One of the things that I love about knitting and crochet is that if it doesn’t work, you can rip it all out and begin again, albeit whilst muttering some choice curses. Nothing is lost… other than fifteen hours of patient lacework, the chunk of hair that you pulled out in frustration, a smidgeon of your sanity, and most of a bottle of gin. But other than those little things, absolutely nothing is lost. Personally, that’s one of the reasons why I crochet/knit rather than sew.
(Since this post is all about what I’ve not been doing, I’m illustrating it with pictures of our family
procrastination outing down south to the beautiful New Forest yesterday.)
Anyway, what was I saying? Oh yes. For the past year, I’ve been working on redesigning our garden (the real-life one this time, not the crochet one here). Thus far, this has mostly comprised digging up shrubs and small trees, and accumulating a collection of broken 19th century clay pipes abandoned by the top-hatted men who presumably ran this place when it was a brewery. (A few pipe fragments were photographed in this post, but I’ve found far more since.)
But I need to get on with the next stage: planting fruit trees whilst it’s still winter, planting bulbs, and building a small circular patio of antique reclaimed bricks. (The idea is to create a cobbly moss-covered little patio with a wrought-iron bench and an overhanging cherry tree. The cherry tree is important: I want to honour the cherry-growing heritage of this village.) My slight anxiety about all of this seems to be manifesting itself as Olympic-standard procrastination. Yet it’s not even as though the garden is very large.
So I’ve identified a chap who’s prepared to sell me some fine ol’ reclaimed Victorian bricks. I’ve worked out how much sand and gravel I need. I even know what a ‘tamper’ is. And yet this feels like a big job for someone whose entire knowledge of building techniques was acquired via Google.
I just need to get on with it, don’t I?
The problem is that it’s not like knitting/crochet. I can’t simply frog the patio if I bodge it up, can I?
Anyway, there’s also the taxing issue of how to transport all those lovely bricks from where they’re currently stored to our house. There has been complex
procrastination calculation of likely weight per brick multiplied by the total number, compared with the carrying weight of my car. I reckon it’s a borderline case if you add in the weight of me driving. So I’ve been secretly eyeing up my smallest friends and wondering whether I could persuade them to drive my car to Banbury…
Sigh. I just need to put down the knitting and get on with it, don’t I?
Patio can be frogged if needed….and using a sledgehammer is very fun!
Oh…and the brick transport. Maybe two trips.
Sorry….yes, you do just have to get on with it.
Of course you may frog a patio – every year if needed. My very personal stoic spouse (there are more than one in the world) and I moved to our place 32 years ago – last year I got a paved patio after having raised my voice more than once.
So don’t hesitate – go on! (either with doing it yourself or with raising your voice, sometimes it may help!)
Margaret (Daisy) Lerner says
I read about New Forest in Edward Rutherford’s “The Forest” … thanks so much for the pics.
Keep Calm and Crochet On UK says
Had a lovely family holiday in the New Forest a couple of years ago – stunning place and your photos have really made me want to go back!
Jenny Whilde says
We frogged the patio and reknit it in a better location when we moved into our house. (At least the stones were there already). Go for it! Cant be harder than crocheting an entire garden!
We stayed in the New Forest (I believe the place was called Sandy Balls – yes, really) in a lovely cabin when the first son was 1. This was before we emigrated to Canada. And yes, just get on with the patio. I’m sure that with your creativity, it will be lovely.
Rainbow Junkie says
Great to see your photos of the forest. One of my favourite places for a walk. I paid someone to do my patio though when I was in my twenties I did lay one myself rather inexpertly. Bricks though should be easier, I was laying 2ft x 3ft concrete slabs. And you should be able to take it up if you don’t like it but I am sure you will do it well like your knitting and crochet.
Of course you can frog a patio, requires quite a lot more cursing, and loss of time… but it is doable. Your patio will be lovely, my dear old Dad did a patio with large heavy stones, moving them one at a time. Myself I hired some teenaged boys one Summer (by the hour mind you) to move 2 tons of gravel, up a hill into the back yard for a dog run. They got to competing with each other (testosterone can be a good thing sometimes) and I saw them running up the hill racing each other… they moved all that rock in just two hours (I paid them for 3 hrs…because I’m a softy). I’d highly recommend teenaged boys for any heavy lifting 🙂
As someone who had to take part in patio manufacture (from go to whoa) as part of her early horticulture studies, I say “frog away!” If it doesn’t work you are going to notice it very soon after you start laying those bricks so don’t panic about it. Just keep thinking of England as you lay the bricks or better, that lovely cherry tree arching to the sky, laden with ruby orbs for the kids to pick at will. The boys will be eating fruit, you will be able to bask in the joy of knowing that for at least a few weeks of the year you won’t have to push the veggies to be seen as a good mum feeding her kids healthy food and the bench will assist the plunder of the fruit. The lichen and the added exercise are all gravy. You have alkaline soil? We have acidic here. Please don’t tell me that we will end up with gorse! o_O
Mother Twisted says
It’s a lovely dream but experience tells me that the blackbirds will get the cherries first unless the tree.is netted and loses its gracefulness. Nature will win I’m afraid. Also the blackbirds will have the raspberries, the thrushes take the black currants and the jackdaws eat all the pears. They all take a few pecks from the apples too! Not that I’m a pessimist.
Best of luck to the blackbirds. We don’t have jackdaws and thrushes here but we do have sparrows. Sanctuary, where we have all of the fruit trees, was constructed to protect the plants inside (at the time vegetables) from wallabies and possums (who can climb) so we made it sturdy enough to prevent a most determined fat possum from invading Poland. We covered it with ex fish farm netting that is used to contain salmon in salmon farms and keep seals out and it has kept the possums out so far and blackbirds have nothing on a most determined possum. So far, fingers crossed, everything inside Sanctuary has remained safe this year. I know where you are coming from. I would use the word “realist” rather than pessimist as we too have lost everything to animals after a tasty dinner. We have had to evolve our growing to fit the mix here on Serendipity Farm. We live in Tasmania Australia so most of the birds you mention here we don’t have. I had to net off one of the wicking beds that we have tomatoes in as the blackbirds had decided that they quite liked tomatoes and now they can’t get in. I think it is all about determination and our human potential to keep at least some of our crops away from the ravening hoards. We are fiscally bereft here on Serendipity Farm and have to realise most of our dreams from what we can find here so we ramp up to the challenge whenever nature spits in our eye. I almost gave up vegetable gardening last year as we seemed to be pouring good time, energy and water into a minuscule harvest but then I discovered fridge wicking beds and our vegetable futures are shored up. It’s all about determination and a stubborn refusal to give in. I think there are solutions for just about everything. We might not have thought about how to solve things but all it really takes is a decent problem to get those brain cogs working. Thank you for your comment. I truly know where you are coming from 🙂
Kitten WAW says
Can I frog a patio? No, but I can salamander a veranda! OK, I admit – I am the reason Vaudeville committed suicide. I really feel what you’re saying about all your knowledge coming from Google. That’s quite often enough, but if I’m stalling a project because my online research hasn’t brought my comfort level up to the starting point, it’s time to turn away from the computer and rediscover the human race. I look for what I call a “starter coach”, someone to just talk me thru the last of the self-doubts in the type of conversation that can really only happen face to face.
Thanks for the beautiful pics, it’s wonderful to see the ponies looking so healthy and hardy.
Design once, lay in place…step back and look at it for a day or two to see if you really like it. If you don’t, you can still move them around if needed before you commit…. Then you can set things firmly in place….and Heckenhocker is right…using a sledgehammer is fun.
Katie Writes Stuff says
You could always add frogs to the patio. For ambience.
The same admirable set of skills you use to make patterns with will work for the patio. and yes, you can take something apart if it’s wrong. Same fifteen hours lost…Good luck. You’ll enjoy it once you get started.
As you’ve read all the comments about frogging a patio I won’t mention that. I can give you a good advice. Leave it to others. I design gardens for pleasure, the making is done by professional gardeners. It’s bad for your back, your hands and If you find no fun in it you better leave it to others. Make a good groundplan with measurements and the raw contours of your garden will be there. For you to plant the lovely cherry tree ( take a kiku shidare, it’s gorgeous) and the flowers.That like crochet and knitting, it grows under your hands. x
leelah saachi says
and think about all the lovely photos of this garden (the one from Nature-nature) you will have to share!
And i DO believe in magic: putting the wishes for what you need in the hands of the invisible Nature deva and say, I want this! I allow you to provide! and then have a good giggle at your gumption(if that is a word) and just SEE it happens. – My good sister in law did that, not believing in it at all – about an apartment she wanted. It took her one day . With your magic, dear Phil, you will certainly pull it off – set it in motion – give openings for awesome help that you did not even imagine. I look forward to the post where you share how help has manifested in magical UNEXPECTED ways.
The thing is, you have no control over HOW you will get help – just put it out there, as clear as you know, WHAT you need shall happens – and then the HOW is not up to you.
What do you think?
much love and buckets of trust in your magic
Gorgeous photos, looks like a great day to enjoy and explore nature 🙂
Cricket Fox says
what great shots
Born To Organize says
I often put off this very sort of project for fear of getting it wrong. Sometimes, I’ve learned, you need to spend that time in your head first. Perhaps a list breaking the project down into smaller goals will help. You already have the vision and some of the resources, so hurrah for that. Perhaps you can hire someone to haul the bricks so that you don’t damage your car. Good luck. I can’t wait to see the finished patio.