We Are Getting Our Garden Back Together, Slowly


After a couple of years of near total neglect we are starting to get our garden back together. Last year was such a crap year weather wise and I was so wacked out from work that I really didn’t feel like gardening. They say “You reap what you sow”. Well we are reaping the rewards for all that lack of maintenance.

All green, before we started the clearance.
All green, before we started the clearance.

Like a lot of big projects it takes a relatively small catalyst to get the ball rolling. In our case it was the state of the perimeter fence. This fence has not had any treatment since it was erected over twenty years ago and, apart from taking an outward lean following a storm in 1988, it has served us well.

A list that started in 1988 and has slowly increased over the years. A bit like the tower in Pisa.
A list that started in 1988 and has slowly increased over the years. A bit like the tower in Pisa.

So we bit the bullet, got a quote and ordered a new fence. Well just the back part which is seventy-five feet long. There is another fifty feet or so, which is in much better shape, but we’ll save that for another day.

Having made the decision we set about clearing the way for the new fence. The contractors would dismantle the existing fence but we thought we would clear as much of the over growth, brambles and ivy, as we could. After a couple of body shattering weekends we had cleared almost all of our side of the fence and I had also made an attempt on the outside so as to give the fencing contractors as clear a space to work in as I could.

So that's what the fence looks like.
So that’s what the fence looks like.
Before_3_IMG_8790
I cut myself a gateway to the outside world.

I have to say that the old fencing didn’t look quite as bad as I thought it would once it was undressed. I knew the posts were rotten at ground level but apart from a couple of arris rails the timber was still sound.

At this stage we were pretty much ready for the contractors to come and get started although they weren’t due for a few days.

Come the due date and there was no sign and I had to phone them to find out that they had buggered off to do another “emergency” job and hadn’t bothered to let me know. Erection day was renegotiated for a week hence with me grumbling under my breath that should they miss that start date then they would be out on their ear. After all, no money had changed hands at this time. Anyway one week later they arrived and set to work.

Out with the old and in with the new.
Out with the old and in with the new.
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Nearly there. Only a few more feet to meet up with my neighbours back fence.

The previous photos show the progress at the end of the first day.

By noon the following day they had completed the fence. All was looking good. The shine was taken off, a little, later in the day when my neighbour came round complaining that he had a hole in his fence.

For some reason the guys hadn’t linked my fence to my neighbours, leaving a gap just over a foot wide. My neighbour has a small covered area in the corner of his garden which hid this “gap” from view. Well except that his son could see it when sat in a deck chair. It seems that the new fence has equal spaced posts where the original didn’t. So the guys finished the fence with the new equidistant posts. Out of sight from me in my garden. Out of sight from their boss who didn’t climb over the fence to check their work. Anyway, one phone call and he had them back the next day to complete the job.

New fence, new plants. Getting our garden back.
New fence, new plants. Getting our garden back.

Its amazing how big the garden looks now that all that ivy and other green stuff has been cut back. I’ve also cut back a lot of overhanging branches from the trees so we have more space vertically. A couple of trips to the garden centre to add a splash of colour and we are getting our garden back together, slowly.

Lets Talk Rubbish


The national pastime in the UK is DIY. Saturdays and Sundays are filled with painting, papering, sawing and chiseling. All of which creates waste.

Another favourite pastimes is gardening, pruning, raking and mowing. Again creating waste.

So that they can step back and admire the fruits of their labour, and to prevent the great British public from disappearing under a great pile of waste or going fly tipping and therefore breaking the law , the local authorities invented municipal waste centres.

The idea is that you take the your waste to one of these centres where your waste becomes their waste which they then dispose of in bulk. For the provision of these centres the British public pays the local authority via a part of the “Council Tax”.

Over the last year or so my son-in-law has been renovating, refurbishing, painting, decorating and generally improving his house. As you can imagine, in this time, he has created a substantial amount of waste.

I should point out that my son-in-law is a “Council Tax” payer.

Imagine then his surprise, when he was informed, by folks at his local municipal tip, that they limit the number of visits one can make.

How can this make sense ?

Local and central government are constantly complaining about fly tipping and then some jobs-worth introduces a limit on those of us who are trying to do the right thing.

As a result of this arbitrary limitation, at a stroke they will cause the increase of an individuals carbon footprint due to members of the British public touring the surrounds seeking a municipal tip from which they have not been excluded.

Failing which they may be forced to find alternative disposal sites.

In other words these idiots jobs-worths will force an increase in fly tipping which will cost the local authority more to clear up. Not forgetting, of course, the expense of hunting down the perpetrators.

Should I also mention the increase in traffic on our local roads along with the resultant increase in stress levels, brought about by Joe Public not being able to enjoy their freshly decorated lounge, newly installed kitchen……. lanscaped garden…….