What is it about the month of March (I know it's April) and not feeling inspired to compose a blog entry? Apart from 2010 when everything was still new, there is a missing mojo in my March blogging. Although thinking about the last three months and the absence of reports, I believe it is a measure of actually starting to feel settled. We've been in the UK for three years (wow!), with jobs for three years, and in our house for nearly two years. I haven't been this stationary in over ten years! So what can I say? In a true British manner, I will talk about the gardening and the weather ;)
My winter hanging basket finally in bloom.
The only real reason to speak about the weather is that it has put our gardening on hold this year. If you remember, we used to have a lovely wall of green shrubs and trees at the back of our garden... Well, that's all gone! It was hard: physically- It took like two weeks to get rid of everything; and visually- because looking back at the picture, it was so green and pretty! But for good reason as we have now reclaimed 6-10 feet of garden that we can do up as we prefer. I guess it's not different to when you take down the old floral wallpaper in the bedroom... it was once to some other person's liking, but not really to your own. And you need to get back to the bare bones to really make your mark. But the reason why the speak about the weather is that we started this project just before Christmas and it's still not finished.
Garden May 2012
What have we done, then? All of that greenery is gone in the back from the blue tarp to the end on the right. We have put up a new fence (to the disapproval of a crazy lady- will elaborate in a minute), we have dug out space for a raised patio, levelled the dirt, and erected a new log store. As we go along, we are starting to re-plant trees and shrubs. It's coming along and I will continue to post pictures as it develops. The major hold up until now is that there has been snow! Not just a little bit, either- proper snow that dumped mid-March and just melted the first few days of April... I know I shouldn't complain, but I certainly didn't move here because of my love of snow and cold weather.
In the trenches Feb. 2013
Building up the bricks March 2013
Entrance to the Wine Way
As it looks now, log shed, levelled Wine Way, Red Maple, Hawthorn (existing), Silver Birch, Eucalyptus, and some shrubbery that I can never remember the names of.
We have had some (unwanted) activity in the start of the year... our garden backs onto a nature reserve/ public parkland area where many people walk their dogs. After we put the fence up (away from the property line), we decided to plant some pyracantha and hawthorn shrubs to encourage new growth (and to deter people from coming up to our fence as both plants are spikey and will turn into a thicket in the next five years). The plants are in two lines behind the fence: one line exactly to the fence, the second on the boundary line.
This has prompted conversations from many a dog-walker as they come by, I suspect due to the height of the land, the fence looks massive from the park-side... oooo... what have they done here? oooo... that's old Mr. Ryder's house... and generally the tone has been negative, which has more than likely been because the green is gone- even though they can't see that we are re-planting. Nosey buggers!
Anyways, replanting this thicket has particularly upset one crazy person who decided that she would play hide-and-seek with our plants. One day we noticed that plants in the nice neat row nearest to the boundary line were disappearing. Craig went out to investigate the area and noticed that they had been thrown astray along the path. He recovered the plants, replanted them, and left it at that. We checked the plants as week later, and the same had happened again- three holes in the ground where the pyracantha were planted, and three pyracantha plants cleverly hid further along the path. Hmmmm... someone is playing a game with us.
We purchased a security camera to hide in our only remaining tree and set it up to see what would happen. This camera is battery powered, weatherproof, and infrared signalled to only come on when it is triggered. Sure enough, the game of hide-and-seek continued, but it took us some time to get the settings right on the camera. Finally, after about three weeks, we managed to capture a quick glimpse of the culprit- oddly dressed, and with two dogs. She's a regular in the area.
We managed to sort the camera out to trigger at the right time, and sure enough, we have several videos now of this lady caught in the act! Who does that?! Take somebodies plants and hide them, and keep playing hide-and-seek every time they are replanted?! Never the ones against the fence, only the plants on the boundary line. And she is definitely not all there: green wellies, pink sweatpants, purple sweatshirt, blue overcoat, long long long hair... Her dress sense doesn't exactly give it away that she's lost her marbles, it's that she seems to be looking for her marbles in the form of burying and resurfacing stones on the boundary line when she doesn't have plants to pull up. More often than not she stops at the back of our fence, and if someone else is passing, she slows at that mark to let them pass.
We've now left the plants in pots in the safety of our garden for the next little bit to allow them to gain strength back, and in the meantime Craig has also found out where the madwoman lives. We are trying to calculate our next move... nothing bad, but we would like her to know that we know she is pulling our plants up so she will leave them alone. And I'll now leave you alone, but do welcome your non-malicious thoughts on what to do next...
UPDATE: I just got back from a run and had a look at the back of the garden... this woman is more nuts that we suspected. She has now proceeded to align her dog-crap bags at each plant along our fence! Malicious comments now welcome.