I mentioned at the end of last week’s blog that the weather would (again) determine what I did to a great extent which was true. Today we have seen the return of winter and, having waited until today to take pics of the garden work I have done, everything is under a few inches of snow so you will have to put up with pictures of that instead!
I forgot to mention last week though that we were also hosting a friend who had joined us from London for a few days so it was a relatively light week workwise. As our friend didn’t arrive until Wednesday, and the weather was reasonably good at the start of the week, I started in the garden with the annual hack back of the hydrangeas.
With our ground being very acidic plants like rhododendrons, azaleas and hydrangeas grow really well – although the latter are also all blue for the same reason. One side of the orchard was almost completely hydrangea when we arrived and we have been fairly brutal with it since we got here to give them a better shape – this year we should see a great improvement.
As ever, the one task grew into another and, having reduced the size of the shrubs it became clear that the ‘hedge’ (and I use the term loosely at the minute) needed some TLC too as there was more bramble than hedge. That side of the garden borders onto a cottage that has been under renovation by its new owners for a couple of years during which they have moved into a mobile home in their garden. While the caravan is there we have been reluctant to hack the hedge back too much to make it too visible …
Having hacked some of the bramble back we found that some of the hedging we had transplanted in our first year was doing better than we hoped – especially as one of the plants we had initially dug up and left on the bonfire pile for 6 months! However, there were still some gaps that needed to be filled where we popped in some of the privet cuttings we took last year – if only there were some magic feed that could advance plants 5 years in one season!
I also spent a day cladding the inside of one of the garage bays and trying to locate the pipe I had pre-positioned under the foundation to pass the power cable. The cladding progressed well but finding the pipe less so! Having dug inside and outside the bay – where I had marked its location – I couldn’t find it at all. I think the ends may have become filled with the concrete when it was poured making it indistinguishable from the foundation itself. The work round was digging a little deeper under the foundation and making a new tunnel for the cable.
The cladding I had done got us to the point when our electrician could come back and progress. Expecting to have to wait a couple of weeks for him to arrive, we were really pleased that he was able to visit within a couple of days and now …. Grange has power (albeit via a plug-in extension cord for now!) Yay! And, having turned on our petanque pitch floods, they are perfect and don’t, thankfully illuminate the moon as we had feared when we put them up.
The remainder of the week was spent hosting and entertaining when we took our friend around the region and so not working too much which means it will be a busy week next week …!!