Tag Archives: Garden projects

Hard on the thighs


Yesterday’s post was entitled ‘Hard going’ and indeed the work I am doing in the garden is exactly that. Yes I am older now but even for someone much younger it is still hard work. I think I do very well for my age. I meet many people, both genders and of a similar age to myself and to be honest have all but resigned themselves to old age. Anyway I do what I am able to do whilst I can. I continued with the edging to the long flowerbed and thus far I have completed about two-thirds of it, that is placing the slabs and stones.

Of course I have to seal the joints yet, though I have done a little bit of that (right-hand part in the picture). I have thieved some large slabs we had in The Mound to make up the numbers and in the process have been digging out the bluebells that were growing beneath them. That part is a job all by itself. I will be placing some of the large stones I hope will be left over from the collection I have where the slabs once lay in The Mound. If there are any more bluebells in The Mound, and that is most likely the way things have gone, it will be easier lifting the stones and less disruptive to the surrounding plants. Constantly having to move some of the small plants and bulbs to get at the bluebells has been a nuisance. As I write this late on Tuesday my upper leg posterior muscles need a rest as they are aching. I am not sure why those particular muscles alone are aching but I suspect they are because I have been kneeling and stretching in the course of the work. If they are still aching on Wednesday I will most probably leave off any further work on the project for a while. As it stands I might mow the lawn for the first time in the year as it needs cutting. I may have to wait until later in the day however to allow the dew to dry up. Rain is forecast at the weekend and all work will have to stop then. Perhaps that is just as well.

Shirley Anne

Hard going


I might as well retire from electrical work for again on Monday I hadn’t any. I shouldn’t speak too soon though because that can change in an instant. As it happened Monday was a fine day and it enabled me to get out in the garden once more. Now it was that once my electrical work was hard-going at times but now the only hard work, that is physically hard work I do is either in the house or in the gardens. My current project has definitely been hard-going. Digging out bluebells so deep beneath the surface is very tiring especially as I have spent hours at a time doing it! On Monday my main aim was to concentrate on installing a stone edging to the long flowerbed and I got this far with it…..(as always, click on pictures to magnify).

What slowed me down, apart from heaving the stones into position was the fact that I had also been digging out bluebells in the bed behind it. I see one and dig deep to get at it but it isn’t alone and I ended up digging lots of them. What is heartbreaking is that as I think I’ve finished digging them out I notice another and so on. These are sprouting up in ground I had already filtered! It proves they are elusive but I leave them till they appear at the surface. It’s all I can do. Anyway it looked as though I might not have enough slabs to finish the edging so I decided to use the ones in the Mound and elsewhere, replacing them with large stones instead. When I went to The Mound to see what I could use I saw more bluebells around the slabs so digging them out became my task for an hour or so. It is unbelievable how many times I have revisited The Mound to dig out bluebells….This time I began just on the other side of the dwarf conifer in the foreground and ended up at the back of the Mound as I saw more of them to dig out. I also removed the stone slabs which were surrounding the Phoenix Canariensis  in the west wall flowerbed and tidied up the area…

The Phoenix Canariensis is almost dead centre in the picture. Whilst working in the area I put more soil in the bed where I had been working a day or two earlier removing some large slabs of stone. As I am the only one working in the garden the work is taking a lot of time to do. In all I spent about five and a half hours in the garden. Monday was the day the green waste was collected and our two wheelie bins are no longer full of bluebells! However, I do have to empty out the builders bag which is full of them too! That can be done at any time though, there is no hurry, there is too much else to do in the meantime.

Shirley Anne

A bit of rain


The weather forecast for Saturday looked promising, no rain until evening though a few isolated spells of rain might be possible during the day. I was happy with that as I wanted to do some more work in the rear garden. The main project I have at the moment is to install a stone edging along the length of the long flowerbed. The bluebell removal project is ongoing though the bulk of the work you could say is done. It will take a long time to dig out the new ones as they appear and at this moment in time work on that small task is frequent. During the other work I was doing on Saturday I noticed quite a number of bluebells in different places which I dug out immediately. It would appear that I may not need to purchase any stone to install the edging as we had some stored and I planned to dig out some more from the west wall flowerbed. This was how that spot looked on Friday…..  Now it looks like this as I had dug out five large slabs and also some large stones as you can see…….

Those stones and slabs I moved here…….

The slabs count three from the left then a stone then two more slabs. The other slabs and stones I put there on Friday. I emptied the soil that we had stored in the white builder’s bag to fill the space that resulted from digging out the slabs. This picture was taken sometime last year I think. More work has gone on in the area since then….

Like this for instance……..

We will need more soil to top it off but though we have plenty of soil over the other side of the garden in the Corner Plot there could be some bluebell seedlings in it. In that part of the Plot it is more likely there are montbretia bulbs in it. One thing I noticed when working in that spot was the lack of any plant life below a few centimetres, not like I found in the main flowerbed. I will probably use the soil therefore which is nearest the back wall in the Corner Plot…….

Notice something missing? The yellow builder’s bag I was using to dump the bluebells because the two wheelie bins were full to the brim. I dragged the bag to the spot the white bag had occupied. When the wheelie bins are emptied I will be able to empty the contents of the bag into them…

….and these are the smaller stones I have removed from the ground during the work and there are still more to pick up and no doubt still to dig out yet….

It was one-thirty when I decided to stop for the day and as I did the rain began to fall but it was only very light and soon stopped. Our regular delivery girl brought yet another parcel for E. We chatted about work. She told me she was feeling a little tired to which I replied the same. I invited her to step into the house and on into the kitchen to have a look at the rear garden where I have been working. I think she was surprised at what she saw. As we moved back to the front garden for her to resume her deliveries she pointed to a couple of bluebells in one of the flowerbeds. That was it! When she’d gone I set about digging them out before finally returning indoors for a belated lunch.

Shirley Anne

Just a little


After a hard day in the garden I slept well Thursday night and no aches and pains on Friday morning, at least at first. I had no electrical work except offers I turned down so the day was mine. After breakfast I drove to the garden centre (Dobbies) where I am now a member. I purchased a couple of things, two pairs of gardening gloves, one pair for use when messing about in the soil and the other pair for use when pruning and doing other things. I also purchased some grease band to put around the apple trees to keep ants and certain caterpillars from climbing up them and a few ant-control blocks filled with ‘Nippon’ designed to destroy the ant nests we have in some places. Last of all I bought another evergreen shrub called Crinodendron/Hookerianum  or Lantern Tree which produces bright red flowers in Spring through Summer. When I returned home it was the first thing I did in planting it. It is the centre shrub in this picture…

It grows to a height of 2.5 metres with a spread of 1.2 metres. The other two shrubs shown in the picture I planted on Thursday. This corner has come a long way since February when I was clearing it out……

So it was down to shifting some large stones/slabs and distributing them along the edge of the long flowerbed ready for me to construct an edging. I placed the first one in position but didn’t get further as I had again noticed a few bluebells at the other end of the same flowerbed and dug them out along with some of the large stones we had there as a temporary measure. Most of the bluebells on this occasion were beneath those now removed stones. The stones will be used in constructing the edging……

The shrub second from the left I had to dig out in order to get at a couple of large bluebells. I replanted it slightly to the right of its original position. During the construction of the Mound a couple of years ago we moved some of the natural stones we had discovered beneath the ground and put then at the end of the flowerbed on the right of the patio. I’ll refer to that bed as the west wall flowerbed…

In the space immediately right of the large bright green shrub I removed a few of those large stones and moved them using a truck to the long flowerbed for use in constructing the edging there. I may at some point dig out the stone slabs immediately beneath the large shrub but they are very large and were used to hold back the weeds and everything else that was growing in the wild corner before the Mound project got underway. You can see in the bottom right corner a small part of the new Mound. The area shown in the above picture is just left of centre in the picture below (taken a couple of years ago) and the area in the preceding picture at the end of the long flowerbed is shown right of centre next to the rear wall…

I mention again that all the large stones and paving slabs (to the rear of the Mound) dotted around the rear garden and some in the front garden were all found beneath the corner where the new Mound is now. The Mound is the island surrounded by a path in the above picture for those new to my blog. To see older posts regarding the Mound use the search box on the right. Anyway to get back to Friday, I cut short my time in the garden to a couple of hours because I didn’t wish to overdo things, after all there is no hurry and I’d only wear myself out!

Shirley Anne

On my knees


Reading that title you might be forgiven for thinking that Shirley Anne has been praying. Well I do pray every day but I am hardly ever on my knees doing it, no, I have been doing more work in and on the greenhouse flowerbed whilst the weather is remaining dry. It was a cooler day on Monday but all I wore beneath my overalls was a thin cap-sleeved top and although the early morning  temperature was only 10 deg C. I wasn’t cold because there was hardly any wind. Once I begin to work I soon warm-up anyway so much so that later in the morning I had my overalls tied-off at the waist and not covering my upper body. It didn’t get warmer than 14 deg C throughout the day but I wasn’t cold in  the least. I prefer cooler temperatures anyway. So I spent most of the day until three o’clock practically on my knees. I had begun work around eight-fifteen by putting the remaining seven stone slabs along that part of the rear of the bed where they could be placed, which was up to the large greenhouse.greenhouse-flowerbed-3   Once they were in place I began to remove all the weeds and those small flowering plants we wished to keep, though I didn’t replant them in the same part of the bed. I actually planted them all later in the afternoon at the far end of the bed under the holly tree among the large natural stones I had placed there. I also planted them closely packed because I wanted them to fill the area with colour. Here are the same plants in bloom when they were originally planted in the bed.Under the apple trees

Now I am hoping all that colour will be concentrated at the far end of the bed. Having them close together will deter weeds too. I also spread more topsoil over the whole bed using the soil I had removed from the ‘Plot’ and had stored in the white bag I spoke about in recent posts.The bare spaces now have to be filled with new plants and I plan to have evergreen plants there when I get around to buying them. On Tuesday I planned to mix concrete to fill in all the spaces between the stone slabs as before. A neighbour living two doors away, our new neighbours to be precise, had tree surgeons in their rear garden all day long. Some trees were being cut down and others were being pollarded.  That meant chain saws and chipping machines being used all day long. I got used to the noise eventually!

Shirley Anne