Greenish antics of Nige to grow, build and make a gr8 world

Greenish antics – frugal, growing, trying and sharing

The main BEFORE shots…. April 26, 2007

Filed under: Allotment,Gardening,Uncategorized — Canvas Summer Nige @ 11:03 pm

I need to provide the BEFORE STORY so that I can update on the developments as they happen slowly with time.

 Composite shot: BEFORE - Breens back garden

Close up of allotment site #1 (nearest field) : BEFORE - Allotment site 1


Not quite as prepped as planned….

Filed under: Gardening — Canvas Summer Nige @ 10:49 pm

—– To provide the full story, the following is an archive post written before we moved to the Breens and the day now after the planned prep day in the garden to get a head start 


Mon 12 March 2007

Well shortly after writing the previous entry, we got a little shaken by some concerns from the landlord that almost suggested he was reconsidering us as tenants.  It was due to his worries about us having the young baby with the pond next door, rough ground at the bottom of the garden etc.  I met him on Saturday morning and walked around, talked about some parts etc.  He was also not keen for us to start gardening until the contract was signed but I pleaded to at least be able to cut/strim some of the grass which was getting quite long.  This he said was ok, and I did well – with mate Alex S coming down to help for a few hours.  We also procured some horse manure by some car boot loading from a local stables and Alex brought some bagged mushroom compost from our mate Michael who runs a supplies company!  Unfortunatly we just had to stash this stuff for another time when the landlord feels ok about us starting.

So just sods law after writing the previous blog entry, that we would be prevented from getting cracking really.  I did do a bit of digging on the patchy areas of grass to dig in some compost and lay some grass seed so that was fun, and hopefully will actually result in something!  We (Ema) also took a bit of minor weeding a little too far (though well) on the planter area, and I hope that the landlord doesn’t get stroppy with us having done that when he had said yes to grass cutting.

Even with that day’s activity I felt the work straining my body, but in a good way. And hope it’s all a build work/training for some hardcore digging and soil prep over the next few weeks.

We’ve also added a new challenge to our list – to somehow fence off the top section of garden/grass to a) protect Erin from toppling over the wall, and b) allow her to have a little more of a free run outside with less supervision.  We’ll need to decide on a fencing approach however and then buy and put this in.  Short term strategy – play pen bars!!


Green start —–> day -12

Filed under: Gardening — Canvas Summer Nige @ 10:41 pm

———–To provide the full story, the following is an archive post written before we moved to the Breens and the day before the planned prep day in the garden to get a head start 



Fri 9 March 2007

This is a pre-breens outdoor kick-off day entry.  The day before we embark on a gardening life at a new house.  I have excitedly bought a wheelbarrow, soil testing kit, some twine, a tough bucket and some g-clamps (for woodwork bench).  Tonight I will be collecting a loaned woodwork bench (now my second in 3 days) and a power tool including wood saw attachment. 

It’s a very exciting prospect for me – just generally and selfishly but it also is a potential healing and rewarding/satisfying future for Ema and the girls in the family.  Where we have been since I joined the ladies in life we have not had any outdoor life at the family house.  The current place is my domain in terms of gardening, although the girls we have got to playing out there after the first year.  It’s really not appealing to Ema in the slightest. 
Erin loves it but can’t go out for much at all due to safety fears or sheer impracticality.

So the vision of all contributing, all enjoying, 80% of time spent outdoors in the summer months is just a near-idyllic dream.  Of course, I expect that the girls interest in any work will wane to absolute minimal levels within minutes of starting tomorrow, and that the practicalities of looking after
Erin plus her general back health will limit what Ema can do.  But even with this, and coming back to the excitement I feel for my own activities foreseen – It could a very bright outlook.

The book I’m reading – Alloted time – about a depressed divorcee and his mate deciding to get an allotment and start from scratch (including knowledge) is very funny, close to my mindset and position and hopeful quite educational.  It’s funny to be in the place where I am today – about to start tomorrow (weather dependant) – which matches pretty closely to the place in the book where I am or have just read.  The author is also quite reflective and quite hippy at times about the lifecycle and natures forces that you get close to or work with.  Again – another excitement factor for me and I hope I can provide musings in the same style.

I must remember to take pictures before I start anyway for the ‘before’ shots and the ‘during’.  Wish me luck.


The first shoots of greenish antics April 19, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Canvas Summer Nige @ 9:37 pm

Start of a blog.  Wow.  Taken me a few weeks to get it started although I captured some blog entries in Word earlier that I’ll put up to start things off.  Philosophy? To capture the evolution of nigey-greenish antics.  The birth of an allotment, the experimentation with turfing and other garden tasks, the experience of an old farm cottage in the countryside and the sheer haven’t-got-a-clue-how-it-will-turn-out of woodwork and DIY.

 It’s all been inspired with the move to the Breens cottage in the Sussex rural landscape, UK.  The cottage offer me and the girls of my life a behemouth of a garden to get stuck into – and it needed getting stuck into to get it sorted and suitable for our enjoyment.

 I hope all readers enjoy and offer some advice back where neccessary…. greenish antics onwards….

Breens from the back garden: 2 Breens Cottages