Sunday, 12 April 2015

Easter holiday

Including weekends, Management has had ten days off; I can't remember when he last had that long without being interrupted by work.  It's done us both a lot of good and although we didn't go away, it feels like we've had a proper break.  The first few days presented thick low cloud low - definitely inversion conditions - and typically we couldn't go walking.  Appointments with the "usual" Bag End procession of plumber, window fitter and goodness what else kept us at home so we cooked.  The freezer gained 14 portions of the best Chilli I've ever made (it would have been 16 but I've already had it twice!), the same amount of Cottage Pie, and a large quantity of Chickpea and Aubergine curry.

LP had been away over Easter but his route back enabled the collection of two more IBC tanks . . .

He came in on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday afternoon but this week his task was to help Management, not me. M. was extremely busy with his welding gear over the Bank Holiday, re-purposing a steel frame which had been fitted next to the house but turned out to be in the wrong place.

It is already filled with water (syphoned from the greenhouse tank) but will be connected to the adjacent downpipe.  Later in the year the bushes in the fruit cage will thank us for all this work :-}  Once the Clematis montana discovers there's additional 'trellis' to clamber over it won't be long before the tank is camouflaged a little.

M. then extended the metal frame next to the greenhouse to accommodate two tanks.  Last year one 1,000 litre tank was barely enough during a dry spell, and the surface area of the sheds and log store is more than enough to fill two IBCs.

Whilst they were in "metal mode", a casual comment from me was acted upon and the nursery area gained a small frame to support two ordinary water butts.  These will take the water from the greenhouse roof.  If the strawberry cage and cold frames need more water in the summer I can always bring a hose across from the two big tanks.

Easter was already looking like I'd received more gardening presents than half a dozen Christmases rolled up together but there was still one more surprise to come.  A neighbour was having some tree work done, and as is my way, I "just happened to wander round with Daisy" and asked, pretty please nicely, if there was a chance of any proper bark chip for the paths.  The answer was more than "yes" - the tree surgeon brought us a trailer of not bark chip but pure wood chippings, not a single leaf in it.  Later the same day he arrived with a trailer of logs - THREE TIMES.  The neighbour doesn't have a woodburner and was desperate to get rid of the timber.  Two leylandii, a similar size to the giants we got rid of, had been felled and there was a lot of wood!  Someone had asked if he could have "the small stuff" so we got everything else.  I had to force a couple of bottles of wine on our neighbour, and the tree surgeon had to be bullied into taking petrol money.

Whilst the boys were welding, I moved about two-thirds of the bark to refresh the path which had been washed away, and before LP left on Thursday, he and Management sorted the log pile for me.  I may never get a chance like this again, so I am going to use the straight lengths to finally finish the edging on the Big Pond, and to renew the path edging in the Coppice.

In the New Garden, I haven't been completely idle.  Last week LP raked the soil again, and I've moved paving slabs into roughly the right position to give us an idea as to whether this really is where we want the path.

It really has been a very Happy Easter :-)


  1. A very productive Easter. Well done!

    1. Thanks Jessica, not quite the Easter we planned but all useful stuff that (theoretically) we'll not have to do again) so it's good progress.

  2. Finally getting around to reading this post and think your idea of keeping water butts off the ground is great. Can't remember the back patio bit you showed, but drink in those beautiful views from the front of your house. Take care.

    1. Susan, the 'back bit' is the far side of the greenhouse; there's a lot to take in on one visit and I doubt you spent much time investigating that part of the garden!


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