I’ve been busy … WPC: Create

I wanted to show people what I’ve been up to lately. I had been gripped by a diabolical downturn in my mood for the best part of four weeks – weepy, hopeless, helpless …. hapless, in fact. And this horrid mind warp not only disables me, but it creates a living hell for my son too.

That said, in my absolute anger towards what was going on, I went over to a couple of people who were knocking an old outhouse down and asked if I could help.  The act of hitting an old wall with a very heavy sledge hammer proved quite therapeutic, and I discovered, quite by accident, that extreme physical exertion has helped keep my tensions isolated towards things that are less likely to have their feelings hurt by my actions.

Having knocked down the old building, I asked if I could have some of the bricks, and I proceeded to load up three car loads full and dump them in my very small back yard.

About ten years ago, I had my back yard block paved, thinking I could get by with pots and containers for colour. But I have always wanted a raised bed, and when the next door neighbour started digging up her own garden, it prompted me to start working on mine. During the last couple of weeks, I have been out there every day doing something.

The bricks are from Victorian times, so they are not the lightweight bricks of today: they are large, solid clay bricks, and very heavy. They needed the old mortar taken off as much as possible, so I had another reason to bang something with a hammer.

Then I built the wall. At first it was just a straight line between two oak half-barrels that I already had out there, but convention has never been my strong suit, and I changed it to a more wavy pattern, incorporating a massive wooden “reel” used to carry steel cable in the deeper curve (don’t know why yet, but I’ve had it for years, and I just wanted a reason to use it).

All in all, it looked quite good in the end.

Obviously, on block paving, drainage would be an issue, so I dug up some of the blocks within the bed and dug down. Of course, it wasn’t going to be straightforward, because below the block paving is a layer of sand, then clay … then coal! (For God’s sake! Shouldn’t be surprised living in an old mining village). But I’ve put lots of chisel holes through the hard stuff and hope the water finds a way out.

Started off using the neighbour’s dirt to fill the bed. As she dug, I transferred the dirt to mine. But she gave up and hasn’t been back to her garden since last week, so I had to order a ton (literally!) of the stuff from elsewhere. Transferring a ton of soil from the tipping point to my garden was made all the more fun when the predicted “three months of rain in three days” started to fall. But actually, having a mini Glastonbury mudbath in your own back yard has its fun side too. Luckily, another neighbour came out and helped me with the last third of the mound – because I’m not sure I’d have made it on my own. That said, earth moved that day 🙂

I moved a few plants and trees around that I already had in the barrels, and then took a short walk to the local Cash and Carry, where I spent the princely sum of £18 on a massive number of plants, dug up some gorgeous poppies from the nearby train tracks, and scattered a bunch of assorted seeds I’d collected over the years.

It’s still very much a work in progress because I have to do the other side, using bricks to create various levels, paint and mosaic some pots and recycle stuff I have, including an old Butler sink, a wooden lamp stand, two chimney pots, some old rusty bed springs, and various tins of paint. I’m even tempted to build a bottle wall!

I’ll post pictures as I get to stuff, but for now, this hard work has definitely kept my tensions at bay.

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2012]

Weekly photo challenge

Categories: Alice's world, Just me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

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38 thoughts on “I’ve been busy … WPC: Create

  1. DeeDee

    Fantastic! The coal beneath the soil should actually provide good drainage. I’ve also put a lot of effort into my garden recently, but I think yours looks much more interesting with the wavy wall. You could put a bird bath on the spool.

  2. That looks great! Now, let me give you my address. My yard is in need of serious help 😉

    Destruction, in a controlled and legal manner, sure is therapeutic isn’t it. Before photography took hold I was one of your typical American gun nuts. Let me tell you, nothing relieves stress like firing a large caliber handgun. 😀

    PS. Did you get my reply to your contact request about pricing? I never heard back and I want to make sure that you got it.

    • Yes, I did. Thank you very much for the info!. I did hit reply to let you know, but evidently that one didn’t get back to you. I received it as an ordinary e-mail to my general email address.
      I think I’ll pass on the guns 🙂

      • Strange, but I would think it should have come right to my email if you replied to my reply. I’m just glad you got my reply. I wouldn’t be very happy with WP if the contact page didn’t work as advertised. I hope you can use the info I sent.

  3. Quite an effort you’ve done there. The result looks good, and I hope your plants will enjoy their new home.

  4. Alice, This is gorgous! I love how you re-purpose things in your garden. What a great way to channel your energy.

    • Thanks. I’m quite glad I do have things to recycle. I can’t afford to buy anything new. So far I’ve spent very little money overall, so it’s a good feeling.

  5. Your hard work has paid off. The garden looks great and I’m glad it has helped your mood, too.

  6. Wow, what an impressive garden! I love curving brick walls. And it’s wonderful that this project helped you work off some of your angst.

  7. Can you PLEASE come to my house now !!!! It looks amazing.

  8. Yes, please come to my house too! It looks wonderful! I’m sure it will also attract many new insects and other fascinating things!

  9. what a spot of beauty you have created. Such hard work and yet very rewarding eh?

  10. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: CREATE… | Mirth and Motivation

  11. Pingback: Tools Today – Tool Blog» Blog Archive » You can still grow your own vegetables in pots and containers

  12. I lofve that curve of old bricks. Great job!

  13. its look so great… 😉

  14. well done well done.. there is NOTHING quite like physical work or exercise to help dispel tension and gloom.

  15. Great job! Well done!

  16. hi”” is monday again,,,,,,”Grace and The Truth” has the purpose of encouraging Christians to believe what God says.

    We read in in Ephesians. 1:18 “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,” and in Colossians 2:2 ” That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment (epignosis) true knowledge of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ”.

    We are dedicated to helping Christians to a fuller knowledge of Him, and the Grace of God. Until we all come into the Unity, Ephesians 4:13 “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:”

  17. Lots of benefits to that – release of stresses and tension and lovely results! Now you can sit and relax with a cup of tea (or drink of your choice) and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

  18. You did a wonderful job! 🙂

  19. Fantastic created 😀 Thanks @Alice for your visiting and stopping by. I appreciate it.

  20. This is brilliant! What a great job and I LOVE that the bricks have a history. Very impressed!

  21. Pingback: Weekly photo challenge : “Create” « Just another wake-up call

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