Autumn 2006 saw us begin on the veg patch in preparation for planting in the following spring. We also began to gain access to the water meadow beyond the main garden wall.
Our first winter showed us how beautiful the garden can look in the snow when all the weeds and untidy areas are hidden! And how dangerous the snow can be ! We constructed the polytunnel on the veg patch and cleared some of the scrub off the wildflower field with the help of workers from English nature and sheep from the local farmer. A host of snowdrops in the long border opposite the road were a wonderful surprise.
Spring 2007 saw major clearance of the side borders. Many of the original shrubs were drastically pruned and new ones discovered as the weeds and very out of hand honeysuckle were removed. Weed suppressing material was used as not all roots could be taken out having had free reign for so long. Planting then began only to discover that the local wildlife, mainly rabbits, would be our next major problem.
Summer was a time for great strides in the main garden, annual bedding helped add colour and the veg crop included some successes and some failures, continual wet weather meant potato and tomato blight were the biggest disappointments. Transformation of the boggy far corner began with a new pond where the ground permanently suffered with water flowing off the road.
Autumn 2007 was when the planners finally allowed work to begin on the conversion of the old barn for Bridget’s mum and dad. As with all construction work this involved a lot of disruption and a great deal of mud! Some useful equipment was around and we made the most of it to begin our site for the summer house.
Winter brought us problems with severe flooding. Measures taken by the builders who were still with us we hoped would avoid a recurrence on this scale in the future. Work began clearing and digging out the drainage ditches in the water meadow on fine days.
Spring and Early Summer 2008 saw the wildflower meadow in all its glory for the second year having again had the sheep to graze off the scrub in the winter. Having them on soon after Christmas and therefore off earlier meant the diversity of flora was greater than ever. Construction of the summerhouse was completed to provide a lovely peaceful haven on warm summer evenings.
By midsummer our newly transformed water meadow was looking amazingly green in just one season and many new areas continuing to develop. With building work almost complete a new surface enhanced pots planted next to the house and the veg patch was in full production despite the best efforts of the rabbits!