ALL HANDS ON DECK.

Hello and welcome to all our new followers ( and of course our long time followers !), and thankyou for all the nice comments you have all sent. We do hope that you all find us helpful, informative and entertaining!

At the start of this project 7 years ago, the summer weather was absolutely fantastic. It was really hot and very sunny and we felt like we were on a permanent holiday! We had a 35 foot caravan and a dream, so we started to build the extension onto the side of the caravan. We were playing Spanish music on our little CD player and having fun together, it almost felt like we were making our own telly programme, we called it ‘House Builders In The Sun !’ One time I was making the roof and 2 Red Kites were swooping overhead, we took this to be a good omen. But as ever the weather changed ( we were still having fun !) but at the end of the day this was still just grazing land and with all the rain it started to get really boggy and just down right muddy. Ok we didn’t have any carpets to mess up ( we still don’t), but it all became hard work, slipping and sliding around the areas around the house, something had to be done to make things easier. So I decided to put wooden pallets down, that I recycled from a local business ( with their permission of course)  to make a decking and walkway, and it really did work, but as always there’s another but, after awhile they started to rot and break so we kept on replacing them but these also rotted and in the end we got fed up of trying to tip toe around the place to avoid the holes and broken ankles. So once again something had to be done, hence now our proper decking and walkway.

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As you can see instead of just making a static decking, I built it all in 1 metre square sections.

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Each section can be moved or changed at any time either because of damage, or knowing us, we just want to change the pattern. Because we can…… and probably will! Why move house when you can just change how it looks?

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The last pallet being ripped up, thank goodness ! I had to use a spade,crow bar and sheer brute force !

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The sections going down.

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The walkway down the side of the house past the herb garden.

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What a view. The decking’s not bad either !

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The whole decking and walkway is now really nice to walk on without fear of slipping or breaking something ( like a pint glass !)

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And in case you were wondering what happened to all the old faithful pallets, well they will make perfect bonfire material for our Samhain  festival, seeing as we’ve invited bigmunkeyman and his mates to hold his bigmunkeyman’s bigmonster movie mashup !

I’m sure he will have a tale to tell at www. bigmunkeyman.wordpress.com

By the way I’d like to say Happy 30th Birthday to my sister TIGGER !

BEES IN THE BORAGE

Well, here I am writing my first tentavive post! As you already know, when we moved onto our land 5 years ago, it was literally just fields, and very wet fields at that! What was going to grow in such conditions? Willow… perfect, but there had to be more. We wanted  herbs, so a way forward was the ‘no dig’ herb garden. This involved strimming an area of grass close to the house, removing the cuttings, laying thick wads of newspaper or cardboard, wetting them and laying the grass cuttings back over the wet paper. This creates a thick mulch that if left for just a few weeks will break down and give you the most gorgeous soil. I planted a few herbs and was astonished when I found worms already at home in the new soil! The worms come up to the surface of the soil to drag the rotting matter down … in effect I had created a wormery! We now have a decent selection of herbs of which we can use fresh during summer or, dry them in a warm place for storing for winter use. I love drying herbs in the kitchen and collecting seeds such as coriander and fennel.

Fennel

I also noticed today that there were still bees to be found in the nasturtium and whats left of the borage, not bad for October

A little fuzzy.....Or should that be buzzy?

Borage has often been planted by beekeepers as a forage crop for their hives and is also an excellent companion plant, as planting it close to tomato plants may repel whiteflies and tomato moths. As a herbal medicine, it has been suggested that Borage has a therapeutic value in treating dry itchy skin such as eczema and psoriasis. The leaves can be used as a poultice for sprains, bruises and inflammation……. but as far as I know, not bee stings!!