Well I'm sat here killing time until I have to go out this afternoon.... I have a dentist appointment which I'm really not thrilled about but has to be done! I always feel nervous before I go to the dentist, even if nothing ends up being wrong... that horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach is with me now, even though I'm sure it will be ok.
Anyway let's not dwell on that for the moment! Things have been really busy here this week but not just with my work... so sorry for my blogging absence... again!
When we moved into this house last year, the garden was literally bare, just soil (and crappy soil at that, half soil, half builders rubble). It is not a huge garden at all, and is kind of a funny shape as it wraps around the side of the house, but for us it is plenty to be looking after and after living in a second floor city flat for years it is so lovely to have a garden at all!
Anyway by the time we had sorted ourselves out after the move, it was then Autumn and the weather got colder and wetter and we just decided to leave it until Spring. I did a bit of research online and had almost decided to just put gravel down as it would be low maintenance. Neither of us really know anything about gardens or gardening - I would like to learn but Karl has absolutely no interest at all so it kind of just seemed like the easy option.
So we dithered about for ages, I rang up some landscaping companies to see if they would come out and do the work but they were all busy... so we dithered about some more.... but then last week, Karl ended up having the week unexpectedly off work. So on Monday morning last week, we made a snap decision to 'do the garden' ourselves, deciding that turf was probably the easiest way to go. So we set about measuring and ordered three tons of topsoil that morning!
The weather did not help when we were trying to prepare the soil. We spent ages digging out all the weeds and stones - of which there were so many - and spreading all the topsoil - poor Karl shovelling three tons of soil by hand... all in the pouring rain! When it had dried out a bit, we levelled it, and tramped it all down, as instructed on the Internet, and awaited our turf which was supposed to be arriving on Thursday.
It came... at about five in the afternoon. After waiting in all day for it, the moment it arrived, the heavens opened and all our neatly levelled and flattened topsoil turned into a bog within about three minutes.
That three hours work were some of the hardest I've ever done. Turf is bloody heavy!! I could barely lift each piece and it was a real struggle. I literally was close to tears, at the mud and the rain, which was ruining our neatly prepared soil and at just how physically exhausted I was. We had to lay the turf that evening as Karl was going away the next day and you can't leave it rolled up otherwise it will die.
Anyway Karl was a hero and ended up doing most of the heavy lifting and putting the turf in place whilst I pressed it into place with the rake. Although the soil had so many footprints in due to torrential rain, when pressed down, it thankfully squashed them all out flat.
Having never had to put fresh turf down before, I kind of naively thought that as soon as you laid it, it would look like a beautifully manicured lawn! Wrong. The turf, obviously having been rolled in on itself was really muddy and dirty...
But in just one week, the rain, which has actually been a godsend, has washed it all clean and it has already started to grow. When we lifted up a corner, you can even see tiny white roots poking out! Hopefully in another few weeks it will become established and we will be able to walk on it.
It is obviously still a huge work in progress and a total blank canvas at the moment but the hardest bit is now done. The bare bits of soil left are where we are going to dig out flowerbeds... we've got some of those little log things to put around the outside of them! Then I can start the bit I will actually enjoy - choosing flowers and plants. As well as the couple of large flowerbeds, I've got quite a few tubs and containers to fill, I want lots of colour so lots of summer bedding plants will be going in!
We have probably been the only ones who have been loving all this rain in the last week. Newly laid turf needs masses of water in the first week to help it root so it has been great timing (just not when we were trying to lay the stuff!) and means we haven't had to do any watering ourselves.
Sorry if this has been a bit of a boring post for some of you, I felt like I had to write it though, one, to document it so that we can look back on it and remember what it was like before, and two, as it took nearly the whole of last week, it just had to get a mention! Although it may not look it to some people, it feels like a massive achievement and I'm so happy to look out of the window each day and see green! I will be even happier once it is all done and we can sit out and enjoy it, but I'm really pleased with what we've got done so far.
Anyway hope you are all having a good week and keeping warm and dry in such miserable weather! I have had quite a productive week this week designing new cards, mainly fathers day ones, which have actually been really fun to work on. I was going to add some of them to this post but I've now run out of time and need to get some lunch before I have to go to the dreaded dentist! Back soon xxx
P.s I've also (nearly) finished my patchwork crochet blanket, hooray! Though it has shrunk to a baby blanket size - more on that next time! x