May. 23rd, 2017

davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
There's been a constant whirr of powertools from my neighbour over the past few days. I was talking to him yesterday and he's taking the 'opportunity' of being made redundant to refurbish the porch on his house - our houses are the two halves of a semi but his is a larger three bed and has a porch where my two bed doesn't. And while the houses are brick, the porch is wooden.  Apparently he'd already used £100 worth of sanding discs stripping down the wood prior to re-treating it (and I must say he's done a lovely job of it).

When he started up again today I decided I might as well be out there as suffering the noise in the house or back garden and headed out to do something about my front garden. My back garden is big by modern British standards, but my front garden is a bit of a postage stamp, and noticeably sloped. There is, in theory, a hedge at the front, with planting behind,  and then about a yard of grass before you get to the path to the front door. I've deliberately set things up not to need a great deal of management, but I might have overdone the not managing it.

I'd intended to strip back the hedge where it fronts onto the road, there's about a foot of growth at ankle height overlapping onto the footpath, but then I took a close look at the planting. Holly is not exactly a shy and retiring plant, nor is a rhododendron, nor christmas rose, yet they'd all been swallowed up by overspill growth from the hedge - apparently it's reaction to me cutting off all the branches on the streetside last summer was to make a determined effort to swamp the planting area. So I spent the afternoon snipping off branch after branch of hedging. You can at least find the holly now, you can't find the christmas rose because I trimmed back the flowering heads (see 'christmas') and the rhododendron was always tall enough to be seen, you can just see rather more of it than you could before. And I'd completely forgotten about the irises.

I think I'm about two thirds done. There's still stuff to come out, but I can at least get in to work now. The only problem is I've completely filled the garden recycling wheelie-bin, and that's not picked up until Thursday morning, so progress is at a temporary halt, Which is probably just as well. I had planned to work from the chair, I trimmed the hedge that way last year, but the slope meant that wouldn't work for the planting - I kept slipping out of the seat! So work consisted of spurts of standing and trimming, followed by sitting on the chair on the path while I recovered. And the periods of standing were getting shorter, and the periods sitting recovering getting longer and longer. When it got to the point I was doing two snips and having to go sit down again that seemed like a good sign I should stop. I think it was a mix of disability related fatigue, plus the temperature, I slurped back almost a litre of pineapple juice while I was recovering - it was a relief when it clouded over and a slight breeze kicked in.

And when I'm done there's still the hedge proper to do, and then the back garden....

It could have been worse, I could have been my neighbour, who'd reached the peaked roof of his porch, and discovered the corners were completely rotten due to sloppy workmanship. So he's spent the day replacing that, including sourcing material and cutting new bits to shape. From what he's said his simple couple of days retouching the porch is now headed toward £500 and at least a fortnight of effort.


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davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
David Gillon

October 2017

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