Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Easter: West Side Story

I was all for going back this evening, to light a bonfire of a showery twilight, when no sane Glasgwegian will have their washing out, but after dinner as I felt the pleasant aches and pains of three days hard labour I thought, 'Sod the bonfire'.

Sunday I demolished the Frog's Winter Palace. It was mostly rubble and bricks from the Old Greenhouse Foundations, (not all of them, mind, just a portion, see below). And I realised I've learned one important lesson since last November: when piling up rubble, pile it somewhere thoughtful, near where it can be used or disposed of. There were also a couple of sheets of rusty corrugated iron, which I've taken an aesthetic shine to, for eventual deployment on the shed.

The Frog's Winter Palace still had one resident, perhaps s/he's been the only one, I don't know. Anyway, I pointed out the attractions of the pond, and off s/he went in search of a summer residence and, hopefully, love nest. And the pond had filled nicely following 12+ hours of rain on Saturday night.

Rubble and corrugated iron cleared away, I raked it all. There was a lot of roots and broken glass. But it scrubbed up nicely:
That's the Midwest Bed now, about 30x14ft, from the cherry tree logs on the right to the oil barrel, (level with the ash tree on the W boundary).

Just next to the ash tree, there's a shovel standing on what looks like a mound of earth. Yesterday evening I went with the idea of chopping it up and levelling its contents onto the bed. Oh dear me no. It wasn't a mound of earth; it was a dense lump of knotted weed roots, ground elder I think. I did level it, but it was hard work. The roots are lying in a heap, waiting to be burned. They seem to have a strange smell, a mixture of vanilla and horse shit.

So that was all last night.

Back sharpish this morning, and set about the Old Greenhouse Foundations, (where the oil barrel, corrugated iron and fish box are standing on the photo above). And here it is a couple of hours later:
That's taken from next to the ash tree. I removed a lot of bricks and other rubble. There's yet more beneath this.

Finally today I set about the SW bed, an area which was once a forest of nettles big enough to hid both of my barrows. I new it would be wick with nettle roots, and went at it with the Libyan hoe. But just a few inches below the surface, yet more bricks. My good rake, being used in conjunction with the hoe, fell prone to metal fatigue, the head shearing off where it narrows from the comb part to the stock. (That was a £20 rake, btw, bought with the intention of "seeing me out", ie living longer than me: well, that was a miscalculation). And so I gave it up for the day.