Landscaping stone terraces

Now that I have washed the ants out of my hair I can sit down and write without scratching.

That’s working in the dirt for you.

This tiny narrow terrace sits in front of the potting shed. And I have a bit of affection for it as it was the very first wall that was repaired when we bought the farm back in 2007.

Like most of our walls in this main part of the garden it had tumbled quietly down the mountain.

So when Nicolas rebuilt it I had great plans. This was back in 2009. I know that because I have been Delving Deep.

That’s the old chook shed I used as my first potting shed.

And the handsome wall.

I imagined I would want to show off the elegant granite rocks. But planting it up with low growing plants. Or grasses. It’s narrow. And tricky. But those sorts of thing never deterred me back then.

They still don’t. But I have a habit of looking the other way at garden areas which just proved too hard to tame.

And that was as far as I typed before a huge storm blew in. Down went an electricity pole.

Out came all the electrical plugs as a thunder storm joined in.

It is still rumbling about. Can I be bothered to hike through the house and unplug the modem?


Sorry about this truncated post.

When I tried to see what work I did on this terrace over the last (ahem) decade and a bit there is precious little to show.

I swear I planted up a lot of redcurrant bushes here at one stage. One stubbornly remains.

But I mostly seemed to just lob prunings and weeds where and called it (grandly) A Compost Heap.

A cold heap. Because of course it was too tricky to climb down onto the terrace to turn the good stuff and make compost.

But with Alice staying this past weekend it was time to have an attack.

All the lovely decade of compost (under the nettles, brambles and utter mess) had to be shoved into buckets and carried way, way down the garden to the far distant main potager.

I’m topping up the raised beds. And this material is just perfect. Rich and chocolatey.

What a shame there are exactly 102 steps between one place and the other. Oh, and those steps involve navigating some not so brilliant stone steps, then some chestnut log ones, round the back of the pool, along the decking, through the so-called lawn area, duck under the apple tree and dump the contents in the beds.

Thank goodness Alice could do three buckets at once.

The first part of the job was done in an afternoon.

And I had another day to fill the same number of zillions of buckets of compost and plod and plod. One bucket at a time for me, so it was excruciatingly slow.

But to get a move on with the landscaping I had fun raking and trying to make some sort of cohesion to the area.

But bare earth is not the answer.

So I sowed a heap of red clover seeds.

Raked them in lightly. Watered lightly. Shoo’d the cat off.

The clover germinated in days. This late autumn absurdly warm weather is useful for landscaping tasks.

But I watched in dismay as the mole rats made merry tunnels across the whole area.

And then to complete the excitement, I unearthed a HUGE ant nest. The ants were of course looting the clover seeds, hence the bald patches in my clover field.

And by the time I realised the boiling ants all over the terrace saga, I wore half the colony on my clothes and arms and head before I managed to race indoors and shower them off.

Clothes at the door. Thorough shampoo and clean.

And now I am contemplating going back after this rain and trying to sow more clover in the gaps.

And avoid the ants.