Three years on

Hard to believe that I’ve lived in my little house now for just over three years. Yesterday, on facebook memories, this photo popped up…

Garden - May 2014

Garden – May 2014

This was literally how the garden looked when I moved here. A scrappy path, a rubbish lawn and not a plant to be seen. I remember sitting on the step, gazing out on it, and thinking, “What the actual flip am I going to do with it?”

Well, this is the garden, exactly three years on, and I’m feeling pretty chuffed – it’s now a little paradise in the centre of town!

Garden - May 2017

Garden – May 2017

Garden - May 2017

Garden – May 2017

Garden - May 2017

Garden – May 2017

Garden - May 2017

Garden – May 2017


Decking – Part 3

This weekend we were on a mission to make headway with the never ending decking project. All the wood was at my Lovely Fit Chap’s (henceforth known as LFC) house, so there was just the ‘small’ task of getting it over to Chook Cottage.

He arranged to borrow a van from work, and duly arrived to pick me up on Friday evening. The van was massive – so maneuvering it around my narrow-ish street was no mean feat – but the boy did good, and we made it through the entire weekend with no mishaps whatsoever.

Decking wood

Just some of the wood to load up

Without further ado we whizzed across to his house and started the mammoth job of getting all the wood loaded up.  We soon had a brilliant system in place where he brought the wood to the van, and I stacked it up in an orderly fashion – so we knew where everything was at the other end. As well as all the decking planks, we had a big pile of rough wood to chop for the fire, and three sections of the old decking base which we planned to turn into raised vegetable beds.

These were first off the van at the other end and we positioned them on the slate garden I laid last year. I set about moving the slate and taking the weed membrane out of each section ready for the topsoil and eventually the plants to go in.

Raised vegetable beds

Raised beds in progress

Next off the van was the wood for the decking. As fast as LFC could unload the wood and bring it to the garden, I was busily putting it in place on the base, to make sure we had enough planks to complete the job. In no time at all, it was all down in rough and we can finally start to see how the finished project will look. I know I’m biased, but I think it’s going to look pretty darn good!

Rough decking

Rough decking

I’m back

Yoo hoo! Yes, I’m speaking to you… yes, and you too…

After a bit of a lull in the old blogosphere, I’ve finally found the time and the inclination to put fingers to keyboard and ‘ahem’ bash one out.

I’ve had a rest from The Hinckley Times articles over Christmas, as even I can’t bobble on continually about ‘it’s a bit nippy out’. But you know what? After the bleak dreary nights, where all you want to do is light a fire and get your PJs on, I do believe that spring may really be around that corner.

Only the other morning, I looked out to see blackbirds blatantly flirting…nay.. near on cavorting… in the garden, and a blue tit was definitely having a good old nosey in the bird box.

And so, on to the vegetable plot. The garlic and onions I planted at the back end of last year have survived the snow, and healthy new shoots are pushing up through the ground. The broad beans were doing marvellously, right up until the point I let the chickens out for a run around the garden. In amongst all that green stuff they could have found to eat, they happily chomped through the entire crop of beans and left me with nowt but spindly stalks.

No matter, I’ve planted up two varieties of replacements in the greenhouse. Bunyard’s Exhibition as they did well last year, and a heritage variety I’m trying for the first time: Dreadnought. It’ll be interesting to see which are the top croppers. They are all planted in empty toilet rolls, as apparently when it’s time to plant them out, the whole thing goes in. The tube will rot away in the soil, and the roots won’t get any unnecessary disruption. Happy times.

I’ve also planted aubergines, chillis, broccoli, leeks and onions. There was a slight seed-related mishap, whereby a good few of them got wet due to a leak in the shed roof. So I don’t actually know if any will pop up, but for the moment they have the benefit of the doubt. I pop down to the greenhouse every day, peer encouragingly into all the pots, and give them all a ‘come on old chaps’ kind of pep talk.

If nothing startling happens, I may resort to buying seedlings from the garden centre. That’s not cheating is it? Please tell me it’s not…

This one’s for you Edgar 😉