Wednesday, May 05, 2010

A necessary makeover

I have finally had to accept that I am no longer 18, and strong as a drayhorse - so reluctantly I had to get help in the garden to do some heavy 'hard' landscaping.

I had a long list of 'tasks' to be done - alas not a stunning re-design makeover - but necessary maintenance and adaptations to make it easier for me to cope with.

I has used a lawn treatment to kill off the broad leaf weeds - and this was the result!

The pond needed clearing out and the pond plants thinning down.
I had removed the perennial plants from in front of it early spring as I want to replace the gravel with lawn

The same along here

The work has begun.  All the forget-me-nots which had self seeded into the gravel have gone,  The pergola broke in the winter winds and was being held up with a wish and a prayer - so it has to come down - first the pruning - after checking the bird boxes were finished with.
I kept the workers energy levels up with hot drinks every hour - and lots of home made cakes.
The path where they are sitting gets a makeover too!

The jobs I am having done are not major on impact - but are a lot of hard work - and will make maintaining the garden a whole lot easier for me

All the gravel has been dug up and moved.  The dead bits of lawn removed

This area will be transformed

And my friend Sue is the lady to do it.  Thank goodness she had her waders on as she had just slipped into the pond - hence the shocked look!

The 'extra' plants are destined for a new home in a big pond

When I came back from college it was sorted - and topsoil put down too! 
Alas Sue only came across one goldfish, several newts, and frogspawn so I can only assume that the others had perished in the bad winter - but there were no bodies and the net cage kept the herons off it.  We were having a debate as to whether to leave it to be a nature pond or whether to re-stock with fish.  The jury is still out!

More topsoil ready to be spread.

The crumbling walls are being repaired where possible and removed where not.

The shirker back from golf, is chatting to the worker!

But the work goes on - gravel removed ready for topsoil

Walls being re-built - coping stones on the top

Path being dug out for the rope pattern edging stones

More top soil and stamping down

We discovered today that the rest of the pergola wasn't worth rescuing - so that had to come down too!

I discovered that the wind had taken out the side of the lean-to, pulled the frame and the door clean out of the wall

The shirker, who is not a DIY man, seems to be practising his management skills on the worker and discussing a rescue project to my potting 'shed'

End of day two

The young volunteer labourers have departed - leaving their hard 'ground work', testament to their great efforts.

The top soil is all in place, and ready for turfing.  I can't seed it as my darling bantams will eat all the seed, and I can't bear to have them shut in all day until it grew!

The whole of the pergola has come down, boo hoo, ditto all my climbing plants.   The moutain of wood has been loaded onto a trailer and all the debris removed and swept up

One stubborn post to remove, and a stubborn grape vine to get out.

Edging stones cemented in - except the last one - and all ready for more gravel.

After everyone was gone - including the shirker who is off bowling - I spent a few hours 'pottering' about.  I let the bantams out to run around, explore, scratch about, and dig for worms.   They were like children let out into the playground and didn't go to bed until dusk - they were such a joy to watch.

I, no doubt, will be suffering tomorrow.  I shifted huge pots around - a 9ft long reclaimed piece of the pergola to go along the 'bed' in front of the conservatory.  Swept up - after the chooks had scratched up some gravel - hence my re-siting of pots and wood.

My friend Adrian arrived with 8 sacks of very well rotted manure from his huge womery bless him - and I have used one up already!   I watered some tubs and the 'greenhouse', tidied up some more, and took today's photos.

Now I am exhausted and can hardly keep my eyes open - so I am off to put my feet up and relax


  1. WOW! It looks like a mammoth project Lottie!
    What a shame about your pergola, the girls will miss the grapes!
    But, I can see the practicality of it all, can I borrow the volunteers please?!
    I hope you are not too achy and enjoy the weekend.

    Sandie xx

  2. claret3:44 pm

    I can't believe the hard work and difference they have made - it will take some getting used to not having the pergola there.

    Very tidy and neat though, also much easier for you to maintain on your own.

    'The Shirker'! I love that! LOL


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