Three weeks before leaving for my late winter visit, I checked the weather for the five days I was going to be here. To my delight the weather was forecast to sunny and dry and not too bad daytime temperatures for the entire week I was due to be here.

Perfect weather for importing two tonnes of topsoil and creating a new herbaceous border, or so I thought.

The first day was clear blue skies and warm enough to sit outside for teabeak, so I enjoyed the day cutting back the now established beds and moving a few plants not working to my satisfaction.


The next day was frosty and fine and my topsoil arrived around 11.00. It was very wet and very heavy and the weather started to look a bit over cast. So I started straight away wheeling barrow loads of topsoil. Not too bad as it was downhill!

Halfway through it started to snow, not a problem as it was small icy pieces so I continued. But it then got heavier and heavier and then started to settle. The temperature also started to plummet. By the time I had completed the importation it was snowing golf ball size, I was soaked and my hands where frozen!


I retired to my wood burner to warm up!

Next day, I planned to plant up. It was very cold and icy, which was a good thing as the soil had a hard crust and was not too muddy. Just as I completed the planting, it started to rain, cold icy rain and it did not stop all day.


It doesn’t look much now!

Luckily had had a project inside to work on. The Piggery bathroom, as it will be, had a new floor and new ceiling last visit, this time I planned to strip out a cupboard and shelf arrangement and repair a rotted window lintel.

As I stripped off the timber shelves, I unearthed a really old limestone sink and what appears to be a primitive wood burning hob! We will try to preserve as much of this as is possible in the new bathroom.


An old sink

I once worked with an old landscaper who when faced with adversity always muttered “It fights you every inch of the way”, after enduring the cold and snow this week, I am starting to understand why!


My French fitted kitchen


New lintel and trims