Monday, 30 July 2012

Moving and Lavender and Stuff

'I am going to move the greenhouse,' Andy announced on Saturday morning. Immediately, I wondered if this was a good idea, firstly because we were awake until 1 a.m watching the Olympic Opening Ceremony Extravaganza on the telly and were tired, and secondly, because Andy's lack of spatial awareness plus glass PLUS tiredness was unlikely to be a good combination.

But, when a man says he's going to do a manly job, it is never wise to stand in his way.

'No blood, please,' said I and retreated to the front garden to tackle the hedge which had gone wild with all the rain.

Andy's plan was to move the greenhouse to where the garden table was, and move the garden table to the space vacated by the greenhouse thus bringing it further into the garden to a more amenable 'let's-sit-out-and-have-a-barbeque' kind of way. I wondered why we didn't put the greenhouse up against the fence in the first place, but then remembered that when the greenhouse arrived, the fence was further up the driveway, and has since moved further down the driveway thus vacating a space which we filled with garden furniture, if you see what I mean. We've been here almost eight years, which is five years longer than I imagined, and the garden has taken on many transformations in those years, some of which have become a bit of a distant blur (but not the ones involving swarming bees!)

Anyway, as I wrestled the front hedge into submission, and managed to pull a muscle in my side by thinking it would be a jolly good idea to scrape all the moss from between the block paving with an unsuitable trowel, I could hear Andy whistling away to himself, occasionally singing, and sometimes saying things like 'Ouch!' but as no blood trickled its way under the fence 'twixt me and him, I guessed everything a la maisonvert removal was going spendidly.

I was called upon once, to help move the frame. The glass was laid carefully on old duvet covers on the patio and the entire contents of the greenhouse and the rest of the garden was piled in the middle of the now recovering lawn, and we looked like Steptoe's rag and bone yard. I dallied around, and pruned the herb garden which has also gone wild with all the rain. I uncovered many, many slugs which made me heave a bit, and every now and then, Andy and I would meet in the middle of the chaos and try to form a bit of order.

'I thought we could have a path running up there,' said Andy.
'Yes,' I said, 'that would look nice.'
'And maybe some decking behind the willow arch. We could pop a wooden gazebo up there,' said Andy.
'Again,' I said, 'it sounds like a jolly good idea.'
'What have you been doing out the front?' said Andy.
'Cutting the hedge and digging up everything in the front border,' I said. 'I'm going to fill it with lavender. Not the hedge. The front border.'

Lavender has definitely become my new favourite thing. During the week I visited Downderry Nursery in Hadlow, and if you are ever in the middle of Kent during the late spring and through to summer, I urge you to visit too, because it holds the RHS national collection of lavenders and when you walk through the walled garden, 'tis truly a sight and a smell to behold. I ended up buying many plants. I had immediate visions of lavender loveliness here at MMM.

BUT, I hear you all shouting - WHAT HAPPENED ABOUT GETTING NEW CHICKENS? What indeed...

...the thing is, the reason the chickens are gone and the bees have been moved and we are in 'let's get the garden done proper-like,' mode is that we both feel the Universe is prodding us towards a house move. We both said it. At one point we said 'Should we be doing the garden for us, or to sell the house?' Of course, it is always wise to do things because you like them, so that has been the driving force, but a nicely turned out garden sans rampaging hens and swarming bees is a positive selling point , too. Can you imagine us showing potential buyers around next May, bees misbehaving all over the shop, picking our way through dollops of chicken poop?

No, neither could we...

...but when we get to our forever house, the REAL Much Malarkey Manor, there will be more hens and bees and probably ducks and geese and a goat or two.

So yesterday we meandered through garden centres, eyeing up cobbles and edging, and water features and gazebos, and we bought a new parasol umbrella which got rained on as soon as we put it up, sod's law. By the end of August, the garden will be pretty much buyer-friendly. It will lack the personality brought to it previously via the medium of hen 'n' bee but that doesn't matter because it won't really be our garden any more.

And no glass got broken and no fingers got cut. No tempers were lost and no idea discounted.

Garden Project Number Lord Knows What is underway.

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