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Sunday, 5 May 2013

Homeless frogs and deforestation at Number 11!

So I did have a wildlife garden but now it is almost cleared.  In the process we have made several frogs homeless when their 'pot' was disturbed.  Years ago, when I could garden, I came across a frog, or maybe two, who seemed to like one patch of the garden.  So I put a broken pot over the area he liked in the hope that he would settle in ... roll on a decade or so and probably a generation of frogs or two and Stewart's clearing gave them the shock of their lives (and gave him a bit of a start as well!) when they were uncovered and leapt out of the pot-house at him.  The pot has gone back but I dare not look to see if the frogs have come back.  Mind you it might take them a while to trust my pot again.

I now have fences which are painted 'Forest Green' according to the label and the garden gate is also now Forest Green.  Looks good, though I am not sure how good it will be for the fence because the pot has been sitting around for about 10 years as well.

Of course all of this 'deforestation' at Number 11 has meant that some rather large holes have been uncovered in the fence I share with Number 10 so that will have to be tackled.  The level of one of my flowerbeds is higher than next doors, but luckily the 'deforestation' uncovered some breezeblocks that can be used to built a retaining wall before the panels are put in.  Work on that should start on Tuesday, weather permitting, and Stewart's motorbike which has not been well of late. 

Being able to reuse some of the materials I have around here is helping to make up for the loss of habitat for certain beasties.  There is so much to do and part of the plan is to make a slope down the garden that can take a wheelchair.  It is not that I am in need of a wheelchair yet, but it would make getting my drag-along shopping trolley up to the house a lot easier, and while I have the help and some of the materials I might as well get it done.  When I moved in my brother and his father-in-law, who is a brick layer by trade, did a lot of landscaping of the back garden.  Retaining walls were put in to get rid of the slopes, one of which was very steep and quite dangerous when I would forget that it was there and chase a piece of washing on the whirligig!  However when it came to the steps they were done the way my brother wanted them done, and now I find them a bit daunting at times.  Of course if we had thought far enough ahead we could have used the original slope for a ramp, but 19 years and a day ago when I got the keys to this house who was thinking that I would be in need of any such thing when I wasn't even close to being 40!

Another adaptation I have been thinking of is to have a loo and shower put in downstairs.  In the UK it is now compulsory to include a downstairs toilet in any new build, but not when this house was built.  Although I can manage the stairs it can sometimes be a struggle to get there on time, and that is all I am going to say on the subject!  It would also mean that if the sitting room needs to be made into a bedroom I have all the facilities I need down stairs, because the kitchen is already there.

It is a tough decision to have to make.  To have to far the need for solutions to problems that are likely to arise in the future, near or far.  We all have to face reality, no matter how reluctantly and I would rather have everything ready for when I really need it, than have to struggle to get things done in time.

In the meantime we are having a run of rather nice weather here in the south of England, even if it is still chilly when the sun isn't around.  Everything seems to be about a month late and although it is now May a lot of the trees are still just coming out, but it also means that the blossom is here, camellias and magnolias are in bloom.  I was walking into town a few days ago and stopped to look up at the sky through a cherry tree that is just coming into flower.  All I can say is WOW, life is good.