The Garden gets some TLC

The garden at the new house is in roughly three parts.  Immediately outside the back door there is a sizeable Terrace with some good seating, then up the steps into a lawned area with a wonky garden shed!

I’m sure we can mend the shed and give it a makeover if only I can work out how to get it level ( I’m thinking car jacks at the moment! ) but it’s not a priority at the moment. What is a priority is getting the flower beds done, by that I mean getting some soil as there is literally no depth to the garden as it is on free draining andesitic lava layers, 

As you can see, there was nothing for it but to have top soil delivered! The borders are fairly modest, not like the borders I had in Devon so I will have to think creatively. Incidentally, this picture was taken the same day as the rainy picture, in fact about half an hour between them, but that’s what it has been like all summer.

The second area of garden is just to the right and it is all paved. It has a metal farm gate and there is room to pull the car in. This area also houses a massive oil tank, the dustbins, compost bins and a couple of old coal bunkers. One of the first jobs that I did was to clear the area of the weeds that were growing up between the paving slabs, cut back the Virginia Creeper that was swamping everything and empty out the compost bins which had really use been used as glorified dustbins. I have never seen so many egg shells as there were inside them!

We intend to put a new shed on this area and perhaps build a pergola type thing to hide it and the oil tank, whilst still maintaining access. As you can see, we also have a lane that runs along the back of the garden, jolly useful for deliveries.

The third part of the garden is the garden to the cottage and as such cannot be reached from the back of the house but I intend eventually to break through the stone wall that separates them ( behind the oil and ) and have some fruit trees and fruit bushes there as well as a less formal patch. It needs quite a bit of work but I think it should be rather attractive when it’s done – eventually.

This is the cottage garden

Underneath the Virginia Creeper is where I hope to burst through!

The garden is like Brighton Beach, and much as I like Brighton I don’t need to be reminded of it in my garden, where space is precious. So, mass movement of stones, I shall put them in th front of the house and dig out the soil where it is against the wall, take up the membrane probably, and I think have raised beds, with more soil and compost brought in. Simple!


Out and About

Despite all the upheaval with the move we have still managed to be out and about. One highlight was to Mellerstain House for an evening recital by a string Quartet. Amongst the pieces they played was the Shostakovich eighth and also the Ravel Quartet, both were excellent and it was good to see young musicians playing live, the volume was staggering, particularly for the Shostakovich.  The setting was just right being in a Robert Adam drawing room. Mellerstain is about 7 miles from Kelso so it wasn’t far at all and we shall definitely go again.

We have also been to hear the Town Yetholm Sinfonia wind soloists in Kirk Yetholm ( not so far) and they were really excellent. A number of the instrumentalists are local but they also came from Newcastle and Edinburgh and I believe, Peebles and Berwick. Geoffrey Emerson is the conductor and the arranger of the pieces we heard, his wife Pippa plays one of the French Horns. We have been to supper and for lunch at their house and through them have met quite a few people.

A visit to Ikea was necessary as for one thing I no longer have a work table, so that was my number one priority. Of course we bought more than that but the main reason for going was to check out bookcases ‘in the flesh’. We didn’t buy any as there was no way we could get them in the car so we will have some delivered once Hywel has reduced the number somewhat!

Country pursuits have become a recent focus for us as there have been a number of ‘Ride Outs’ in Kelso and Town Yetholm which attract quite a crowd of followers. They are certainly impressive for the number of riders, over 200, and for the importance that they give to them. 

Having lived in Devon for 31 years and only one of us ever made it to the County Show (Hyw) we decided to rectify matters and took ourselves off to the Border Union Show in Kelso. It was a fine day and there was plenty of livestock to see. There was a free bus from the car parking and because we had bought our tickets on line, no queues to get in. We were immediately struck by the heavy horses which were very splendid and a very elegant young woman who was riding sidesaddle. There were huge numbers of sheep, a poultry and goat section and a few bulls, most of the cattle classes having been the day before. 

Luckily they had kept the number of businesses to a minimum although there were some very impressive bits of farm machinery

We are looking forward to the next live broadcast from the National Theatre in the village. Apparently there are only two villages in the whole of the uk who have this live link up and Yetholm is one of them!  

I have started digging the garden and have immediately struck what must have been a cinder and stone pathway, not only that, but I have unearthed what appears to be a disused drain but there is no way I can dig it up and anyway it might not be disused! We have been clearing the ivy off the cottage and are about ready to start painting the woodwork and the render to the front of the cottage. We await Phil Stewart to start work on the down pipes on the main house.