Yesterday was the first in ages when I was able to get outside and do some of the heavier jobs that have been piling up. First my broken wrist and then the wet / cold / snowy / freezing weather has kept me indoors or in the greenhouses. There were two jobs in particular which had been bugging me because they were unfinished.
Those of you who have read previous posts may remember that when the wonderful people in the Carmarthenshire Permaculture Group came some of them spent the afternoon constructing a sitting area outside the cabin in the garden using waste materials. If you missed it just click here. Many Hands Unfortunately I had misjudged the broken slates I had and there were not nearly enough. My friend Marie, who came with her partner Rose to help me clear the bank in front of the house over the Christmas Holidays (read about that here A Day of Visitors ), read the post and told me she had a pile of broken slates in her garden from a roof repair and would love to be rid of them. So on Tuesday evening she brought them to yoga and after the class we transferred the containers to my car. I took the journey home very slowly! And remembered when we bought our first home and needed to replace the roof. My Dad found a load of slates on a demolition site and bought them for us but we had to go from Mid Wales to Manchester, where I grew up, to collect them. We broke down twice on the way there and the car springs were never the same again after the return journey – a memorable weekend!
However my car seems to have survived and yesterday my first job was to barrow the slates down to the lower garden, break them up with a sledge hammer and put them on the sitting area. With a few more I had found in other parts of the garden there were just enough to finish the job. A good clear up of bits of wood and concrete left over from the building work and it looks much better.
Just before my wrist broke some gooseberry plants had arrived and I had put them in pots until I could plant them out properly. They had been sitting in the car port ever since and were in the way. So the next job was to rehome them permanently. I had decided to make a hedge around the Southern edge of the drive and had begun by not scraping up all the chipped wood which had been piled at the back of the turning area. Around the Orchard and the veg patch where space is tight I have planted trees which I will use to lay a hedge but in other places I use fruit bushes to be productive as well as marking the boundary. Here I had planted 2 self seeded Elders which I had weeded out elsewhere and a white currant bought at Lammas. In between I put some tulip, daffodil and narcissus bulbs. So yesterday, down the sides of the turning space I piled some rotting wood and topped it with some home made compost (still frozen so in lumps!) and some chipped wood. The bushes were in pots which had big holes cut in the bottom and a piece of card to cover it. That way they can go out without further disturbance and the roots will go down through the card as it rots. Between the turning space and the house there is a large apple tree and 2 small damsons which were a present from another friend Gill – suckers from a tree in her garden. I found 3 old tyres and planted the last 3 bushes in them between the trees.
Finally I collected up some black rubbish sacks which contained the mud and weeds I had scraped off the path down to the cabin last year. Hopefully by now the weeds have died completely. I barrowed them up to the veg patch and dumped them next to the compost bins. Once I have dug out and spread the finished compost the contents of these sacks will form the start of the new mix. As the veg patch is at the height of the house gutters I gave up after that! But it felt good to have finished some jobs and the place is certainly starting to look more cared for.