Yet another sunny day. It was quite cold first thing though, so I had a lazy time for a while with Buster. Oh, I did go on a poo hunt! I do wish he wouldn't go on the long grass though, it does make it hard to clean up.
I made a flask of coffee and gathered up my tool bag, plus camera and headed up the garden. I had decided to tackle an old path up to the top of the garden. We used to be able to walk up the centre of the meadow, right at the top then right again and again until you were back where you started. We haven't been able to do that for some time, not at all this summer, so I thought I'd have a go at clearing the way through again, starting at the bottom. The first part wasn't too bad, just entailing cutting back some reeds, but after that, brambles and overgrown willows took over:
On the right of the 'path' is the old willow plantation. When we first moved in, the willows had all been chopped for the basket weaver to take. There are also a few to the left of the path, they were very tiny.
I used saws, secateurs, thick gloves and coffee in my endeavours!
This is the next bit..... I had to cut back the overhanging willows on the right, pull up and chop off the brambles (Buster ate the blackberries of course), and Sandy and BlackJack sat and watched
Buster found something very exciting down this hole
some of the willows. The stems are all different colours
BlackJack is never far away. Badly placed leaf there!
That's better! Willows cut back on the right. I have to get to the end here then chuck a right up to the top. I had forgotten that there were wooden planks under all that growth. It's a very wet area and soon got very muddy as I tramped up and down. It reminded me of the Somme and the duckboards on the trenches!
close up of the bottom of the willows, you can see how densely they were planted
almost to the end now
Mud, mud, glorious mud
It began to get really fly infested at this point with all the mud and wet, so I decided to stop work there for today. A robin was soon quick to take advantage
I moved back to where I'd been working yesterday but it was too dark to take any photos by the time I'd finished. I might take some tomorrow if it's another good day. Buster and the cats had become bored and gone inside! Then Buster went for his usual evening wander, coming in at 8pm again. I lit the fire tonight as it had dropped quite cool and I didn't want to be cold as I was last night. It's warm and cosy now.
I spoke to Jim on the phone again and he can't wait to come home. He's been feeling a bit 'off' today and slept through most of it. Only 2 more sleeps....
I've just managed to find an old photo of Jim's from May 2006 showing the willow plantation as it was:
I've unearthed the tyres! Wow, it all looked so neat and tidy.