Last few weeks have been pretty wet (clearly, not on the same scale as some parts of the world), but it’s been a useful excuse not to get into the garden. Today I’m on holiday and it’s sunny and dry, so no chance at any excuses. To the left is the picture of one of our apple trees. The other (much smaller, and looking pretty unhealthy) is in the middle of the garden. This one is at the top, and despite some rather vicious pruning last year it’s grown huge again this year with a bumper crop of apples. Which is nice, except it then slowly drops them onto the grass throughout the late summer and early autumn. I’m not a huge fan of apples and Grete’s not a huge fan of apples which look like they’ve been used as living quarters. Even if we were, there’s no way we could eat a tree’s worth. Anyway, this is how it looks when it’s being nice and giving us gifts.
And here’s how those gifts look if you take a close look at them.
Anyway, we clear them up once a week or so, and I got them done today, so now it looks like this!
Since I was already wearing my gardening stuff I finally decided to move the wood from the side of the house and get rid of it. Yes, it’s true, the deck is almost finally almost all gone nearly.
And while moving it, I found a guest.
Bright sunny day. Wouldn’t say it was warm, but the sun is pleasant if you’re out of the breeze and not in shade. More importantly, it’s dry, so I finally got a chance to get back into the garden and finish up what we started last year before I had the hernia.
Time to get rid of the deck (once and for all!) It’s been piled up at the bottom of the garden since last year, so the wood’s in pretty bad shape now. Some of it is still too long to go into the car though, so this morning I’ve been moving it to the side of the house and sawing the bits that aren’t going to fit. I’ve moved about a third, and since this is the first physical exercise I’ve had since winter set in, I’m taking it slow! Here’s how we left it in 2009.
Moved around a third of it to the side of the house, and cut some of the longer beams.
But it doesn’t look like that much has changed yet in the garden!
Total number of amphibians re-homed during this process: 1 (running total)
I had some work planned today (actual work overtime style) so didn’t expect to get into the garden. However, the servers behaved and it took just under 3 hours (9am-11:30am) instead of the planned 5 (9am-11:30am), and I couldn’t resist getting the saw out and having another go at the deck. I was feeling pretty positive and upbeat and that translated into a serious amount of work. The deck is now gone, with Grete’s help, and we can finally use the garden furniture we bought several years ago without having to sit in the grass. Now we just need to tidy up the metal brackets in the walls, sort out the wood that we have to leave in (it’s supporting a fence panel but needs repairing and protecting) and then see what we’re going to do with the concrete. We’re looking at modular decking at the moment which you can just lay on top of solid surfaces.
Bubbles isn’t happy – but she’ll adapt.
The people who built the deck at the rear of our house used regular wood (not treated) and regular screws (not the kind of things you should be using outdoors), and so slowly the deck has rotted away. We got a quote a few days ago for someone to take it away and replace it – £2600 or there-abouts – which is well out of our price range.
We knew there was a concrete patio under the deck, so rather than not be able to go out at all, we decided to get rid of the deck ourselves.
I thought I’d put up some pictures showing the history of our garden, including the start of the deck removal process. You can check them out on Picasa over here. I took up the first batch of planks using a regular hand saw, but man that was a lot of effort, so we popped out and bought a power saw. That made it more – exciting – certainly.
I won’t tell you in full detail how we got the rails around the top of the decking down because it’ll only scare you as much as it scared me.
So much for me deciding I was going to have a lazy day playing Lord of the Rings, apparently I won’t let myself be lazy at the moment.