Repairing chestnut steps

Ooh lucky you. Rain stops outdoor play.

I can sit in my office and stare at the rain.

Or I can get on with tidying my desk.

I can’t tell you how bad it was.

I took a ‘before’ shot, but decided not to expose my slatternly behaviour.

Instead I just got on with sorting everything. And that meant actually doing something about the sea of drying flowers that is lapping at the desk.

The rack dangling from the ceiling is working really well. Just the right combination of bright but not too sunny. And warm enough but not blistering.

I checked on the rack that is hidden in the cellar in the dark… and it’s a disaster. I have mouldy blooms! So that’s a bust.

I can’t leave these bouquets in the garden room as it’s too windy and damp. And the Creature has taken to wrestling with things in the potting shed if they are in the way of her snoozing spots.

Apart from dried flower vandalism, she is quite a darling in the garden. Ever present. Ever ready to leap on my lap and stop me from wielding fork and bucket and spade.

And boy have I been at it.

This is a before shot I am happy to share.

These are the steps that lead down from the barn garden to the pool. It bisects the two steep banks which I have planted up with eragrostis curvula (African love grass).

The treads are made of chestnut logs and have been brilliant.

But the soil has shifted thanks to the mighty mole rats which burrow and throw up soil and then leave mounds. And droughts and neglect which mean that there is bare earth for the ornamental grasses to germinate. And I was only hoping to have festuca grass and clover here. Not stonking tussocks that get in the way of languorous strolling.

The amount of soil that I excavated for each step was stupendous. But I wanted to start again. (More buckets to take to the raised beds.)

So that meant, soil out, level the ground, collect all the random stones and pebbles that lurked.

And try and beat the ants again.

So far so good.

I will be flinging the clover all over the place when I can get outdoors. Because of course there are lots of gaps.

I wonder if the ants will survive this drenching?