Wednesday, 3 June 2015


I've had a day off today, and have got on with a number of jobs. Firstly, I've made myself a couple of gadgets to help guide cables or hoses around the garden, prompted by the fact that there's nothing stopping the mower cable falling into the pond as I go round it. The guides are made from a 60cm length of dowel, 25mm diameter, which I've sharpended at one end (to push into the ground). The other end has a 12cm slot cut into it, leaving two arms. Between these, at the end, is fixed an old horseshoe, which is free to rotate, fully, between the two arms. The effect is that you can push the rod into the ground, then trap a cable or hose in the horseshoe, against the rod, but take it back out easily. I've painted the rod with the same green as the sheds, and the horseshoes black gloss.

I've cut back the ivy and Virginia creeper on the front of the house, and also cleared the gutter at the garage end, which was blocked and overflowing. That, admittedly, has been a problem for six months, but I've not got round to it. The over-flow has probably been most of the reason for the bike-shelter roof's paint wearing off.

The last of the rubble from the work on the house has gone, off to Chris's silage storage ramp: there's some tidying up outside the back door to do, but it's very nice to have seen the last of the backs of plaster and rubble.

The high winds over the last few days brought down a largeish branch from one of the silver birches above the Colour Wheel garden. It hadn't broken entirely free, though, so I've got it down, using my very long pruning saw, and tidied up the break. Hopefully it'll recover reasonably quickly. I am conscious that silver birches aren't the longest-lived of trees, and we may, in our lifetime, have to fell these trees, and work out how we replace their function of a visual, noise, and wind barrier along that boundary.

While Liz was weeding, I've made doors to the two ends of the newly re-covered fruit cages. These are designed to slot onto the top of the door-frame, meaning that there's no gaps for birds to find. Hinged doors would have been nicer, in some ways, but the unlevel ground, and nearby vegetable beds, made it unlikely to work, so I found another solution. Each one's a frame of 2" wood, with corner braces and a 'handle' plank half-way up; they're then covered with 2" chicken wire.

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