My lockdown projects, part 1

The most difficult part of writing this piece was deciding where to start! I vaguely remember something about introducing yourself, your subject and to put it in context, back in the days when I used to write essays.

So, introductions, not me so much as my garden, after all that’s what we are interested in. I moved here just under five years ago, my first garden, a well-established one. Too well established – houseleeks the full length of the path, Japanese anemone and bluebells (Spanish) everywhere in the deep borders. Bracken and a mini forest down the back with two large Camellias and a lilac which is covered in jasmine.

From this description I’m guessing you are thinking that it is quite a large plot. I have a friend who says I acquire enough plants to fill up the grounds of a manor house. I have recently been forced to admit that it might be reaching capacity.  So, my garden is, actually, around 30 feet by 18 feet, with a brick shed in one corner. It is fully south facing and seems not only to have its own micro-climate, but also its own definition of time:  I nip into the garden for 10 minutes and go back indoors an hour later.

Just before lockdown I had ordered some supplies for a gardening project from Wickes. While waiting for the supplies and suddenly finding myself having an unexpected staycation – I brought my Mum (94) to stay with me so that I could ‘shield’ her better – I started on the ‘must get to that’ jobs.

First, I painted the trellis and gate that forms the boundary between my garden and that of my next-door neighbour. I don’t know if you have ever painted trellis which is already in situ, but I can assure you it is not a quick job. Especially when it is 6ft + and you are a touch over 5ft. There are still bits of snagging that need attention which I have managed to ignore so far. 2

The ‘finishing’ of this project was followed by the completion of a – what turned out to be thoroughly unsuccessful – bird table which I attached to the top of the gate. The wood pigeons throw the seed everywhere, tease the dog and poop on the gate. I no longer put feed on it and have adorned it with a rather splendid peacock instead..

3While I had the paint brushes out I decided to smarten up the weather vane. He was plain black and my neighbour had told me he was getting a bit of rust. I am most chuffed with the result, particularly when he was put back up.

Earlier in the year my Mum’s oldest friend had died, they had known each other for 88 years. I wanted to do something in her memory and that of her older sister who passed a few years ago. The stories that May & Mary would tell you about the three of them and what they got up to during the war were a must-hear!

As it was getting close to May’s birthday I decided to dedicate the back of my garden to the sisters. My neighbour made a bench seat which he decided would be the perfect size for my Mum, and I thought it would be ideal for the newly named ‘Mary & May Plaza’. So, painting the bench was my next job. May’s birthday was coming up on 1st May and I wanted the project I had in mind finished so that we could sit there with a G & T (her favourite drink) and have a toast to the two sisters.

4I set to and started the lengthy process of making a sign post – I  planed the edges from the wooden post, cut and shaped my signs. Painted the whole thing including the wording and the acorn on the top which looked more like an egg and cup in it’s plain wood state.

I am pleased to say that everything was finished and in place for 1st May and we had a, not so quiet, drink to celebrate. Petra, the dog had most of the G & T in the end!


More to come on my other Lockdown Projects – a green roof and a pond are just two of them!


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