Sadly still no progress on Grange during the week with a poorly builder and, although there are a number of things that I can do on my own with all my focus on Grange other things don’t get done – and there are always lots of other things that need our attention.
This week’s blog will be pretty brief as it has been spent entirely on one thing – gardening in the orchard.
As I mentioned in last week’s blog one of the tasks that I had started to do was to clear a flower bed to the rear of ‘Dairy’ (the building which houses our boot room and Dave’s fitness suite). This was another job that I had done previously (almost exactly a year ago) when we had originally planned to plant it but then switched our focus to other things and allowed nature to reclaim the bed.
Going back to it last week almost seemed harder work than I remember it being first time around (perhaps I am doing a more thorough job this time!) and far more rocky (slate-y) than I recall. As a result it took almost 3 full days in total to complete and prepare for planting.
The reason we wanted to get this done was that many of the plants we had bought somewhere between 9 and 18 months before were slowing getting in worse and worse health in our temporary nursery / plant cemetery depending on your point of view! Spring, being the best time to get things in the ground, meant that we needed to get things planted before we lost too many more.
A(nother) of our neighbours was kind enough to come with one of his tractors which was able to remove the stump of the felled tree and helped too by filling the large hole it created.
With the added ‘advantage’ of losing one apple tree in what will become the main bed in the orchard, we took the opportunity to fell another that was growing in such a way that it could only be chopped down and fall across the bed. Best to do it before we put any plants in! This has given us a lot of wood to burn which will be very helpful but they will take a couple of years to dry – and we need Grange finished to store it …
Yesterday and today was spent planting the new beds with the survivors in the nursery – thankfully we hadn’t lost too many although those that were still alive needed a bit of pruning to cut out some dead wood and have made them a slightly odd shape. I’m sure they’ll be fine when they start growing! Although, looking at the forecast, it may be a while before they start growing vigorously as, after an unusually dry winter, spring has remained with way below average rainfall to the point that much of Brittany is already on water rationing in some form. Looks like we will need to use our hoses to the lavoir – they have proven a great investment.
Next week’s activity will be rebuilding the fences behind Priory and Granary which were blown down in Zeus so Grange will have to wait again …
We hope you have a lovely Easter and enjoy the long weekend.