Well here it is the final Tour of the Plot.
Let's go past the polytunnel now towards the waving man in the distance ... honestly since he came back to work at home full time, every time I get the camera out he's there hogging the shot :-)
Notice on your left the little troughs of Cosmos that I've been selling at Car Boot Sales ...
... and on your right our most recent homemade flower bed.
Back to your left is The Orchard, also known as Chicken Land. Here we have three Damson Plum trees, three Pear trees, four Apple trees (one of them is an espalier on the top fence) and three 'Victoria' Plum trees.
Also there are two Fig bushes, protected from the chickens by posts and wires.
Back to your right and against the fence to the manure pile is our largest Gooseberry bush. It obviously enjoys all the healthy soil from being so near that amount of horse manure.
And speaking of horse manure ... that's just what Alan is busy unloading.
Going past him and we are into the paddock, and looking into the top right corner is the fenced off area we call Nut Wood.
It's here that we have most of our nut trees along with wild flowers and areas for wildlife.
The trees we have in here are three Oak and three Birch along the fence nearest the road, and then we have two Sweet Chestnut, four Walnut trees and two Almond trees. Of course we also have the Cob Nut trees in our woodland overlooking the Veggie Patch. Cob nuts are like Hazelnuts, so altogether we have should have quite a good selection of nuts for future use.
Deliberately placed in here are the huge rocks that we excavated from the hillside when we were building the foundations for the garage and workshop, along with some smaller rocks, all there fore the insects and wildlife to make their homes under and around.
There's also the large piece of the old oak tree that we sadly had to fell not long after we bought the house. Now as it slowly decomposes it is home to masses of insects.
The whole area is alive with insects, birds, butterflies and bees and now we have just found out we have frogs around the pond.
The main wildflower area is in the corner. Seeds sown and plants planted and then left to their own devices for the wildlife to enjoy. These will self seed and spread each year.
The pond is just an old plastic paddling pool that we found here, dug half into the ground with rocks and stones to make safe area for smaller creatures to get down and drink or bask in the sun.
It's amazing how lush this area has become so quickly.
The chipped wood floor is also home to all sorts of insect life and mushrooms.
The Nut trees are all young, we had a few Almonds last year and there are more nuts appearing this year, but it will be another couple of years until we see much of a crop I think.
Heading back to the house we pass the manure pile now all unloaded and neatly covered over to steam away and rot down with the help of the hundreds of worms that are in there, ready to feed our vegetable beds next year.
And lastly at the back of the house, just outside the conservatory where they are handy for picking as I cook, is the majority of our herbs. Still planted in the old tin bath. Here I have Rosemary, Chives, Parsley, Mint, two or three varieties of Sage, two types of Thyme, some Lovage .... and a scarecrow.
In these pots are some more herbs and some edible flowers, as well as a pot of Cosmos.
So that concludes the Tour of the Plot for this year.
I doubt it will change much over the years, but things will move from bed to bed as I practice my slightly hit and miss planting rotations, and fruit bushes and trees will hopefully mature and give us larger and larger harvests.
The only thing I've just realised that haven't mentioned or photographed are our wonderful old apple trees, they were here when we moved in and were most likely here for generations before the people that we bought the house from moved in. Three have eating apples and one, deep into Chicken World, has a type of cooking apple. Every year these help fill our freezer with apple slices, our cupboards with jars of stewed apples and give the chickens and wildlife lots to eat as they drop off the trees. Oh yes, I almost forgot, also in Chicken World are one Cherry tree and one Plum tree, pruned hard by Alan last year and this year having a rest.
So we are now into the final part of our plan ... the one that we have been working towards for the last eight years ... the one where we cut our spending right down to only buying what we can't produce ourselves, shop less and less for food and learn to live more and more off the fruits of our land and labours.
I hope you have enjoyed this four part tour, it's been good to get it on here for posterity and really good for me to slowly walk our land photographing how far we have come in the three and a half years we have been here.
Before this it was all building work, hard construction and big boys machines, now it's time to enjoy the results of all that upheaval. But before we say goodbye to tradesmen there was just one more job to do .....
I'll tell you all about it next time.