Slow living and clearing broken tiles at Pumpjack Piddlewick

It is wonderful to actually see hope. Our upper garden is currently a dug up chaos. Roof tiles off the barn had slid down and over the years been buried in soil (and other detritus), mounding up against its sides. It’s been nicknamed the Big Dig (1).

Slowly, very, very slowly, I have been clearing the piles of tiles, stones, chicken wire, old nails (and odd find for our shop) away. This last week, with the aid of a very dear visiting friend, we have almost completely cleared one side of the mound.

There are now big square cut rocks, broken terracotta tiles and mountains of soil dotted about the rest of the garden. But, the way has been made clear for our future summer kitchen / bbq / pizza oven / wok entertaining area.

It has been dubbed by our neighbour ‘Le Piscine’ (the pool) as, after digging everything out, the area now starts about 3 feet deep near the barn. The ground slopes gently away, so there will be a ‘shallow end’ as the floor of the patio makes its way into the rest of the garden.

There is still a little more clearing to do, mostly of good soil (being used to mound up the potatoes), and a few large rocks to get out (to be used in repairing the staircase at the end of the garden).

A mound of broken tiles need to move from between Le Piscine and our flower garden, but that is for another day. Yes, once done, some of that same tile rubble will be used as aggregate and put down as a foundation and drainage in Le Piscine, before topping with concrete.

Then it will be time to build the cooking area. Maybe in time for (next) summer? In the meantime, a pair of chairs, a sudo table and we at least have an aperitif area. With a view of a pile of rubble.

Interested in our restoration garden work? Photos can be found on Flickr (Pictures are sorted into albums, but we are behind in captioning with all the digging going on.)


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