Readers who have not qualified for time off for good behaviour may recall that, in 2017, our drying pole had to be moved to make way for Our Lass's new shed.
In 2017, a rough footprint of the shed location serves as an eviction notice for the drying pole. Note, also, the carpet and tyres which are suppressing weeds in the new location for the drying area. And note, too, the plastic silage wrap and other tyres which is the location for either raised beds, a veg plot, a greenhouse or a polytunnel.
Also in 2017, the shed was duly installed by the local company who built it.
Fast forward to 2020, and after three years, the drying pole is finally re-positioned, although the hard-standing is not yet done. However, this is where the lovely crop of Daisies was for Flora Tensensis!
I know! Allow me to metaphorically waft smelling salts beneath your nostrils.
So, what happened next on the runaway train of Old Tense's lockdown you may be wondering? Well, those three years weren't wasted, oh no! After more than a thousand days of thinking, we can say goodbye to the greenhouse, cheerio to the raised beds and auf wiedersehen to the polytunnel.
The tyres were stacked out of the way, the plastic silage wrap was neatly folded up and the plot roughly dug over to make a veg patch. The dry weather meant that the large lumps of soil immediately set like concrete, but I was ready with an answer for that conundrum.
It was time to create a pond at Tense Towers. Hey, it's only been six years.
I was quite keen to use the only flat bit of the garden for this purpose, that pale bit over towards the oil tank, which just happens to be right by the kitchen window. I was out-voted, and so had to hoick the mower back out and give another rectangle a severe crew cut.
The rough idea was to pave three sides, dig out several shelves and have a gentle slope back up to a boggy area. The hole would be about 20' long by 8' wide and maybe 2' deep.
The turf was stripped off and used to make one side of a compost heap, as due to Covid restrictions, I can't take the grass cuttings to the local tip.
My cunning plan for the veg patch (for which Our Lass had already bought seed potatoes and onion sets, no pressure!) was to excavate the first layer of decent soil from the pond location, and re-distribute it over the patch as a well-weeded and de-stoned mulch.
It seemed to (and did) take forever, but eventually I was satisfied that the veg would stand a chance, and I could begin worrying about the pond again. As an aside, you might notice that the drying area has begun taking shape too. In fact, there were so many heaps of small stones and rubble laid about the place (dug up from the garden) that, after laying some weed suppressant material, I was able to hardcore the base.
|Here it is!
But I digress.
Next, I marked out the rough locations of the shelves/steps down and the bottom of the slope. These were going to be a bit more free-form than the graph paper drawing, but I wasn't sure what I would encounter as I dug down... drains, electricity main, telephone cable etc. As it turned out, what I encountered at about 20" was compacted rubble, probably of a natural, rather than the builders', variety.
My intention is to construct the slope with the excavations from the 'deep' end, when I get around to de-stoning it. Yes, things have paused again, for a couple of reasons, one of which was this...
and the other is this...
Yes, the chippings arrived to finish off the drying area and also add a layer to the car park hard-standing. Whilst the former is done, the latter is still a work in progress.
No, it's not the angle of the photograph, or the way you're sitting, the pole is off-centre. Free-form, remember?
So, whilst I can't crack on with my dragonfly habitat just yet, at least I can order in a few things. I have enquired about pond planting, pondered (but not yet ordered) the liner, and had two tonnes of sand delivered.
To be continued...