Entries from May, 2013

Hedge, bed and roadway

Had a really productive day today. Sam came over to help out and we first set to finishing one side of the front hawthorn hedge up to the main entrance. We have taken it back quite a lot from the inside to provide a neat edge and to give us a little more room. Very pleased with the result, even if my highly critical eye does tell that it rises, ever-so slightly, towards the entrance. Once it grows we can hedge trim it all down to level.

Viewing the hedge from the other side of the main road.

Viewing the hedge from the other side of the main road.

Showing left hand side hedge and bed

Showing left hand side hedge and bed

Whilst Sam set to burning all the hedge trimmings, I collected around 10 bucket loads of soil in the JCB. I brought it over to the left hand bed and continued to build it along the inside hedge, then marked out how far it will extend up to curbs.

Left hand entrance bed, shaping up nicely.

Left hand entrance bed, shaping up nicely.

Left to my own devices, I jumped back into the JCB and went over to the riverside drive, knowing our friendly lorry driver Jim had brought us some hardcore to lay down. He reverses his lorry all the way round the new roadway up to the twin pines and dumps his load. Thanks Jim!! As I was setting the JCB up to use the rear axle, I glanced over and spotted a kingfisher zooming along the river like a metallic blue bullet, beautiful birds and I’m sure it had food in its mouth. Continue Reading

Food for bees

I’ve been doing a bit of research today following on from FERA’s Bee inspector Fred visiting the hive we found on the Cresslands site. He recommended the following as great sources of pollen and nectar for the bees:

  1. Phacelia
  2. Borage
  3. Snowberry
  4. Field Beans
  5. Hazel
  6. Willow
Phacelia = Bee food!

Phacelia = Bee food!

SO, I’ve gone and ordered 2 packs of seeds, hoping it’s not too late to sew them, to create a blanket of Phacelia along the riverside drive close to the hive. Need to remove a few stray bramble clumps but after a rake over let the scattering begin.

Interesting source of other plants to help the bee colony – http://www.rosybee.com

We have power!!!

A monumental day today in the Cresslands development – We have POWER!!!

We’ve been waiting for this with eager anticipation for around 6 months now. We’ve overcome lots of hurdles and numerous plan changes along the way, to actually get electricity onto the site again! Whoop! 🙂

It all looks rather impressive and if I’m honest totally over my head – all I know is I now have a 13 amp socket I can plug stuff into. Happy Days.

Electricity at last!!!

Electricity at last!!

Mad Mule!

Much progress was made on the front hedge this afternoon. Sam was in the JCB bucket hitched up to the level of where we are taking the hawthorn down to, hacking and slashing at it like a mad mule! (sorry – I mean carefully cutting and snipping with all health and safety precautions in place!) – seriously though, we’ve got a system going now and looking good it is! Getting the height level is the hard part, but with a few trips to the other side of the road to check I reckon it’s not far out.

Hedge Mule 01

Yes, that’s Sam in a JCB bucket 10 ft off the ground using a chainsaw!

Hedge Mule 02

Riverside Drive – First cut

After a very early start and giving the front fence a second coat, I finally got round to cutting out the riverside drive part of the loop roadway today.

Despite the strong winds and the odd shower this afternoon, I think it’s a good start. I need to do a second cut on the right as you see it; to widen it just a little, but pretty happy with the shape.

Looking forward now to landscaping this area of the site as the ideas are bubbling away – lots of soil to play with!! 🙂

Riverside Drive - First cut

Riverside Drive – First cut

Hawthorn hedge trim

Sam and I had our second attempt at getting the front hedge cut down to a reasonable height. This will do a few things in the long run… help to dampen noise from the road; thicken the hedge lower down to make the site more sheltered and secluded; make the signage on the main shed building easily viewable from the road and is also stipulated in the planning conditions.

Our first go was any but easy and we both ended up with cuts and scratches all over our arms. This time, we got the trusty JCB out and used the front bucket to ease us up to the right height so we can gradually take the hedge down to the level required.

Hawthorn Hedge frontage gets a decent trim

Hawthorn Hedge frontage gets a decent trim

Lick of paint

Had a marvellous weekend with some bezzies over. Duncan came armed with a second chainsaw and Suzanne got a crash (no she didn’t!) course in how to handle a JCB!

Yesterday morning before a nice long walk along the river to give Kushi a run out, they set to painting the fence one side of the main gateway. I finished the other side this morning and both need a second coat, but looking really good already. It brings them to the attention a little more from the road, and sets them off against the dark green of the shed building.

All the silver birch trees just behind the fence have taken, some ahead of the others but leaves appearing all round, which I am very pleased about. The small Lonicera shrubs along the front will bring some added colour eventually too.

The Kerridge Crew! :)

The Kerridge Crew! 🙂

The Cress Bed Clean up #2

After a welcome visit from Duncan who helped take the remaining dead trees from the middle and far end of the Cress Bed Pond, my friend Emily who made her first visit to the site and I set to making a fire. Gathering most of the reduced and cut down deadwood, I then grabbed a good handful of sun dried and now fluffy bulrush head seed fibres, scrunched it up in my hand and used this to start the fire. Lit in two places, a few lung fulls of oxygen and some bone dry kindling, up it went.

I’m leaving a few log piles to rot and hopefully encourage all sorts of bugs and fungi. Logging the heavy stuff and the rest is going up in smoke.

The Cress Bed breathes again

The Cress Bed breathes again

Feathered display

I’ve noticed over the past few weeks the resident male peacock, become much more vocal and territorial, with a lot of tail feather shaking. I keep forgetting to take my DSLR with me, but managed to capture him trying to woo a female with his magnificent and impressively colourful tail plumage.

Does she look impressed?

Does she look impressed?

Any old iron

It was good to finally get rid of a huge mountain of metal accumulated from various areas on the site this week.

The metal mountain

The metal mountain

After a quick call to Sims Metal Management, who are going to recycle it all, they dropped a huge container sized roll off skip for me to fill.

One empty skip

One empty skip

Six and a half hours later – and admittedly with a bit of squishing down with the JCB I deemed it FULL!

Ta-Da! - One FULL skip

Ta-Da! – One FULL skip

I’ve since found out that it weighed in at just 3.04 Tonnes, I lost a bet and believe me when I tell you it felt like twice that putting it in! 😉