Working towards my September deadline for getting the external caravan storage yard completed; with the help of some top blokes, we set to putting the last 9 fence posts in and lay down the ducting ready for some electricity cables. It only took 3 hours after we prepped the site the day before, to get … View this gallery
When I asked for some bulbs to plant along the front entrance and roadway to bring in some spring chi I wasn’t expecting 50kg of mixed daffodil bulbs!!
I’m sure I will be able to find somewhere in the 6 acres to bury them though. So, over the next few days I’m going to set to it and get as many in as possible between showers. Glad the soil is easy to dig!
By looking at the photo, you would have no idea how much time and effort has gone into getting the Area 5 roundabout to this stage. After a HUGE amount of back-breaking, shoulder crunching clearance work, thanks to Julie, Wayne, Sam and others, I have now formed an almost level central bed for the roundabout to encompass. I’m looking forward to planting it up now, complimenting the existing willow trees.
The actual roundabout road, will be (as usual) underlaid with a reasonable depth of hardcore, as on digging down, we have found a considerable layer of light brown clay, and beneath this a very dark and somewhat pungent layer of sticky, silty soil. There was also a small band of large grade gravel running across what once was a water cress bed.
The aim of the roundabout is to minimise the infrastructure impact on this area, whilst maximising the space available for landscaping and caravan parking. Even though a large proportion of this area has a concrete slab over it, as it was where the main work buildings were sited, grading up to the concrete with grass should look just fine.
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.
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 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
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.
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!! 🙂
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.
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.
As the land has dried enough for me to get around comfortably on the JCB, I’ve managed to dig a little more out for the new roadway. It forms a large horseshoe loop around the top half of the side surrounding the ‘to-be’ pond and old cress bed.
The top part of the loop sweeps along side the river through a couple of pine trees and passed the bee hive. I really like this section of the site; it’s out of the wind mostly and you can occasionally hear kingfishers flying past. We found whilst clearing this section a few grass snakes too, docile and friendly mind you!