Friday, April 24, 2009

Thurs, Fri 23rd and 24th April. Garden and Extension Update

I took a few photos on Thursday as I'd got back late on Wednesday. It was a bit of a dull day but I think they're ok. The builders had been and put the first and 2nd coat of rendering on the extension. We are now awaiting the arrival of the windows - now that will be exciting. This is how it looks now:

This has been taken from the top of the orchard.

The barn and the extension from the top of the orchard.

Oh yes, the barn. As I mentioned in my last blog, Jim told me on the phone that the barn would probably have to be demolished. In some ways that seems a bit sad, but in other ways it'll be quite exciting. The barn takes away a good part of our view from the cottage and the afternoon sun dips behind the roof quite early on. This is the back wall:

Look at that gap!

This crack is on the side nearest the house.

The other end wall is hidden under ivy, but from the inside we can see that it has many holes.

The crack above has widened a lot since the building work began. The builders looked at the barn and agreed with Jim that it had to come down. We now have plans to make it a feature, leaving some of the bits of wall standing and making a courtyard garden! The job is quite difficult because of the enormous roof, made up of sheets of corrugated iron, each one containing at least seven bolts. Each one of the bolts will have to be cut off. That's about 600 bolts. We do have a big barn at the top of the front garden, so we will still have storage for the mower and other machinery. Just another little problem to be solved! I am very excited about the new views we will have though and the extra sunshine.

This is the current view standing in the new sun room. You can imagine how much more we'll see with the barn removed

This is the view from my studio, again, what a view I'll have!

This is the top corner of the orchard where there was a turkey shed. Jim demolished it while I was away! That heap of the wood on the ground is all that remains!

Jim was just removing some chicken wire from the bank when a bird flew out through it! On inspection, there is a nest contained 3 eggs. Jim placed the wire back and secured it and the bird returned. It's a robin and the nest is really hard to see, it's so well hidden. At least it hasn't been frightened away. Do you want to see?

It's probably a good idea to click on the photo and enlarge it, then you can see her little beady eye and red breast. Jim took this photo.

We have also been busy on the arboretum. You may remember I was making a new border down the edge. It was opposite the larger of the 2 flower beds, the one containing The Judas Tree. The grass strip between the 2 beds was really 2 thin to mow, so I suggested we join the 2 beds together - which is what we have done!

The Judas Tree is on the right and the bed now goes to the 'road' on the left (which you can't really see from this shot).

This is taken from a little further away. You can see the back of the barn on the right, and just in the corner, a piece of the 'snake' rose bed. Today Jim has planted some shrubs in the newly enlarged bed on the left, so it doesn't look so bare.

Now for a few random shots to finish with:
This rather bad taste fellow used to sit by our pond in the UK!

The black tulips in front of the pieris forestii. White saxifrage in front.

Contrasting foliage. Spirea and euonymous

One of my favourite perennial geraniums

The Red Acer, please click on any of the photos to enlarge them

So that's about it for today. Back in Ireland, it's rained on and off today but I've carried on regardless! Jim planted the shrubs in the new bed we've made and I did some weeding on the fairy hill. There's still so much more to do.


DK Leather said...

You're quite right to tell everyone to click on/enlarge the pictures, they're really beautiful, especially the robin and the black tulips.

Looking forward so much to visiting again, it's all looking so exciting!

BT said...

Isn't the robin wonderful, that little tiny eye peering at you! It's changing all the time. Just need a rocket under the builders!!

Bea said...

What a great idea to make some of the remains of the old barn a "feature". How cool is that?
Love the picture of the robin. She was so proud of her protected find for a nesting spot. Ohhhhh your flowers are just gorgeous. I am sooo in need of color outside right now. At least the lawn is starting to look that pretty SPRING green. :)Bea

Elizabeth Golden said...

I am really enjoying all your photos. Your house extension is really coming along. I was so sad to hear your barn can't be fixed. I am such a barn person. May be you can recycle some of it. Meanwhile your garden and beds are really shaping up. Pace yourself, this is going to take awhile. All your work is going to really pay off. Thanks for sharing with us.

Leatherdykeuk said...

I love the dark tulips.

Son1 said...

Great idea to have a courtyard garden out of the barn. The views will be great, I'm sure it will really open it up.


Heather said...

If it's raining it'll do all your new shrubs so much good! It's great that you will save a few bits of that old barn wall, they are so full of character and will make a lovely backdrop to a courtyard garden. I tried to grow black tulips but they always came out a dingy purple. Everything is looking good and coming on quite fast now - you must both be very pleased with it all. Lovely photos.

BT said...

I think the ruins should look fun, Bea. It is lovely when all the colours start to appear.

Elizabeth, thank you for your thoughtful comments. We will definitely recycle some of the barn, probably all of it! And leave some of the walls in situ as a 'ruin'. It is a long job indeed, this is our third year! Teh builders have created a mess where we did have garden! All to be done again.

BT said...

Rachel, the tulips are lovely, aren't they.

Jason, you are right, it will open it all up even more. Hard to think how enclosed it all was when we moved here.

Heather, indeed it's all blooming apace. To be honest, the black tulips are really a dark purple, it all depends on the light really. In the sunshine they look more purple. I'm looking forward to creating our 'ruin'.

soulbrush said...

there's an award (or two) on my blog for you today, with hugs.

BT said...

soulbrush, I've collected them thank you. I'm honoured.

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