It is funny the way you get used to things. We’ve been out here living in a caravan for about 8 weeks or so. And in those 8 weeks there hasn’t been a whole lot of activity to be seen, except the arrival of the water tank the other week. It isn’t like things aren’t being done as behind the scenes the project manager has a finger in many pies, but for us here on the land, it feels like a big fat nothing. But it has become our new normal and this is our little world.
With all of the rain we’ve had since we’ve moved here, the grass has grown vigorously and so we did what comes naturally and we mowed it. The resulting expanse of well manicured green lawn that formed around the caravan was a sight to behold. It looked loved. It won’t be long before Neville is the one out there doing a grand job of keeping it looking well maintained all the time.
But as the house is due in a week, we decided to take things into our own hands before the truck arrives with the house. We had a lovely entrance driveway that was more than adequate for a wide car or truck. However, we wanted it wider – wide enough to park my car and Hubby the Un-Gardener’s car side by side with a fence across the front, with a gate in it wide enough for a vehicle should we need to get up close and personal to the garden or house. But we really want the land beyond the drive to be lawn that will be patrolled by Neville the robotic lawnmower, who is currently waiting impatiently in the container with all our other worldly possessions. The last thing we want is for him to be accidentally run over by a visitor not expecting to see a little blue machine bobbing about on the grass.
So our handy new neighbour came over with a bulldozer and realised our vision. However I wasn’t expecting it to be so… raw. There is sand all over the new drive and it looks like an angry scar in what was once a travel worn grass and gravel entrance. My initial thoughts were – ‘Oh my goodness, what have we done?’ But it is the first step in a process and it will eventually look nice again. The first step to rectifying it is a load of gravel to be spread across the sand to stop it blowing away and stopping vehicles from getting stuck. Gosh just imagine if the house got stuck just metres from its final destination…
Our handy neighbour had suggested a good rain would level out the sand and firm it down a little, and like it was requested, the following day began with rain so fierce there were actual waterfalls bouncing down the hill to form rivers through my lawn! Once again I found myself standing in ankle deep water. Once again I found myself asking ‘what have we done?’ I’ve spent enough time in floody gardens to have up sticks and moved to another. There was so much water. The kind of water that would take at least a week to drain at the old place. The neighbours said that it was an unusual amount and they’d never seen anything like it. Great. Out of the frying pan and into the fire. But then something interesting happened. It stopped raining and before my very eyes the puddles disappeared. Sandy soil does indeed have good drainage. Phew.
Just as I came to terms with the new temporary ugliness in our landscape, another opportunity arose that we couldn’t turn down. We were offered five large truck loads of excellent topsoil from a location I was familiar with and so I just had to say yes please. Five large truck loads of soil is a lot of soil! And with each load the truck drove through the sand and across the well mowed lawn in order to dump it where it needs to be – tucked out of the way until the time is right to spread it about and to fill raised beds. They reversed up through what would soon be my bedroom and then backed across the soon to be garden and in doing so added insult to injury their big fat wheels churned up my lawn. Arggh. But as they were delivering fine soil, I’ll let it slide. Just as well it happened before the house arrived or it may have been a tight squeeze, even with our enlarged driveway.
I guess this is just the start of things. You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs. There are foundations to be dug, septic systems to be installed and goodness knows what other abuses will happen to our plush lawn – aside from having a house plonked on top of most of it!
Things are still in a state of slow change, which is just as well as it would seem I’m not a great fan of change.
Come again soon – I need to find out exactly what this soil is all about, but it looks good from the outside.
Sarah the Gardener : o)