Turf wars

My lawn has been the topic of much discussion over the past couple of years. When I first moved to Chook Cottage, the garden was nothing but a scrappy bit of grass with a horrible path through the middle.

how it looked then

I swiftly got rid of the path, but then I had chickens for a while. And they absolutely trashed the lawn… so much so that the only thing to do was to dig it all over and start again…

Right hand side - flattened

Right hand side – flattened

This even prompted one of my fans to comment “Is that it? How much can you write about a bit of bare earth and patchy grass???… well, read on, ‘dan@dansworld.com’… and stick this lot in your pipe and smoke it!

The area was reseeded, but it never quite looked like the lush area I had in mind. This was highlighted when lovely chap brought along his man beast of a mower, which promptly destroyed everything in its path that wasn’t completely level.

So we decided to start again.

First job took A LOT of sand to level it out

Next job was to re-surface the whole thing. After humping all the rolls of turf into the garden, we set to work. Well… I say ‘we’… my job was mainly watering the area to lay, making sure there was turf nearby and general fannying about. HIS job, on the other hand was laying it all down, whacking it and levelling it. He worked like a demon!

Here are some before and after pics… I think you’ll agree it looks tons better. Roll on the summer… I predict many garden parties out there now!

Turfing the lawn part 1

Turfing the lawn part 1

Turfing the lawn part 2

Turfing the lawn part 2

Turfing the lawn part 3

Turfing the lawn part 3


Level lawn

The work has officially begun in the garden. Our chap came and built us a decked area earlier in the year, and I dutifully rescued the plants that were in its path… all forty of them! Last weekend we set about replanting these (happy to report there were no casualties) and levelling the lawn.

Decking area

Decking area

The lawn has been a bit of a problem since I moved in. It started life as a scrappy bit of grass with a god-awful slab path chucked down the middle. I got rid of the path and created some borders – but the lawn has always been a bit uneven. This was highlighted when lovely chap brought his man-sized petrol mower over. The beast just tore up anything that was slightly on the lumpy side. He’s not happy about this and seems determined to have a bowling green.

So… off we went to buy sand… a lot of sand… to bring the lawn up to the same level ready to turf in a week or so. A better shape was cut into the lawn while we were at it, and I’m pleased with the result and can see that the garden will look amazing when everything starts shooting again.

Levelling the lawn

Levelling the lawn

Next job was to put some horse muck into the raised bed compartments. The veg in there was pretty much an afterthought last year, but we have big plans for this year. A trip to our local farm later, and a bit of shovelling and raking later, and the beds were ready for the first house guests. 50 onions and 25 garlic plants, which were popped in this weekend.

Last up, we fired up the heated propagator and we’ve planted cherry tomato seeds and kale.

Bring on the spring… we’re ready for you!

Over protective

Today, it’s to my shame to admit, but I actually got a tad over protective over a tomato plant. If the situation hadn’t been quickly deflected, it could have turned out to be a full-on domestic… and no-one wants one of those on a Bank Holiday!

Let me explain…

Knowing that we were in for some rain any time soon, I shot off into the garden to sort a few jobs out. The rockery was looking decidedly overgrown, and more like a shrub border, so I whipped out all the big plants, and replaced them with some dainty little numbers that we picked up yesterday.

I then collected and planted out some strawberry runners my friend had going spare. It’ll be cream teas for everyone very shortly, I can tell you…

Next up was a border to weed and two trays of Penstomen to plant. The bottom brassica border was in dire need of a weed, so that got a quick whiz over with the hoe.

The lawn then got mowed as it was looking decidedly desperate. Whilst tipping the lawn clippings in the compost bin, I discovered that one was rather full, with compost at the bottom of it. I lifted the top off the bin and repositioned it a short distance away, then proceeded to transfer the top of the pile into the bin, leaving the compost behind. That was soon into the wheelbarrow and over the potatoes. By this time, it’s fair to say, I had a bit of a sweat on.

It was just at this point that OH wandered down the garden, popped his head into the greenhouse, and came out proudly waving about half a tomato plant that he’d decided to snip off.

“What… is … THAT?” I hissed?

“It’s OK, it was growing in the ‘v’ bit,” he replied

“It’s got a bloody truss of flowers on it!” I shot back, near hysterical

He took offence to this, saying, “You wonder why I don’t get involved in the garden…”

“You can get involved all you like… I’ve been out here for ages, titting about, and you saunter down here and start chopping stuff off!”, to which he retreated back into the house.

On closer inspection, the chopped off bit was, indeed from the ‘v’ bit, so I sort of apologised, and we’re back on an even keel now.

Did I react too harshly? Has ‘Irreconcilable differences over the veg plot’ ever been cited in divorce proceedings? I wonder…