Thursday, 31 December 2009


The calendar might say it is the beginning of a new year but in gardening terms we are barely half way through the winter. I normally hate this period of inactivity but this year the time of dormancy is quite welcome - I can take a rest from the constant work without feeling guilty for not being outside making progress.

There is still a lot to do before we can make a start on building a proper garden and it would be all too easy to think we'd not accomplished much in 2009. However, looking back through the archives I can see how much we have done - if ever there was a reason to keep a blog, then this is it - very motivating to see how far we have come in the last 12 months.

In January, despite the cold, there was much logging and clearing of timber.

February: Fangorn Forest no more! By the end of the month the remaining Leylandii were down, now all we had to do was clear up the mess. Fortunately, the removal of the conifers did not seem to bother our Red Squirrel.

March: We started to feel we were really making progress clearing up all the felled wood, put up lots of nesting boxes and had many pretty visitors.

April: Unsuccessful dowsing for the cold water mains, huge delivery of cow manure (much of which is still blocking the drive but at least it is now completely rotted), a squirrel nest box which they haven't been near and the return of our orchids.

In May we got rid of the tree stumps and made a start on the raised beds.

June was HOT - didn't get a whole lot done.

July wasn't much more productive either, tried to get the raised beds completed but did not succeed.

The less said about August the better

September: More progress on the raised beds, clearing up for another big bonfire, nearly 700 daffodil bulbs and lots of birds

October: Is it ever going to stop raining? Much time spent on house insulation but the bases for our shed and greenhouse finally started to take shape.

November: It rained, and rained and then flooded. No-one in the Cockermouth area will forget 19th November in a hurry. We rescued a stray chicken, still haven't checked up to find out if he survived.

Although I didn't get much done in the second half of the year we're further along than we were 12 months ago, the days are already starting to get longer (OK, not by much but I'm trying to be positive here), the greenhouse is ordered and John will come to remove many more tree stumps as soon as the ground is dry enough to safely use the digger.

Here's to 2010.


  1. That honeysuckle sure does bring back some fragrant memories. Well, you've been a busy bee this year, well done! Forwards and onwards to 2010 with those special memories following close behind. :)

  2. Some great photos here. I love the red squirrel feeding.

  3. Nice to look back and see the progress isn't it? We hadn't even started the chicken run last New Year. Four eggs this morning (and yesterday) even though the days are so short and the usual count at the moment is 2 or 3 a day.
    Isn't it heartening to see pictures of sunshine and flowers?

  4. Doesn't time fly? Can't believe it was so long ago when that muck was delivered - as you say, no worries about it not being well rotted by the time you come to use it!

    Funny thing, time. It was this time last year that I put in the veg raised beds at the Hill - it seems like such a short while ago and at the same time I also can't remember a time when they weren't there....

    It won't be long before those cheerful daff bulbs are coming up at the front and you'll see the results of your hard work.

    Here's to 2010.


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