Monday, 9 May 2011

09.05. Delivery from B&Q

Hello, sorry for not making an appearance here for a while, between hospital visits and working in my gardens it has been difficult to sit down and write something. But today I have some nice photos for you, so I thought I ought to make a new posting. The last few days I have mainly spent making a border for the central bed in my garden. It has never had the wooden border the rest of the garden has, the border which now is pretty rotten here and there and due a replacement. The central bed has bark mulch just like the rest of the garden, and without a proper border it has been difficult to keep the bark inside the bed area. When I decided to replace all the borders with logrolls it was therefore a good place to start with the central bed.

I have made the area a bit longer at each end, and slightly wider, a job which was a lot harder than I thought it would be. It was a bit stupid starting this job now, I must admit, after 3 months without rain; the ground is hard as concrete! Getting the turf off was hard enough, but digging the trench to put in the logrolls was a mammoth task that I am glad I didn’t know the extent of beforehand. I have spent 2 days digging that trench! I know that sounds a bit pathetic, but between me and my arthritic hands, and enough breaks in between the digging; that was the time it took. I know it probably would have taken a strong, able-bodied man a couple of hours to do the digging, but I am a bit short of able-bodied men around here, well, short of men full stop I suppose….so things just have to get done my way, in my tempo. The important thing when doing work like this is to never let go of the vision of the finished result. It can take days, weeks or months, doesn’t matter, as long as I can look forward to the finished article. A bit of patience helps a long way too :-)

So here it is, ‘the finished article’! The white area at the front is pure white gravel, a nice touch I have wanted to get for a long time. The white gravel emphasises the black grass which have been growing in pots for years for lack of a permanent place to plant them where they would present themselves in the best way. Black grass against the dark bark I have in the rest of the beds doesn’t exactly do it a favour, so I am thrilled with the white gravel. I will take some close-up photos too later in the week, as I realise the white area looks like snow on this animation. I can assure you, we don’t have any snow in London today! We still haven’t had any significant amount of rain; those 2 hours we had when it was a thunderstorm is all we have had since early February, except for a bit of drizzle the other night. But 3 mm rain overnight after 25 degrees during the day doesn’t make any bit of difference; most of that water evaporates straight away anyway, and the rest stays on the surface instead of sinking down to where the roots are. I suppose I could water my garden every day, just put the sprinkler on and leave it, but as I am on a water meter and pay for every litre of water I use, I really can’t justify doing that. I just carefully water each plant when they seem desperately in need, and the rest have to cope as well as they can. My lawn never gets watered anyway; I just leave it to go yellow in the summer, saves me a lot of mowing! It gets revived in the autumn and winter, as lawns are tough stuff, no matter how yellow and dead they might look like; with some days of rain they will look lush green again.

So, that was my garden, and now to next door: I have finally had my delivery of gravel, compost and bark :-) And I am pleased to say the house owner sent over someone to carry all the stuff from the front of the property where it got delivered, through the house and to the back garden. And he even emptied all the bags of gravel for me right where I wanted them! Remember what I said earlier on about having a man about when you need them, well, today there was one here, and without him this couldn’t have been done. He carried 975kg through to the garden, in 25kg bags, bags which I can hardly lift off the ground! So thanks Joel, much appreciated :-) Now the fun part can soon begin…the planting! I just have to lay the weed liner on the flowerbeds first, which is the task for tomorrow, and then I will spread all the plants I have so far, out on the beds to see what can go where. It is wise not to start planting them straight away, but to give it a few days so one can go and do a bit of tweaking here and there. Many plants don’t like to be moved once they are in the ground, so it’s best if they all get their permanent home on the first attempt.

And finally, do you remember I have written about the dog next door, the dog who tries to escape through the holes in the fence and who is desperate to come over to my garden to play with my cat? Whenever I have a little break, sitting down on my stool, my cat usually turns up and jumps into my lap and this makes the dog next door so jealous! He scrapes on the fence and tries to bite off pieces – well, he has successfully bit off many pieces so far as you can see from the previous photo; the owner has tried to ‘weave’ some of the pieces back….but the dog is now getting more and more clever. Here he is, after successfully moving around 15 bricks that was stacked on the ground! He looked so proud when he finally got to see through the opening, but got a bit despondent when he realised the opening was not big enough to get through!

Oh, well, more some other day, more photos when I have done more work :-) Until then, take care.

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