Friday, 13 February 2015

What's in a name? Last year's big project

First China, then Berlin, and now Bag End .... but I'm getting ahead of myself. 

In 2014 we confined ourselves to just one big project.  Renovating a house and creating a garden is wonderful and satisfying but also completely knackering.  Much was accomplished and for once my input was (mostly) to stand around, give orders, and make tea.   Oh yes, and make decisions and ensure the various trades get paid :} 

Other than felling 48 Leylandii, this is probably one of the biggest changes we have made in the (nearly) seven years we’ve been at Bag End.  We started last Spring with the ghastly sloped bed that linked the Cottage Garden and Potager to the driveway.  Completely useless and dead space.  And home to utterly foul steps that a previous owner had built in an attempt to create a "Grand Entrance".

In mid-April LP spent a sunny afternoon doing battle with the remaining conifers - there was never any doubt about who would win :} That was Part 1 of the project.

I then developed a bad case of blog-lag-itis and stopped recording our progress, although I did take photos.  One of the more stupid reasons for not getting on with writing was that I didn't know what to call it, but Management recently came up with the name "The New Garden" for what we've created so that will do nicely :}  I have finally got my head around how to document it all, there’s a list of stages at the bottom of this post so I don’t forget.

BUT jumping ahead of myself again and so that I don’t get even more behind with blog posts, this week we managed a couple of days outside and LP made progress with our New Garden.  That produced three more raised beds, one which has been planned for AGES against the chimney and two more in the fruit cage.  The logic here is that we spent more than tuppence on this cage and it makes sense to maximise every bit of growing space within it that we can.  Of course, one good idea usually leads to another, with both LP and Management keen to continue these mini-beds throughout the whole cage.

The next stage will be to put boards in to separate the yew hedge from what will be our wildflower meadow.  Grand plans indeed, but a lovely sunny place to grow native flowers and encourage pollinators to visit the fruit cage.  I guess it takes a rather over-active imagination to see what is currently a muddy mess as something like this (taken at Harlow Carr in July 2010) but a girl can dream :}

It sort of went like this:
Ground Clearance
New Windows
The Great Wall of Bag End
Back-filling and Compost
oops a short interval . . . . followed by moving a yew hedge.


  1. Very impressed by the scale of your achievements! And doesn't it all take so long? We have been here nine years and the last four of those have had much time with other people's names on it. Sometimes I wish we had arrived here when I was thirty not fifty! Love the beds and very much like the idea of spending money on a fruit cage. So far we just grow fruit in such quantity we can spare a bit which means tons of gooseberries ans raspberries and apples and not much else.

    1. Thanks Elizabeth, I know what you mean about it all taking so long, I also wish we'd come here when we were younger, not just to have more energy but to have more time ahead of us to enjoy what we are creating.

      Without the fruit cage I think the birds here would have most, if not all, of the strawberries and more than their fair share of blueberries. No regrets about taking the plunge.

  2. Looking good Jayne ,,, the fruit cage is a brilliant idea. If you can imagine a wild flower meadow then I'm sure that's what will become reality :-) You have the perfect place for it

    1. Maybe by the time I next see you it will be less like a mud slide!


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