About this blog

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Wales, United Kingdom
In autumn 2010, my husband Ian and I both quit our jobs, sold our house and left the flatlands of the east for the mountains of Wales. Our goal is to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle in a place we actually like living. Whilst Ian will continue to earn some money as a freelancer, my part of the project is to reduce how much we spend by growing and making as much of what we need as possible. The purpose of this blog is to keep friends updated with how the grand project is progressing, but all are welcome here. If you're not a friend already, well perhaps you might become one.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

I've finished the digging!!!

I've been wanting to write this post for so long - I keep thinking I'm nearly there and I'll be able to tell you I've finished by the end of the day and then realising just how much is left. The day after I wrote my last post on the subject it all got too much for me. I did an hour or so in the morning, then sat down with a cup of tea and nearly fell asleep in my chair - the chair in question being outdoors, in early March.

After that I took a break from digging, but gradually got back to it, a little at a time. I tried relatively small tasks such as, "Today I'll move one of those probably-fuscias to the Bed on the Edge." Unfortunately, the probably-fuscia turned out to be a monster:

Monster fuscia, uprooted

On closer examination, this turned out to be three plants, closely entwined. I split them up and replanted them, then had another good, long break.

The pyracantha I was promising to move in the last post finally got tackled just the other day. It was a predictably tough job, the roots being extensive, in rocks, and very close friends with a tree root, and that's before taking account of the thorns.

Here's the pyracantha in its new home, looking as if butter wouldn't melt

...and here's the hole it came out of. Yes, I know holes in the ground don't make for great photos, but it was a big hole, OK?

Whilst looking up the spelling of pyracantha, I learnt that the berries are edible as well as pretty, so it may yet earn its keep.

As well as digging things up, I have also made some new paths:

Existing path at the top of the picture, new paths at the right and middle. The old and new paths are parallel, but the old one is more horizontal, which makes them look wonky in this photo

This is all probably very boring, but I've done a huge amount of work and I'm feeling rather pleased with myself. If I can't brag a little on my own blog, what's the point of writing it?

Today, I finally finished digging over the garden. Even as I write this, I know it's not entirely true. There's still the Virginia creeper by the house to dig up and make way for tomatoes (though they could go in the conservatory instead), and I haven't done the strip along the fence for (yet more) sunflowers, but that's outside the fence, so that doesn't count. The third and final laburnam is still there, too, but I've decided to leave that until next year, mainly because it's surrounded by bluebells at the moment.

Today I finished digging over all of the existing beds in the enclosed garden.

All the beds are dug. The few bits of green are things I want to keep (mostly bluebells)

Just in case you were wondering, here's where I stand to get a photo of the whole garden:

Sturdy wall to stand on, at the edge of the conservatory roof.

As you can see, the hillside goes right along the top of the conservatory, so I can get to a good vantage point on the roof.

Finally, just so you can see how much stuff I've dug up, here's the compost heap:

Compost heap with fork, for scale.

Tomorrow I'll tell you about seeds, or knooking, or possibly both, but for now, I shall enjoy feeling a little smug.


  1. good work rachel!!! keep going....what a MONSTER fuchsia...

  2. Cheers Berti :-)

    I hope it is a fuscia now, or something at least as pretty, after all that work!

  3. Well done for all this hard work Rachel!


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