Drowned Rats and Projects

Thank you for your concern over the sudden disappearance of the rose arbour although, as most of you have been reading this blog for some time will have guessed, there is a project afoot. It is now afoot rather earlier than anticipated,  with me planning to wait till the clematis growing up two of the posts had died back but the Golfer, having mostly completed his  part in other projects and misinterpreting ‘dying back’ as going a little brown at the IMG_6141edges just started taking it down… Thus Clematis texensis ‘Gravetye Beauty’, flowering for the first time this year, is now lying prostrate on the ground, fortunately with its roots still intact. However, to give the Golfer his due, he had to be coaxed back inside as darkness fell yesterday and we were both like the proverbial drowned rats after a flurry of activity in the garden this afternoon, so I am confident the rose arbour will be replaced and revamped in a matter of days; painting it will take rather longer, looking at the weather forecast.

IMG_6148Many of the posts and postholders have been reclaimed from a neighbour’s redundant fence, cutting down the cost of the project. The two posts in the foreground will provide a new extension to the arbour, positioned either side of the step up to the paved area, and I am sure there will be a rose or clematis to climb up them in due course although sadly not next year with my embargo on buying plants 😦 You can just see some bricks in the bottom left corner, a new but small bricklaying project. This is where I removed a large fern a few weeks ago, and have since decided to build a retaining wall up to the level of the paved area, which will retain enough soil to grow something worth growing and prevent soil being washed onto the path. I have just placed the bricks in position to get the levels right because, like the painting, the mortaring may be delayed for quite few days.

IMG_6140Last week saw completion of the pump project, although the water flow is not as great as we had hoped and it may have to be adapted in due course. I tried out one of our slimmer benches next to it, but think I will stick to the original idea of pots.

pump.projectThe new gate has been painted and the new support for clematis on either side is largely completed. Wanting something light and airy I suggested a structure incorporating metal rods and seeing the outcome in place certainly validates this concept; some technical calculations will provide the length of steel rod required to have an arched top to the structure – but the Golfer has now been sidetracked by the rose arbour…

CaptureSorry if you are feeling exhausted reading all this, but it just seems to be one of those periods when time has been available to get on with things, like removing self seeded pulmonaria and Geum rivale from the streamside grass and re-seeding the gaps:

IMG_6056 IMG_6061That was a fine weather job last weekend, unlike today which saw rain dripping down my neck as I made a start on emptying the 2014 vintage compost in readiness for next year’s  – not a task to be looked forward to but which will rewarding when completed. I am about two thirds of the way through, having bagged it up and strewn a good dollop on the species snowdrop border.

compost IMG_6147

What drives us to spend wet afternoons like today doing outside tasks that are not urgent instead of spending our retirement slumped in a chair in front of a television or computer screen?* Just the way we are, I suppose…

*I must confess that one of us does still enjoy watching television when they are not playing golf or involved in a project and the other does spend a certain amount of time writing or reading blogs when they are not active somewhere else or in the garden dreaming up new projects …

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19 Responses to Drowned Rats and Projects

  1. croftgarden says:

    Any day I’m expecting the floodlights so that you garden build round the clock!

    • Cathy says:

      We did erect floodlights when we built the extension but haven’t yet been tempted to do so for working in the garden! Could do with some sort of lighting in the garden though, but rather more subtle than floodlights…

  2. Amy says:

    Reading your escapades leaves me feeling slightly dizzy… or was that delinquent?! I do like the looks of the new gate and clematis arbour; how do you best secure the posts against wind?

  3. Christina says:

    I’m glad to read that you and the golfer have some vices, although reading and writing blogs can hardly be called a vice. It’s not just that you start a lot of projects its that you complete them in record time!

    • Cathy says:

      Oh yes, we are pretty good when focussing on a project – but will allow other things to take priority if need be 😉 Saying that, your transformation seems to have been pretty speedy too!

  4. rickii says:

    Thank you for that little postscript, which I’m sure was included to make the laggarts among us feel ever so slightly better.

  5. AnnetteM says:

    I can’t believe how much you do in your garden – so impressive. Mind you I was also out in the damp foggy rain yesterday, digging up a couple of plants that were feeling their age – Lemon Balm, Oregano and Erigeron. Hopefully they will feel rejuvenated come the spring and lots of plants left over for the next plant sale. So I am feeling a bit virtuous too.

    • Cathy says:

      Oh well done you, Annette – and in truth we are more likely to find alternative dry activities in weather like that but we just felt on a roll yesterday 😉

  6. Sam says:

    It was lovely to read about your flurry of activity while sitting at my kitchen table with a cup of tea. Very impressive progress. I really like the metal rods through the wood frame next to the gate. Good idea. It’s all going to look fabulous.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Sam – sometimes it just seems to work out like that, depending on other commitments. We do both like a good project though, whether independent or joint

  7. I do love seeing the projects you are working on in your garden, it always gives me such good ideas on what to try next.

  8. great progress in such foul weather. Hope there was a g&t at the end of that lot.D.

  9. Tea, cake and a bit of screen time sounds like well earned treats after all that industry. Your clematis supports either side of the newly painted gates looks very stylish.

  10. Wonderful projects, I love watching the progress, thanks for taking the time to photograph them and explain them. Always ideas to take away.

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