the joys of living in a “council house”

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  • #144135 Reply
    mitch
    Participant

    last oct i moved into what used to be a council bungalow now by an arms length housing association.

    basically the back garden if you can call it that consists of 8m x 12m of uneven grass and grass is being generous with a path down the centre from the back door to the back hedge. the left hand side is relatively flat. but the right hand side slopes away from the bungalow and from the path to next doors fence. the bottom right hand corner is approx 18 inches lower than the path.

    being a good boy i wrote and asked for permission to lift the grass on the right hand side level the top half of the right hand side and step the bottom half put down weedproof membrane and gravel. build some raised beds.

    boy what a palaver i unleashed, got a letter yesterday with a list of conditions and requirements the killer being that all work must be carried out by a qualified contractor etc etc.

    you would have thought that they would be grateful someone wants to improve it.

Viewing 25 replies - 76 through 100 (of 110 total)
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  • #182854 Reply
    mitch
    Participant

    now starte on the left hand side of back garden, it is a little clay bound digging is slow and in 6 weeks i have managed to get 4mx4m sort of dug over the clay lumps are huge. i am now breaking them up by hand and laying out layers of bark chippings,manure,clay flakes,compost and adding clay breaker and composter. in a year or so i may have something resembling soil. lol

     

    #182855 Reply
    Brydo

    Your doing brilliant Mitch keep up the good work and keep the photos coming 👍👍👍

    #182858 Reply
    kezo
    Participant

    Looking good @mitch 🙂

    #182937 Reply
    mitch
    Participant

    ok the lumps of clay shown above have to be broken down into small enough pieces to ease the breakdown with the organic matter and after its cooked for a bit the plan is to go over it weekly with a rotavator and add more oss muck.

    the breakdown kit,

    it takes a while lol.

    then its spread out and covered with farmyard manure and compost and then covered in bark chippings.

    heres one i prepared earlier.

    you can see ive just started the second layer of clay bits.

    #182938 Reply
    mitch
    Participant

    followed by the muck,

    just another layer of bark to go and then i can start rotavating next weekend after its been got at by the worms and creepy crawlies for a bit. thats how to improve clay soil lol.

    one day it may look as good as the raised beds.

     

    #182939 Reply
    Brydo

    Mitch I’m just in after giving the eaves, at the back of the house and the garage, a gloss coat and I’m knackered. God knows how you feel after doing all your stuff👍 Keep up the good work.

    #182940 Reply
    Brydo

    It’s a beautiful day here so I’m treating myself to a curry tonight after all my hard work. Maybe eat it in the garden.

    #182941 Reply
    Brydo

    You might have covered this before on the thread but are you growing any food.

    #182943 Reply
    mitch
    Participant

    this left hand side i started at the end of march and i am not even half way, digging clay is a nightmare especially when you have to do it sitting down. although ive got the knack now i think lol.

    its especially galling when once upon a time i would have done this in a weekend not 18 days.

    so i reckon by the end of the month i will have at least dug over the whole area.then it will be a case of feeding it and rotavating it for several months before its ready for planting.

     

    #182944 Reply
    mitch
    Participant

    not yet but i will be planting some spuds as the help break up clay and i want to do a raised salad bed as i do like salads but being on your own i waste alot if i get it from a supermarket so i am hoping to get it set up so as its ready it goes on the plate lol.

    #182945 Reply
    mitch
    Participant

    for the main part of this side, spuds and salad bar apart i am going to plant climbing and rambling roses against the hedge at the end and then its going to be a sort of wild flower meadow. once its rotavatored to a fine till i have a whole selection of wild flower,poppy,aquiligia and assorted hardy geraniums, i am going to mix all the seeds together and just spread them over the whole area and see what comes up.

    then i am going to add camomile and yellow rattle to keep the grass at bay.

    #182960 Reply
    Brydo

    look forward to seeing how it develops mitch.

    #182975 Reply
    Georgie

    You’re garden’s really coming on a treat, Mitch.  The flower beds surrounding the Suntrap will be a lovely place to sit in the Summer.  Accepting that I know nothing of gardening – have you planted bulb in those beds that will flower, in rotation, throughout the year?  Or replant with new flowers once the tulips go over?

    Ah, the joys of double-digging the potato patch with my dad.  (Well, with a fork, following after my dad, who was wielding the spade and doing all the hard work. 😉 )  I grew up in the Thames Valley and the soil there is, not surprisingly for an ancient flood plain, also hideously hard work.  Bad enough digging standing up – I have nothing but the deepest respect for the idea of digging it from a sitting position!

    #182988 Reply
    mitch
    Participant

    Georgie, the raised beds have daffs and tulips planted for spring along with perenials such as hardy geraniums,aquiligia,verbena,diascia,campanula and foxgloves. each bed has 4 roses as the main show,this is their first year so i am not expecting a huge show but it should go through to october easily enough with just watering hopefully and dealing with the cats.

    beleive me digging standing up is harder and impossible with my back.

    now the raised beds are planted all i should need to do is water,cut the tulips and daffs down when they go over andd prune the roses in october and feb. add alittle compost and feed next month and all should be good.

    #182989 Reply
    mitch
    Participant

    the left hand side if the meadow idea works should be a case of strim at the end of sept ish leaving the seed heads to spill and then rotavate and rake the area and let it resow itself.  and repeat.

    thats the theory anyway.

    #182995 Reply
    Brydo

    Mitch you should start a YouTube video channel and post every few weeks charting your progress. I’m sure there are many out there with disabilities thinking they can’t do much in the garden. You are proof that they can.

    I would watch it, I love hard work, I could watch it all day 😂

    #183103 Reply
    Harry Carson

    Mitch Sir

    You are an inspiration.  I understand only too well  that  a three day job used to be an afternoon’s exercise.  Regardless,  you plough on, determined to Improve things around you.

    An important lesson.

    Protect your back!

    Harry ( in Cornwall…..oft called the Cornish Riviera…..been here 43 years, outside St Ives and Riviera it’s not).

    #183130 Reply
    ajn

    Love the flowers display mitch, looks great 🌷💐🌷💐

    #185314 Reply
    mitch
    Participant

    a bit of a delay due to the pain clinics injection in the back turning into 8 injections 4 either side in the muscles next to the spine. it has helped in some ways but not in others if that makes sense. i seem to be able to stand longer and work longer but some movements are worse than before but improving and he did say it could take a while for them to take effect. anyway back to why i was here i got a £60 aerator from screwfix couldnt afford the full blown rotavator so we will see if that was a mistake as it may be a tad underpowered for what i need it to do.

    i have now dug over manured and chipbarked two thirds of the left hand side the aerator just manages to get through the layers then conks and ou have to wait 5 minutes and go again, unless ou hit a big chunk of clay and it stops. so its def a stop start process patience is required lol.

    a lot better than what was there lol, 3 months work.

    #185316 Reply
    mitch
    Participant

    the other side is looking good though.

    #185321 Reply
    mitch
    Participant

    #185322 Reply
    kezo
    Participant

    You doing a fantastic job @mitch. Keep up the good work and when you have finished you are more than welcome to come and do mine 🙂

    #185331 Reply
    Jojoe

    Your Foxgloves are out early, mine have even started budding.

    #185338 Reply
    mitch
    Participant

    kezo, lol not a chance its taken 18 months so far and nearly killed me.

    jojoe, planted them last summer and this is first flowering, they are well sheltered and the raised beds had loads of hoss muck. they get sun early morning and then all afternoon. the mix in the raised beds  seems to work well the foliage on everything is really lush and the roses leaves are v shiny best ive had.

    #185339 Reply
    kezo
    Participant

    kezo, lol not a chance its taken 18 months so far and nearly killed me.

    Somehow I didn’t think so LOL. Keep up the good work I enjoy following what you have done 🙂

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