Tuesday, 4 January 2011

The new territories and unwanted ‘gifts’

Late last year the opportunity came up to buy a derelict bit of land which is next to the garden. This land has been vacant since the 80’s when most of the houses on our road were refurbished and split in to flats. At the time the bottom halves of the two gardens to the right of ours were split off, probably with the idea of building houses on them in the future. However this didn’t happen and they just lay vacant.

When the opportunity came up there was much wrangling about whether or not to buy, but in the end we bought the plots....after all it was the only opportunity we would have. The idea of being land owners is also rather appealing

For a couple of months we have realised how addictive clearing the new territories is, particularly Steven who has been a man on a mission, but finally the land is now cleared, and very empty.
Everything was good until I dug my first hole to plant some raspberries..after 2 hours I hadn’t reached the subsoil and had pulled out a lot of rubble. Next week I went to dig another hole in a different place and hit a 2x1m corrugated iron sheet just below the surface...another hole was more successful although it took me an hour to dig out the bed.
Steven has now convinced me to think of anything I find as the soil giving me a ‘gift’, and since then I have perfected my ‘thank you so much for your gift’ face. In the last few weeks the land has given us  80’s cassette tapes, a golf bag, phone books, lots of old carpet, teddies, scaffold poles, a ‘sheman’ porn dvd and about 5 wheelie bins of other rubbish. Thank you so much!
What I thought would be an experiment with permaculture or an ok job just forking over the land to remove roots has turned in to rather a nightmare and the vegetable beds I’m currently digging out are taking an hour to do about 6ft...this yields up a bag of rubble, pile of bricks to reuse and a large pile of roots. These are also not just normal roots but hop roots which look a bit like the roots/growths Tom Cruise War of the Worlds movie and also bramble roots which look like the destroyer robots from the Matrix.

Today was a little grim as I spent all morning almost completing the second bed as I have found a huge boulder which I can’t get out, and two bits of lintel from the old house. I have this horrible fear that the old house was just demolished, bulldozed on to the garden and then covered with a couple of foot of soil. Anyone know how to create an exotic rock garden?
However, it’s time for New Year’s resolutions and I have a long way to go before I give up, and I’m sure moving all this rubble will make me ripped as anything for summer!


  1. This is a great blog - would be even better if you could add a "Followers" section so we can pick you up on reader. Look forward to reading more.

  2. Thank you, Im still learning with this so thanks for the feedback!

    Your own blogs also look fabulous, I look forward to spending some time having a look later!

  3. It's invigorating to have the chance to buy a plot of land to extend your garden, imagine the possibilities!

    It'll be fun despite the hard work, eventually you'll just look back and smile at all the initial hard work, as you admire your 'finished' product.