Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Finishing our new paths - it should have been so simple

On Thursday, 2st May I wrote the fateful words "the pretty stuff to go on top arrives Tuesday".

Well, that was a stupid thing to publish, wasn't it?

Finishing these paths should have been so simple but nothing, absolutely nothing has been simple since we took on the task of renovating Bag End. I thought we were moving to Cumbria.  Apparently what really happened was I transferred to a Universe where “simple” and our garden can never co-exist.

It’s like this ….  2015 was not a nice year for gardeners from a weather perspective.  Firstly we had a beautiful warm April and all the plants threw themselves enthusiastically into the new season.  And then we had an evil frost at the end of April which chopped much of that new growth off at the knees.  I think it went down to minus 4 here and whilst I had put fleece over the greenhouse plants and the outdoor potatoes (in pots) there were lots of other things that I didn’t even think needed protection.  I was wrong.

May followed and is now on record as the wettest and coldest for a long time.  You can’t blame many of the plants for just sitting and sulking, and not growing.  I know how they felt.

May went out with a whimper and June arrived with a bang - and a horrendous storm.  50mph gusts across the garden and the usual “gully washer” rain down the main path in our side garden which created a large channel in the newly compacted sub-base.

A quick call to Walter whose experienced eye located a problem we had never noticed - a blocked drain on an adjacent footpath was sending water into the garden, its route hidden by the rapidly growing hazel hedge we planted in the Coppice.

Proving that it’s not what you know but who you know, the local Highways Engineer was here an hour later . . . bless him :-)  He promised to get the drains jetted out within a week and was as good as his word.  Now we know there is potential for this little gully to block we can keep an eye on it.

Of course, guess who was left with the little task of replacing everything which had to be moved in the Coppice in order to raise a manhole cover?

And did that see an end to the problems?  Don't be silly; more delays because (sensibly really) Walter did not want to do any more path work until we had another gulley-washer of a rainstorm to see if the problem is fixed.  He was absolutely right but that did not really take away the frustration of another unfinished garden job dragging on.  And on.  And on.  Because in the meantime to quarry ran out of slate chippings.

Which is how it took until the 28th July for our paths to be finished.  And I'm still getting used to them, it's all far too neat and tidy although they do look great.


  1. You got there in the end ,,, it's looking brilliant Jayne

    1. It was a right pain-in-the-wotsit to go through but from a long-term/maintenance point of view we've probably done the right thing.


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