Saturday, 24 March 2012

"Cracking good job, Gromit!"

The 'wildlife blog' is taking a bit of a back-seat right now, but it'll probably be back soon.  In its place is my attempt to record the progress we make as slowly the land around the house is beaten, cajoled and bullied into becoming a garden instead of a muddy set for Saving Private Ryan, part 2.  Although the details are not yet confirmed, sometime during April LP is going to stop being self-employed and take on a full-time job which he is very much looking forward to.  He promises that he's not going to abandon Bag End and will still come to help us evenings and weekends.  This will probably work out quite well - keeping up with him for 2 or 3 consecutive days is brutal even if it does mean we achieve loads, but in the meantime I'm trying to get as much out of him as possible!

We've certainly got a huge amount done this week as Wednesday saw the creation of a bed for the hornbeam hedge.  Thursday was equally productive as LP spent most of it moving soil from the back of the house where it had been dumped last September when the path was excavated.  When he started we thought he'd just roughly spread the soil but we found it was in perfect condition for levelling - not too wet, not too dry.  One more going over with a rake next week to remove small stones on top and it's ready for grass seed.

There turned out to be considerably more soil than we needed, the surplus has gone down to the edge of the Coppice.  When we make the long side bed it will take its place as one of the 'lasagne layers'.

On Friday I only had help for half a day so we finished off the roof of the covered area outside the shed.  Lack of time and weather meant we hadn't put the ridge on or finished fixing down the steel panels.  There is more work to do but for now this gives us a wonderful working/storage area and I'm thrilled that Management had the idea.

The rubbish from last week got burned

We made a start on digging over the Coppice, another job that has been on a 'list' since September.

The greenery on the top of the bank is not weeds waiting to be removed but the comfrey bravely growing back after being severely abused last autumn.

I expected Management to spend the weekend playing in his garage - he's been away all week and needed some R&R.  Instead the dear chap spent all of Saturday in the garden with me and we made HUGE progress.  I've been painting the green mesh trolley all week and he had ordered stainless steel bolts to re-assemble it.  Together with a couple of new wheels we now have a very smart trolley and it's lovely to have it back in service.

After our first lunch outside in 2012 he wanted to sort out the Fedge in the Cottage Garden.  As soon as we created the bed last May (LP's first project) I remember saying "it's lovely but the bed is too narrow for the space" so Himself replied "well move the fence then ...."   LP put posts in for me before he went on holiday last Autumn but nothing has happened since.  If you think he's a whirlwind you should see how much Management can get done when he sets his mind to it.  Two hours later the fence was taken down and re-assembled and the result is fantastic.

We now have a bed which is 8 foot deep and that size balances the long bed opposite (the one with trellis where the arbour is).  I've got a lot of digging to do, we couldn't avoid trampling the soil a bit, the two big black obelisks need securing in position and there are new shrubs to go in but that's all 'down in the noise'.  The small pond immediately looks much better because there's no longer a fence post visually dividing it in two, and we have tadpoles :}

If that were not enough, the dear chap then spent half an hour moving humongous and heavy lumps of stone for me ... there was much falling asleep in front of the TV after supper!


The latest idea for this stone is to make a sort of dry-stone wall at the end of the bank in the Coppice, goodness knows when that will happen but I'm not looking forward to Keith & Wayne finding out they moved it all up a slope to the pond and we didn't use it . . .

Very large bits waiting to go into the pond.


  1. I was just patting myself on the back for having finally managed to get round to planting some seeds indoors when I decided to play catch up on your blog - only to find that you have practically rebuilt and redesigned the whole thing!

    I am positively hanging my head in shame and embarrassment at how little I appear to have got done recently whilst you've been working your socks off all over your garden!

    My only excuse is ....erm, not sure I have one really! Lack of a round tuit?!

    1. NG - you don't need an "excuse", how about these for a reason - you work, you have a husband at home to care for, you have more sense than me? Pick whichever option is most appropriate ...

  2. There, there, NG - I, too, used to try and measure up to Hobbit's scale of gardening. Now I just wonder and observe. She's a force of nature, like a whirlwind of directed energy, commanding resources, summoning willing helpers, designing and improving on the landscape. I remain in awe, but am no longer diminished by her unending achievements. Just sit back and enjoy the show. It's better than any of those cockamamie 'reality programs' on TV. There's usually a happy ending AND - no commercials. (You bring this on yourself, Hobbit my dear. :-P ) LOL

    1. Kris, will you behave yourself {GIGGLE}

      and once again, thank you for one of the best blog comments I have ever received and probably the one which has made me laugh out loud the most :}

  3. Oh I need a lie down now!
    Glad to see things coming along so well. Ground to a halt here a bit I'm afraid. A bout of flu has become bronchitis so I'm all breathless even when I do NOTHING!

    1. Oh poor sweetie, hope you are feeling better soon. You've had an awful few months so I hope this summer is kind to you.

  4. Pleased to see you've been busy in my abscence! your taddies are way ahead of ours, which are still just black dots surrounded by jelly. Hope you are enjoying the same temperatures as we are, 23.7 yesterday! Is this really Cumbria??

    1. Morning CB, thanks for the comment. Not surprised your taddies are still hiding in the bottom of your pond - if you must live at freezing altitudes what do you expect :} Hot here too, the Factor 40 has been out every day.


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