He'll be doing something for Management later in the year and we suggested that if he still wanted to be paid in logs rather than cash he could collect them now. Whoo hoo - he went away doing a "I've got a load of logs, I like barter" happy dance (we have some strange friends!) and we were able to say "that's it - that is the last of the big logs out of the way". Apart from half a dozen huge bits which have been deliberately as they have potential to be "something useful" in the garden.

There was also a lot of raking of nasty small twiggy bits which are all over the place, some grass cutting and best of all, the installation of our Squirrel Box.

Management risked life, limb and potential injury to balance at the top of our longest ladders and we now have a box securely fixed nearly 20 foot above the ground on a Silver Birch which we know the squirrel have used as part of a route in and out of the garden (so there is a chance they will find the box, even if it is not occupied this summer). The box is held with two chains, fixed with karibiners. The tree trunk is protected with pipe insulation. Yes, it will move around a bit but in a natural drey the tree would sway in the wind. We added an additional shelf to the front of the box, apparently baby red squirrel have a nasty habit of falling out of boxes and breaking their necks if there is not a ledge for them to pause on.


  1. Gosh! what a difference! When I first saw the garden last June you had only just started chopping down Leylandii in the forest! and in November it still looked a tad overgrown, but now you have a potential garden.....Whoopee!

  2. Thanks Granny, and when you next visit there will be some new plants for you to see!

  3. Compost bins. If the bin is uphill from the garden you barrow it up but it's easier to take down to the veg plots. If the bins are donwhill, you have to barrow it up to the veg plots. You still have to go uphill once. At least when it's done it's done!

  4. Hmm, compost bins - I'm working on the theory that more loads go into a bin than come out of it . . . of course, the finished compost may well weigh more than the bits that went in . . . can I have a completely level garden instead?

  5. Compost bins - surely if they are at the TOP of the hill, the heavy finished compost is barrowed downhill - the uphill bit is the filling with weeds etc. Of course your muck heap will be heavy to barrow either way round, as Flum says.

    All a bit academic, as I'm sure that you have your bin site(s) already planned out...


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