I have a mountain of earth to move. It equates to 6 truckloads of good quality swamp-like soil from ‘up near Froggies’ near where we used to live. I feel confident it will be a fabulous growing medium for my new garden and it appears to be weed free. It has been hanging about for a couple of months now and nothing nasty has reared its head. This is always a great relief when taking delivery of soil from an unknown location.
The earth needs moving for a couple of reasons. The first obvious one is I need to fill beds so I can be ready for the spring. There are a lot of beds, so it should make a good dent in the mountain. However, I have only constructed half the beds I need and want, because of the mountain. The bulldozer can’t adequately manoeuvre around it to flatten out the last little bit of garden in the front corner and the mountain of earth is where I want to put my tool shed and so it clearly needs moving at some point, so I can construct a shed to store my tools.
I should have thought more about it when I had the soil delivered, but the places that I think would have been ideal now – being easy access for digging from and out of the way of everything we have going on now, would have been in the way for the delivery of the house or even more frustrating would have been right where the caravan was that we were living in at the time. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. At the time it seemed like a good spot.
The great thing about this soil and something I will fully appreciate in the summer is it seems to hold water very well. This is a quality my plants will enjoy and will assist my water tank to stretch across the long hot summer I am hoping for this season. When dry this soil is light, crumbly and can best be described as fluffy. When wet it is clay-like, sticky and very heavy. A few days in the sun and it goes back to fluffy with the lightest touch of the rake.
But it is winter and in winter it rains… a lot! So I am trying to move a heavy, sticky mountain most days. It doesn’t make it fun. I have found after a day of rain – it makes good sense to wait until the sun has been on it a good few hours and then take the soil from the top and sides where it isn’t so claggy. It is slow going for me and in trying not to over exert myself I just do a few wheelbarrow loads at a time then go and do something else and come back to the garden a little later.
I have also hijacked our lovely builders helper a couple of times. It is amazing how fast a strapping young lad can move dirt. Hubby the Un-Gardener has also been fulfilling his role to dig on demand, although the demands on his real job are often incompatible with my demands in the garden. All can hope for really is a whole bunch of magical fairies to come along in the night and work their magic. Say it with me “I believe in fairies, I believe in fairies.”
In the meantime I’ll continue to plod on and slowly and steadily, knowing out of sheer determination I will get there in the end.
Come again soon – you’ll find me in the garden – digging.
Sarah the Gardener : o)