Today’s our last day of the St. Patrick’s Day/Easter break – given the way public holidays fell this year in Ireland, I was able to take just 3 days off work and get a break from the office from Saturday 15th to today – I’m back in the office tomorrow.

We’ve spent the holiday sharing ourselves out between visiting my parents in Wicklow, getting away for a short stay in Athlone (with EB staying in Wicklow, the first time we’ve ever left her over night [she managed it better than we did!]) and visiting my in-laws in Carrickfergus.

We got back home last night, and despite enjoying my time off, I thought I really should have something to show for the few days off work (although you know what they say about time you enjoy wasting…)

It’s been a few years since we last did anything major to the back garden, and since we recently had the front drive re-paved, and a small patio installed in the back garden, the rest of the garden was starting to look a bit shabby.

So here’s the plan:

  • take up the gravel path we laid a few years back
  • re-level the back garden, creating proper raised beds this time
    (perhaps even a brick wall here & there ?)

Again, I’m still not exactly in Diarmuid Gavin or Monty Don territory, but I’d just like to neaten up the place a bit, and hopefully end up with a garden where we’ll be able to play with EB during the summer and read a few books in peace. Bobby McFerrin has it right – simple pleasures are the best.

I tackled the first part today, taking up the gravel path – which meant moving about 1.5 tonnes of gravel from the path, saving it in a large hessian bag to lay down again later. It was heavy manual work, and I suspect I’ll be a bit stiff tomorrow.

The next step will be done this coming weekend, weather permitting, when I’ll hire a rotavater, and get to work trying to level the garden out a bit (the grass currently slopes gradually towards the house, resulting in slightly damp (mossy) grass towards the bottom). No doubt this will result in more stealth potatoes, but I can take ’em.

In the meantime, the back garden looks slightly chaotic – but it’ll get worse before it gets better.

(sorry for the laundry in that picture above, the sharp-eyed reader will notice a “FSCK You” t-shirt hanging on the line. Note to self: this can be a bad choice of apparel when visiting your parents! :-)