Last post, I told you about losing Abi which as you can imagine was a very sore thing to bear.
I’m one of those people who deal with situations of that nature by harnessing the energies generated in as creative a way as possible; so it was that with spring already into its stride I set about the long overdue process of making my small and neglected garden into a nice place to be.
Two months down the line it’s still very much a work in progress but I’m very pleased with the story so far. It’s been a lot of hard work but now having much more time for such things under my current work arrangements I’m really enjoying the process of making the small space available into a space where I just want to spend every daylight hour when I’m not behind the wheel!
What I do need to stress though is that some aspects of the job would have been pretty much impossible without the help of the two best mates I’ve ever had the honour of knowing. You know who you are guys so thanks!👍🏻
The scope of the project was initially fairly modest – to create a little slabbed area in front of the conservatory (henceforth referred to as The Dog House!) and refresh the stone which was tired after 14 years of indifferent care.
The first part of this I achieved, learning a few new building skills along the way.
This was intended to be the main piece of the project.
Storm Hector had other ideas…
While I sat in the Doghouse with my tea that windy morning, the place was rattled by a powerful gust that was in truth more like a blast, followed by a sharp crack as I gazed on the disappointing sight of my fence unexpectedly keeling over onto the adjoining pavement!
What started as a modest garden project to keep me occupied had suddenly expanded into what was, in my terms, a fairly hefty bit of civil engineering!
A check with the insurance company confirmed, as with every other occasion I’ve called on their services after a storm that I was on my own (again-makes mental note to read small print in future before wasting good money on worthless policies).
After an hour’s cursing and grumbling, I flipped into crisis management mode and got into clearing up the mess whilst formulating my next moves.
I quickly decided to treat this as an opportunity rather than a disaster; long term, I had fancied replacing the now 20 year old fence with concrete post/wooden slat fencing but was going to do so when funds permitted.
This situation forced my hand a bit and once I accepted I was going to have to use the plastic for long-term gain, I got the ball rolling, called in some help from ‘The A Team’ (cheers again guys) and got the material ordered!
After a lot of hard graft on a couple of very hot days we got the posts planted and panels fitted.
Some of the posts had bunker-like foundations and what a job was had getting them out – some superhuman effort from the guy with the Kango won the day though!
Now all the panels are in bar one which requires a bit more work due to its situation but nevertheless the garden is now secure and the new fence looks brilliant!
As always, these projects can take on a life of their own and such is the case with this one as various ideas for improving what was inside the fence hatched, often with the benefit of a couple of extra heads throwing their ideas in!
The result is a levelled and expanded stone area which will eventually include a couple of new raised beds which will allow for a wee bit of extra food to be grown; probably useful when the Brex-shit hits the fan!
There’s still a lot of work to be done but even now it’s a joy just to sit out in such a nice spot as at this time of year and particularly in this summer of legend it’s a wee suntrap – perfect for stockpiling Vitamin D.
Once that last rear panel is in, a raised bed is going in along the back which will truly lift this aspect.
The gate will be replaced by a new one at the side in due course, but the old crumbling shed at the side (not the one you see here) is being replaced first!
I’ve learned a lot of new skills as a result of this project such as slabbing and concrete mixing/ screeding and I’m sure they’ll come in handy in the next phase where the new, bespoke shed takes shape. I’m lucky to have knowledgable mates to learn from.
Some of you may have noticed a wee feature; I have a line of solar bulbs above the seating area.
The line is supported by this…
… a genuine ex-Waverley Route telegraph wire insulator, found lying in the dirt next to the line where it passed behind the old engine shed at Kingmoor.
When found, it still had the mounting spigot attached but bent and unable to be removed without destroying the insulator itself.
Nevertheless, having had some suggestions from my mate, I devised a mount that would allow me to re-purpose this find.
It comprised of a length of plastic conduit, boiled and bent at a 30 degree angle, bracketed to the shed front.
All those years playing about with and butchering Airfix kits in my youth paid off there!
Anyway, that’s enough for the moment, work to be done but only after I sit out here in the sun for a bit longer! 😊