You have all been wondering what has happened about THE WALL situation I blogged about in March. The news is not good - in fact the reason I haven't told anyone about it is it has just been too drainingly tedious for words. Just the sort of nightmare I predicted having years of experience and filing cabinets full of post-builder correspondence which has left me pretty much phobic about having anything else done. Unfortunately, in a house and garden built in 1900 there is always going to be something.
At the time of the last blog about it the walls had not survived the winter and had dissolved dangerously in parts making its immediate removal a necessity. Mad Andy - who might be mad but is very hardworking, trustworthy and reliable - was going to remove them leaving the area clear for a proper landscaper to finish off neatly and install new fencing.
At the beginning of April I called a recommended landscape firm explaining that it wasn't the most glamorous of jobs - basically some building works and erecting a fence - but that I wanted the job done properly and by people who would show some care and sensitivity towards the garden. The point was also strongly made that as the crumbling wall was being removed the following week that time was of the essence and the works needed doing as soon as possible after that.The landscaper visited and seemed happy to take on the job. The original quotation figure they gave me seemed rather expensive but worth it to get the work done properly and speedily by people that I wouldn't find to onerous to have to cope with when they invaded my house and garden.
[At this point I deleted my long and boring diatribe detailing events but suffice to say that I was let down badly by someone who clearly couldn't be arsed to do the job, forgot various details I had asked him about, took ages to produce an updated quotation full of innacurate figures, led me to believe that the job might take place end of April or early May, etc. etc. etc. until I had such a bad feeling about the whole thing I gave up with them. The firm hasn't contacted me since sending the second quotation so I guess they weren't interested but failed to bother to tell me this.]
Landscaper no.2 was contacted and seemed to know his stuff and at less than half the price of the first one didn't appear to be taking the piss. Because Landscaper no.1 had wasted a month during which, of course, everyone's work schedules had been booked up, Landscaper no.2 can't start until end of June.
To say I am pissed off is an understatement. In the belief that works would take place in April/early May we hacked back all our shrubs along the wall to allow access and dug up and potted many of the border plants that were likely to get destroyed in the process. It was imperative to get the fence in early so I could replant this and other new shrubs in order to have the garden look good this year. The shrubs are now regrowing and will have to be cutback again for the fencing to be put in. Much of the stuff I potted up isn't really happy and it has been a huge job watering it all. I have had to restrain myself in my usual horticultural retail therapy as there is nowhere for anything to go and stuff that I have not been able to resist is languishing in pots. Late spring and early summer is my absolute favourite time in the garden and it is still a mess. I am heartbroken.
Worse, we hadn't realised that our garden was 18" lower than the one above and that the wall was the only thing stopping it from collapsing into our garden in the event of a monsoon. Luckily rain hasn't been forthcoming - yet. The neighbours ageing fence was also supported by our wall so that is near collapse too and is support by some bags of rubble on both his and our sides making the garden look even more like a building site.
On the other side of our garden we now have an open plan effect with the elderly neighbours wildlife garden and her appalling fence. It has to be said that the cats love this if nobody else does. We are having her fence removed and our new one will form the boundary a cost which we will cover but it will mean the whole thing looks neater.
Plus the fencing that I wanted was originally on special offer which due to the delay in ordering has now finished costing me another few hundred pounds!
All of this couldn't have come at a worse time for various personal reasons that I won't bore readers with but
I am denied the relaxation that the garden would normally bring me when I really need it. Sometimes it is just all too much.
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