First came the posts, one of which is slightly more wonky than the others. Then the seemingly endless task of creating a flat and level surface for the first horizontal row of sleepers. Then the serendipitous visit of The Boy for a weekend, who helped with the next two rows. Luckily, because each sleeper weighs 50kg (110lbs). Actually, when I say 'helped', I really mean, 'he did it all while I handed him the screws'. But apparently he was having fun.
My lovely neighbour offered to cut of the upright posts with his chainsaw, but then he did his knee in. However, when some nice young men arrived to cut down some trees for me, I asked them very politely if they would mind levelling the posts for me, while they were brandishing chainsaws and all. They kindly lopped them off, the job taking all of two minutes.
Today I lugged 200kg (440lbs) of gravel down the hill from the back of my car. See, this is why I go to the gym - so I can build a vegie garden. The gravel goes under and over the ag pipe to provide drainage so that the retaining wall won't slide down the hill in a flood. I am happy to report that I managed to buy all of these supplies from a local landscaping firm.
Now to back-fill with dirt. Luckily there is a large pile of it in the middle of the garden, possibly pertaining to some renovations undertaken by the previous owners. The big problem for building at our place is access. No driveway. So I can completely understand why they deposited this dirt in situ. I hope there is enough, because honestly, I am not sure how I am going to fill it up otherwise..
One of the joys of digging in the dirt at an old house is finding what others have left behind. I treasure every piece of old crockery I dig out of my gardens. My old garden (circa 1930) provided a few pieces, but this garden (circa 1860) clearly belonged to several generations of housekeepers who were very careless with their crockery.
This was my reward for today's digging efforts. It's like a lucky dip, turning up a spadeful of dirt then spying something white - is it a rock? A root? Or part of someone's treasured dinner set?
And clearly, future generations will be just as lucky, as I faithfully promise to bury all the shards of my op-shop derived blue and white crockery collection in the garden as and when it shatters, because all good things come to an end. Luckily, op-shops seem to have an endless supply of blue-and-white china.
Sunny winter's afternoon in the garden? Yes, please.. Me and the cat and some gravel and some dirt, and visions of a glorious, technicolour edible garden come Spring. Maybe Spring of 2020 at the rate we are going, but we will get there, the cat and I..