Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Transformation, 1

Under normal circumstances it takes forever to get anything done at Bag End. This week is not normal circumstances - the planets have aligned and the Gods of Good Intentions have been smiling on us. So, it went like this:

On Tuesday whilst clearing what felt like three acres of ivy in the nursery area extension Management and I started chatting about boundaries, fences and what I really WANT to be doing on this side of the garden, rather than what I can do working with the existing 3 foot high pig-wire and post fence. So on a whim I went over to Patersons, sat and had a chat with Mrs P and said "in an ideal world, I would love it if you could put trellis along this boundary to match the stuff you built last year". I knew she'd say "yes", but I assumed I would have to wait the usual six months to get to the top of her work schedule.

"Right" she says, in broad West Cumbrian that really takes a while to get your ear attuned to. "I could send the boys down on Thursday to put posts in if you like". I went home in shock, relayed this to Management who grinned and said "go for it", so a quick phone call confirmed that her son would come over on Wednesday to measure up.

Great news with one slight stumbling block - the old fence needs to come out before a new one can go in.

Thankfully Wednesday dawned bright, clear and remarkably warm for mid-February. Never under-estimate a determined Hobbit when armed with a chain saw and bolt-cutters (heavy duty ones, if you're going to have new tools, get big 'uns!). At breakfast time it looked like this:

and at tea-time it looked a bit different.

When our paddock fence was put in across the front we couldn't get the horizontal boards all the way to the wire fence because of a badly misshapen Vibernum. Neighbour said it was OK to cut the shrub where necessary - so I did, won't ever get such a good opportunity.

The rubbish pile had grown considerably. Exhausted by the end of it, started just after 9.00 and only a couple of breaks until a 6.00pm finish (it was dark when I cleared away the tools).

Taking all the pig-wire out was easy and I'm left with lots of 6 - 7 foot sections which I suspect will come in very useful for supporting peas and perennials, making leaf-mould bins and goodness knows what else! Lifting 11 fence posts went reasonably well and mid-way through the afternoon Paul turned up to measure, pace out and generally mumble in an accent even more broad than his mother!

During the excavations I found hitherto unknown clumps of snowdrops which were quickly heeled into pots until I have time to plant them on properly. Absolutely not the right time to move flowering bulbs, but it's that or the relentless battering by size 12's as Paul and Alan set large posts into the ground. Even more exciting was a small clump of Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis ) which hopefully will survive transplant shock. I shall pot them up properly and keep a close eye on them. Eranthis seed needs to be sown when fresh, it would be lovely if I could propagate more plants from these.


  1. Brilliant!

    I do like those little yellow jobs - well rescued!

  2. You'll have no trouble with the aconites Bilbo, once gotten, never forgotten. they'll naturalise given time and you'll have no end of them.

  3. Thanks girls,

    Good to know the aconites will naturalise well, I have plans* which require rather a lot of them.

    (* - I know, plan = 4 letter word, but I can't help it


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