Here are the promised photos from yesterday…
The recreation area just before we moved in last summer, it had been over grown and so we had it completely cleared and then seeded the lawn ourselves.
This is next one is before we started the work, on a very wintery day. The lawn seeded nicely and proved a great place to picnic last summer.
This last pictures show the completed recreation area. 6 raised beds, one huge climbing frame and 112 bags of bark. The very bottom hasn’t been edged or barked yet as that will have to wait for the trench to be dug first.
What a day. We did set our alarm for six am and did actually get up, though it was cold and we were miserable. We did manage to make real progress though and the main body of the climbing frame is now built and the monkey bars are attached. J has started to put the boundary around the recreation area, one side out of the three we are doing now is done. I’ve moved another 30 bags of bark and we’ve started to open up and empty some of the bags of bark. It is really starting to take shape. The one unfortunate downside is that J managed to snap one of the screws in one of the bits of the slide so we’ve had to order a new bit. That means until the new part arrives we can’t add the slide on.
C was so excited when she saw it, yesterday she had seen the picture in the instruction booklet and thought it was a house for the chickens. Today when she saw it all constructed she realised it was for her. She’s mastered the stairs already although at present without the slide there is no way for her to get down. She has been using the slide extender as a slide and loves it. I also managed to paint the bottom of the climbing frame, where the bark will touch to keep it nice and well preserved. Painting the rest will have to be done in stages I feel.
There is still no sign of any eggs from the chickens, although I did find a nest in the pampas grass with two blue eggs in, we think they might be a blackbirds but aren’t sure. The Boss escaped again today, not sure how exactly, but she wandered through to where we were working so J and I had to usher her back in. No idea how she managed to get out, but hopefully once the fencing is electrified that will stop her attempts.
This is where we are at by close of play today.
This is the area before we started.
So today we started work on the recreational area. Basically we have bought C the mother of all climbing frames and are going to build that next to the raise beds. Then we are planning to put down bark surrounding the climbing frame and raised beds. Why can’t we just keep the grass? Well grass requires mowing. Weekly. And strimming around the edges. And is really awkward to do around a climbing frame. And basically we really want it to look nice and didn’t think we had enough going on already. So we are creating a big rectangle around the raised beds and the climbing frame, using a turf stripper to remove the turf around the edges and placing down a membrane (which needs like a million pegs holding it down). Bark goes on the membrane and then the area is bordered by some half round wooden beams ( which should keep the bark in the right area and also should be easy enough to roll a wheelbarrow over. Sounds fairly simple right? Wrong. So day one most of the day was spent on stripping the turf and moving it to the skip. Then mowing the rest of the grass as short as possible before laying out the membrane. Of course that wouldn’t be too bad if the wind hadn’t picked up and kept blowing the membrane away as we tried to secure it. Added to that it was Easter Sunday so I had to coordinate a roast lamb dinner and apple crumble with a toddler who basically wanted to do the exact opposite of everything I wanted her to do.
Tomorrow J’s going to start building the climbing frame on top of the membrane whilst I attempt to finish off the membrane and continue to move bags of bark. We’re not going to open the bags yet until the border is completed but given that we have 112 ninety litres bags of bark to move, the more we can get in place the better. C spent a good part of today digging up wormy wormys and taking them over to the chickens who are still in their run and finding their feet. The Boss is still taking over somewhat but they don’t seem unhappy….still no eggs yet though but suspect I’m being ambitious hoping for one already.