Wading through broken roof tiles at PumpjackPiddlewick

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, along with other detritus, mounding up against the walls. It’s been nicknamed the Big Dig.

Slowly, very, very slowly, years now, I have been clearing the piles of tiles, stones, chicken wire, old nails (and odd find for our shop) away. This last week, I have once more commenced on digging. The afternoons are hot here, but luckily the way the sun moves means that the Big Dig is in shade in the afternoon.

Big Dig 1, Side A

The back of our stone barn has a door into it, almost in the middle. This nicely divided our efforts into two halves. One side has now been completely dug out and turned into a patio seating area.

We called this area Big Dig 1 and our neighbour dubbed it ‘Le Piscine’ (the pool) as, after digging everything out, the area now starts about 3 feet deep near the barn. A sort of sunken patio. The ground slopes gently away, so there is a ‘shallow end’ as the floor of the patio makes its way into the rest of the garden.

Big Dig 1, Side B

On the other side, or Big Dig 1 Side B, we are now facing the final stretch. There is still a little more clearing to do, as well as shifting wood piles and some very large old timbers.

There are always piles of square cut rocks, broken terracotta tiles and soil mounded up to be dealt with. The stones will go into re-building our stone wall. There is a constant mound of broken tiles that needs breaking up further and moved to the veg garden. I save that job for when I want some easy quiet work.

And the mound of dirt? Well, there is always a need for dirt somewhere in the garden, but this time it might stay where it is. Something has to be used to fill back in the gaping hole in our eventual cooking area.

Eventually, hopefully this year, all will be cleared and we can finally commence making our patio cooking area. We have big plans. As always. This patio will be of flagstone. (La Piscine is gravel, recycled from the courtyard.) It will have a built in cooking area/BBQ/Pizza oven. And, if we are feeling really ambitious, an outdoor fireplace. I hope we are feeling ambitious.

Interested in more about our restoration garden work?

Particularly interested in our restoration work? Especially our restoration garden work? Check out our Garden Findings and Archeology Posts. Photos can be found on Flickr. (Pictures are sorted into albums.)

Our Archeological Finds in our Shop

Our Restoration Wish List

If you would like to have a, sort of, hand in our restoration we have set up a Wish List on Amazon of items we must buy to help us restore our old house and garden. Should you wish to help with any of these (anonymously or not), you can purchase and they will be sent direct to us.


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