Logs, Rocks and a Skip

We were down on site early this morning, ready to help load up the skip with all the rubbish on the car park. The pile has been steadily growing for weeks and I wasn’t sure even the world’s biggest slip would fit it all in! Our first foray down to the car park found no one there so we went back to the chicken coop to feed them.

As we started to feed the chickens, I had a message from a friend saying he was outside with logs. I put out an appeal online for logs, branches or stones last night. Matt kindly offered me a selection of logs, branches and several large moss covered rocks. We lugged them from his van to the pond in a couple of trips. We walked down to the chickens so his daughter could say hello!

After seeing them off, we walked back down to the skip to find lots of people busy working. We put on our gloves and pitched in. With so many helping hands, the enormous pile was quickly deposited into the skip. There was a separate pile of wood which went in on the top followed by a massive mound of ivy and hedge cuttings. By this point, the skip was almost overflowing and the rubbish towered above the top edge of the skip. Everyone was a little concerned that the stuff on the top may fall off so Derek climbed up onto the top and with the help of Darren and Andrea put over a tarp and weighed it down with stones and rubble.

Job done and sorted, we spent several minutes working out how to lay out the logs and stones around the pond. I was very pleased with the result although we do need to do a bit more to fill in the gaps between the logs. Happily, another friend has offered us some oak logs which we went to pick up after lunch.

It took some finding but we got there in the end! The house had an enormous garden complete with greenhouse, old trees and a lovely lawn. We picked out approximately 15 branches and loaded up the car. We paid for the wood in the most allotment approved way possible, with fresh eggs. As we were leaving, Eleanor gave us some cauliflower plants which will perfectly fill up our last section on the plot. When we got back to the plot, I spent a while playing with the layout of the wood around the pond. The new wood and stones today have made a tremendous improvement to the outside of the pond. All that’s left is to work out how to sort the shallow drinking area for wildlife. I have a plan involving the salvaged decking board but it needs to be trimmed down first. A job for tomorrow.

As we locked up, my husband wanted to check on the mouse nest in the greenhouse. Carefully, we moved the shelves to find the three babies had grown and now had a thin layer of fur. It won’t be long until they are full grown and we can clean out the greenhouse. Over the past few weeks, I have been slowly putting together a plan for the greenhouse and in particular the type of plants I want to grow. It’s more an end of summer project so I still have some time to work out all the details as well as time to clean and clear it out properly.

Whilst we are still waiting for the decking boards to arrive to build the beds, I have wondered about what to do with one section of the new layout. In the skip filling today, I managed to scavenge a short piece of hosepipe. That combined with the spare pond liner has given me a new project idea – a small bog garden. Let’s be honest, every winter the plot floods so the only challenge will be to limit the extent of the bog garden. I know that the moisture loving plants will love our plot.

I have realised that I haven’t written much about Leia recently. To be honest, there isn’t too much you can write about a broody hen unless she comes off the eggs too early. By my reckoning, she has a week left until the eggs are due to hatch. When I opened up the door of the nest box today, she immediately puffed out her feathers and shouted at me. I beat a hasty retreat. The only question is whether she will manage to hatch any chicks after messing about on the first day. Watch this space!

So the plan for tomorrow, if the weather permits, is to do some weeding, clean out the old bedding in the chicks coop on the patio, tidy out the greenhouse a bit and work out where the nest place for the bog garden will be. If it stays dry enough for long enough, I may even start on digging out the section for the bog garden.

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