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One year on....

Discussion in 'Garden Projects and DIY' started by Sheal, Oct 5, 2018.

  1. Sheal

    Sheal Total Gardener

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    Many of you are aware that I moved house just over a year ago, a year and five days if I'm being picky. :biggrin:

    I spent the first six months completely furnishing our bungalow as all husband Pete and I had moved in with were numerous filled boxes, two sun loungers and another two empty boxes for tables. I have just this last week finished furnishing with the hanging of three pairs of curtains.

    During the course of all this I tried to start work on the gardens having created a flower bed but had to abandon them apart from mowing the lawns. Back inside again, having had an electrician in, I had to re-board and plaster the areas where he had moved sockets, switches and put up new light fittings.

    Towards the end of September we discovered that we needed a new central heating system. We had it replaced in a snowy and cold January this year and now have a new oil combination boiler and radiators. With the old hot water cylinder, pipework and pumps now gone from my linen cupboard, my time was again taken away from the garden while I refurbished it.

    More instalments to follow in due course. :)
     
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      Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
    • Fat Controller

      Fat Controller Cuddly Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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      You've had a lot going on in a year @Sheal - I will look forward to seeing more instalments (and I still haven't forgotten that I want to email you at some point!)
       
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      • Marley Farley

        Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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        Well done @Sheal pretty good bit of handywork there.. :SUNsmile:
         
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        • Sheal

          Sheal Total Gardener

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          Thank you FC and Marley. :)
           
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          • Trunky

            Trunky ...who nose about gardening

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            You've made some good progress there Sheal. :dbgrtmb:

            As you know, we moved house around the same time you did, and our first year has followed a similar pattern to yours.

            We also inherited an ancient and creaking heating system, in our case a solid fuel central heating system over 30 years old which needed constant feeding with coal and firewood just to take the chill off the house and provide lukewarm hot water. Like you, we've opted for a new oil fired system, so the place has been in a state of upheaval this summer as a whole new heating and hot water system was installed.

            It's amazing isn't it, how every time you start a job, it leads to several other jobs which you hadn't anticipated as you uncover more things which need fixing or changing.

            I share your frustration too, at not being able to get as much done in the new garden as I'd hoped, although we've made some progress on that front over the past few months.

            I hope it's beginning to feel like home for you now, it does take time doesn't it? Look forward to seeing more updates on your progress. :)
             
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            • Sheal

              Sheal Total Gardener

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              The gardens.....

              The front I will get to in a while. Starting with the back.... to a certain degree the gardens rap around my bungalow but there's very little that can be done on either side. I mentioned above having dug out a flower bed, the only one in existence as I emptied and filled one with turf in the front garden. I dug this bed out in December having been sent a lovely bare root rose from a dear friend here. :)

              013.JPG

              I also planted out the few plants I brought with me and so far they are surviving. Living in a rural position and quite a way above sea level wind is the damaging factor here. In fact last winter I discovered we're also just above the snow line. The soil isn't doing me any favours either being sandy loam, the first experience I've had of this. Although it's easy to work with it's a hungry soil and turns to dust when dry, watering is also difficult as it tends to lay on the surface. Since starting the bed I've not taken any more pictures as I've not worked on it. Partly because I've been involved indoors and any time outside has been spent working in the front garden. Also this bed isn't practical and I'm considering gravelling the whole area and siting a raised bed in the centre with access to the back and side for cleaning windows. This will also solve the soil issue as I will use topsoil in the raised bed.

              The back garden is a third of the size of the front with space taken up on the lower part against the back fence by septic tanks.

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              As you can see I also have a problem with bracken. I raked all this area off early Spring and revealed the second tank. The intention was to kill the bracken off once the new shoots appeared and was recommended the use of SBK killer. Having waited for a windless day I used the spray hoping it would do the job. As you can see from the first picture in this section it barely touched the bracken which grew through it. So with a repeat performance early next year I'll be using Round-up Extra. I got chatting to someone who was buying the same in B&Q who swears that it will do the job. I hope he's right!

              Some time this winter I will also be putting in a couple of steps down to the tank area. As an aside to this we have recently discovered there's a seepage problem with the tanks, but that's another story and investigation is under way. If any of my friends here understand how they function and a possible cure please let me know. :thumbsup:

              Next year I will scarify, fill the dips in the lawn, over seed then plant a few shrubs. The general idea with both back and front gardens (when they are at a workable point) is to have them pretty maintenance free and left as far as possible to nature. I'm getting on a bit :old: and think this is the way to go. :) It will also be in keeping with a rural area, a well maintained suburban type of garden would look out of place.
               
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                Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
              • Sheal

                Sheal Total Gardener

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                Hi Trunky and thank you. :) You may have noticed I took a long break from GC and on return I've checked out your thread, but as yet haven't had time for comment. I'm keeping my eye on it though. ;)

                I'm sure people move house just so they don't have to pay out for a new and expensive heating system. :biggrin: Oil fed boilers are more costly than others. You also had the sense to wait until summer to replace yours. :thumbsup: Having said that the state and noise of one of our pumps was so bad we actually thought it was going to explode on occasions. Anyway, we're both warm and cosy now.

                You're right about the snowballing with jobs and one leading to another, in fact quite often it creates a backtracking situation. We think we're making progress but dealing with one job adds another to the list.

                I think you've made more progress than me gardening, at least it looks as if you're achieving things. I'm working out there and although I can see improvement, yourself and others would think, well what has she done? I am grafting believe me..... weather permitting!

                It does feel like home and we're happy here. :) When other half Pete and I were house hunting we knew from the start the area and situation would be more important than the roof over us. We were a little wary of buying a modern bungalow as our other homes had been a minimum of fifty years old. This is a whole new ball game, I've not had hollow walls before! :doh:

                I wish you all the best with your new home. I know you were sceptical about the move but I'm sure you're glad you made it now.
                 
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                • Marley Farley

                  Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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                  Defo get those filled with the foam injection.. My friends did that to theirs and the difference was amazing anD also savings on heating, a big difference..

                  I can see exactly why to had to buy the place.. What amazing surroundings.! A great size garden that extends with the eye.. Very Envious... When we came here we had fantastic views but within 15 yrs they were snatched away from us by the builders, but I still love my cottage and garden.. :SUNsmile:
                   
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                  • Fat Controller

                    Fat Controller Cuddly Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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                    Second vote for the cavity insulation injection - we had ours done, and it made a remarkable difference. They couldn't do the front wall, upstairs (so our bedroom front wall) due to timber cladding on the outside, and ours is the coldest room in the house in winter.
                     
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                    • Scrungee

                      Scrungee Well known for it

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                      In England, over 20 years ago, Building Regs would have required the cavities to be filled with sheet insulation (AKA batts) as they were constructed see pic below. The width of cavities was increased to accommodate this.

                      Was that not the case in Scotland?

                      In England non-compliance should have been picked up in the Energy Performance Certificate.



                      [​IMG]
                       
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                        Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
                      • Jack McHammocklashing

                        Jack McHammocklashing Sludgemariner

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                        Sheal
                        Scottish Government have a free wall and loft insulation scheme - linked to energy suppliers
                        either search Scottish Gov/insulation or your energy suppliers site

                        Regards Jack McH
                         
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                        • Sheal

                          Sheal Total Gardener

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                          Thank you Marley. :) Having moved house a number of times I've learnt by mistakes in the past. The lie of the land at the back here, inaccessibility and the fact it's all owned by the huge Lovat Estate makes it a very slim chance that it would be built on. You must have been very upset when the builders moved in.

                          My bungalow is wood framed and the outer walls were insulated on building. It's a warm place during the winter and we rarely have the heating on all day, even during freezing weather. It's the inner hollow walls I'm having trouble getting used too. Not being brick but just plasterboard it's a whole different ball game when it comes to maintenance and attaching things like picture hooks.
                           
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                          • Sheal

                            Sheal Total Gardener

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                            The first week of November last year saw our first snow fall and the last of five in late April. Surprisingly we missed out on the 'beast from the east'. This was the first major snow in the Highlands since 2008/9 I'm told. Many think the climate here is cold but that's not so. Yes, we have lower temperatures in the winter months and overnight can see drops to -15C/5F on occasion. During the rest of the year there isn't much difference to the rest of the country. Temperatures this year rose to the upper 20's C or 80F, my back garden being south-east facing as high as 38C/100F on a few occasions. The flower baskets and planters, full of annuals in my local town are still in bloom.

                            With last winter in mind Pete and I decided that we must garage our car this coming winter. The garage being pretty much full, a shed was necessary and after a search decided to buy from a local company that builds and sells sheds, wood supplied from their sawmill. The site we chose at the sheltered side of the bungalow was a slight problem when it came to laying the concrete base. This little chap was smack bang in the middle, one of three in the garden. An orchid, no more than four or five inches tall.

                            Orchid.JPG

                            Having researched them, apparently they don't like being moved. In a quandary I made the decision, with the others in existence, that it was to meet it's demise and allowed the men to prepare the site for the base. A couple of hours later, the base down, a finger was pointed to a deep turf, a square foot in size. There was my little orchid, dug out - rescued, to be planted elsewhere. :)

                            The shed, an 8 x 6ft is up with two coats of the recommended stable coating and now home to the contents of the garage. The orchid is in another area of the garden, hoping I see it again next year.

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                            I had it built about 5ft back from the line of the front of my bungalow. The intention being to disguise the back with plants. At this point I'm leaning towards Taxus Baccata.
                             
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                            • Marley Farley

                              Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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                              Oh yes I can imagine that would be a pain, I thought you meant the outer walls.. Yes timber frame are usually very warm as my S in L had one for a while and it hardly used the heating..

                              Yes I was very upset when they decided to build in front of us but used to it now, but I do feel a little envious of your outlook @Sheal ..;) :SUNsmile:
                               
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                              • Jack McHammocklashing

                                Jack McHammocklashing Sludgemariner

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