Thursday, 6 March 2014

At last! Back out in the garden

At last we are having some days that are fit for us to be out working in the garden again. It is our target to finish the other half of the back garden this year, and we can't wait to be getting on with it again. We are of course still experiencing lots of rainy days and some of our wonderful storms. But on the good days it can be quite warm now and several days recently, I have shed my winter jumpers down to a sleeveless T shirt whilst working outside - joy of joys! I think one of the things I hate most about the winter is the amount of clothes you have to wear to keep warm. I'm just a get up and drag on a T shirt and shorts kind of girl really. I can't be doing with all those extra layers.

On the good days we have been right around the garden doing the spring maintenance. We have pruned the fruit trees and vines and retied the climbers and composted a lot of the plants and soil. The soil here is solid clay - sticky and claggy but luckily we know some people in the village who keep horses, so we arranged to have a tractor trailer load of manure delivered, which now sits in a very large heap in our roadway. David spent almost a whole day helping them load the trailer, but well worth the effort. Haha! Easy for me to say I know!

One very large heap of ... manure! waiting to go on the garden

The half of the garden we completed last year is now all ready for planting so when we go out we are keeping an eye out for bargain plants. I want lots of climbers and vibrant colours. I am anxious to get them planted, so that hopefully we will live long enough to see the results of all our hard work and tears. So far this year we have planted three more fruit trees, a jasmine and a bit of a gamble in Uzumlu I know - a fuschia. But it is in a very sheltered, shady area so we thought we would give it a go.

Our new fuchsia - bit of a gamble we will let you know how it gets on

So we are all ready to start the second half of the back garden. Now this is the exciting bit, as it will have the outdoor oven and barbecue. I have spent hours over the winter researching the best sort to build and have tracked down some excellent plans which I have had emailed to me from the states. We have managed to source most of the materials we need locally, the plot is all pegged out and when the weather permits we can begin phase 2.

All pegged out and ready to go

In the foreground of the picture above you will notice a very large boulder. This is the largest boulder we have removed from the garden as we have done it. I am determined to incorporate it somewhere in the garden as a reminder of the hard work that this project has been.

When we both go out in the garden, managing the dogs before we go is like preparing for an intricate military manoeuvre. We can't trust them out in the front garden because Kizi climbs over the wall if she is left unattended and wanders off. She comes back when she has been for a look around, but we worry that she will get run over so we don't allow it. The puppies stand and bark at everything and drive us crazy if they are outside on their own, but if we leave them all inside we are worried about Little-E getting hurt in one of their scraps. So Little-E goes in her cage and we have to remove all our ornaments, computer, kindles, books etc. etc or Red eats them. They are quite happy to be with us, but at the moment the back area where we are working is thick mud and not conducive to dogs running around, so they have to stay indoors and we pray they will behave.

It is absolutely fantastic to be able to get back outdoors after being cooped up inside for so long and utter pleasure to see the trees in bud and that the plants are coming back to life. It makes us feel that summer is around the corner now - yippee!