I used to try to do it all - keep a house, look after animals, renovate the land, grow veggies, build 'stuff' etc but it got too much and I ended up losing all interest in absolutely everything. I couldn't keep everything in check and felt like I was juggling balls and despite being busy all the time nothing seemed to be getting done.
Then last year I gave it all a break, all of it. The polytunnel housed plants in pots or with no homes instead of fruit and vegetables, the garden probably got weeded once, the land renovations halted and I only built the odd piece of garden furniture. I took the year off and was determined to get back to it this year.
I'm not old - 44 - but no spring chicken either and health issues mean there are days when I physically cannot do anything, depression often seeps in and makes everything seem so much more traumatic and I simply cannot do the things I could do only 5 years ago.
So for the sake of my own health and sanity I have decided what is important this year and reigned the rest in.
The polytunnel will continue to house those plants while I spend this year renovating the land to make new homes for them but I will concentrate on small areas only and will get one area finished before another is begun.
The garden will be weeded and then mulched to help keep back the weeds releasing me from that chore every other day and project making will be stalled until/unless I have time. The only projects outside of gardening that I intend to do this year are a few furniture renovations for the house - which I am redecorating - and some items I am making to sell in my online shop.
As for the first garden area to be tackled, this is it!
The borders are to be extended and a huge patio laid. A new wall will be built to the left side replacing the fence (hence the boards behind the border) and it will be smothered in shrubs and climbers, especially over the aviary at the back.
What can I say about this one.
The sleepers have to be dragged out and those back borders have plastic underneath gravel over them - did nothing to stop weeds though. This aviary is also getting some colour to it.
This is going to be alot less lawn and alot more plants - yay for plants!
Dreadful! Even the dishwasher got dumped out there over xmas when it broke - it's since got to the landfill though. The house walls are what will hold me back some as we have to erect scaffold to get the harling on the walls.
This is also on the list for renovation this year. It's quite an extensive area and while MrTG does need some of it for stacking his building materials we're going to utilise at least half of it from the house side. Hoping to plant trees but we have a small issue with that because we had the rock on the ground set to about 3ft, nothing is growing in that! If you look closely behind the old digger you'll see tree stems, these are willow and we had to use the digger to dig out a trench along that back line and infill with topsoil so we could plant the willow.
I think I may have to build some massive planters for any other type of tree but this area is extremely exposed so I don't know what to do yet, I'm no tree expert and have no experience in this area. The sea is extremely close to us - you can see it behind the digger - and any wind from it can be seriously strong though not usually cold because although it's the east coast it's actually south of us.
This area will no doubt stay the same. There are about 500 plants in this polytunnel if not more, most of them are just waiting for a new home and have been stuck here for a few years. I have a feeling that we may need to renew the plastic on it this year as there are a fair few splits now. Most of them are along the bottom so if I can get a couple more years out of it by repairing rather than replacing that's what I'll do.
Before I can ever grow veggies in here again though I need to raise some on the beds more and add more top soil, some of the beds are too shallow because the area tends to hold water and so those beds can be very soggy.