This year I decided to blog, really blog! That will mean posts about everything from baking apple-crumble with the kids to my professional web development. My decision to share more was a moment during winter, while I stood outside in the rain, snow, wind, hail, and mud. Lots and lots of mud…plus tonnes of stones, bricks, and other stuff.

Our New Home and Gardens

Eight months ago we moved home, it was a week before Christmas and I was feeling the pressure. There was so much to be done, including gift wrapping a mountain of presents for the kids. What a challenge and the adrenaline was pumping! I was about to discover that I still have loads of physical determination and sitting at a PC hadn’t softened me.

I got the new front-room (living-room) decorated 100%, in-time for Christmas Eve. By New Year I had already started on the garden. That was the beginning of a massive task which I did without much help and I learned a lot from it – that right there is why I do things myself. The larger home, the new gardens, it all felt like a job by February because I worked around the clock, literally into the dark, through all winter weather, every day until this…

What matters is that I enjoyed it a lot and that really got me thinking about all the time I spend behind a computer coding. I’ve worked hard all of my life but never done a job that relates to what I was doing in my own garden.

That is when I realized how important it is to show character and general skills through our portfolios. We can use blogging to back up claims that we work hard and can multitask or take on just about any job.

Wild, Wild Garden

Decorating was underway indoors, I would switch between that and the garden. If I needed a break I just stayed inside to scrape wallpaper – ye some break huh!

That was my life for weeks and here is why…

Shocking isn’t it, the pure wildness of our new garden. The fence was actually being held up by the growth, not a single fence post hadn’t rotted through. Someone else called it their garden and enjoyed it for many years, but they grew too old to maintain it. I was about to undo it all, within a couple of weeks work that would have cost £2000 if I hired someone.

  • The trees were growing on top of house bricks which I discovered painfully in the wrist when digging into the roots.
  • Anything growing was in a high bed so the wind had caused everything to learn. There were four trees leaning on the fence separate next-doors garden. The top of that fence was all broken-up.
  • Our gardens fence was literally just hanging there, suspended by growth.
  • The entire garden was covered in tonnes of chips (small stones).
  • There was a car tire around the clothes pole, that really annoyed me. The idea that the creator of this garden cared about wildlife was apparent due to the bird feeders all around the garden and yet they displayed a car tire proudly.

My New Experience

At some point, I decided that all of my experiences mattered and took extra photographs to prove my abilities. I really was considering a line of work that would have me doing more of this, still am. Here is what I did, without much help, but plenty of support from my other-half.

  • I scraped and scooped what I thought was all of the chips into a pile. Then bagged them. Then lifted thick polyethylene to discover about 4 inches of chips around the edges of the garden, indicating an older layer of the garden.
  • I stacked the bricks, that picture shows just some of them.
  • I stacked the bags, that picture shows half of them.
  • I gathered the boulders, that was most of them.
  • I dug out roots that were growing through chain fences because they had been planted so high.

Emotional Times

So here is our garden at the start of the year and remember Christmas had just passed and we had just spent hundreds moving home. We weren’t in a position to pay for a skip, turf, fencing and labor costs straight away – that came later. A large skip was needed for the bags of chips, slabs and bricks. The tree’s needed two van trips. These were emotional times, so much happening, so much changing and I felt very proud of myself and my children’s mother who held things together indoors.

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Just none bio stuff to go now! This filled a large skip.
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My two eldest watching it all happening!

Finished

Well, sort of finished. Ideally we would begin with a new garden, in this state. This image is on the day the fence and turf were done. The state of the concrete is poor, look, there is still a house-brick stuck in there. I’m not complaining though. These things give us something to work towards and now we can think about a playhouse and some plant boxes for the whole family to enjoy. A greenhouse, compost box, bike shed and a big rabbit hutch is on the way. Now to get the front garden done!

Fence and Turf