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Monday, 30 November 2015

Goal Setting

Went to Sussex for the weekend to see family  so managed to eat FAR too much! I wen't with good intentions and took my gym gear so I could go for a run. This is a huge thing as I HATE running. I did eventually get out of the house on Friday though, and I don't think I did too bad...


2.88 miles in 32 mins 51 secs.. I'm happy with that for my first go. All of Gibbon Road is downhill and the bit to the sea was flat so I think that helped my time, although the last part was up over the cliffs and the wind was just unreal, over half of that last section I couldn't run... I could barely stand up!! But at least I did it!

We also went to see my Step-sister and brother in law. He's well into the Gym and is built like a brick shit house! He gave me a magazine on weight training etc. It was a free one that came with his gym supplements so mainly full of advertising. However there was one article in there about goal setting which made me think....

I write things down, obviously, look at my blog! So, what are my goals. They're quite simple really, to be toned and fit cardio wise. They're pretty broad goals though aren't they.

Therefore I think the 3 main things I am going to work on are:

  • Improving my swimming time.


I have been spending more time in the gym rather than the swimming pool but I do like my swimming. I am still doing my 66 lengths but never really seem to improve on time. My best time seems to be the most recent of 50 min 43 secs. so the goal is to reduce that to 45mins. The second part of the goal is to mix it up stroke wise. I always do breast stroke so I want to do at least 10 laps in front crawl - which is how I hope to improve the time!
  • Run 5 miles.
OMG... I dunno why I am saying that! I will most probably do it on a tredmill rather than actually go for a run but I should try and actually do it on the ground. I have worked out that round the block twice (like the big block not literally my street) is more or less 5 miles. Or maybe ill find another route which is actually 5 miles so I don'e have to look at the same things twice! 

Ok so thats the cardio more than sorted. So I guess my next goal should be weight related. This is a lot more difficult........

  • Shoulder press 25kg, 5 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Arm curl 25kg, 5 sets of 12 reps
The shoulder press (machine) is really difficult! I think so anyway. Most of the machines I am on weights of between 25-35kg but the shoulder press the most I have managed have been 12.5kg (reps of 6) and even with that I struggle. Though, in all fairness a month ago I could barely lift 5-10kg. The arm curl is probably more achievable, I managed 5 sets of 6 reps and 15kg - That being the first time I have taken that machine seriously. We'll see how I get on. 

To be honest with the weights it is really difficult to set a goal as such because I just try and improve a little each time I go, either by the weight I am lifting or by the amount of sets and reps I manage. This is working for me so far. Though, I don't feel that I am gaining in terms of body shape as much as I want to. But I am biding my time...

In my last post I talked about the diet side of things. My protein powder came just before we went away so today was the first time I used it. I had it as part of my morning smoothie; mixed with a banana, kiwi, oats and coconut water - it was AMAZING!! Post-gym I just mixed it was water as your meant to and it was good still - but was so much better with the other stuff in it. With having two shakes and a gammon steak for dinner this is what I have managed with my macro intakes


A huge improvement but still not quite there. I am much happier with that though. Now to search for more ways to improve the protein intake and reduce the carbs! There must be loads of ways I just haven't found them yet!!

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Trying to understand gym life...

So it's been nearly two months since I first joined the gym and so far I am enjoying it! I have been averaging 3 visits a week and have also started doing some of the fitness classes too. I still get up in the morning and really can't be bothered but once I get there I do really enjoy it!

I have lost about 5lb since the start, which for 8 weeks is isn't the quickest ever but my progress photo (LOL) shows the real change and I don't think it's just weight loss (wishful thinking)... I think there is a little more muscle in there too....


To be fair when that photo was taken I had only lost 2lb on the scales too so I was pretty chuffed with myself.

However, since that picture I have lost more weight but very little gain muscle wise. I have definitely improved my cardio ability though. When I first started I could barely run on the treadmill for 5 minutes. The week before last, I survived 15 minutes and last week 25 minutes!!

From the bare minimum I have read so far, it looks like muscle gain for women is difficult, and much of the work is done outside of the gym. I have started to make small changes in regards to my diet and I have continued to calorie count. But it's not gone much further than that so far. I have mainly concentrated on the calories and nothing else.

I brought myself a smoothie maker and have regularly been having a smoothie for breakfast. I usually skip breakfast. And fruit. So it's a start.


This has been particularly useful when I am at work and fab for my fruit intake because before I could literally go a week or more without touching any! On my days off I'll keep just myself busy until mid afternoon and then feast on carbs of varying types - usually bread or pasta. I get that far though the day with a steady intake of coffee, or tea. I will then stuff my face at dinner time and then sit on my bum until bed.

Work days are usually worse. I get through the morning on tea and maybe a slice of toast mid morning and pick on any naughty foodstuffs that are on the table. This usually comprises of pastries, chocolates and bagels. If I get chance to have lunch at lunch time then that's a bonus but usually it's not until 3pm or later. I then get home at about 8.45pm, have whatever meal Scott has lovingly cooked me and head straight to bed. Always nice food but far too close to bed!

So onto the point of this post; the gathering of useful information to try and boost my training. So here goes....

Macros

CARBOHYDRATES! I love them!! Oh My God.... I need to cut down on them, I completely and utterly live on carbs. To be honest I also thought that this was fine despite most advice out there to reduce carb intake. A few years ago I followed slimming world, their red and green days, but only ever did green days as found them much more filling and easier meal wise. I lost plenty of weight. 

It appears that not all carbs are bad though. basically you want to use the carbs you eat for energy rather than store them as fat. On bodybuilding.com advice, I ate oats before my workout today. Another website also recommends that eating carbs after a workout is good to replace glycogen levels in the body... Now I am a bit confused. Basically, I understand it that carbs are good but in moderation as too many will just be stored as fat.

MyFitnessPal gives you a breakdown of your macro intake which is pretty cool.. Makes you more aware of what food groups your eating and the reality of how balanced your diet really is. Mine isn't.



This is my breakdown for the last 7 days. Blue is carbs... too many carbs! The goals from this screenshot are a bit skewed because It's showing data from the last week, and I only changed my macro goals today. They were on 40-30-30% (carbs,fat,protein). After reading into it a bit more, it appears that the better breakdown is 30-30-40%. My fat levels seem to be pretty much on target. I can work on 1% anyway. 

The other difficulty is going to be increasing the protein intake. I have been interested by these protein supplements you can buy but do feel very nervous about them. It seems a bit extreme. Also, there is sooo much to choose from?! How to I know what I need?! This evening I consciously tried to bulk up on the protein. Even with a shed load of chicken in my curry I only managed 23% and still 54% carbs. GRRR!!!!! 

Protein (yes, talking about protein again) is important as it helps with tissue growth and repair. That's what you hear most of. I am now learning that protein replaces the amino acids that are lost during training. If they aren't readily available in your blood steam then that's when the body will eat at muscle.... Read on.

So whilst writing this post, I have taken the plunge and brought some Whey Protein from Bulk Powders. They get alright reviews on Amazon and seem to be quite cheap.. I'll let you know how I get on. Might be a waste of money but I want a six pack, a round bum and fit arms!

Catabolism

Apparently excessive cardio isn't a good thing. Shame really as I feel like I am getting somewhere with the cardio. It is suggested that more than 45 minutes at a steady state or 30 minutes high intensity interval training is too much for the average person. I have heard of HIIT  but haven't ventured that far yet. I assume that the cardio I have been doing is steady. I usually do around 45mins, depending on how energetic I am feeling. This site suggests that becoming catabolic means that the body breaks down muscle for energy rather than using fat stores or recently eaten meals. I guess that's another reason for eating breakfast before working out.

So it's good that I have increased my fruit intake and am now eating breakfast more right? I always knew fruit had lots of sugar in but apparently I should be careful of that! However (hurrah!), it does appear that bananas a excellent pre-workout foods because they are rich in digestible carbohydrates and potassium which maintains nerve ans muscle function. Oats are also on this list, result! Another defending piece of evidence for my smoothie fettish is that fruit and greek yogurt are great pre-workout foods! It's claimed that the protein from yogurt isn't broken down quickly enough for the workout but the carbs from the fruit provide immediate energy and the protein kicks in later for muscle repair.

I have some food for thought now (pardon the pun)...
  1. Cut the carbs down, but not out.
  2. Don't skip breakfast - specially before a workout
  3. Improve my protein intake.
I think my next research based blog post needs to concentrate on meal ideas. Mainly lunch times I think. I can often get an acceptable about of variation in my evening meal but It's lunchtime  that I tend to just fall back on carbs. More salads for me it seems!

Progress...?

Saturday, 21 November 2015

The Magic Border

I have been taking lots of photo's for ages and ages now with the intention of blog blog blogging. But I just haven't seemed to have time to actually sit down and write my posts! I am at the beginning of a weeks annual leave now and thought that I would take to opportunity to catch up.

Despite time and motivation, I had quite a slow start to the year vegetable growing wise. Everything was stunted, either being eaten by the pesky slugs or failure to get established. after sewing seeds then planting out plenty of veggies which lost their battle; I finally had some luck when my onion seedlings finally took a hold in my border by the patio.




Look at the size of them!!! Not bad even if I do say so myself! They were planted in the same border that my tomatoes were in last year, These bad boys were by far my best achievement this year. We have left them to dry out a bit but as we ran out of brought onions, we have started using them already. Apart from being a bit potent on the old eyes, they are pretty much perfect tasting. So far they are keeping pretty well too.

My tomatoes were a bit of a flop this year. Got enough for a few batches of soup but weren't nearly as prolific as last year and I had about 3 times as many plants this year.

I also had mixed results with the broccoli and cauliflower. Two main reasons many of them didn't thrive; one, because I planted them all too close together and two, because I failed to protect them and ended up having a constant fight with the caterpillars! Another garden enemy to add to the list!



As you can see the cucumbers were good too. They certainly liked my new greenhouse anyway! They were probably our favourite as certainly throughout the summer, we tend to eat lots of them with salads. They were so much better tasting then brought ones too! I also had sprouts planted but I finally gave up on them today and pulled them up as they were just far too damaged by the slugs. Shame really as I love a good sprout!

Oh well, the ups and downs of gardening... Wish me luck for next year!

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Thought i would give it a go...

I have so much to catch up on. I've been such a bad blogger recently. Got lots to say but not a lot of time to do it.

I'll start with today's shenanigans as it's fresh, and exciting!! Well exciting for the moment anyway... It was six months ago Scott and I got married (I know, already!). I kept you all well informed of the huge journey it was to get into the dress. 8st 8lb I was that day... well I got on the scales this morning and was 9st 8lb!!!!!! Impressive in 6 months... I can't say I am surprised though. I have been a bit of a piggy, and haven't been swimming since - unless on honeymoon counts, but I don't think it does!

For a while I have been thinking I need to get back on top. This time I don't particularly want to just loose weight, specially not like before, but I do want to be fitter again. I liked my swimming bod! This time I thought I would go all out and get a gym membership!! I was paying £4 a time to go swimming and was going roughly twice a week (sometimes three) - £32 a month at least. Well my membership is £32.95 (with NHS discount) for a rolling contract and that drops to £25.95 if I get a 12 month contract. I really didn't fancy committing myself to that to begin with - who knows how I'll get on. The idea is that at the very least if I start up swimming again then hopefully I'll break even. Then if I like it, ill go the whole hog!

Had my 1st induction tonight - the 2nd tomorrow, why it's split I'm not sure but to be fair it's probably a good thing, I forgot how to use half the equipment and had to get the bloke how to show me again - noob! It was relatively busy in there being peak time and felt like everyone was looking at me - obviously they weren't but didn't want to make a tit of myself!

So far I enjoyed it. They have a really cool set up which is right up my street. All of their equipment is Techno Gym. Basically you get this key thing which you put into each machine you use and it logs your workout. You then get a online log on and can look at your ongoing progress. You also have workout programs which you can select when you get on a machine and you complete what it sets you. I only have the start up work out at the moment which is the standard one when you have your induction. I understand that you can load on workout programs suited to your goals. Not sure what they are yet as my only goal so far was not to have a heart attack in front of a bunch of very fit peoples!


The best thing about it is that I can sync it with my fitbit and myfitnesspal so everything is all up to date! I also recently brought the fitbit aria so my weight, BMI and body fat is also automatically synced also so it's all up to date. No need to have to do it all myself! I am such a tech freak - no point doing it if it's not logged!!! I wish I was joking hahaha!.

Like before, I posted a before photo, which I have also done this time....



Ahh I must be mad, absolutely mad! I've been following an instagrammer who I know from work who did the same and now shes a fitness queen. I don't expect to get anything close to what shes achieved... baby steps for me!

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

IBC Tank Water Butt

Back when we were replacing the wall, I also acquired a 1000L IBC water tank. I brought it on ebay for £30 from a nearby farmer and her delivered it next day, on a bank holiday! As we are on a water meter I wanted a better source of watering the plants which wasn't going to cost me a fortune, so this seemed like a perfect idea.

Andy built us 2 walls down the side of the house where the chicken used to live. This was obviously the best place for it to go as this space is pretty wasted at the moment.


More importantly though it is next to two garages and we already have guttering from them running along there into a drain by our fence. And actually the bit over the fence leaked badly so we were desperate to change it. No way we wanted our brand new fence ruined!


More importantly though it is next to two garages and we already have guttering from them running along there into a drain by our fence. And actually the bit over the fence leaked badly so we were desperate to change it. No way we wanted our brand new fence ruined! You can see the guttering just about at the top of the above picture!

We then cut the last sleeper in half, rested it between the walls then put the tank on top... Then, as you do, stole the neighbours hose (with permission of course) to give us a head start!!


As we did with the greenhouse water butt, Scott drilled a hole in the top of the tank near the back and installed a over flow pipe which leads down into the massive hedge in our front garden. For ages we didn't really know how quick it would fill as we didn't have much rain. Then last friday came and it poured down all day. It must have been half full and it not only filled but overflowed in a day!! It was fustrating actually as the council had come round and cut all the grass and obviously noticed the overflow pipe and had curled it up round the hedge.... no idea why as it was out of the way of their land, just sits in our hedge but because of that it wasn't working. As soon as we realised and uncurled it worked as it should have done!

1000 litres of water sounds like an awful lot but it's suprising how quickly you can go through it. On a particularly sunny day, to water all of the fruit, veg, and flowers I have easily used 8-10 watering cans... thats about 90L. It would have been costing me 18.85p every garden water and for every cubic metre of water we collect, we save £2.09.

 That doesn't actually seem that much but if your watering the garden every day, that's £1.32 a week, £5.28 a month and £63.36 a year!

Okay, I won't be watering every day but still, it pays for itself quickly enough!


And as a result, my greens look as healthy as this!

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Trying not to paint the plants!

After a week and a bit off work, I planned on spending my last day off (Monday) just relaxing. I started off my doing a spot of laundry, abut that was all. So naturally, whilst hanging out the washing, think to myself, I really do dislike next doors fence! Although still warm, it was an overcast day so felt like a good opportunity!

Back before the wall to fence project, yet another of the panels on next doors fence came down, this time wrecking my apple tree which now looks extremely weird. Such a shame because I had quite a few apples on it last year and it flowered well this year so things were looking so good..



Only one branch survived. I thought about just digging it up and starting again with a different one next year if I fancied it. But I left it be.. I't a pretty bizarre shape but it's actually coped really well, and it even has apples on it!


Ok, so it's becoming more of a bush than a tree but that's quirky right? I quite like it anyway! It took them weeks and weeks to replace that panel. It was a pain as I couldn't let the dog into the garden without constantly watching him. Most of the time we behaved but it only took a split second of not watching him and he's be off visiting the neighbours! The space at the end of the garden is wider than an average fence panel so he had it made to fit. It's a lovely panel BUT completely different to the others!! It's really annoying!

Something had to be done to make it look remotely better...

The first panel was easy peasy as there's nothing planted directly in front of it. It was not to continue this way however. I do like my roses but painting round them wasn't all that fun - for obvious reasons!



I got a bit splash happy at times too, some of the plants got a bit of a paint job also!


You can still see the odd panels and obviously I haven't painted the brown ones (whats the point?) but on the whole it's looking smarter! Not so lazy day spent well.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Bean Arguments


I brought these beans thinking that they were french/broad (not sure of the difference - LOL) beans by looking at the picture. I planted them, and they grew...



Andy then informs me that they are runner beans. Nevermind, I like them too. I said.

Then Mum and Richard came to visit. And mum reckons they are french beans... so now I am confused!!

So on googling.....

The Mr Fothergill's website describe them as;
A white seeded variety justly popular for the flavour of its heavy crops of round stringless pods
That doesn't help me really.... So then I googled their latin name, Phaseolus vulgaris for which wikipedia described them as "the common bean"

.... no further forward...

BUT AH!!! I then click on the actual wikipedia link which then goes on to describe them as...

Phaseolus vulgaris, the common bean[2] (also known as the string beanfield beanflageolet beanFrench beangarden bean,haricot beanpop bean, or snap bean),[3] is a herbaceous annual plant grown worldwide for its edible dry seed or unripe fruit that are both known as "beans".
FRENCH BEAN! Okay that helps a bit. but why are they not just called french bean rather than climbing bean?

I also googled "what are haricots" as the packet states that they can be "dried as haricots" but that means nothing to me...


French bean is mentioned again.. Still not sure that I understand what a haricot is though. On further investigation, 'haricot' beans seem to be french beans taken out of the pod and dried. There are plenty of recipes out there for them. And the photo of the beans do look like the ones I planted.

To further back the argument that I am growing french beans, runner beans have the latin name of "Phaseolus coccineus", again, according to wikipedia...
It differs from the common bean (P. vulgaris) in several respects: the cotyledons stay in the ground during germination, and the plant is aperennial vine with tuberous roots (though it is usually treated as an annual).

Additionally, the Telegraph have a very useful description of each variety, further suggesting that these bean are FRENCH!

Argument won yet?

OK, so the last angle might be that the wrong beans were put in the packet.... So here's a comparison picture!



 I think the only way to truly find out is to see which beans grow!

Rhino Premium Greenhouse Review

So the greenhouse has arrived! It came a week ago last Wednesday and work to get it together started straight away. Andy and Scott got the outside frame up straight away and then I made the door and windows during the day on Thursday ready for them to do the roof and start glazing when they got home from work!

Delivery was pretty good, the driver was really good and didn't mind banter with our crazy neighbour. They state up to 6 weeks delivery time on their website. Mine was well within that, only taking 3 and a half! Apparently we are the youngest people he's delivered to.



The main construction didn't take too long but I think it helped that Andy had already done his a few months ago. The instructions were really clear and easy to read and all of the parts (loads of them!!!) are clearly labelled. We had loads of spare rubber seal, nut and bolts too. It seemed that the instructions had been updates from a few months back too as Andy complained that it didn't tell you to add extra bolts etc. if you have integral staging or other accessories - it does tell you too though in our instructions! It also came with a DVD but I have to admit we didn't bother watching it. Also, I found the QR codes on some of the pages useful as they linked to youtube video demonstrations! The boys didn't have need for them but I liked them!



There were two main reasons I brought a new greenhouse and didn't just stick with my donated one. The first being the integral staging - which is just brilliant! It makes potting up and planting so easy and it's nice and sturdy and still leaves you space on the floor for storage or more plants if you wish! The other reason was for the hanging basket rails... OK I haven't used them for hanging baskets but they are great for stringing up plants - maybe next year Ill use them properly!

One annoyance was that they didn't send me enough side eave braces. I emailed them late Tuesday night, I had an email back Wednesday morning and the part arrived Thursday morning! Pretty good service that! Luckily it didn't stop us putting the rest of it together either so I just added it when it turned up!


It's been up and finished a few days now and I couldn't fault it! It's fab! The automatic openers are just great and with the louvre vents in the side, temperature control is easy. It's very sturdy and can withstand the winds we get round here easily! We haven't bolted it down yet but That will be a job for the near future... Hopefully the concrete base will keep those bloody slugs out!!!!

Liking the look of the aluminium too I have to say!

I brought the two into one down pipe connector too so that I could have my water butt in between my raised bed and the greenhouse. As we've had no rain recently we used the neighbour's hose (with permission - were metered, they're not!) and filled it up! Scott also put in the overflow pipe in which drains straight into my bed.... which is fine but we tested it yesterday; I thought it would just be a trickle of water but when it goes it proper pumps the water out! I have seeds planted in the end by the fence - which have now been washed away no doubt... Oh well, at least we know it works!

I'm sure I'll be boring you in posts to come about all my crops I've grown... I hope!

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Vu Déjá

This week has been the first week in ages that I have put my sewing cap back on. After the wedding, time has been spent either at work or in the garden.

So, after dunking my phone in the toilet yesterday morning (after peeing but before flushing - yuck!), I decided to spend the day in my lovely sewing room. To start myself off I made one of my all time favourite makes, a bag. This time I have made a back pack!



I would say that I followed a tutorial I found on pinterest but that's not entirely true. The only thing it was good for was the pattern pieces. The rest of it was useless pictures and very little info! Luckily I have had a bit of practice in the bag department. Not the best picture of it really either as it's not actually finished yet! I dunno if all denim is the same but this denim left me with very blue hands! Therefore before finishing I decided to hand wash it, which I did about 24hrs ago and it's still not completely dry! It needs the button catch on the front and the inside lining finishing off... and a good iron.

But all this wasn't actually the reason for writing this blog post. Getting crafty yesterday spurred me on to actually do something with the wedding bunting.... Operation Quilt has begun!!


I did feel like I had gone back in time by a few months. Déjá vu, only in reverse! I really couldn't be bothered to unpick every stitch so instead I just cut the edges off. I'm glad I decided this too as I ended up trimming them even smaller in order to make my pattern work.


They need a bit of trimming up but on the whole I am pretty happy so far. I am just making it up as I go along so were see what the end result will be... So far I have only cut up 2 of the 12m bunting lengths and the odd leftovers which were used on the top table. So at this rate I will still be giving it away or selling it! I aim to make a 72x90 inch 'twin' quilt. It will have two special panels which have been made by a special friend of mine!



Ill probably border all of the octagons too so that the colours are broken a little as it's rather bright as it is. I feel it needs more pink too. Were see what happens!

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Taking this grow-your-own thing seriously!

Whilst still finishing the fence, I brought 10 sleepers to make a large planter for me to grow all my veggies. This weekend Scott and Andy made it for me, dug a hole ready for the water tank foundations and made a base for the greenhouse.


They are cementing the greenhouse base and water tank foundations next weekend when I am on nights - so I hope they're quiet about it! It doesn't look that big there but it's  pretty decent!


My little 6x4 greenhouse is already fit to burst with me wanting more and more to go in it. So much so that there has been a slight change of plan....



 I have blown a load of money one one twice the size!! It's going to take a few weeks to get here but it will be so worth it! It's a Rhino Premium 6x8. It will sit comfortably on the base and still leave me a decent path down the side to get to my planter. Andy has the 8x12 in green but I decided to save myself the extra £300 and just have it plain aluminium. Scott thinks that it would look better in our garden anyway - though he is probably just saying that because he didn't want me to spend the money as it was - let alone even more just for a colour... 

I was originally going to have the model with double doors in the long side but decided that I would probably have more space if I had a single door on the short end. It will then have staging that will run the length on one side and space for grow bags on the other! I am SOOOO excited!!! I want it here now. It should also collect a decent amount of rain water so will also have a slimline water butt next to it and the over flow pipe straight into the bed. Hopefully I'll never need to run the tap to water the garden again!...

My broad beans came up well second time round so they have been planted in grow bags along with a tomato and cucumber plant. Another good thing with my new greenhouse is that it has hanging basket rails which I plan to tie string on so that the beans will be able to climb up easily. Next year i might even grow my tomatoes in hanging baskets to utilise the space even more!

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Slug Wars

I am having just as much luck with my garden as I have in previous years.... The bloody slugs are eating everything! I have had to replace about 5 of the tomatoes I planted in the grow bags GRRRR!!!!!! This gardening lark takes a lot of time just for it all to get eaten.. and not by me!!!

I thought I would try some 'pet friendly' slug repellent pellet things. They made the grow bed look stupid and did sod all to stop them.


Charlie couldn't work it out either!

After a ranty post on facebook asking for suggestions on what to do, my next plan of attack is a beer trap.



Actually that's a lie, it's not beer in there at all. It's a yeast mixture designed to entice them then kill them! MUHAHAHAHA!!!!! It better work, otherwise I am going to go mad! I have done two; one in the bed itself and the other in the greenhouse. I have also been out a few times with a pair of scissors and chopped the gits up too; I found that pretty satisfying, but I keep forgetting to do it regularly.

We have also finished off the two left over odd panels for the fence and the trellis!!! It's looking great - really really pleased with it!



It's all been painted to match the street too... well I say the street, I actually mean one house over the road. But you know, the trend might catch on so it all matches eventually!

I have also started planning the plants to climb the trellis. I brought myself a big planter and have put a passion flower in it! I used to have the most gorgeous passion flower when we lived in the flat (pre-blogging times that). It was a white and blue one and looked lovely in our little court yard.


This one is a pure white one which I thought would look nicer in this garden. It will eventually sit next to the gate and cover the trellis behind where the greenhouse will be. I can't wait to see it flower!


Will need to decide what else will cover the trellis now. I cant decide!

Phase two to commence soon!

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Goodbye Wall, Hello Fence!

I spent the May bank holiday weekend being a DIY builder, with the help of my husband and an actual builder! We have been talking about replacing the falling down wall since we moved in and for that reason I have done very little with the garden so far.  I'm glad for that as you should see the state of the grass now!! haha!



The wall came down easy as pie... apparently. Scott did it Friday whilst I was at work. We had the skip and building supplies delivered which he stayed home for. I expected him to start on the wall but I didn't expect to see the whole thing down! I wish I had taken a picture of it up where we park our cars, in places you could see right through the brick joins where it has been so battered. Though I hear that that was caused by the last people who lived here reversing their car into it!

In the picture above you can see the closest corner where the road outside is significantly taller than the bottom of our garden. This was always going to be the hardest part of the job as the post to go in there was 9ft (Andy recommended a 10ft but they were out of stock for 3 weeks). Just in front of where the old wall post is there was a massive concrete block which the old oil container used to sit on (before we moved in). Getting rid of that cost us most of the first morning as it was soo bloody thick. The boys worked on that whilst I cleared the top by the garage. It doesn't take long to fill a skip.



After that it didn't look good for getting much more done that day, the corner panel took two gravel boards to get it to the street level and digging the holes for the posts was really hard work. For a long while we talked about just replacing the wall with another wall. Which would have been easier as we wouldn't have had to break through the walls foundations. What was worse was that as soon as we were through the foundations we hit clay!! That was just as much work to get out.




In the end we managed 3 panels/4 posts on Saturday, which was a good job as we didn't get much done at all on Sunday because of the weather. As you can see, my raspberries just about survived there... Sunday consisted of one more panel/post going up and us spending more money on more concrete and fence paint.

Oh, we did have fun removing the tree stump at the bottom of the garden. Lets just say Andy saved me a bit of time digging it out by hand....

video


Monday was great, we had nice weather, renewed motivation (because we had to finish) and slightly less aching bones - in mine and Scott's case that is!

As we got to the top of the garden became easier but at a sacrifice.........


That white part on the hard standing shows were the wall used to be!! The boys really didn't fancy breaking through the 8-10 inches of concrete so I reluctantly agreed that they could bring the fence this side of it. It did make loads of difference as there were no foundations to break through which made hole digging loads easier! You can see by Scott's disappearing head how deep those holes were! The one in the front of the picture was my hole! Very proud of that, I got it as deep as my arms would let me then Scott and Andy finished it off!



The two corner panels are smaller so needed cutting down, one of which we have done, the other to be finished. Hopefully today but the weather it pretty horrible out there at the moment... We also need to build up the end by the house and Andy's garage. We have left over gravel boards and should have enough fence panel to do it. Then it'll just be sorting a gate, making/getting the trellis to top it and painting it all! Oh, and putting the part ruined grass back together and getting the greenhouse in properly!


As you can see, we also acquired a 1000L water tank too, but that's another project and another blog post in waiting!

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