A stick, a jam jar and a piece of string

Back in the autumn, once we’d finished the gite garden and put up the fence, we discovered a little bonus garden, a long, narrow triangle outside the bedroom windows, which was ripe for improvement. After much consideration, we decided to build a low wall on one side, with a flower bed and a step to take out the difficult-to-do-anything-with-slope. Maybe one day, I’ll pebble mosaic the step, but for now, it’s just gravel.

Initially we thought we’d just put the rest of the garden to grass, but then found a lovely small tree with year round interest (an amelanchier lamarkii), which would be perfect. However, never having been accused of doing things the easy way, we thought it would be nice to surround the tree with something, maybe use some of the heap of slate slabs in the back garden; but what? Eventually, we chose the form of a spiral,which could then lead into a path winding the length of the garden. Drawing an accurate spiral isn’t easy though; I did some research and found the best way was to tie a stick onto the end of a length of string, the other end of which was attached to a jam jar. The string was then wound round the jam jar and unwound to draw the spiral onto the ground. Sounds easy, but we had to get the distance between the lines of the spiral exact so the slates didn’t need too much cutting; several jam jars of different diameters later, we found the right one.

Nick cut the slates to shape and I laid them on a bed of cement; one day soon, I’ll fill in the gaps with little white pebbles, but we only got so far before the weather changed and we had the wettest autumn on record. Planting the tree was interesting as it seemed likely that it would float in the hole we dug for it, which filled up with water constantly; at least we didn’t have to water the tree in. Next month we can put down grass seed and hopefully, it’ll look lovely.

It was probably as well that it rained, as we really should have started preparation inside the house earlier for the arrival of our entire family for Christmas. But that’s for another post, which I’ll try to do soon, now that I’ve found out how to get photos from my phone onto the blog.