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There is always something in the garden that I am not quite good enough to do, and it is at times like that I need help from somebody to do it better. Just as I was pondering the complexities of lean-to greenhouse erection today, a savior came along in the form of a former employee, looking for a little paid employment. The one things he is good at...... precisely what I am not! Drills, rawl plugs, screws, and wood! He has even offered to put up a Swift box 5-7me up which I was beginning to think needed scaffolding to be successful with. He is a great lover of birds!

Not everybody who exchanges ideas here also keeps a flower garden, but I succumbed to Rhodos and Azaleas before this last spring and I am now entranced. I've got about a dozen azaleas now but three particularly fine full growing Rhodos which will help disguise the horrors of the nearby road. They will be 1.5m high in seven or eight years, and be a joy to behold rather than  a pain to hear, from that part of the garden. I also plan to build a wall to

"chuck the noise right back where it comes from," according to a sound engineer.

I've built a set of steps to a high terrace made ,not from bricks this time but from tanalized but non treated wood. I am not keen on tarred sleepers, so a sacrifice in years had to be made.

"won't last long!"

"long enough!"

I am hoping DV(deo volonte/god willing) to extend in to the paddock set aside for me by the favor of a local gentleman farmer.  I am endeavoring unsuccessfully to grow  bare root Yew to plant along the road side of the Paddock but it has been so dry and hot this summer I have not made much progress. Bare root Ornamental Box is excellent though, and repotted. The yew does not want to repot, wants to go deep straight away perhaps, but some rain may help. They grow well at any time when it is wet!

I am making further plans for greenhouses and a flat roof above my kitchen and  bathroom is coming in for attention as a sedum or moss roof. I can't find anybody who actually sells moss! It may be quite delicate,

unlike Sedum. One particular plant that Vic  sells ,may be the answer to light weight plant growth on the rood after installing the waterproof membrane and the water conservation layer.

I have got a well cover which is going to remain as cover ,with a rockery on top, for some time, so i am going to do some Alpines on there this coming year to see how they get along. I should like to put a fibre glass top on the well, but the manufactured to measure steel rim and the manufactured reinforced glass comes at quite a high price.  It would begin to give the garden a very elegant look indeed.

Saying that the walls look rather amateurish, except for one thing. Much of them is/are recycled bricks from 1961, when I last did some wall building in the garden. Memories of those days came flooding back to me, every time I broke up another concrete part, in order to "scutch"(clean) the bricks! The cost of 45m of wall has been very modest, about £800, but labor?! arrgghh! Labor!

The greenhouse is going to be a great joy for me, in the perfect place. As a child two greenhouses went unused in our garden to my great chagrine. NOW I have got one!  62 years later and an ambition for all that time. I shall grow message board champion tomatoes, figs.... all sorts!

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Comment by Gareth Howell on October 27, 2015 at 18:22

I also got rid of a couple of tons of accumulated 19thC rubbish from the garden; glass, unusable bricks,tins. about 12 tonnes of excellent topsoil was dumped in the front garden in 1961. It was never properly spread or used until now! NOW the whole garden is about half a meter deep in excellently composted top soil, mainly moved by me over the last five years. I may have some space for raised beds in the spring, but those sleepers cost money!

Comment by Colin Robinson on October 27, 2015 at 22:17

not sure what you mean by 'tanalized but non-treated wood'. Tanalizing is (was) a timber treatment. When I worked in forestry a long long time ago the local timber merchants had a tanalizing boiler and it used some pretty horrible chemicals including copper, chromium and arsenic compounds!!

Comment by Gareth Howell on October 28, 2015 at 7:10

The one thing I don't want in the garden is "treated" railway sleepers.I am told they wont last long by comparison, but I don't mind about that. It must be the business of least worst. I think they are the ones used for raised beds.  Perhaps I go the wrong end of the stick and they are NOT tanalized, and railway sleepers are?   The sales woman is so quick, I might have missed what she said? I knew what I wanted.  Thank you!

Comment by Gareth Howell on October 28, 2015 at 7:27

I've also got a septic tank but it is about 1m80 deep. I've tried using it as a fish pond with a little success but no viewing pleasure.  With the new Led lighting and much easier methods of delivery/ordering for parts, I may now be able to order a mirror (at some cost) for one side of the deep pond, some led lights and a useful clear polycarbonate cover, with some weed which will grow from deep enough. Hippuris (but not Mare's Tail) will grow from 2m, which will be ideal for some Koi again. Actually a pet trout or two would do ok. I'm not sure about cruelty to fish in small confinement, although fry might suffice.

So now I've got a well to light with led lights, from the mains, and to cover with a viewing cover for the architectural and building delights of the 18thC, and a pond as well.

I have got a flat roof and this house did start out as something of a cave dwelling, with thatch.

The thatch got burnt down but the 'deeply ensconced in the soil' aspect was maintained until recently, until the heavy traffic of the road nearby arrived, and I lost the use, through pollution, of about 1/3 of a smallish garden.   I have lowered the soil level, one way or another, in the ast 5 years to the foundation level of the house, so I now have as much garden, to use, as I always did have, and what I have got is much more usable.  I happened to remember the arrival of  the tonnage of soil in 1961, and its very unequal distribution round the garden. By now I have dug and moved the soil round the garden to a depth of at least 1meter.

I still haven't built the wall to keep the traffic noise out, which will probably be of hollow building blocks, to some height. It will muffle the noise, 80% of it, chuck it back where it came from, in time honored gardening mode! Road dust in that corner in dry weather will also have to be dealt with, even through the yew hedge it comes, but I've also planted Rhodos there, for the future.

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