Saturday, 30 November 2013

My garden at the end of November

There's little going on around the garden at the moment.  Birds that have been absent all summer have now returned - all except the Gold Finches and Linnets that is.  There is food on offer for them but perhaps not quite cold enough for them to come looking yet.  We've experienced regular frosts over the last few weeks.  Some of the shrubs are yet to loose their leaves and the only bulbs surfacing at this time are the snowdrops.  The garden has been winterified (is that a word, I very much doubt it!) and looking very bare.  I've constructed a makeshift polytunnel for alpine and sempervivum troughs - I'll report on it in springtime if it's a success.  I certainly hope so as humphing those pots around the garden is not easy!

Due to the nature of my work, I see very little daylight hours at this time of the year and in particular the lead up to Christmas as I work 12 hour shifts (nights).  However, I'm not being idle......

The garden shed was always my domain.  Everything had it's place!  I don't quite verge on the obsessive but it was always the family joke that nothing was out of place and please don't laugh - I have even been known to vacuum the floor.  As a child my son was always taught to put his things away neat and tidily - it's always easier to find things next time if they are put away, I would tell him.  As he grew up, the collection of bikes and other outdoor play equipment  have gradually been replaced by work related paraphenalia, boxes of obsolete game console 'stuff' and heaps of car parts for a car he no longer owns!  His junk has been a bone of contention for some time now.  I think he had a bit of a rebellion thing going on!      

Things came to a head a couple of weeks ago when I was looking for a sealant gun.  Who knew something as small and simple as a sealant gun would cause such a furore!  As I reached up to where the said sealant gun was stored - a rather precariously placed set of brake discs fell on my foot!  Ouch!  A few choice expletives later - I hobbled back indoors.  That was it!  The final straw! I'd had enough of manoeuvring myself around the Alloys, the tool boxes, a ginormous sub woofer, to name but a few!  An ultimatum was issued - 2 weeks or I'll get rid of if all myself. Knowing that I'm as good as my word he got things sorted and most of the 'junk' is now gone.  Thank goodness for Friends, Gumtree and Ebay!

My foot? - bruised but nothing broken, thankfully.  Considering I had my slippers on I got off lightly!

My shed has been liberated!  That was the good news.  The bad was that I found part of the floor had some water damage.  I can see no obvious point where the water is seeping in, it was probably caused by the flooding last year.  These blasted floods continue to haunt me despite the fact that I was putting all that behind me.  It's nothing major but it needs looked at.   After much deliberation I thought it best that I raise the shed.  I'm going to give up part of the deck - it makes sense and the cost involved in raising the shed on blocks will go towards a small patio nearer the house.  I am generally the only one who suns them self up there and along with my nieces who use it as a dance stage - It's  very under used now.  Rome wasn't built in a day - these things take time and will get my full attention when I can afford more time.  Regular readers might recall that I complained about not having a tree in the garden- the moving of the shed might allow room for one so long as I can source a reasonably narrow growing specimen.  I'll have a better idea once the shed is away.  

Before I can move the shed I need to empty it first.  It's not a large shed but nor is it small.  At 10ft x 10ft it's capable of storing quite a lot of 'stuff'.  I've gradually been doing that as and when I find a little time.  A neighbour has kindly offered to store some of the bigger things in their shed and the rest will find a temporary berth in the house.  I've had to promised (with my fingers crossed behind my back, that is) that no spiders will come along with it all.  Odd though that no one seemed afraid of those spiders when they were depositing all their junk!

It's not only the insides that need clearing.  There is a little area round the back that has become a bit of a dumping ground over the years.  Judging by mess, I really could be considered a bit of a hypocrite. 

As well as piles of black plastic plant pots, there was a few forgotten half empty bags of compost which have now been spread on the borders.
A stack of old plastic patio chairs probably last used around the turn of the millennium in my old garden.  A selection of decorative wooden planters, also from the old garden.  Those were a set of 4 but the bottom 2 had all but rotted away - a few hundred wood lice are enjoy what is left!  The chairs will more than likely go to the dump as they are past cleaning up but the planters will come in handy.  I can also see a large zinc planter but can't quite reach that yet!  That will go to my friend who gladly rehomed the others a couple of years ago. 
Some wooden edging, in need of a little repair but might be recycled elsewhere in the garden.  I bought that edging on a whim and to be honest never really liked it.  I was glad to see the back of it when the front driveway got a makeover.   Speaking of the front drive - the left over blocks from that job were also dumped round the back of the shed.  A clutch of garden canes in varying sizes lay scattered around the ground.  They were once stored neatly in an old section of drain pipe but it had cracked in half.  They now form a temporary piece of garden art!  Handy perches for the birds too. I do need to move them though - I've almost lost an eye once or twice as I've walked by.  Sandbags that were issued to us back in 2009 - the sacks have almost rotted at the base.  I'm presuming that I can just mix the contents into the soil.  If you know or think differently, please let me know. 
Sections of willow trellis and countless off cuts of timber that are really too small to do much with but were kept just in case.  What was I ever going to do with a  12 inch length of 4x4 fence post?   Everything bar the proverbial Kitchen Sink!  How on earth did I manage to cram so much into such a small space?
 
Everyone has a little space like that, right?  I'm guessing most of us have, I can't be all that unique, can I?  What do you do with your 'stuff'?  Are you a hoarder or a recycler?  The time has come for me to impose the same restraint as I do inside the shed.  I know it's a bit early for New Year Resolutions but that will be mine and hopefully not too difficult to keep!   
 
I wish you all a Happy St. Andrews Day and a good weekend!      

34 comments:

  1. You should see inside my shed Angie. Actually I'd rather you didn't. But there are always so many more pressing jobs to do than clear it out. You are right danger lurks there in bamboo canes and badly placed rakes. It would be lovely to have one like Monty Don's - all neatly arranged, gleaming tools. Not to be I'm afraid.
    Chloris

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    1. Chloris - I do agree about having more pressing jobs. This would probably be the only time of year I'd find the time to actually do it! Maybe one day you'll get your shed sorted.

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  2. Most folks moan about "empty nest syndrome" but you give the term new meaning and a positive spin.

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    1. Ricki - hadn't thought of it like that. Trouble is it's not exactly empty nest syndrome, he's still here ;)

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  3. I recognised myself as I read about what was in your shed, I gave mine a good clean out about a month ago and it is now a pleasure to step inside! I'll join you in your New Years resolution!

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    1. Good on you Pauline! I look forward to taking pleasure in stepping back into mine. Good luck on maintaining your NYR!

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  4. We have two - on in the garden and one on the plot - the oplot dump is being sorted this year and who knows maybe the garden will be next year. As for vacuuming the shed I can't on the plot but we did buy lino for the floor!

    We have goldfinches all year round but only ever had one linnet. We did have two red polls last year though and they are very similar and I mistook them for linnets at first

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    1. Good on you for making a start Sue - I hope you get round to doing the other one. My mother suggested lino for the floor, I kind of shook my head at her suggestion.
      I do hope the red polls return to for you.

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  5. It's nice that you are able to get it raised like you want. Storage is a problem I think for most of us. I am getting better about making sure I don't keep as much as I use to though.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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  6. Hi Angie, sorry about that accident but I'm glad you didn't break anything. You'd be a dream for my husband who always gives out about the state of my shed. ;) I really should have a go now that the garden is resting. Speedy recovery :)

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    1. Winter time is great for doing these chores. Maybe your husband will stop having a little moan if you do a wee bit ;)

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  7. Sorry to hear about your foot, Angie, but I'm glad you weren't badly hurt. Good luck with organising everything. I had a good tidy up in the greenhouse today but I can't really do much in my shed as it's full of beekeeping equipment to be stored over winter. Come the first warm days in March this will be out on the grass for a full spring clean - and then I can tackle anything else tucked away in dark corners!

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    1. It's much better now and only aches when I have my steel toecap boots on for work!
      Having a shed full of bee keeping equipment is much more exciting than a pile of junk, that's for sure!

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  8. Angie you and your son have done well,
    my house had become over crowded and needs sorting, the shed was fairly full when I arrived as the previous owners didn't clear it on my request, I had noticed wood and stuff that is useful, just need the dry weather to finish using it, as for your 12" 4x4, log fire? door stop? ;)
    good luck with your shed and patio plans, Frances

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    1. Frances - I wouldn't be a happy bunny if the previous owners hadn't cleared out the shed! Mind you, I found old chip board furniture buried underground. I can't comprehend folks like that - surely you want to leave, even a stranger, with a good impression, no?
      A door stop! Well done - might work even for the shed door. Thanks for the idea.

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  9. Hi Angie,

    Ooof, you'd hate my shed! Haha, actually most of the stuff in there isn't mine either if I'm honest. A lot of it is left over from previous owners and there's also a load of wood which was for our fence, but they gave us the wrong length and I gave it to my uncle to use but he's never picked it up so I'm stuck with loads of wood and no use for it!
    All I have in there is the mower, rakes, spade and that's about it. All the rest isn't really ours but definitely needs sorting out... Either that or I leave it for the next owners; you know, pass on the history and all that. lol. All the years I've been here I've wanted to get rid of the shed, because it's pointless and just get one of those small shed/storage box things which would easily fit the mower and rakes.

    Glad to hear your foot survived though :)

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    1. Liz, I see you had previous owners like Frances. How rude! I'm sure your Uncle will get round to it one day. I'd be too nosy not to have it cleared - there may be the family silver in there..lol!
      I've a little shed round the side that I keep all the gardening stuff in. It was bought as a bike shed for when my brother's kids stayed here. Now they are gone, I have that one all too myself too.

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  10. It sounds as though you have plenty to keep you busy, Angie! I'm somewhat pathologically neat myself. Our garage is my husband's domain but he's "allowed" me a smallish area for my garden stuff. Our biggest problem area is the area behind our garage, where we've stacked debris that might be useful at some point in the future - I'm chipping away at it but have to fight my husband on tossing things...

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    1. Kris - does your husband say 'you never know when that will come in handy'? My ex used to be the same!

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  11. It's my husband who's the neat and tidy one. His shed is full of little drawers for holding screws and things and is regularly swept. Now, the potting shed. My domain.. let's not go there!

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  12. I love the sound of your husband's shed Rusty Duck! Heaven! I suppose potting sheds (I don't have one) are supposed to be a wee bit messier and dirtier therefore you have a good excuse, in my eyes at least!

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  13. Every time I clear out the garage or the cellar it just gives me more space to fill up with useless junk again! These are just collecting areas for rubbish on its way to the tip. God forbid that I would be able to put the car in the garage!

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    1. Rick - I know nobody who has a garage that actually uses it for the car. You are not alone!

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  14. Perhaps if you find yourself in the Chicago area you could drop by and help me organize my garage, which is really just a glorified storage shed. I'm afraid it is more than a little chaotic.

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  15. Oh yeah. I can't even reach my garden stuff in the garage because of my son's experiments stored there. When he gets a proper house, it will be out of here! I am not a hoarder, but things seem to accumulate anyway. Occasionally, I go through and start junking and recycling stuff. I'm feeling that need lately again...

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    1. Beth - your son's experiements, you've got me curious now. My son is still at home and he apparently is never moving out! I think it's easy to accumulate, you just need to be level headed about what will keep or not.

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  16. Good luck with your clearing out and shed project! My son moved out 8 years ago and I still have some of his stuff here as his flat is so small he can’t fit all his things, apparently. I keep saying to him that he can only keep as much as he can fit in his flat, it’s time to get rid of something if he can’t fit it all, but he won’t hear that tune – not when I have room in my loft :) I don’t mind though, I can’t get into my loft myself and don’t use it so as long as he keeps his stuff up there I am OK.
    Out in the garden I have no storage, no shed and no garage, everything is on display so I keep it VERY tidy.

    I have seen the forecast for Thursday, hope your garden will be OK with the weather you are expecting!

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    1. Thursday came and went Helene - just a few bits and pieces blown around the garden. The fences all came down in the bad storms at the beginning of 2012 and since I've replaced them all they are all in good nick and hopefully see out a few more! Don't mention lofts - I've still got boxes unpacked from when we moved here 7 years ago!
      Having no storage is one way to make sure it's all tidy. We can see from your blog just how tidy you keep everything.

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  17. I do hope you fixed the water damage right away. It might damage the stuff hidden in your shed. Well, I hope you give us a photo story of your whole garden. After seeing your post about your flowers, I'm sure you have a pretty awesome garden. Hehe! How's it now? :)

    By the way, I love to see those bricks in your garden next time. :)

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed Jeanene. My garden is still very new in respect of planting etc but it's getting there.
      I just need patience! Thanks for visiting my blog :)

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  18. Well Angie even a kitchen cabinet can hold a lot of stuffs. I wanted to reorganise my cabinet where I stored all my cake utensils (numerous!) in it... still haven't got down to doing it haha... I cannot imagine how much work that needs to be done to clear that big shed of yours hehe... Anyway, I can see that you are doing a good job. keep it up :-)

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  19. What an interesting post. Yes, I have such a place -- I think our whole house; and my husband cleans it by recycling all the stuff :-). But our shed is the worst part. No matter how much promise I make that I will keep it clean but it never remains. What happens? It becomes a place where nothing can be found and everything lying around, piled up!! Your post reminds me that I also have a lot to do, but I guess I will do it once the spring comes. Now it is too cold to do anything outside.

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  20. Good luck with your clearing. I am a bit of a hoarder myself but everyone once in awhile I organise and rehome some items. One person's junk is definitely another's treasure.

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