Cottage garden

The tump

My husband calls it the tump but to me this is a very neglected rockery.

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Whatever you call it this mound of stones, Earth, plants and general rubbish needs to go. Mainly because where it is currently located will end up being in my pantry when we extend the cottage. So I have, rather foolishly, decided to move it. By hand. To the corner of the cottage garden behind the weeping pear tree. What a totally ridiculous idea that was. The idea behind keeping it came mainly from something my father-in-law said about the character of the cottage being lost. As the cottage and the gardens had been left untended for quite a while they have ended up very over grown and we have had to make some pretty harsh decisions in cutting things back to make it both more alive and more manageable. So, to try to save some of the character I’m going to try to save the tump. This basically involves digging out and green binning the dead root and unwanted plants (that is putting them into our garden waste bin). Then separating out some of the stones and transporting them to their new location. Then moving some of the good soil from inside the tump to dump on the stones in their new place. Then trying to dig out and save some of the bulbs to transfer. Then repeating the process. Again. And again. And again. So far I’ve spent a few hours working on it with C and whilst we have made some progress it has been hampered by the hunt for ‘wormy wormys’.

A few weeks ago C went to a birthday party, probably one of the best we’ve been to actually, where they had an animal encounter where the children could hold/touch/scream at animals including frogs, tortoises, scorpions, cockroaches, spiders and snakes. C had mainly decided to squeak at them but had braved touching a few although she was a bit scared of the spider and the frog (if I’m honest I was extremely grateful that she didn’t want to hold the tarantula). So I had decided to try and encourage her to not be afraid of bugs so started the task of digging for worms. What a ridiculous mistake that was. So now everytime we dig I end up spending most of the time squatting next to C a digging for worms. When we find a worm we have to pick him up and stroke him and then generally put him in one of the plant pots of soil.  We have a particular pot which is hers and this is where she is collecting the worms. And snail shells which seem to be in abundance in the tump. All in all this has resulted in very slow progress on what was already going to be a long slog of a job. It had better be worth it!

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