Happy Saturday wishes to everyone!
Exciting things are happening!
But first some background...to my back ground.
In 1989, the summer after I moved into my house, my back garden was completely laid out as a large vegetable plot used for growing all kinds of seasonal root vegetables and summer fruits. There were apple trees, raspberry canes, blackcurrant and redcurrant bushes, very prickly gooseberries and loads of deliciously fine strawberries. The excellent potato crop was matched by strings of onions, carrots, cabbage….You name it and I probably tried it, including Jerusalem artichoke, asparagus and many herbs. (Sadly, I can't easily lay my hands on any photos of this stage of my back garden, but if they surface I'll add them.)
For around a decade, I tried to keep the back vegetable garden going but it became a huge problem for many different reasons. The veggies were too plentiful to eat fresh so they were frozen and popped into my huge 15 cubic feet chest freezer. Some of these were in the freezer till the next crop appeared because the family had fled the nest to university. However, my primary teaching job meant a huge time commitment and left me little time to garden except during school holidays – which was also the only time to take long holidays away from home.
Since I’m not a born and bred local, I had to do a lot of very enjoyable research. My husband, Alan, helped greatly with this since he was keen to help me with the computer skills needed to self- publish the materials. Yes, it was also my very first foray into self-publishing though I didn’t really realise it at the time.
When I wasn’t snatching a few hours to keep the garden in order, I produced a 100 page (A4 size) document of worksheets for use on school photocopy machines. Along with the worksheets, the pack included ‘An Image Gallery’ of old photograph copies of steam engines; a cassette tape of memories of ex-‘Loco’ workers - the Inverurie works lovingly known as the ‘LOCO’ works. An innovative addition to the pack was also a home produced CD-Rom version of all of the worksheets and background information which could be used on the then School BBC computers. 50 packs of the Locos 99 materials and just before school resumed in August 1999 I delivered the packs to the most local libraries and the rest to the primary schools around the Garioch area of Aberdeenshire
|Raised beds and patio|
The summer days vanished but it proved to be time well spent and I learned a lot about writing a non-fiction work.
That year my back garden was somewhat neglected but doing the Locos 99 project was also a catalyst for change. The following year I got rid of the vegetable patch and turned the whole area into a shrub border with a lawn area. I also (personally) built a raised flower bed and back patio with space for an outside barbeque. The barbeque was underused since we still preferred to barbeque in the front garden which, though it may not sound like it, is a more private area.
Easier maintenance of the back garden continued till 2014 when plans for my back garden changed, hugely. At the beginning of February 2014, my daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter moved in to my house – the plan being for them to use my back garden to build a new house of their own. My grandson was born in March 2014 swelling our household numbers to 6 but planning permission just isn't so predictable.
A new house was going to appear but only after the first red tape was sorted out.
Months passed when basic back garden maintenance was done, till eventually in September 2014 the digger came for the first time. To make the extent of the site more easily assessed the back garden was stripped of the plantings.
The trees and bushes were yanked out. The patio slabs were removed and the brickwork of the raised beds pulled apart.
Were there tears? Not too many. No gardening during the autumn months was quite appealing.
More months passed. Eventually, by November, the planning permits were granted but the building warrants still had to be processed.
Stay tuned for the realities of house building!