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 happened during the 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.  Eight months ago we moved home, it was a week before Christmas this is one of the properties gardens.

Our New Home and Gardens

Eight months ago we moved home, it was a week before Christmas and I was feeling the whip. There was so much to be done, including wrap presents for four children. What a challenge and the adrenaline was pumping! I suffer from random pains all over my body, which can be tiring, but I was about to discover that I still have loads of physical determination to offer.

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. The larger home, the new gardens, it all felt like a job by February because I worked around the clock, into the dark, through all winter weather, every day until…it was done!

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 outside and I started considering if I should be doing something physical even part-time.

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. Maybe you don’t claim those things but I would like to.

Wild, Wild Garden

So the decorating was underway indoors and if I needed a break I just stayed inside to scrape wallpaper! That was my life for weeks and here is why.

The fence was actually being held up by the growth. I named it the floating fence and it was one of a few safety concerns I had with this garden. Someone else called it their garden and enjoyed it for many years. I was about to undo it within a couple of weeks because it was wild and out of control.

  • 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. We spent a lot getting the biodegradable stuff away alone. We filled those brown bins to the limit, and the neighbors too (with permission)!

The garden sat like this for weeks and during that time we were realizing that our son is likely to be autistic. All that new wallpaper I had put up, he was peeling it off and you can imagine the state of the carpets when the kids would get onto the mud. Stress levels peaked and the developing situation with our 2-year-old son was emotional for the whole family.


Just none bio stuff to go now! This filled a large skip.


My two eldest watching it all happening!







Well, sort of finished. 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.

Fence and Turf