Sunday, 11 March 2012

Behind the scenes

A funny sort of week which ended well.   Started sneezing and coughing last weekend and haven't stopped.  Trouble is, whatever debilitating little bug has taken up residence in my upper respiratory tract hasn't moved in in sufficient numbers to make me ill enough to curl up in front of the WBS and spend two days watching reruns of Midsomer Murders.  It has, however, been having enough of a party that I've not been 100% which is almost more irritating than being properly poorly.

Never mind, with poor Management at the other end of the country sorting out project that was someone else's responsibility (until they decided that the job they'd been employed to do was too hard and walked out) I've been trying to get as much done as possible so that he doesn't feel obliged to offer to help me at the weekend.  By Friday night all he wants to do for the next two days is sleep and relax.  Behind the scenes quite a bit has been going on, even if it doesn't warrant a daily blog entry. Little by little, even big jobs can get done with an hour here and a couple there. All the roof lathe has been moved from opposite the greenhouse and if I want to, I can now get Miss Daisy down to the Cottage Garden.  About a quarter of the wood still has to be de-nailed but we've got a large and excellent supply of timber for future projects.





Steel has been acquired for the decking base, and thanks to LP and his large trailer, more trees have come to live at Bag End. Last time I was at Seaview Nursery I made a note of nearly all their tree stock so we went back on Tuesday with a shopping list. Waiting to be planted are

Sorbus cashmirana
Sorbus hupehensis
Betula jacquemonti (3)
Malus John Downie
Malus domesticus Spartan (desert apple)
Prunus avium Sunburst (sweet cherry)
Prunus Golden Gage (risky up here but I adore greengages and they're not something you can easily buy)



These were hard choices. I rejected some gorgeous flowering cherries remembering that for just two or three weeks of blossom I would have years of invasive penetrating roots. I left behind Cratageus Crimson Cloud because I already have two C. Paul's Scarlet plus a whole hawthorn hedge growing around the front corner. A Victoria plum stayed behind because although it was a lovely tree, I realised I'd never even see half the fruit, let alone get a chance to pick it. Mental note to find space for plums grown as an espalier where I have a chance of protecting them from the ravenous (avian) hoards. I wanted another red-leaved Acer and had hoped for A. platinoides Crimson King, unfortunately none of those available were particularly brilliant specimens.

Also on Tuesday I made a start on putting down bark chip to create a temporary path for Miss Daisy; the heavens opened before I could finish and overnight the wind was so strong that I thought our front windows might blow in.  By Wednesday we'd received 20mm of rain so far this month.



Fingers crossed, the greenhouse staging problems appear to be solved. I discovered I could get a ten foot length of fence post in the back of Hattie, who knew? This means I've been able to fit a solid 'edge' to contain the chippings, followed by old roof tiles (which could be changed later for paving slabs), Stanley sawhorses topped with timber supports and hay presto, the old cedar staging fits perfectly. As and when I decide I want the space for a tall crop (tomatoes?) it won't take much to disassemble all this, nor would it take up much space to store.



It has taken a couple of hours every day to get to this point (and all the interim stages were pretty messy, hence lack of daily progress pictures) and I still have to sort out the floor between the benches but even at this point it feels great.





I made the mistake after lunch on Saturday of deciding I could no longer cope with the mess the shed had got into over the last couple of months.  Who wrote the rule which states it ALWAYS takes 18 times longer to put stuff back INTO the shed than it does to take it OUT?



I didn't mean to finish at 6.30pm but it's lovely having all the tools back where they belong and being able to quickly find things.



Somewhere in between all of the above plus running a house I moved more blocks around in the nursery, arranged pallets, made it all as level as possible and put up new windbreak netting.  Yes it would have been easier (on me) if LP had done all this but he's not here and I was, and I need the nursery area up and running again.  This will do very nicely for now, thank you!



The shrubs which had overwintered in their pots heeled into a raised bed have been dug up and everything seems to have done very well.  Bringing all our lovely recent acquisitions into one place shows how much planting there is to do - 11 trees, 24 shrubs and 8 fruit bushes, and don't forget 30 hornbeam plants plus some hawthorn which needs moving ....



14 comments:

  1. I'm aching just thinking about the work ahead Bilbo!! Everything looks great and I hope you are feeling much better.

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    1. Eve, I confess I was aching a bit by Sunday night. I keep telling myself that most of these jobs only ever need doing once! Just think, once this place is straight and "all" I have to do is tend plants it will be easy-peasy.

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  2. Been a bit busy then? Hope the bugs go away soon, although they don't seem to have stopped you achieving quite a lot!

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    1. Thanks Sue. It would have been nice to get some fabric-time but can't have everything {smile}

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  3. All lovely and orderly. I hoping to attack our GH today, knee permitting :-( .

    Totally in agreement about the illness thing. I had something last Autumn that wouldn't go away or develop either. More wearing than a few days in bed being knocked sideways!

    Have a fabulous week pottering Hobbit style!

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    1. Good luck cleaning out the greenhouse Amanda, hope your knee behaves :}

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  4. No windmill then :-)!!! Much progress and so satisfying to create order out of chaos! Cloudy here today after yesterday which was more like June than early March!

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    1. Hi Jill, cloudy here too and we haven't had your temperatures either although it is much milder than it was.

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  5. You have been busy and have chosen some lovely trees - Is the idea to have coloured berries that the birds won't devour.

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    1. Sue, glad you like the trees. I have no expectation that the birds will leave white rowan berries any more than they 'leave' red ones. Last year the rowan trees were stripped in about a week :}

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  6. Oh good, you've prompted me to add 'nursery shopping' to my overly-ambitious 2-week project list. Um, thanks? :-P

    Yes, lots of little things add up over time - you got so much accomplished. But good grief, woman. All that while not feeling tip-top? Oh, how I wish I was a kid in my 50s again to be able to take on so much at once. Well done! I really applaud the greenhouse cleanup. I hate cleanups, usually because the mess is always my own damn fault. *heh* Rest up now and loose the bug. :-D

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    1. Morning Kris, glad to be of service {ha ha ha}, hope you enjoy your HRT*

      I hate cleanups too, because like you it's usually my own mess I am having to deal with :}


      (*Horticultural Retail Therapy)

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  7. Get Well soon Aunty Bilbo. I hope you have a nice quilt to cuddle up in.
    I love mine and it's now been christened with cat sick (Poppet 3 times) and wee (me once)
    lots of love E x

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    1. Dear E.
      Bet Mum is glad I reassured her that your quilt can be popped into the washing machine whenever necessary. Feeling much better now, thanks. Love Aunty Bilbo. xx

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So there I am, chuntering on to myself, but it would be lovely to hear from you. Thanks to all who take the time to comment - it makes my day :)

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