The past couple of days have been spent in a full scale assault on the garden here at The Pile.
On Saturday I extracted the lawn mower from the garage and completed the first cut of the season. With the lawn looking somewhat more controlled, the tree loppers and chainsaw were broken out and the two piles of prunings at the back of the house were considerably enlarged. A thin but tall Hawthorn was removed from the bed near the Holly tree and, after some severe pruning by 30%, I cut out the bulk of a leggy Elder that was pushing its way up through the aforementioned Ilex.
I then swapped the chainsaw for the loppers and hit the Laurel hedge that sits on the bank above our newly laid wall. This was long overdue for a pruning and I must have taken three to five feet out of the top and sides of it. We are hoping that the pruning will encourage it to thicken up at the base where it is rather thin.
As I chopped and hacked 30% and TP assisted by hauling away the trimmings to the now massive piles of debris at the back of the house. 30% eventually saw the wood for the trees and decreed that a wood chipper needed to be hired as we had way too much to burn.
I also took the chainsaw out and performed some gentle tidying around the base of the Yew where it had got somewhat battered during the recent construction work. Some of the lower branches have been scraped and scarred and but I am hopeful that they will recover over the growing season. I also had a go at the huge Christmas Tree in the corner of the garden, removing the dead boughs and thinning those that overhang the lawn … when we re-stock with chickens we will be able to reach the run without getting soaked by it.
Feeling somewhat jaded I decided to take a run to the Tip. This allowed me to sit down for forty minutes and I also managed to dispose of three broken garden chairs and the lawn clippings.
As the afternoon waned 30% headed off to the supermarket and I settled to a task that had been niggling me occasionally over the past week … Just before we headed off to The Gower I attempted a trial fit of the exhaust pipe on The Enfield. It was not right as the pipe projected too far beyond the flange and consequently the nuts could not be put on to the exhaust studs … I spent the spare time drafting a mail to Hitchcocks attempting to describe the problem and asking for guidance.
I then put thoughts of The Enfield aside, showered and changed in preparation for an evening spent at the Village Hall helping Kathy H-R celebrate her seventieth birthday. We felt quite honoured to be invited and had a lovely informal evening drinking and chatting with our friends from the village … at one point I volunteered to pull the neck on VI's evil bastard of a Light Sussex cock as he is getting far too aggressive for VI to manage.
I was thankful that it wasn't a late night after our busy day and I was in bed the right side of midnight.
I made an early start on Sunday and was out in the garden just before nine o'clock. A spade and axe were the tools of choice and the morning was spent removing the stumps of several shrubs along with the Elder I cut out yesterday.
The plan is to clear the beds along the left hand side of the lawn, level them and lay turf. We are hoping that this will give us a more spacious and light garden that can be easily tidied with the lawn mower.
30%'s Mum and Dad joined us for lunch and a viewing of our recent projects. We had a pleasant time chatting and it was nice to sit for a while after the strenuous activities of the morning.
In the afternoon the chainsaw made another appearance and the peculiar dwarf conifer at the base of the holly was cut out. I was then able to prune the holly and this has made a remarkable difference to the garden. It already seems so much more open and light now the beds to the left of the lawn have been cleared.
If I am honest I was exhausted by this hard work and my shoulders and back were starting to twinge as the afternoon progressed. My last exertion was to help TP who had done a sterling task of removing hardcore from the base of the new raised bed at the front of the house.
From that point forward I pottered, completing a few final tasks before collapsing on the sofa. I was absolutely knackered and almost too tired for the glass of red wine 30% proffered.