I’ve not found it so easy to find any smiles to share over the last couple of weeks, but even though the weather’s not been the best over the last few days and I’m still not feeling at my best health-wise, I’ve nevertheless made an effort lately to get out into the garden as often as possible to start some serious re-arranging of stuff.
When we first moved into our new home 18 months ago (a lovely 1930s bungalow in need of a fair bit of tlc) our priority inevitably focused on the interior of the house – and anyway, it seemed sensible to leave the garden pretty much as it was for at least the first full year to see what plants appeared, to best understand where the sun rose and set across all four seasons, and to give ourselves time to work out how we might choose to use the garden space in the long-term.
So we’ve been making plans to make some big changes in the back garden this year, and have made a good start by finding new homes for both old and fragile glass greenhouses so now have two empty spaces waiting expectantly for whatever comes next. As well as the two ex-greenhouse spaces there are also still two old sheds in situ – the largest wooden structure most definitely needs to be replaced entirely, it’s clearly not been properly weather-tight for years so is slowly rotting away from within. But we want its drier replacement to be re-sited on the other side of the garden, requiring some ground-work to be done in advance.
We need to move the current washing line, shift the active built-in breeze-block compost heap, and get rid of a large old tree stump to make way for the new shed, as yet un-sourced, which will sit on the footprint of one of the old greenhouses and then some. The sunniest, most sheltered spot in the back garden, currently occupied by the old shed and the ghost footprint of the second old greenhouse, will eventually become a patio area, and a replacement rotary washing line will be re-positioned on the site of the second, smaller metal shed, which will be repurposed elsewhere as a bike shed. A vegetable plot will be introduced. Flower beds will need altered in size and shape and some re-sited altogether. So not surprisingly that’s all going to take some serious re-organising to achieve and some time for us to get there.
In the meantime we’ve been busying ourselves outside for the past few days making a start on the ground-works. So far we’ve taken apart the old unused brick BBQ – the mortar was so crumbling in parts it really wasn’t too difficult to disassemble – and while my husband was at work I’ve spent some time starting to chip off the residual mortar with a cold chisel and hammer. I’ve also managed to stabilise the wobbly garden steps with the help of a breeze block or two filched from the base of the greenhouse, and have removed a rickety wooden railing that was becoming more of a hindrance than a help.
I’ve replaced some old unsightly rotting wooden border edging with some solid re-purposed narrow concrete facings, also taken from the old greenhouse base, and have already dug up and re-planted some early spring bulbs for next year. I’m going to have to re-position quite a few mature plants this year, so I’ve also spent time sitting quietly on the garden bench with a cup of tea surveying the situation and making even more plans. Because four months post-Covid I still tire quite easily, and still get breathless quite quickly, so I find I have to rest a lot, quite often. But still I can get out there and do something, so I do what I can.
So my Weekly Smile for this week is just that, no more no less – I’ve been getting out there into the garden and doing what I can, health permitting, and I’m really enjoying it. The focus on carrying out manual physical activity in nature helps me feel better emotionally, however tired and however breathless I get. The effort is worth it, the feel-good factor rewards are so worth it… I’m worth it 🙂