It's been a productive but very tiring weekend, but somehow you don't' mind feeling so wiped out when you can see the results of your labours.
Friday saw Lovely Hubby carrying lots of the cut oak branches and big logs up the hillside to a new log storage area he had prepared. That sounded proper 'posh', in fact it's just a level area topped with a couple of pallets, but it does the job and levelling any bit of our hillside takes a lot of effort.
While he was lifting and shifting I had the easier job of planting out all the onion sets that we bought last week when we got the Garlic. It turned out we had 119 Red Onions and 52 White Onions to go in. Not too bad for a total outlay of £6, which makes them under 4p an onion. I do hope they grow well, I swore a couple of years ago not to plant onions again as it seemed hard work for what is basically a cheap vegetable to buy from the supermarket, but we want to be self sufficient in as many things as possible and the taste of home grown far out ways anything you can buy, so I am having another bash at them. If they grow well I will save some seed and do it all myself completely from scratch.
(To give you an idea of scale this bed is around 25' long by about 4' wide.)
So now I have all my over-wintering crops in for this year, Onions, Leeks, Garlic and Curly Kale, it feels so good to have some veggies in the beds on the hillside at last. The last uncovered bed will be sown with some green manure as will the two at the top currently home to the Courgettes, and I'll fill up the bed half planted with Curly Kale with some green manure too, just to keep the weeds at bay.
Saturday saw us attacking the bottom of the woodland, we wanted to clear a good path to the old Oak stump, the brambles had really taken over and claimed it all for them selves. So we both snipped away with secateurs freeing the young trees from their covering of nasty prickly brambles and Lovely Hubby set too every so often with the rake, piling it all up and taking at all away for burning to our 'fire circle' on the hillside behind Chicken World. As there were still berries on a lot of the branches we haven't set fire to it yet, we have left it piled up as a food resource for the wildlife for a couple of weeks. (And yes we will check for hedgehogs etc before we set it all ablaze.)
I took a photo half an hour after we had started just to show progress. So this is almost Before (it was much much worse) ...
... and this is After.
A very prickly half days work, but so worth it. We can now see Lovely Hubby's stack of logs and tree slices ....
... and the old Oak stump is there in all it's glory, now visible from the side as well as from the bottom of the hill. We aren't 'prettifying' the hillside too much just reclaiming a little bit of it nearest to the house for our own use. Mainly for practical purposes, log stores, being able to harvest the blackberries in a more controlled, safer way, and keeping access to the stump which will become a focal point on the hill above the garage and workshop etc.
We plan eventually to top it with some Welsh slate and use it as a table, with benches set behind it so we, our guests and visitors will be able to admire the fantastic view.
Of course the dogs loved us working in the woodland and spent a good couple of hours vanishing into the undergrowth, which meant lots of stopping for us to untangle Mavis who has to be on a long lead all the time. Charley behaved herself wonderfully and kept reappearing in the most unexpected places, it helps you get in so many interesting places when you're this small. :-)