May 2013

There was almost too much going on this month to write about – over 180 photos to sift through.   With the good weather arriving (and condensation on the outside of the windows!) we abandoned doing almost anything inside and focussed all efforts on the new openings for various door and windows, the harling and the gardens.  First up, here are some photos showing the prep work for the harling, including rebuilding part of the wall, opening up and cleaning out the drains, hacking off the old render, taking off the downpipes and much, much more…

So, after spending days removing the old render guess what came next?  You guessed it.  Putting the new harling back on!  This included the tedious but very necessary ‘tarping up’ and dampening down to stop the harling drying out too fast.  It wont be until the end of June if not beyond that we actually get the lime wash on (all 6 coats of it) and the scaffold down…  Thanks go to Hans and his team (Trevor & Scott) from Masonry & Lime for all their very hard work and expertise.

Getting on with the main structural alterations also preoccupied us in May (when I say ‘us’, I really mean Dave).   The new opening for the french doors was completed, as was the new window opening in the affectionately called “Walter Scott” room (including a ‘royal Wave’) and a very impressive start was made on the new courtyard window opening (including the removal of a very rotten lintel… or should that be ‘branch’).  On top of this we managed to get some of the new lintels installed in the main hall…lots to go though!

Before showing you whats been going on in the garden the guys from Listed Window Refurbishment completed another three of the new windows:

The garden turned into a magical place as soon as the weather improved.  Lots of fun was had with the Quad bike, lawn tractor and strimmers (thanks Aisling – what a star!)  And before anyone asks, yes, we have bolted a towing hitch to an antique garden roller…

Mum did a fantastic job re-weeding the rhododendron bed and digging the herbaceous border (photos next month for it really starting to take shape).  Mike spent a lot of time sorting out the aftermath from the drilling rig on the back lawn (and wished he’d done it sooner)  as well as starting on the seating areas either side of the entrance to the garden.  Tony almost killed himself replanting roses only to have the lambs try and undo his hard work and the path started to takes shape and the first of the planters were filled (a lovely present from Dayle – thank you!)

And this wasn’t all.  Liam and Louise started clearing the Yew Avenue (affectionatley known from hereon as the ‘Yavenue’), producing a moster bonfire which unfortunately they didn’t have the chance to see.  Tony built yet more of the Ha ha – which looks fantastic from the field in case anyone fancies a walk.  The rose garden by the front door just looks better and better despite the best attempts from the trespassing lambs.  The small walled garden showed just how fertile it is with weeds springing up all over the place (look Dad, we found the rhubard!)  The daffodils came into full bloom before passing the baton to the start of the bluebells (just wait till you see next months photos!) And last but by no means least, we had a near miss from a falling tree.  Phew!

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