Keepin’ the coos out

Opening and closing gates on a muddy track in a howling rain storm is not our idea of fun so we have had some cattle grids installed at the turning from the road and at the entrance to the cottage.
IMG_5224First, dig a big hole.
Soak-aways were also dug alongside the main holes to allow them to drain after heavy rains.
Then fill it with concrete blocks and steel beams and wait a couple of days for it to set. Our cars had to live out in the field while the work was going on as it blocked all vehicular access to the house.
Finally fill round with a lot of concrete and wait a couple more days. The finished product looks very sturdy. We finished off the job by installing some hedgehog ramps in case any small critters fall into the pit under the grids.
IMG_4021A couple of days after the grids were installed a small herd of cows and their calves arrived in the field. One of the cows is a Belted Galloway. I’ll post some pictures of them soon.


We still have some large piles of stones left over from the original cottage perimeter walls and from the stones that came out of the trench that was dug to install our new water pipe alongside the track from the road. We hope to use up the stones in a number of projects around the garden area. Our first effort was to add a retaining wall to support the wall next to the steep path down to the lower garden.

IMG_4001Here’s how it looks so far. We now have to build a new set of stone steps alongside the wall down to the lower garden.

Breaking Wind

The lower garden is quite exposed to the prevailing south-westery winds so Gabrielle has built a rustic wind break using a lot of the trimmings from our sycamore and ash trees.
Anna and Nigel can be seen in the background gathering and trimming suitably sized branches for working into the fence.

Moving the Shed

While the building work was going on, we had our garden tools and a few other items from the original cottage stored in a shed over on the edge of the plot of land. Now that the building work is finished we though it would be good to move the shed out of the line of sight from the living room. Our visitors Anna and Nigel were put to work providing the muscle power to move the shed to its new location. The move was much easier than we expected using some fence posts as rollers.


Nigel and John dug out and levelled the new location next to the garage and the shed was carefully slid into position.IMG_3979

This is the view from the old shed location. Now we need to get the ground prepared for sowing grass seed.IMG_3999


Margaret came to visit us for a few days just after we had the heavy snow falls at the end of March. Luckily the weather was dry and sunny while she visited and we were able to get out and about to visit some of the local attractions.

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