Dave – with an axe!

As Albert Einstein once said, “People love chopping wood. In this activity one immediately sees results.” 

Dave certainly enjoyed his first wood chopping session today. He’s already talking about the woodshed he plans to build to replace the fairly leaky one we have – maybe a project for the summer months.

He also wants a chainsaw – not sure how I feel about that! Need to calculate the distance to the nearest hospital first…

For now though, it is time to put my feet up in front of this lovely roaring fire – after living with no heating for the last six months this is true bliss!


Soggy Saturday

A big shout out to Ellie who came to us for the weekend for a break from uni and ended up helping us to clear out our rather stinky ponds!

Both were utterly overgrown, there was so much root and stone in each that there was hardly any room for water! Ellie and I nearly broke our backs tugging at matted roots and heaving them, all soggy and smelly out of the pond and into the compost heap.


On more than one occasion the roots gave way and we ended up sat on our bums in the mud – not very pleasant but pretty funny!

One of the ponds has a hard plastic liner which seems to be in fairly good condition, but the other was lined with plastic sheet which needed replacing. We’ve used a thicker plastic liner this time, and added an underlay on top of the (mainly disintegrated) carpet we found under the old pond.


Ellie (a biology student) is keen that we keep one of the ponds natural and unfiltered for the local wildlife and I’d like fish in the other, so it needed a pump. We also needed to find plants, but as the local garden centres all seem to have had no luck with their lily pads this year we raided my Grandad’s pond for a few – thanks Grandad!


Our local stones that we were using around the ponds seem to crack in half when there is frost, so we’ve roped David’s parents into bringing us Cornish stones whenever they visit. We’ve just about finished edging both ponds now…

There is still more to do – we want to cover that area where the black plastic killing off weeds at the moment, and we want to do more planting up around the ponds, but are waiting to see what comes through this year first. We’ll post again on stage two of the pond refurb in a couple of months!

(And yes… Ellie did do plenty of relaxing too, we don’t invite her over just for the free labour :p)

Finding our garden: a little surprise

When we moved into our house we didn’t realise our garden was quite as big as it was!

After fighting through mountains of brambles and nettles we have discovered the outline of what was clearly a once much-loved plot, but it is probably fair to say we are both excited and nervous as we realise how much work is ahead of us in getting it back under control.

In among the overgrowth there is a chicken run, a summer house with a shed extension (and a stained glass window!), a garden shed, a wood shed and a raised garden border. Only after we started clearing and Katrina fell into it did we realise we also had a pond, which on further exploration turned out to be two ponds!


The lack of leaves on anything has made it hard to identify much, but there is definitely a cooking apple tree and an eating apple tree, a plum tree and a pear tree. There is a lovely bamboo plant, and numerous fruit bushes – gooseberry, black currant and red currant most likely.

We’re looking forward to the weather improving so we can start clearing everything and see what is actually here and what needs doing before spring arrives..!