There has been much discussion on the short supply of materials etc on the forum, so I'm not repeating it here. Suffice to say, the progress on the house itself is best described as "hurry up and wait". The upstairs windows are all installed, the downstairs are due to go in when the scaffolding finally goes away (any day now?), and the cladding is completed as far as is possible while waiting for the MVHR and air conditioning equipment. The sewage treatment plant arrives very shortly (thankfully no shortage here) so we have taken the opportunity to find out what is in the garden in order to install the plant and dig an attenuation pond for drainage. We would also like to be able to get to the end of the garden to see what is there!
The view from the road of the house illuminated by floodlights during a late evening of activity while working on the cladding.
Our snowdrops seem to scale themselves to fit their surroundings. We get a good crop every year, possibly because we leave them alone. Maybe I should be wary of breeding Triffids? They aren't supposed to be on the Isle of Wight!
Last year's clearance efforts are still more or less clear. The primroses have taken over somewhat, but that's far better than nettles and brambles.
The stunted pear tree is finally coming good two seasons after removing the Eucalyptus that was overshadowing it. We'll get around to trimming the dead wood at the appropriate time since we missed the opportunity this year. We're hoping for more than two pears this year.
The entrance to the wilderness. We are aiming to clear at least a path to the bottom of the garden established before the growing season fills the place with the usual collection of nettles, brambles, blackthorn and willow. Based on the current growth, we don't have that much time left!
We have a pathway extending at least 50 metres into the garden. This took us three days with a chainsaw, a strimmer multi-tool and a lot of wheelbarrowing. The sheer amount of dead wood is really not helping the trees - they are spreading past each other and fighting for every scrap of light until the branches get so heavy they break. We are aiming to remove only the dead wood this year so the trees can grow more sensibly and we can see exactly what we have left to work with. There is still a long way to go!
Now to find something to do with the 30 barrowloads of wood.
Maybe some charcoal making? Unfortunately this didn't work as well as we would have liked when the bottom of the barrel perforated in the heat, and we made a lot of ash. Oh well... time for a new plan.
Finally, we are getting near the bottom of the garden. Well, at least within 30 metres. I didn't know we had all these oak trees. They are a bit too close together unfortunately so I doubt they will all stay long term. We did however find two mature oaks that are nicely spaced in another part of the garden. We can't quite get to them yet because of a thicket of blackthorn in the way. That's next week's problem unless house parts start turning up.