First of all he dug out a bush in the front garden that was in totally the wrong place for the size of it - whilst the bees loved the flowers it produced in profusion it kept obscuring DH's view of the gatepost (not good when he's reversing out onto the road) so it had to go. When we redo the front garden we'll be putting something less boisterous in its place. Then it was the turn of the back garden and he started by giving the privet hedge a really good short back and sides, which it was in desperate need of, and then set to strimming, trimming, digging bits out and digging and weeding.
Here's a view of the neat and tidy hedge and the freshly dug border:
He dug out a couple of rotten stumps; dug out a lot of the big yellow daisy type flowers that had reached weed proportions (I don't do alot of flower names, especially Latin ones. LOL) and thoroughly weeded it. It all looks a bit bare at the moment but that isn't why all the pots are there - they are stuck there to keep them safely out of the way so we have a clear run of the path (you'll understand why later). He also unearthed the fuchsia that my Dad gave me and that's now making up for lost time by budding all over the place:
Plus there's another baby fuchsia bush behind this one and I've no idea where that one appeared from - perhaps the larger bush is its Mommy?
Lots of long grass on the bonfire heap and round the compost bins got strimmed and the end of the garden got a real fettling. Yes, folks, those triffids at the bottom of the garden have finally been tamed - no more grand ideas about world domination from them. Yay! Just look at this:
There's still plenty of cover to keep the birdies happy and plenty there for privacy to keep us happy too. Now it's under control I can keep it that way by snipping it when needed, especially any bits that grow below the level of the lowest branches - now I can dig the area below and put in some suitable plants. By the time Garden Pete had done all that lot, around 12.30pm, everything was looking a darned sight tidier - in fact, as my DS commented that night, it's the best it's ever looked. :0)
For the rest of that week I kept on popping out into the garden to potter around, snipping a bit here and weeding a bit there....... and finding odd bits of things that could go in one or other of the bins. It's been more of a pleasure than usual to be out there and my mood has improved as a result - the post-holiday funk is now officially over. :0) Seeing the improvements seemed to inspire DH and he and DS spent one night between them taking out the remaining edging strips the previous owner had put in everywhere (it looks like corrugated bonded asbestos) while I put it in bags and hefted them down the side of the house, ready to go to the special skip at the amenities site.
Saturday came around and DH seemed almost as keen as me to go do even more sorting out there. See those blue panels in two of the above pics? Well they're supposed to go together to make a huge metal shed - one of DH's projects that never got done, then we had the workshop put up and there was no longer any need for them...... they've just sat there, rusting away and being a huge eyesore for years. Well DH finally decided it was time for them to go. Yay! Double and triple Yay! Boy, do I feel like throwing a party! LMAO
To make them easier to handle, and so they'll fit in the back of The Tank, they have to be cut in half. It would be less effort just to haul them, one at a time, onto the front and let the local gypsies help themselves but DS has requested that any scrap metal we want rid of goes to where he works. Why? Well, there's a scrap skip in the yard and every year, just before Christmas, the scrap gets cashed in and the money made from it pays for their Christmas "do". Last year there was enough money to pay for everyone's meals, all their beers and a few quid each as a Christmas gift. This year, thanks to the recession, things are looking a bit sparse - it needs all the help going to fill it to give them a decent works "do".
So Saturday morning the first panel was almost cut through when the cutter died - changing the fuse didn't work, nor did jiggling the wires around a bit, or anything else...... then it started raining, so we grabbed everything electrical and took temporary refuge in the workshop, until it eased off enough to dash up to the house. One lunch later and not only had it stopped raining but DS arrived back home with some extra cutting blades to keep DH going, once he'd found another power tool for the job. DS and I headed off out to start sorting through things and DH followed a bit later, found something suitable and set to cutting the second panel in two.
See the pile of bricks and wood in front of the shed in the first pic? We started going through all of that, throwing any metal we found as we went onto a heap on the lawn, sweeping up all the accumulated privet debris we hadn't been able to get at previously, as we went. Next I attacked the big bushy thing with the loppers, taking off all the bits that were in the way, so we could stack more bricks on the pile and get at the wood stack. After that we went through the wood, throwing all the rotten and worm-eaten stuff onto the bonfire area - again adding to the metal heap and sweeping up as we went. There was a very invasive vine thing coming through from next door and, as we've already got waaaay more of that kinda thing in here already, lopped it all back. Then we neatly restacked the remaining wood back against the front of the shed, returning the metal storage bins and old bbq to their temporary resting places. This was the result of that effort:
The result: a much tidier area and enough scrap wood to satisfy DH's tendencies to arson for a while. ;0) The reason? To make getting to that blue panel a whole lot easier, so it can come down and be replaced with a fence whenever our neighbours that side give the go ahead for the job (need to have a word with them now they're back off their holiday).
The same area, slightly different angle:
The blue panel had to be put up there as the previous neighbours wouldn't put a proper fence in the gap - despite the fact that the scumbag/s who burgled our house got into our garden through that gap. Yes, it was (and is) an eyesore but what else could we do when it's their fence and they wouldn't do anything and we couldn't afford to? So looking forward to that being sorted. :0)
Whilst we were busy DH had got kitted up and had cut the second panel in half. DS helped him to get a third panel from the stack that's leaning on the side of the old shed (see bottom three pics above) and he cut that in half as well. We stacked all the halved panels further up the garden, against the privet hedge and closer to the house, so they'll be to hand when it's time to take them to the scrap skip at DS's work (the reason for all the pots staying on the garden). We also raved a pair of grotty old kitchen stools out of the shed and took them apart - the backs and seats went in a bag to go to the amenities site and the metal frames on the pile to go to the scrap skip. Then DS went through the metal heap on the lawn and divided it up into a pile of usable pieces and a pile of those bits that weren't - DH had a look and was OK with it, so the smaller bits were bagged up, the larger bits tied into bundles and the usable bits were stacked inside the back of the workshop. I walked my little legs off, I can tell you, but it was so worth it!
DS took all the bagged up metal and the stool frames to work today, so that's more cr*p gone. Some time this week DH will take the panels and bundles and a few other odd bits of metal to the scrap skip for DS and also have an amenities site run to dispose of the bags of asbestos stuff and quite a few other larger bits of unwanted bits that were too big to go in the bin. And see the rusty cupboard frame in the 4th and 5th pics? DH announced tonight that that can go as well. Woot! Woot! So it's gradually starting to look less like a scrapyard out there and more like a proper garden now!
There are still a couple of areas that need a tidy up though: the garden along the fence needs sorting, rotavating and some manure spreading on it (the weeds really took hold there while we were away) and the old air raid shelter needs a serious trim. Here's the back view of it so you can see what I mean:
Looks like something out of the Hair Bear Bunch, doesn't it? All that greenery is a mix of ivy, honeysuckle and winter flowering jasmine. The inside of the shelter is the next thing that DS fancies tackling: I have my fingers crossed that the reasonable weather holds for the rest of this week so it can get done - clearing junk out of there means that all the car and caravan cleaning things that are currently stored around the house will, at last, go in there instead. :0)
It wasn't all work over the weekend though but more of that in another post.
Thank you greatly for all the lovely comments about Night Watchman - I can't tell you how much I appreciate them. Hope you all had a great weekend and a good start to the week. :0)