Last year I had to undergo chemo so I’ve not really done much work on the garden, if there’s one thing that chemo does really well is destroy your body’s ability to do anything. Months of living through social media and visits from friends kept me in touch and I would hate to think what it would be like to go through this treatment pre-internet.
I spent the most part of last year watching the weeds take over my garden that I’d spent many hard hours working on to dig out ground elder, the woody invasive shrubs, and the ever so creeping knot weed. This year I’m well enough to embark on the project again, although I’ve had to recruit some help in the form of My Handy Pensioner who for the sake of keeping his identity safe I’ll be calling Trevor.
Trevor, while brilliant reminded me how limited my body is since my ruptured disk at L5/S1. All I could do was watch while this very energetic 60 year old proceeded to move 3400 Kg of soil through my tiny flat which was quite an achievement considering you can’t get a wheel barrow through because of the tight hallways and he had to use trugs and a parcel cart. The other added benefit to Trevor is that he’s an old school carpenter so I’ll be using him to undertake the more structural elements. Trevor is also very reasonably priced at £75 and some beer.
My original plan was to logically start at the bottom of the garden and move my way up so that the lawn would be the last thing that goes down, however due to frustration this changed, I just wanted to get one part of it finished or at least stop thinking about it and just do it. The soil came through and I just filled the top end over heavy duty weed membrane after digging out 50 bags of old soil, luckily my neighbour has a whacking great hole in her garden that she wants filling so it was a matter of decanting the soil; the weather has been amazing but it’s bloody heavy work and rather stupidly I’m doing it myself . I’m in some pain but I’m having another injection in my back tomorrow so it’s cool.
The problem I’ve found is that while Travis Perkins are brilliant I assumed the bags would be 1000kg and they aren’t, they’re only 850kg, so when I thought I was getting enough to fill what I need I came up one bag short, so getting the lawn down can’t happen. I’m thinking ‘why bother have a van out 1000kg I might as well buy another 4000kg and the heavy timber I need tor Trevor to crack on an work is old school carpenter magic’.
Since bringing the soil through and putting up the trellis the image and the usage of the garden in my head has changed, it’s now more a mixed fruit orchard then a veg garden, it has more leisure space and more lawn, without a greenhouse; although the outside cinema is still on the boards. I’m looking forward to watching to eventually sitting outside watching a movie in my own private cinema dribbling gin with friends on a warm late summer evening.
The bottom of the garden won’t get touched this year the comfrey and nettles which are waist high will get cut back to ground level and composted. In the photos there’s cat, it’s not mine, but neither are the foxes that use my garden as a pathway. Where I saw virgin soil, she saw a cat litter tray, she hates me, I’m trying to politely discourage her from coming in because I’m getting at least one kitten in a few weeks and I’d like it to be their garden. I don’t think this cat is the kind that plays nicely with others.
Apart from that it’s just a matter of digging out the rambling brambles that have gotten hold from next door because between chemo and my back it’s been a while since I’ve been to the log pile area.