We are gradually and steadily digging up the weeds in the front flower bed. It didn't seem much of a job when we started but the weeds must have been plucked off at ground level for years and never fully uprooted and as we are trying to make a good job of it, we are trying hard to dig out all the well established roots.
Trying not to disturb the roots of the shrubs and plants around them slows the job down considerably but we are determined to do it properly.
It's worth it when we get to a stage where we can give the remaining plants a good water to apologise for disturbing them, and scatter on a layer of bark chippings as mulch all around to keep the sun from burning their roots.
And talking of bark chippings ... we are amassing quite a lot of chippings and sawdust as the large old oak tree is finally being 'planked'. After lying on the hillside in all weathers to let the rain wash the tannins etc out of the wood, it is finally ready to be made into something usable.
Of course all the smaller logs are to be stored for firewood and in a couple of years they will be seasoned nicely and will be used to keep us all cosy in the house, but the main trunk of the tree once the slices have been thoroughly seasoned, which we have been told will take about three years, one year for each inch of thickness of each slice, are to be turned into furniture, some for us and some of the pieces will be for sale. It's all part of Lovely Hubby's long term retirement plan.
I find it lovely that part of his retirement plan matches my paternal great grandfathers lifelong business which was making furniture out of oak. He had a workshop directly above a garage in Hulme, Manchester above a couple of chaps starting their first car business, they were a certain Mr Rolls and Mr Royce. When he had a large piece of furniture to get out of the workshop he used to lower it down a trapdoor in the floor into their garage and they would help him take it out to the front.
Eventually the site of the old oak tree will be hidden by our garages with solar panels on the roof and LH's workshop at the end. It was such a shame that we had to chop down this most magnificent of trees in the first place but knowing that every inch of it is being used makes it fit perfectly into our plans, both short and long term.
And I think that the number of trees we have planted over the last few weeks slightly makes up for our cutting this one down in what looked like it's finest hour.