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Dem stones, dem stones, dem....dry stones..........!


Well, Thursday arrived and the pond area was pretty much complete barring a plant or two to drop in the water – coming next week!

So, what next? Well, we need to create the path from the steps of the decking down to the back gate, just adjacent to the pond, so the gravel can sort of blend in to the bark. This was going to be no mean feat as there were 7 HUUUUUGE slabs that the previous owners must have…welll, got from I don’t know where. They are no ordinary sized slabs and the path was just thrown down. So, this is the first part of Phase 3 of the garden – THE PATH & BORDER.

Before I start, I think it’s only fair that I give you a very quick tour of the rest of the, NOT so tidy garden. If you come out of the conservatory and turn right about 5 steps and look over to the right, you see this area….

The white sacks have since been emptied at the tip so that is clear now!

This is our shed which was present when we arriived last September. It’s quite old and brittle but it will serve it’s purpose for a few years. We added the reed on the roof to freshen it up a bit and give it some life – only trouble is, the birds see it as a free-for-all for nesting material! Ah well, you can’t take it with you!

This is the sign on the shed with a little birdie house on the corner – recent additions!

If you stand just over the balistrade by the Cordyline in the first pic, you see down the garden….

…and if you walk down onto that grass, it runs alongside where the next phase begins – the path! The next 2 pics show the old path, minus 2 slabs I had already taken up, from both the decking down and the opposite back up.

So, first job was to get these big, hefty, cumbersome stones up and just to give you an idea as to how big they are, take a look at the following photo. I’m the one in the Red Power Rangers outfit -thought it would give me more strength….

…So I pushed for all I was worth but they were BIG…..

….so I tried lifting them but Ali was more after a sit-down job! This just made it more difficult so……

…when all else fails, you enlist the help of……Fourarms, from Ben 10. He can do the job of 2 of us…..

So he pushed and I pulled, but unfortunately, he didn’t realise his own strength…

Ali got annoyed at me for getting stoned and all hell broke loose, so after I had composed myself, and avoided ending up on the slab, I told Ali to go and clean the greenhouse out of all the toms that had been caught by the dreaded blight. When she went in, someone was waiting for her….

‘Need any help Ali?’

So, I carried on digging turf up and came across the ‘Lost City of Atlantis’…..

Along with the following orange ants, flying ants……

….and lots of eggs!

As I started moving the soil, they disappeared down their network of tunnels which I found very ANTisocial of them!! If they hadn’t looked so young, I would swear they were ANTiques! Okay, both lame…sorry!

You would not believe the amount of stones that came up as I turned the soil….

That’s just a small selection and when added to the slabs and fabulously strongly built brick wall I discovered, it all added up to a lot of stone!!

This little fella was a welcome sight though….

This root had actually grown through the wall!!!

So, with the sweat pouring offa me….nice Daz, but little bit more info than we needed…..sorry!…I decided to take a breather and partake in a little wander of the garden to see what was about.

Came across this guy bee-having himself on my Cosmos….

….and then this Pieris Brasicae or Cabbage White. I don’t know whether it’s the same one that keeps fluttering through the garden every few minutes or whether he has loads of other dopey mates, but if any of you are reading this guys – ‘I AIN’T GOT NO CABBAGES IN MY GARDEN!!!’ They might get the message now although I may still erect a sign saying ‘NO FLY ZONE’.

Pretty thing though. On the note of ‘Cabbage Whites’ and what pests they are for cabbage growers, why can’t they be Scooter Whites and eat the annoying little tykes who drive up and down our street on those irritating neeeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiiiihhhhhh mini-scooter efforts. So annoying and not supposed to be on roads anyway!

DAZ! You’re turning into your dad!’ Oops, onwards boy onwards!

Whilst perusing my land, Mr Robin dropped by to cast his eye over proceedings….

So of course, I had to call Nutty to ask his opinion….

’You’re asking ME, what I think of your work so far?

….‘Yeh great, gotta go….got nuts to consume!’

‘Found them! Nyum…nyum…nyum…’

‘Oops,! ’scuse me!’

It was quite obvious that he wasn’t interested in anything but his food so I decided to call it a day as I am with this blog. I will leave you with some sunshine and return soon to finish the tale……

YES, how cool is that… Gazania’s have come back after I put copper tape around the bowl to stop them pesky slugs! I am a happy man!

More blog posts by oddbillie

Previous post: POND DEVELOPMENT - Stage 3

Next post: 'If I could talk to the animals....'



Good and amusing blog Darren !

I too have big hefty stones in the ground, we seem to have had a nation of stone lovers go before us :(

7 Aug, 2009


Wow those slabs are HUGE and so many ants I'm surprised they didn't help you move them :))
What with the squirrels and your archaeology site I lost 'track' and had to start your blog again !
Lots of hard work there and your gazanias have rewarded your efforts-well done :))

7 Aug, 2009


Good blog.
Wonderful photos and interesting text. :o)

7 Aug, 2009


a lovely blog and excellent photos too. well done on all the hard work.

7 Aug, 2009


Great blog OB. :~))
Just one question though.............. Do you take the same tablets as me? Lol

7 Aug, 2009


great blog OB, funny to, im sure the garden will be lovely when its all done, i can see it now :o)

7 Aug, 2009


Fantastic blog as usual OB! Like the shed, great ideas. I've got that stuff over the council's wire fence, but never thought of putting it on the roof!
Looks like the slabs I had to move to make my patio!
The superheroes saved the day then? Where were they when I was doing mine???????
The gazania's lovely. Nice sky shot!

7 Aug, 2009


Thanks all for your comments. It's getting there slowly but I need to get this path area more levelish tomorrow before the rain sets in and another bag of gravel arrives next week!

I think the builders just dumped all the broken, waste stone in this garden when the place was built and hey presto! Ali reckons the wall I discovered was probably holding up the street!

Sb: Thanks and di they get off alright - the family? Bet it's quiet now without them! happy times though until their next visit. :0)

Ian: It's precisely that I am not on tablets that makes me like this.....Quacks tomorrow methinks!

MP: It's great stuff and we used the remainder up on the old rubbish box they had but seeing as how rats or mice were nibbling their way in their, we replaced the box with a plastic storage box that fit about 5 bags. The reed stuff does give a nice effect though. Put it up with a staple gun of Ali's from her textile degree days!

Thanks again all :0)-

7 Aug, 2009


Man, what a he man that lifted those blocks, I am smitten, wonder how in heavens name I can get "myself" such a boy!!!.LOL. good job, and the gazanias R fabulous.

7 Aug, 2009


And one with 4 arms, Doon?!!!
Yes OB it hides a hideous fence in my garden! But it's almost doubled in price since I bought it last year!!

7 Aug, 2009


heh, yup, that would be wunderbar, lol

7 Aug, 2009


What, with four arms!! or a power ranger? lol!

I just love those gazanias. Thought I'd lost them to the slugs but hey,copper tape and a bit of attention does them good!

Got to say though, those slabs were really heavy, even for a lump like me. Had to 'walk' them up the garden to their temporary resting place!

Thanks for the comments Doon :0)-

7 Aug, 2009


where you buying it from MP?

7 Aug, 2009


I started to move them myself, & a neighbour (who I'd never met, just walked into the garden, moved me aside then started shifting them! We did use one of those sack trolley things tho!
I bought them from Poundstretcher.

7 Aug, 2009


I moved a Slabbed path once, done the same as you Billie, Walked them! How i never dropped them and broke my legs I dont know..
Great Blog,:) Frustrating when you think a job should be a couple of hours and turns into 2 days Grrr..
Love your Gazinias, still waiting for mine to flower and i wish i had as much wildlife as you Guys :(
Those Ants Eeeuw...
and maybe if you had of Bumped into Dr David Banner and punched him in the nose, you would of got the job done Quicker hehe
Power Rangers are Wimps..

7 Aug, 2009


Lol Dee! Not sure Jac would see it that way! David banner - still laughing here ya nutter!

Ordered a miniature starter pond kit today for plants to go in the pond so hope to get some more wildlife in to garden. Tis mad. I used to hate bees and now I welcome them in and encourage them on to the plants.....I don't stand there, by the way, and physically encourage them or even talk them into it.....oh, you know what I mean! lol!

What purpose do ants serve in the garden anyway? ANd slugs for that matter?

MP: I meant where you buying the reeding stuff from - assume you meant that 'doubling in price'?

7 Aug, 2009


It sounds as if you have just destroyed a site of archaeological interest. I have informed Tony Robinson and the Time Team and the British Museum have said they will be interested in any antfacts (sorry artefacts) that you find. They think the slabs are probably part of a Roman road and you will have to replace them all :) Oh dear!!

7 Aug, 2009


Yes, I MEANT I bought the reed screens from Poundstretcher! I'm having a very confusssed day!!
They were £6 each, or 2 for £10 last year, now theyre £10!
Well, to quote digger, :o)D~~ ! Lol

7 Aug, 2009


Nice one Dee! :~)))

7 Aug, 2009


GEE....LOL! You're turning as mad as me!

They can take any artefacts they want as long as they take the dozen or so bags of stone and mud etc with them!! Mind you, I guessed they might be Roman coz they were roman all over my b#*!£y garden!

As Boldrick would say...I have a cunning plan.....!

7 Aug, 2009


As Blackadder would say "Oh s***! Lol! :~)))

7 Aug, 2009


hi OB yes the family got off ok and i miss the kids being here,ive told them they are welcome any time here :o))

8 Aug, 2009


again a very amusing blog with fab pictures

those gazinnias are BEAUTIFUL

well done both for your hard work

x x x

8 Aug, 2009


Both? I dug up all the wall


8 Aug, 2009


But you were obviously in serious need of supervision!!LMAO!

8 Aug, 2009


Yeah, You AND the whole Power Rangers Team... :)))

9 Aug, 2009


ha ha ha, lol, Billie you can certainly write a good blog. Always amusing and so full of fun. But, tell me, when do you get time to get all the work done? ;-))

12 Aug, 2009


3 weeks ago, Ali went down with swine flu on the Saturday. I had to leave work to collect Tamiflu from the local hospital. My Area Manager told me to stay home with Ali for the rest of the day as I was off the following day - she has been seriously ill in the past so has an underlying condition. By the evening, my staff were telling me they didn't want me back in work in case I was carrying it - they got young kids etc.

So, added to the fact that the following week I started my 2 week holiday, I will have had 3 weeks off, in total, by the time I return to work on Monday next week!

I have never worked so hard but the inspiration and comments from all you kind folk have kept me going....along with Ali cracking the whip!! I won't get much time when I'm back in work to do owt.

I have finished the path today and my back is now in half but it's getting there slowly!

I have enjoyed it immensely but will have to save some more money now for the next phase - path extension & archway.....WATCH THIS SPACE!

12 Aug, 2009


Wow Darren!!!! awesome blog I must say.

Just one question............
Have you seen Changeling?

22 Sep, 2009


Great Blog......Great Garden..loved this Blog..~Cat

Changeling...I have seen Changeling...what about it?

26 Sep, 2009

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