Cracking on

It’s been all systems go this week.

At last, this wall is ivy free, and order has been restored, to this little bit of the courtyard anyway. It’s been an absolute battle, especially scraping the remnants off the wall, in the end, hubs burnt it off, well, singed it enough for me to paint over it.

Once the wall was painted, it all seemed like a distant memory. Always the way, isn’t it?

All I need to do now is to add a couple of hanging baskets then wait for all the bulbs to come up.

Next up, was moving a couple of wooden raised beds from the courtyard into the back garden. First, all the soil had to be removed, this takes far longer than you think! Once in situ, we had to fill the darn things up again! Happily, they are now planted with acers, standard roses, iceberg roses and parsley. Why parsley you may ask, well, mainly because I had about thirty plants kicking around from last year.

I also planted out some roses in pots, and the new olive trees in the brick raised beds. Soon, what look like twigs at the moment will be glorious come summer, fingers crossed!

Buddy, of course, found the new planters straight away, why did I think he wouldn’t?

My final task was to clear all the climbers, shrubs and tree branches from the courtyard fence as a new fence is to be installed soon…sighs… so began a week of hacking, sawing, chopping, snipping, and digging.

Trug after trug was filled and taken to the tip for recycling. I lost track of the runs hubs made.

How bare it all looks now. Still, the climbers and buddleia should bounce back, and many shrubs can be replanted.

I pruned all the lower branches off the trees, I now have some very tall trunks on the elder, plum and pear trees!

I’m glad that’s sorted, it’s been a right old slog, especially in the rain and sleet. All that remains is to collect all the stones.

And finally….

All that dead wood resulted in several rather marvelous chimineas!

  40 comments for “Cracking on

  1. Kitty
    February 5, 2018 at 6:51 pm

    Wow! What a lot of work, Dina, sez I, staring out at falling snow in 12 degree temperatures! (Walking the boy pups and trying to entice Miss Teagan outside to do her business is about the extent of my outside chores this week.)

    I love all your “after” pictures! Looks like all that effort paid off. Good for you! I can’t wait to see all the blooms to come! Enjoy those lovely fires. Smooches to you and those precious 4-leggeds. 😘

    • Snow Bird
      February 7, 2018 at 5:39 pm

      Oh….you have her????? WONDERFUL!!!! Oh, you sure have your hands full!!!! Crazy lady!!! I bet it’s all fun and games in your house…..with lots of readjusting! It snowed here yesterday but didn’t stick, it’s been -1 most of the week, I just can’t get warm. I’m looking forward to seeing how gardens look come summer, everything seems so bare at the moment but plants grow surprisingly quickly. Thanks Kitty. Hugs and love, always to you all. xxx

  2. February 5, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    It looks fabulous – the wall looks pristine and the raised gardens are going to be stupendous 🙂 Well done you. It must feel so good to sit down at the end of the day with a glass of wine…and a roaring fire given the temps.
    Wont be too long before spring is with us and all your hard work will have been oh so worth it. Sending love and big hugs. janet xxxx

    • Snow Bird
      February 7, 2018 at 5:51 pm

      Thanks Janet, once the plants grow it should all look more like a garden. It certainly was good to relax with a glass of wine in front of a roaring chiminea. Roll on spring! Love and hugs to

  3. February 5, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    Now we know where all the toned muscles come from. You have been on the go non-stop with planned and unplanned refurbishments. There’s quite a bit of heavy work in those projects of yours.

    The courtyard looks lovely and fresh. Those colourful cloths that are tied around the tree trunk puzzle me.. anything specific?

    The main garden is really smart. Your reorganising and planting , though looking great now, and doing you proud, will look really smashing when spring is sprung and summer encourages all the buds and fruits to fulfill their potential.


    • Snow Bird
      February 7, 2018 at 6:05 pm

      It’s non-stop with a garden isn’t it? Same with a house, always something needing doing. I started tying colourful scarves and ribbons on the old stump after the tree had to be cut down. Then friends began tying ribbons on too, soon the trunk was covered….strange, but true. I am looking forward to seeing the courtyard and back garden come to life, they both look a little bare at the moment, but it is winter I suppose. Thanks

  4. February 5, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    Amazing Dina! You and Hub did a great job… I’m waiting to see the baskets with the plants 🙂
    The last w.e. I didn’t go into the garden… it was too cold and I spent time knitting with my mom, it was so many years I didn’t knit a sweater: I’m enjoying myself a lot! (but at night it’s too dark, no use to have a bright lamp, and I have problems with my eyes).
    The warmth of the fire is so good for the sorrowing body, but as well for the spirit
    Hugs and kisses :-)claudine

    • Snow Bird
      February 7, 2018 at 8:16 pm

      Thanks Claudine, I’m looking forward to getting a few hanging baskets on that wall, and seeing the raised beds coming to life, winter seems to have gone on forever here. It sounds pretty grim in your parts too, how lovely that you can enjoy knitting with your mum, a lovely winter hobby. Ah yes….fire, you just can’t beat

  5. February 5, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    You certainly got a lot of work done! I can’t wait to see the hanging baskets and the new fence. And all the filling out and blooming when the time comes.

    Like Kitty, I’m staring at a snow-filled back yard. Our temps are a bit colder at -11 C (here in Canada). Spring is a long way off!

    I found you by way of Cheryl.

    • Snow Bird
      February 7, 2018 at 8:31 pm

      Oh goodness, -11 sounds perishingly cold, it’s -1 here and I’m freezing! Thanks for visiting, I shall pop over and have a read of your

  6. February 5, 2018 at 9:53 pm

    The garden in transformed! You & hubs have done a great job… We have re-filled raised garden beds & that was a killer! Your painted wall looks great & you are nearly done with all the rest. The reward will be spring & summer …. Coming up!
    Enjoy your lovely evening fires… I love sitting around a fire with a glass of wine.

    • Snow Bird
      February 7, 2018 at 8:43 pm

      Thanks Gerrie, oh yes, filling raised beds is horrendous! Everything looks a little bare but hopefully, come summer, it shall be lush and green. You and me both re the fire and

  7. veggiemummy
    February 5, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    Goodness, you have been busy. You’d never know there used to be ivy on that wall. I love your fabric bombed tree! I’m planning a day gardening tomorrow – I hope it’s a bit warmer than today! xx

    • Snow Bird
      February 7, 2018 at 8:48 pm

      Thanks veggiemummy, I must say I’m pleased with that wall, it will look fine once it has a few hanging baskets on it. I hope you managed a little gardening, it was blooming freezing here and looks like it will be staying that way. Here’s to spring and a few blue skies!xxx

  8. February 6, 2018 at 6:05 am

    You have certainly been very busy. I have an ivy problem too, I’ve never thought of burning the tiny bits that are left!

    • Snow Bird
      February 7, 2018 at 9:01 pm

      Ivy looks awful once removed doesn’t it? Hubs used a hand held gas burner which singed it enough to take a coat of paint, I was surprised to get away with just the one coat, I anticipated two or three coats. Good luck sorting

  9. February 6, 2018 at 8:01 am

    You’ve sure been busy, and once there’s a new fence the replanted shrubs will soon settle then regrow. It’ll all look really good come the summer. xx

    • Snow Bird
      February 7, 2018 at 9:03 pm

      I’ll be happy once that fence is sorted, hopefully there won’t be too much disruption, they are hoping to sort it within a day. Come summer things should be a little livelier. Thanks

  10. Jo
    February 6, 2018 at 9:46 am

    What busy bees you’ve been. I think you’ve tackled these jobs at the right time, it’ll look great when summer comes around. Those planters take so much soil, don’t they? Emptying them, moving them and refilling them is a big job in itself.

    • Snow Bird
      February 7, 2018 at 9:07 pm

      It was certainly the best time to sort that wall and fence, and it’s good to have those planters finally in situ. It did take forever sorting the soil….I was losing the will to live! Thanks Jo, hope it’s warmer inyour corner of the

  11. February 6, 2018 at 11:07 am

    You have been busy – good to see that you are back on form. It’s a time for tidying up and not much else isn’t it?

    • Snow Bird
      February 7, 2018 at 9:10 pm

      It is the best time to sort all these type of jobs, good cutting back when trees and shrubs have lost their leaves too, it halves the waste. xxx

  12. February 6, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    An excellent job there, Dina! Gosh, what hard work but it must have kept you warm, all that moving and digging; it’s the perfect time of year for it. Sounds as though you’re fully recovered and mobile again which is a very good thing and the garden will look fabulous come summer! xx

    • Snow Bird
      February 7, 2018 at 9:13 pm

      Thanks Caro, it is marvelous being able to get on with such tasks again, surgery is becoming a distant memory! It’s funny going out all wrapped up only to start stripping layers after a few minutes of physical graft…I’m looking forward to the garden growing and

  13. February 6, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    It’s all looking very smart and you’ll be amazed at how quickly the gaps fill up again once they’re replanted. And it’s the perfect time of year to do it!

    • Snow Bird
      February 7, 2018 at 9:14 pm

      Yes, this is the time for it! It’s a good job shrubs grow so quickly isn’t it? Thanks

  14. February 7, 2018 at 5:56 am

    Who’s been busy? A big improvement and more work to be done. Great post and images.

    • Snow Bird
      February 7, 2018 at 9:15 pm

      Thanks Peter, yes, still plenty to be done!xxx

  15. February 7, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    It looks splendid. So much hard work. I bet you ache, hope you are having some nice long soothing baths.
    A new fence will look great, and you will appreciate it once it is finished.
    Then you will be set for the warmer weather.

    • Snow Bird
      February 7, 2018 at 9:22 pm

      Thanks Cheryl, oh yes, I sure did ache! I’ll be glad when the new fence is will be more secure for the dogs and will be lovely with a few climbers on it. Here’s too warmer weather, I’ve forgotten what a blue sky and sun looks

  16. February 7, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    You have an absolutely gorgeous home and environs, Dina. These pictures had me looking at everything differently. I like ivy, but it amazed me to see how things were opened up by their removal. Hope you will soon forget all about your unwanted guests, and that everyone will enjoy the winter. xxx

    • Snow Bird
      February 7, 2018 at 9:25 pm

      Why thank you Shimon! I like ivy too, it’s great for small garden birds to nest in and a good source of winter food for them too, but once it takes over it can be utterly destructive. Thank goodness it’s removal has sorted the rodent issue! It does look a little brighter now though, a few hanging baskets should add a little interest. Thanks Shimon, always good to hear from you, my

  17. February 8, 2018 at 1:53 am

    That wall looks wonderful with the ivy gone and the new paint job. It does help to make the space seem more open, and inviting. It sounds as though your clearing and planting (and re-planting) are finished for the time being. I’m sure you’ll have some new things as the weather changes and the impulse to purchase fresh plants can’t be denied, but for now you can sit back and watch what you have develop.

    We’ve had similar weather, it seems. It’s been gray here for days and days and days. In fact, one of the weather guys I follow mentioned that it’s been cloudy and dim 83% of February so far. Gotta love the scientists — they get such a kick out of putting a number to it.

    I hope all this work hasn’t worn you out. I suspect just the opposite might be happening — you’re probably getting more energetic and strong by the day.

    • Snow Bird
      February 9, 2018 at 7:59 pm

      Thanks Linda, removing the ivy has opened the space up, a few hanging baskets filled with flowers should liven it up a little, come summer. It’s good to have these jobs sorted, next up a new fence.
      Gray gets old fast doesn’t it? Today we had clear blue skies, it was bitterly cold and windy but the sun was so bright it almost blinded me! Here’s to a few brighter days for you too!
      It’s good to be able to do more or less what I want again!xxx

  18. February 8, 2018 at 2:37 am

    You’ve been very industrious! I was interested to hear how you removed the ivy tendrils from your wall. We have Boston Ivy growing on the east side of our house. Each year I cut it to the ground, but bits of tendril stays on the brick. I leave it there, partly because the ivy grows back every year to cover the wall.

  19. Snow Bird
    February 9, 2018 at 8:06 pm

    Thanks Jason. I like Boston ivy, it is so vibrant when it turns red, it’s not as clingy as our wild ivy. Goodness, it sounds like it grows fast

  20. Glo
    February 9, 2018 at 11:15 pm

    Your newly painted courtyard wall looks amazing! So much work you have been doing getting everything ready before spring, when you can really enjoy your garden. I can just picture hanging baskets on the wall. I wonder what kind of colourful plants will live in them ?

    Looking forward to seeing the new fence, too 🙂

  21. Snow Bird
    February 13, 2018 at 11:33 pm

    Thanks Glo. There is still lots to be done, but hopefully everything will just get better, eventually. Sadly, I just can’t follow your new blog, whatever I do???? Can you add a follow by email button? I am keeping up though, popping in each week and enjoying your inspiring photos!xxx

  22. February 15, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    Your courtyard looks lovely. You burnt the ivy off? Well that’s enterprising I have a terrible ivy problem . We have had fence problems too so we have been struggling with the same issues as you. I hate wasting time on this sort of thing when I’d rather be looking after my flowers and weeding. And hasn’t it been cold? The only way I can face outside is wearing a fluffy bear onsie that my son gave me. No one can look at me and keep a straight face. It’s the ears I think.

  23. Snow Bird
    February 15, 2018 at 8:54 pm

    Torching the ivy was surprisingly successful, it singed it enough to paint over, not sure how the torching would work on an old brittle fence panel though. Ivy has taken over the gardens, this year I’m hoping to tackle it. Fences…sighs…it so destructive replacing them, we have about twenty five panels left to sort, I’m hoping they hang on as I can’t bear to see another border destroyed. I totally agree re wasting time on these ventures! Oh.OH…I am laughing out loud at the thought of you in a fluffy bear onesie, complete with ears!!! I demand, utterly demand a photo!!!! Hahahahaha…xxxx

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