Friday, 15 April 2011

Destructive, in a good way

No sooner do I get back from holiday with good intentions to use my Internet connection more mindfully (and to blog more regularly, as pregnancy brain fog is now lifting and I am actually doing things that I can write about once again), than said Internet connection is plagued by connectivity problems. I can't access Blogger, email or Google Reader reliably without it timing out; and so for the last week haven't been reading or responding to comments, emails or blog posts. This afternoon the connection seems to be holding, so here goes...

I have accomplished quite a lot this week, probably because of the lack of Internet connection. The house is a mess, because most of my time has been spent outside in the glorious sunshine, trying to find any excuse to stay out there. It has been so warm and sunny, my pasty complexion suffered its first annual flush of sunburn.

A pallet was dumped behind bushes at the end of our street a few years ago, but I never had anything to use it for and so left it, expecting someone else to make use of it. Nobody ever did; and this week it finally became mine for some therapeutically destructive crowbar therapy. It was hard work even for two of us, with a little wastage due to splitting, but after some very satisfying prising, sawing and nailing we now have some fetching wooden edging panels to stop the couch grass paths that separate us us from our neighbours from encroaching into our beds. Another two pallets have since fallen into my lap, each one being sufficient to edge one side of our plot; and I see a crowbar in their future.

I made a final push in the yard to get it ready for summer. I waged war on next doors privet hedge and collected 5 refuse sacks of clippings and loppings. I made the mistake of doing the green thing and letting the hedge flower last year, because the bees and insects love it. Unfortunately that just made it leggy and invasive on our side (the sunny side); and so I have taken it back right to the boundary where it won't drown out our pots, seating area and laundry line. I plan to plant lots of insect attracting flowers and herbs to make up for my destruction (which I am ashamed to admit was quite soothing - I hate that hedge). Unfortunately I can't make up for the local soil fertility that is going to be permanently lost when the clippings are sent to the local tip for composting. Using petrol (a precious resource these days) to transport another precious resource away is absolutely bonkers.

I also finally pulled back some stone slabs that have been stacked against a wall in our garden since we moved in- to reveal a mollusc's holiday camp. I put The Boy (who is too young to have developed any hint of squeamishness about such things yet) to useful work and he collected 40 or so of the blighters in a flowerpot - which he then proudly offered me as though it were a flower posy. Yuck. I did my own bit of temporary fly tipping and dumped this under the bushes at the end of the street, where they will either thrive in the undergrowth, or more probably have their numbers drastically reduced by the birds. The slabs are now up at the allotment, edging the long side of one of the beds. Slowly but surely it's all coming together.


  1. Great work! We also have pallets and fencing waiting to be pulled apart & used! Have you tried or considered hugelkultur?

  2. (For the prunings, I mean, not for the pallets!)

  3. Pallets - far too valuable to compost :)

    Unfortunately we rent and only have a patio, so no permanent beds going in there. If I had cut this hedge back before I laid all of the beds at the allotment (and I had heard of Hugelkultur) I probably could have done something similar there. The benefits of hindsight.

    I love the idea of a Permablitz though! If we ever get to buy our own place, I think that throwing a bash like that is a superb idea.


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