Saturday, 25 October 2014

Ready for winter!

Before I begin, what do you think of the new layout and colours?  As I've been doing the blog for close on two years now, I decided it was time for a change!

You'll see that I've called this post "Ready for winter".  My friend Anne has returned to the UK, we have stocked up on logs for the wood burner and Danny has "winterised" the pool.  Only it seems that winter isn't ready for us!  For weeks now we've been enjoying the most beautiful dry, sunny and warm days.  Some days have even been hot!  Not that I'm complaining, especially as it's given me an excellent chance of tidying up the garden, which I had neglected badly for some time now.  More about that later.

So, the pool now has its 'winter cover' on, some of the water has been drained off and all the pumps have been turned off.  It was no mean feat achieving all this and we have learnt that it is common for people to call in an engineer to do the 'winterising'! (Thank goodness for Danny's engineering brain, then!)

So this is what the pool area looks like now...

Even the heat pump has its own little winter cover....

I think the first photo above shows what a difference we've made to the whole pool area in the last couple of months.  As you can see, the grass seed has really taken and we have new grass to replace all the ghastly mounds of earth and boggy tyre tracks from the endless digger and dumper journeys! 

And around the pool terracing various evergreen shrubs have been planted now, along with lots of small ground covering plants which we hope will eventually form a carpet of colour to disguise the green membrane.  All I can say at the moment is "watch this space"!  

Since we got all that sorted out, I've been concentrating on tidying up the front garden.  Most of what I've done is straightforward pruning.  However, I've also started on some radical changes!  You might remember, a few months ago I decided that it was about time we made the garden 'ours'.  I've always had an aversion to removing live plants but I've come to realise that when we take our garden waste to the local déchetterie it goes from there to be recycled.  So now if I do want to make sweeping changes, I don't feel guilty about uprooting plants that are very much alive as I know they will have a new purpose elsewhere.

When our friends Ron and Barbara were here recently, Ron dug out two old rose bushes that were really past their best.  I intend planting out the empty troughs properly in the Spring but in the meantime, as I found these pretty cyclamens on offer, I thought they'd brighten up the front of the house.

(In case you're wondering why the window boxes of geraniums are on the step, despite the good weather we have also had a few windy days and the boxes were at risk of falling off their perches!)

So onto a more radical change!  When I cut back a hardy fuchsia bush it revealed a large hole that we suspect was dug by Bertie, as he has a penchant for digging where he shouldn't!  He might have got away with it, had I not been on this pruning mission!  So this is what I was faced with...

.....but it gave me an idea!  I talked it over with Danny and we made the decision to get rid of the large conifer, grass over the whole area and place my mum's old garden bench (suitably restored) under the ornamental cherry tree.  As well as being attractive (we believe!), it will make that whole area so much easier for Danny to mow. 

So over the next two or three days, we hacked away and here is the conifer, going....



There are a few deep roots left but we have asked our digger man Phil if he will pop by and dig them out for us!

The most recent thing I've done is tidy up the area around the well.  It had become so overgrown that I imagine some of our guests wouldn't even know we had a well.  So here are 'before' and 'after' photos...

Now comes the best bit.  After all the hard work, I can go out to buy some new plants to put in the trough that's in front of the well itself. 
So, that's pretty much it for this update.  Looking over it, it's all about the garden!  But in truth, that's about all it has been the last few weeks!  Despite that, Danny has fitted in time to do more of his model work....he's currently making a model of a London Bus.  Here he is at work!

Until next time, à bientôt!

1 comment:

  1. I've loved reading all your news about your garden. That's great you've had good weather. In England it's been very changeable but lots of rain. I think the work you've done around the well and in removing the conifer will pay off. Have a good week. X