Feeling like new!

The work on repairing the two barn roofs and installing new guttering on both took two and a half days to complete….

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It’s amazing how it’s made us both feel much more secure, especially now we are heading into the autumn and winter: all loose slates re-fitted, holes repaired, ridges repaired, new guttering installed to the front of the small barn and to the back of the big barn – sound buildings all round – hoorah!

Cracking on..

And so, feeling better about sorting out the barns, we have been in good spirits and perhaps better equipped to deal with some of the more challenging jobs outside….

Last month I made a start on clearing a bramble thicket in the area at the side of the small barn, adjacent to the cow field.  Here, there was a fallen-down tree, swamped with ivy, plum suckers, holly seedlings, ivy covering the ground and brambles like you’ve never seen!

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It seemed like tonnes of rubbish came out of the thicket, which was eventually burnt on a bonfire, leaving a fair-sized clearing…

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We managed to drag the fallen tree to one side and then I was able to make a start on clearing the rest of the brambles and ivy, which had grown into a holly tree….

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Yesterday we worked together to clear the remainder from out of the holly tree – amazingly, more seemed to come out of this than the thicket I’d cleared a few days ago!

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Eventually, after much pulling and tugging, it was cleared – the holly tree looks so different now and hopefully it will start to fill out where the ivy and brambles had swamped it for so many years.

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The cows seemed impressed too!

We created a HUGE bonfire…

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Not only did we burn all the rubbish from the thicket, Edward cleared all the cherry branches that had been cut down back in June and have been in a pile at the side of the barn ever since!

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It was very satisfying to get rid of so much rubbish in an afternoon and in the evening, Edward brought some chairs round so we could watch the best part of the fire before dinner….

More of the same and a bit more!

The flowers in island bed in the middle of the courtyard have finally passed their best after a lovely display over the summer months.  Today I pulled out all the spent annuals and as I was doing so realised the level of the soil could do with increasing – it wasn’t very deep when we first made the bed.  So, I started re-setting the stones making the border before digging out the remains of our original compost heap that had been hidden under all the cherry branches until they were burnt yesterday.

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I then spread a barrow load of ash from one of the bonfires across the soil surface before adding numerous barrow loads of compost on top….

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With the stones raised higher and more soil added to the bed, it seemed to be a more substantial feature now.  Hopefully it will do well next year with the incorporated potash too….

rimg0302The added bonus is that the area under the cherry trees is now clear of debris and it’s much more accessible, just a few logs to take to the barn – gradually we’re getting straight!

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And finally….

Work on the studio continues.  It now has a new door and 6 more floorboards have been laid!

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I was the first to walk in through the new door! ♥