And so it begins

The time has come…The Walrus said….

I have to sort the back garden, once and for all. Clearly, a lawn is never going to work with three dogs hell bent on racing around, so it’s time to get rid of what’s left of it. As it’s a time of disruption, we decided to replace our flagged drive in the front garden at the same time, as weeds continually grow through the cracks.

In for a penny….and all that…

Yesterday, the boys turned up in force with a digger and an interesting variety of machines.

I had no idea how many planters, pots, bird tables, fire pits and other memorabilia I actually had until it came to moving them all. The front lawn, courtyard and borders are now dotted with endless pots and other stuff, not sure if I’ll be putting them all back, maybe it’s time for a cull.

I’m so grateful to have my little courtyard to sit in, well, I will be if it ever stops raining.

I’ve spent months digging up plants from the back garden and have removed the back pond. Some islands are staying, while new ones will be built. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve started this garden from scratch now, hopefully I’ll get it right this time.

The lawn, or what posed as a lawn, has finally gone.

I thought the guys would deal with one job at a time, not so, they clearly like to go for it on all fronts. You should have seen me trying to walk the dogs over that mound of soil, it’s higher than it looks and acts like sinking sand.

A sign went up offering free flags and I was delighted to see so many takers. Mainly people with allotments.

The dogs are utterly baffled, yet again! They last saw the garden like this when the huge leylandi came down, and the tree-feller destroyed the garden. Buddy has returned to daughters for a while, as he is the one to watch when gates and panels are out.

Curly is furious. After hissing and spitting at the workmen he yowled to be let in and has taken up residency in the lounge. He doesn’t take kindly to upheaval….at all!

It’s only the end of day two and already feels like a week. Of course it rained all day today so there are towels outside all doors as we have to walk through mud to go anywhere, front or back.

My next door neighbour has been a gem, her drive has provided access for the digger, supplies and entry for the workers. If she hadn’t ย stepped up, the front lawn and borders would have been destroyed. She can be finicky so I was amazed by her helpfulness, Stepford wives comes to mind….

I have had some bad experiences with workmen, but I tip my cap to these guys. They slog away and are totally self sufficient. They bring their own drinks and food, and go to the toilet elsewhere. I offered drinks and the use of facilities but they politely declined, we’ll sort ourselves out, they said…that HAS to be a first!!!

And Finally…..

I overheard them laughing at my skeletons. One of them said…Theyย must of have pissed her off big style.

  46 comments for “And so it begins

  1. veggiemummy
    August 9, 2017 at 5:50 am

    I can’t wait to see the finished result. I’ve been away for a few days, so have missed all the rain but I can imagine the mud! Builders who bring their own food and use other toilets? You’ve struck gold there! xx

    • Snow Bird
      August 17, 2017 at 9:40 am

      It looks like it’s going to be a long slow job, but hopefully worth it in the end. Hopefully, this time next year I’ll have all the borders sorted. These builders are utter gems….no bother at all.xxx

  2. August 9, 2017 at 7:57 am

    As above I am intrigued to find out what your plans for your garden are. Your courtyard is really lovely.

    • Snow Bird
      August 17, 2017 at 9:44 am

      I’m hoping my plans turn out as intended. Oh, thank goodness for my courtyard, what a haven it’s proving to be.xxx

  3. August 9, 2017 at 8:44 am

    Goodness, chaos reigns for a while but I’m sure that it’ll all be worthwhile once finished. Pity the weather couldn’t be better. I don’t blame Curly as I don’t either.
    I look forward to seeing the garden next year once it’s all settled down. xx

    • Snow Bird
      August 17, 2017 at 10:23 am

      It is all very chaotic, but hopefully will come good in the end. I shall have to replant most of the borders, it will take time but should look good eventually. The weather is so unpredictable at the moment, rain, wind and sunshine, we seem to get four seasons each day.xxx

  4. Jo
    August 9, 2017 at 9:54 am

    What a big job, I hate all the upheaval of having workmen in but it’s always worth it in the end. I can’t wait to see the finished results.

    • Snow Bird
      August 17, 2017 at 10:26 am

      It certainly is a big job but the workers are excellent, which helps, endless rain means mud is being tramped through the house, here’s to some dry weather! Hopefully I can straighten everything out by next summer.xxx

  5. August 9, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Very wise! Forgive the metaphor……’Horses for Courses’……..’Garden for Canines’ – et al. Looking topsy-turvy but soon all settled…. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hugs!๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค—

    • Snow Bird
      August 17, 2017 at 10:31 am

      I have tried everything, a lawn was not to be sadly, hopefully it will all come together and I’ll replant next spring.xxx

  6. August 9, 2017 at 11:17 am

    I’m looking forward to seeing the end results. In the meantime, I hope you aren’t driven too crazy by all the mud and disruption.

    • Snow Bird
      August 17, 2017 at 10:35 am

      It will certainly be different, and take a while to straighten out, but well worth it hopefully. Mud is such a pain isn’t it. We could do with some dry weather and a little sunshine.xxx

  7. lowcarbdiabeticJan
    August 9, 2017 at 11:37 am

    Certainly a big job you’ve got going on this week. I just hope the weather may be kind for you. It’s awful here at the moment, such heavy rain Yuck!

    Upheaval of having lots of workmen around is never easy, but these seem a great bunch … and it will be so worth it in the end.

    Like others here, I canโ€™t wait to see the finished results !

    One thing I just love about your garden is your little courtyard, it looks such a lovely place to sit a while …

    All the best Jan

    • Snow Bird
      August 17, 2017 at 10:40 am

      We’ve had a lot of rain too, a little sunshine would be most welcome. I must say that these are the best workmen we have ever had, they sort themselves out and turn up each day on time. Rain doesn’t stop the job either which has to be a first. I am looking forward to the finished result, I will need to replant most of the borders though. Oh….my little courtyard does keep me sane!. xxx

  8. August 9, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    OH MY GOODNESS!! That looks like a huge undertaking. I emphasize with you on the realization of what all you have once you have to move it! And I did find that some things were just not worth coddling for meager results — off to be donated!

    Glad you have an amenable neighbor and “sort themselves out” workers and that Curly has found someplace safe (like your readers) to hide out until the work is done!

    • Snow Bird
      August 17, 2017 at 10:44 am

      It is a much bigger job than I thought it would be and a much longer one, hopefully it will all be worth it. I shall certainly be selective re what goes back, it’s amazing how stuff accumulates…my neighbour has been amazing, not a word of complaint despite all the inconvenience she is suffering. I shall have to make it up to her. Thankfully I can hide in my little courtyard.xxx

      • August 23, 2017 at 2:08 pm

        Ack. I meant “empathize” of course. Hope the work is nearing completion, since it seems you’ve plenty more on your plate. Thinking of you, my friend, and praying that all will go well. Hugs to your dear daughter.

  9. Kitty
    August 9, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    Your outside looks like my current inside, Dina! No mud, but grout and paint, and sanding dust everywhere and we get Full Moon Cottage updated. I’m with Curly: the sooner done, the better, but, of course, we have to wait on orders that will arrive “within two weeks,” and etc. A good spiritual exercise in patience. And you have the skeletons to keep your workers in line. I don’t think I can scare my worker, since I sleep with him and he knows all my secrets. ๐Ÿ™‚ He actually is a very steady, precise worker.

    I just paint and follow directions. ๐Ÿ™‚ Then, escape to the gardens.

    I am so-o-o-o-o-o-o excited to see what miracles you create in your splendid new space. How wonderful it will be to see it grow and evolve! In the meantime, I hope the weather, and pups, and mud all cooperate to give you peace and space to dream. It will be glorious.

    • Snow Bird
      August 17, 2017 at 10:54 am

      Oh….grout and sanding dust are utter nightmares! It’s so hard to get rid of both, they seem to linger for weeks don’t they? Waiting for orders really does slow the job down, that happened when we had our bathrooms done, added weeks to the job! How true about it all being a spiritual exercise in patience! I’m glad your hubs is doing the work, that makes all the difference. You can holler when frustrated!!! I am pleased with these workmen, they haven’t put a foot wrong, unusual for workmen these days. No wonder they have so much work. I’m hoping to sort all the borders out by next spring/summer, at least the dogs won’t be running in mud each day. Here’s to us comparing notes re our different jobs….love and hugs, always.xxx

  10. Rosie
    August 9, 2017 at 9:13 pm

    Wow you are so brave! What an undertaking! I am really looking forward to seeing how it turns out!! Daughter has got two thundering great puppies and sent me some videos of them…. I thought of your dogs… because at one point the puppies were tearing round and round after each other ….One is a blue eyed grey coloured staffie type of dog with the ginger eyebrows of a rottweiler and the other one looks sort of stumpy and a bit bulldogish but with a tail and baggyish face… no idea what breed… have emailed her to ask! Saw a lovely staffie cross labrador yesterday… so funny…. like a labrador but with the unmistakable staffie attitude and big smile… but with longer muzzle from the labrador side of things… making it look a bit crocodile like somehow….and all blond..xxx

    • Snow Bird
      August 17, 2017 at 10:58 am

      Oh….wow! Puppies! Of course daughter has to have dogs, she is like me, can’t seem to live without them. They sound gorgeous, and funny looking, I just love blue-eyed dogs, although I’ve never had one. It sounds like her dogs will turn out like mine, endlessly running!!! Is she staying abroad? Your crocodile has me laughing! xxx

      • Rosie
        August 25, 2017 at 7:07 pm

        she seems to have settled in raving MIAMI! Been there over a year… not seen her for over a year! Sends me lots of little videos of the the puppies and I feel as if I know them…. they are lovely…. Too hot to take them out at the moment apparently… but she has discovered an air conditioned puppy park for weekends. One week sent me video of the floods in the wake of the hurricane season…. whole other world! Am glad she is living her dream for the time being. Dreams tend to change so who knows what next….
        The female pitbull of the baggy furrowed brow had her ears cropped 3 days before Tabs got her…. awful… boy dog goes in for licking them and she gets all blissed out… bless him for looking after wounded ears of Disney dog…. I am so upset about the cropped ears….:( poor little Disney… she loves being cuddled – is like a teddy bear. The blue eyed boy one ‘sharks’ a lot… you know… the mouth fight thing!!! We call it ‘sharking’ hahahaha…. xxxx

        • Snow Bird
          September 4, 2017 at 11:26 pm

          You’ll have to put the videos on youtube so I can see them….gosh, fancy daughter ending up there, as you say though, anything can happen….those dogs sound utterly adorable and are in safe hands with her. You have to get a blog going soon….see all the stuff I’m missing?????xxxx

  11. August 10, 2017 at 1:46 am

    That is a mighty big effort, moving pots and then the diggers and builders and meanwhile the pets are going into meltdown…we’ve been there! Never mind, it look good already! We had the house painted and moved most of our stuff into our cabin in the garden. …then we couldn’t stomach the idea of putting it all back and got rid of quite a bit!

    • Snow Bird
      August 17, 2017 at 11:05 am

      It’s astonishing how much stuff builds up isn’t it, so many planters, all weighing a ton! Poor hubs struggled moving them. Yes, items rarely go back after work has been done, I suppose it’s good for clearing out. I think I shall have to order a skip …..xxx

  12. August 10, 2017 at 8:41 am

    Oh Dear Dina…I smiled all the way through this one. This is sooooo YOU :):) and I love it. I do think it’s a good move….no more grass to take care off….good idea….and the animals will recover…as will you. Just keep saying ‘This too shall pass…………………’ Sending buckets of love. Janet xxx

    • Snow Bird
      August 17, 2017 at 11:09 am

      Thanks Janet, chaos and I seem to go hand in hand for some reason. It is good to see the back of the mud track, clearly a lawn was never going to work. Yes, this too shall pass! It’s an excellent mantra. Huge hugs. xxx

  13. August 10, 2017 at 9:32 am

    What a big job that it, wonderful that you have found some hard working men, they are worth their weight in gold! Your little courtyard looks a very peaceful haven, just what you need at the moment with all the work going on. I look forward to seeing the finished result!

    • Snow Bird
      August 17, 2017 at 11:12 am

      It certainly is a big job and there is a lot of disruption, but the plus is fantastic, efficient workers, you don’t get that very often these days. I am so grateful for my little courtyard, it’s an utter blessing. Plants, birds and butterflies sure sooth my soul!xxx

  14. August 10, 2017 at 10:46 am

    How funny… Your skeletons have come into their own at last!!

    That’s a real upheaval you’ve got to cope with there. I take my hat off to you, several of them in fact. How do you cope with changing a bathroom, decorating, major kitchen things and now this development.

    What a great idea to offer out the flags. I liked the the thought that allotmenteers were the main takers.

    It’s all going to be super.

    xxxx

    • Snow Bird
      August 17, 2017 at 11:16 am

      The builders seem tickled pink by those skeletons! There has been a lot of disruption of late, life I suppose, and there seems to be more on the way….sighs…I just try to go one day at a time and try not to think about it. I still haven’t sorted the decorating, something I will do once I’ve had my hip replaced. It was great seeing people take the flags, I hate waste so good to know they will be put to good use. Thanks Menhir.xxx

  15. August 10, 2017 at 11:07 am

    Wow, Dina, what a palaver! It will be worth it in the end, but meanwhile you’ve got all that mess to deal with. At least once it’s over it will all be over … for the time being anyway! How nice of you to give away the flagstones. They are jolly expensive when bought. All the best with it, me dear – and I should take a nice glass of wine into your little courtyard to recover. Under your umbrella of course! Hugs xx

    • August 11, 2017 at 1:28 am

      I just have to tell you how tickled I am to see the word “palaver” again. When I lived in Liberia, it was a much-used word, and it stuck with me for a few years once I returned to the States. Seeing it again is like finding an old friend. I think I’m going to go find someone to make palaver with!

    • Snow Bird
      August 17, 2017 at 11:19 am

      It certainly is a palaver, but as you say, it will all come good, hopefully. It was great seeing the flags go to good homes, when the rest come up hopefully they will be taken too. Lol….yes a glass or two of wine, rain or shine in my little courtyard fixes everything. Thanks Gill. xxx

  16. August 11, 2017 at 1:36 am

    I think that there can be real value in tackling a project this big “all at once.” As long as things have to be torn up, tear them all up. And, it seems as though your workers have a grip on things, so that’s good. I suspect it will all come right sooner rather than later, and I’m certainly looking forward to seeing the results.

    I was surprised by the comments about the workers bringing their own food, and using facilities elsewhere. That’s common practice, here. Now and then someone says that I should just help myself to cold drinks, but I still usually bring my own and put them in the refrigerator. And use the “facilities” on a boat? No way! There are too many things that can go wrong with marine plumbing to risk that — experience suggests it’s the most delicate piece of equipment on a boat!

    • Snow Bird
      August 17, 2017 at 11:25 am

      Oh yes, I would rather get it all over at once, it’s like pulling teeth, why drag it out! Your workers, and your good self sound far more independent than ours. These boys are the exception to the rule, little gems they are, hardworking, reliable and self sufficient, we don’t see that too often around these parts. I am smiling re the marine plumbing comment, the toilet on our old narrowboat was an utter nightmare, constantly breaking down! Thanks Linda.xxx

  17. August 11, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    I can sympathize with Curly’s attitude. However, this looks like an exciting project. Very lucky that you’ve got a reliable crew of workers and a generous neighbor.

    • Snow Bird
      August 17, 2017 at 11:27 am

      Poor Curly, he loathes disruption, he’s now taken to his shed! My neighbour has been so helpful, never once complaining about all the supplies coming through her drive, not to mention a ton of hard core being dumped in her drive, usually she is finicky about such things. She has astonished me with her patience and tolerance. Bless her…and these workmen!xxx

  18. August 12, 2017 at 11:03 pm

    I’ve been trying to remember to bring you this story, so here it is: The crow who taught herself to fly. It’s really inspiring!

    • Snow Bird
      August 17, 2017 at 11:32 am

      I just loved this story, I read it last week, how heartwarming and interesting. I can testify to the intelligence of crows, the rescue ones always remember us. I have seen them in the garden using twigs to probe the ground….astonishing. Thanks for this!xxx

  19. August 13, 2017 at 10:53 am

    Hi hi hi hi… what a feeling! Dogs and workers never get along well, do they?
    My Goodness, how can you cope with such disaster in your beautiful garden, but I guess after that, it’s going to be like the ones in the fairy tales!
    Need some special seeds from the far South ๐Ÿ™‚ ? I’ll give some to bring along…
    What are the weather conditions for the coming week? Shall I suggest Emanuele take plastic boots and a waterproof waxed jacket?
    I cross my, fingers you don’t have to bear him inside the home for all the stay… you won’t like any more classical music if he starts working for the next year 40 minutes parts for his BAC.
    The suitcase is ready… he will be back tonight from a youth choir concert in the mountains (in the Alpine hut of the Greina in Upper Ticino).
    Tomorrow we send you an SMS when he will be on the plane!

    https://www.google.it/maps/place/Passo+della+Greina/@46.6125139,8.9518012,1909m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x478504bf7822890d:0xadfaa3c182eba04e!8m2!3d46.6125!4d8.960556

    Hugs and love (I do not deny to be a little bit envious of Emanuele, I would like to know you personally ….) :-)claudine

    • Snow Bird
      August 13, 2017 at 8:38 pm

      Hi Claudine, at the moment it’s saying rain but mild temperatures, the forecast is ever changing though. Emanuele can play the piano to his hearts content as it’s in a room we rarely use, I love classical music and the piano so no problems here!
      John will be collecting him from the airport, I’ve shown him a photo from your blog. Tell Emanuele to make himself at home and help himself to anything he needs, we are very casual here. We will meet one day! Hugs and love to you…..yes let me know the flight is on time.xxx

      • August 14, 2017 at 2:31 pm

        The flight is on time and ight now Emanuele is on the plane…
        He sent you an sms (and one to me as well)… but wasn’t sure about the area code since he wrote it from Bergamo Italy!
        I’m sure everything will just be right!
        I cross my fingers John will pick him up without problems. I told him to stay (to freeze) at the exit of the customs…
        He was really excited (and I’m as well).
        Hugs and kisses :-)claudine

  20. Snow Bird
    August 14, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    I received his text loud and clear. I’ll let John know.xxx

  21. August 22, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Your courtyard does look like a beautiful haven of peace. What fun to have clean sweep like this. I would like to do this with my front garden. A blank canvas in the garden is so exciting. I am looking forward to seeing what you will do.

  22. Snow Bird
    August 23, 2017 at 10:32 pm

    I just love that little courtyard, rather a grand title I know, but heaven to me. It will take time to sort the garden!!!xxx

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