Helen's Garden Renovation Project

Friday 9 January 2009

Frozen solid

Filed under: Greenhouse,Progress — Helen @ 5:10 pm

We have had the most amazing spell of cold weather. I can’t remember when it last was this cold for so long. The Met Office has been giving us severe weather warnings and the government will make extra payments to pensioners because the weather is so cold. Until 22nd December, the Met Office stuck to its story that it will be a warmer than average winter, but now it’ll have to be about twenty degrees all through February if that’s going to happen, so they’re claiming we’re going to have below average temperatures in January and near average in February.

I haven’t even been tidying up the garden because it has been too cold, but fortunately I got a lot of tidying up done in November. Here is a picture taken from an upstairs window. It shows nearly the entire width of the garden – there’s just a bit missing on the left. The white blobs are sleet – something that we have had quite a lot of recently.

Overview of garden in January 2009

Overview of garden in January 2009

Progress has been happening – my greenhouse is to be delivered next week. I have got a quote from my usual landscaping company for laying a base for the greenhouse. I am going to deviate from the plan and extend the solid paving around the back and sides instead of having stepping stones, because I think it will be more practical and easy to maintain. It will also be more expensive, but I think it will be worth it. My landscaping contractors will lay the cable from the greenhouse to the house, and then I just have to get an electrician to wire it up to a spur in the kitchen. The landscaper recommends burying the cable to a depth of one foot, so that’s not as much digging as I had thought. However, I intend to dig the trench deeper than that if I can be bothered and if weather permits.

Today I went out into the garden for the first time since before Christmas, apart from to empty the compost bowl. I swept the garage in preparation for the arrival of the greenhouse, and as an experiment, tried to dig a bit more of the trench. I found that once I had cracked the frozen inch or so at the surface, it was quite easy to dig out the soil, so that’s quite good news. I also think I am acclimatising to the extreme cold. Although my fingers went slightly numb, it wasn’t too bad – and I know it was still cold because there was ice and frost on the ground, and my pond was frozen over (although I found that the ice wasn’t thick enough for me to skate on).

My fence has been damaged.

Fence damaged by unknown assailant

Fence damaged by unknown assailant

It looks as if the damage was done by something from next door’s garden. It’s a bit puzzling, because I would have thought an animal would have attacked the fence a bit lower down. Next door’s shed (you can see the roof of it behind the fence) is only about six inches from my fence, so it must be a long, thin animal. Maybe the fence was head-butted by a grass snake. The panel is replaceable, but for now I will repair it with some bits of wood over the gap.

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