I was on a roll now. While still young and fit enough, I was going to take care of big things with a view to spending the rest of my life enjoying the easier pleasures of the garden. So with my new raised bed edifice all finished, and my new shed in a box in the garage, and the space ready to build it, I got on with the job.
The space beside the north side of the house had been destined to be a veg patch but, as it was constantly waterlogged after the slightest shower, I’d transformed it years before into a paved area and then covered it with sheds and greenhouse – just the right firm surface to attach the structures.
They say that it takes two to erect a metal shed. But there’s only me though, with a bit of thinking and planning, it’s fairly easy to do it single-handed. I’d allowed a day to sort the parts out and assemble the bits that need to be pre-assembled.
Then, a very early start the next day and in no time I had most of the walls up and was ready to add the roof. One thing you’ve got to remember that these metal sheds are flimsy affairs until you bold the last bit of the exterior in place. It’s too risky to leave part-assembled overnight.
Then I hit a small, unexpected snag. A sudden gust of wind caught a metal panel and that sliced a finger quite deeply. Because I have to take anti-clotting drugs, I couldn’t stop the bleeding and ended up with an unscheduled visit to the local A&E to have a stitch put into my finger. This took about 2 hours out of my day.
But, stitched and bandaged, I returned to the fray and, by 10pm, the shed was finished. Would have been 8pm without my little accident.
The next day saw the new shed shelved and everything moved from the jumble inside the other old one – a nice leisurely day. I was happy. Another day and the remaining old shed had been consigned to the great metal recycling centre.
A couple of days to concentrate on removing horsetail from the new raised bed and then the new greenhouse was delivered. Getting this up was a much simpler job than the shed because, of course, it’s an open frame until you start putting the glass in so I could take my time. The four sides were put together and laid on the lawn – that took a day. Then another day to move the sides into position and fix them together before adding the roof and other bits and pieces. I went to bed a very happy chappie.
Final day saw the glass going in and the staging and shelving being fitted inside. Job done.
When looking back through the few photos I’d taken I realised that I’d started clearing the area for the raised bed thing in June. The greenhouse was finished in early September. Even allowing for pauses whilst waiting for deliveries, I’d done the lot in three months. Which isn’t bad for a 62-year-old.
I’d also fitted in a fair amount of replanting in beds and borders. The rest of the year would be a fairly leisurely time for pottering around.
And so to 2016!