Dr Livingstone I Presume …


Well not exactly, nor did I run into Lord Lucan or any other missing individuals.

Of course not. After all, I’ve just spent the last few hours delving into the upper reaches of my garden, in sunny Hampshire.

To my knowledge, neither  Livingston or Lucan have ever ventured into my garden. Livingstone spent many years in Africa and Lucan could be anywhere having supposedly been seen everywhere.

After hacking back the brambles and Jasmine vines, and numerous other invasive plants I can state categorically that neither of the aforementioned gentlemen are to be found.

The Lost Gardens of ???

Unfortunately, this end of the garden has been neglected somewhat. Not helped by our seven month sojourn in Australia. The picture above was taken after I had made a valiant foray, boldly forging a path through the brambles and Jasmine with my electric hedge trimmer.

What’s triggered this sudden exertion ?

Well, the fence, that you can just catch glimpses of, is in a very dilapidated state. In fact I believe the plant life, that I have been cutting back, is all that is keeping it up.

The plan, much like a game of dominoes, is in several parts.

Step one, is to replace the fence. This I am going to do with the help of my daughters boyfriend. Actually, he is the expert, I will just be his bitch. So approximately twelve metres of featherboards mounted on arris rails.

Ancient Shed

Step two, is to replace this sorry broken shed. The plan is to replace it with a new one, approximately twice the size. This shed has performed admirably until late last year, when some guys I had hired to do some hedge work, chose to fall through the roof. Removing the shed will be a bit of a voyage of discovery as there are signs of subterranean habitation. That is to say there looks to be a tunnel going under the shed. You can just see the entrance to the right of the door. Potential inhabitants range from hedgehogs thru foxes to rats. Hopefully not the latter although, I believe, we would have seen more signs if there were any living that close to the house.

Greenhouse

Step three, replace the cheap n cheerful greenhouse with a more robust version. Over the last couple of years this structure has suffered damage due to strong winds. So it’s time to get rid.

The latest storm blew off the door, breaking the plastic glazing. Blew off the skylight (now placed back on the roof). And, I have since discovered, the wind also dislodged some glazing at the back. So, no longer weatherproof. The greenhouse was used last year, to grow a bumper crop of tomatoes. Not this year though.

And finally, step four, build a new deck area to provide a base for a swing chair. Our current swing chair has suffered under the same rough weather that has damaged the greenhouse, bending and snapping the canopy frame.

So in preparation for Step One I have been clearing out the jungle. This has been more like an archaeological dig, rediscovering long lost areas. Who knew that the space behind the shed was the hiding place for our first ever patio table and chairs. Originally white, but now turned green by nature.

What is that, a snake ? Nope just a long section of garden hose, bright yellow.

Birds Skull ?

Then there are the bones. I’m guessing, judging by the size of the skull, that they are the remains of a pigeon. Question is, who did it ? Did the luckless bird fall prey to one of several neighbourhood cats, or perhaps one the kites or kestrels often seen soaring overhead.

Dinosaurus Plasticus

And what was that I spied, hiding under the coniferous canopy ? A baby dinosaur ? No, just a toy abandoned by one of our grandchildren. One brave enough to venture into our mini jungle.

The bulk of my discoveries, from behind the shed, have now found their way to the municipal tip. I didn’t have room for the old wheelbarrow or the old fridge, so another trip has to be planned. Perhaps some of the junk in the garage will find it’s way into that next load too.

As I post this, I have received notification that the fencing materials will be delivered on the 15th April. So I’d better start limbering up and get ready for some hard physical labour.

View From The Conservatory


What Am I ?
What Am I ?

Well it’s been a while since I posted one of these.

I’ve been up and down healthwise, flu or something similar, and the weather has been dire to say the least. Now we have had a few sunny days and all the plants seem to be exploding into growth and the coloursĀ  are fabulous.

Our remaining cherry blossom is looking beautiful and the lawn in our back garden is totally out of control. I’ve taken a few minutes out from work to make a quick perimeter patrol and fire off a few snaps.

Up above is a shot of a butterfly. I don’t believe I have seen one of these before, certainly never in my garden.

Does anyone out there know what it is ?

Here are a few more pictures, some with titles where I know what they are. Some remain anonymous. However, I hope you enjoy these facsimiles as much as I am enjoying the real thing.

Dandelion
Dandelion

grape
Grape Hyacinth

pansy
Pansy – Always happy to see you

shrub
A Shrub ?

shrub2
Another Shrub ?

tulip
Tulip – with Primrose back-up

My perimeter walk has also highlighted the amount of work that needs to be done around the “estate”.

This weekend has been earmarked forĀ  “slash and burn”. Perhaps not much of the burning but certainly there will be much slashing.

We have also decided to replace the fence which marks the back border for our property. fencing

As you can see the fence has a somewhat laidback attitude. Something it took on early the year after the “Great Storm” of 1987. Slowly but surely the post has rotated in the ground and many of the other posts have rotted out so the whole fence has to go. Thats not bad considering it has had no treatment during the last 30 years. So, 25-30 meters of wooden fencing, a task which is a little to big for my DIY skills, will be replaced by a local firm. They have done work on two of my neighbours properties so I have been able to see the quality of their work.

Once that is done we will have a blank canvas against which to plan the transformation.

Here are couple of general shots showing the desperate state of my garden.

Over grown
Over grown

lawnflowers
Primroses and Daisys

overgrown
Some significant trimming needed here.

It would seem that something has taken up residence under our shed. A large hole and signs of escavation. Maybe that tatty fox, I spotted a couple of weeks ago, has decided to move in.

Foxhole ?
Foxhole ?

shed2
Foxhole ?

And finally I submit this image. It is pretty much indicative of the general state of my garden which is in dire need of a make over.

Even my spade is over grown.
Even my spade is over grown.