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30/12/2014 at 11:46

Fridge freezer has arrived and in place.I have to wait four hours before switching on and wash all the inside fixtures, then another four hours before I can put food in it so seven o'clock tonight is all systems go.  It certainly is very smart and shows up what needs cleaning in the kitchen but then I knew it would.  Perhaps a Premium Bond will come good in the New Year and let me have a cleaning firm in for a few hours.  The half hour it took to get all the packaging off the shelves knackered me so I think heavy cleaning is beyond me now.  Changing beds, vacuuming, dusting and inside windows I can still do and of course gardening.

31/12/2014 at 09:32

Last day of this thread and my goodness I have enjoyed it.  Thank you all for reading and for your lovely comments and input.  Today I will reminisce not just about this wonderful gardening year- the weather was so kind to my garden this year - but abiout the highs and lows of the last fifty years.  The part the animals have played in the saga makes a good place to start as it is a wildlfe garden, indeed designated the Best Wildlife Garden in Bristol 1990 and 92.  

The foxes caused one of the lows when they massacred our 55 hens and ducks.  I shall never forget the children's faces that day. But then later on when our finances dictated after my husband died that the garden earn its keep I shall always remember the delight on the faces of the French children, aged 7 to 17 who came to learn English when they saw the fox cubs playing with the toys the vixen had brought them from neighbouring gardens.

Frogs too have been a delight.  From the perpetually wet T shirt my youngest child had from carrying his "pet" frog around the garden in his pocket to the older ones that dutifully scrambled over the shoes of the Judges from the Keep Britain Tidy organisation who awarded the wildlife prizes.

I shall add more of my reminiscences throughout today as I return some food to the kitchen now it has a working fridge freezer and put the "old year" dirt out of the house like Scotswomen are doing the world over.


31/12/2014 at 10:46

Its been a wonderful thread Marion - thanks so much for sharing it all with us - never fails to make me smile .

Wishing you all the very best for 2015 - I'll be following all the goings on next year with interest.

31/12/2014 at 11:06

Awww TY chicky.  To continue my reminiscences it was not just the wild animals that bring back the smiles and tears.  About forty years ago we used to "borrow" a nanny goat in the summer to keep the grass down for playing football.  She escaped her tether one day and I spent the rest of the day after bringing her back to the garden searching for well grown wallflower plants in the local shops to replace the ones she had eaten in the neighbours' gardens.  She delighted in butting the youngest, then two, who would come running into the kitchen dusting off his clothes and spitting out "I hate that Jenny".  A hug and a cake would sort it out and a warning to keep away.

But then i have much more welcome visitors.  My garden is stuffed with trees and shrubs now - no grass but oodles of fruit and veg and flowers.  Which means loads of safe places for the birds who love the delights like grapes they can find here and are not at all fazed by the six or so cats which visit from the seven neighbouring gardens that abound mine.  Some I know the name of and can get to do roll over tricks and pose for my camera, some I just make up names for.  Most are very happy to sit on a path in the sunshine and keep me company as I garden.  They all stay away when the little white Scots terrier visits with the club of church ladies who visit in the spring.  He is allowed to go round smelling the flowers which he loves to do.  He is very fond of forget me nots which of course makes him unforgettable too.

31/12/2014 at 11:12

Your thread has been a delight Marion and I've loved your stories and photos.  Looking forward to seeing your 2015 garden.  Happy New Year

31/12/2014 at 11:14

Thank you, Marion. Your thread has been a delight. I'll miss it next year, or can you think of a reason for doing another one? Please!

31/12/2014 at 11:16

I'm a slower typist than Lesley! We said almost the same thing.

Happy New Year

31/12/2014 at 13:16

Yes 2015 thread all sorted as it is Bristol's Year as Green Capital of Europe, Busy-Lizzie.  It will start tomorrow.  I think I will call it My Garden in Bristol's Year as Green Capital of Europe, 2015. or something similar.

31/12/2014 at 16:08

I have just tidied up a bit in the garden, very leisurely as I was ruminating on the changes there have been since it was first built in 1928 by a young man who self built the bungalow, then only four small rooms and the garden from a corner of the farmer's field, hence the name of the bungalow, "Springfield" as it was built on the spring field.  The builder emigrated to Australia a few years after and the army major who bought it was in a wheelchair and so had his gardener make nine serried ranks of concrete paths , all parallel, across the middle of the garden, now almost invisible as I have filled the beds with shrubs and roses and alpines and - you name it, I have it somewhere and the edges are all blurred by the spilling foliage and flowers.  We bought the bungalow from the major's gardener and housekeeper to whom it was left.  He had built a lean -to kitchen on the back, a garage where the pig sty had been, a very large drawing room with French doors opening on to the garden and put silk oak flooring in the hall. He also had put a floor and lighting in the loft for storage and a pullup folding ladder to reach it.  His gardener had extended the orchard and grew masses of strawberries and herbs for the housekeeper.  The major died in 1964 and then we moved in with 4 children and another on the way.  The garden seemed big enough to suit the whole family, always a quiet spot for the pram, old trees to make tree houses, corners for "Shops" and "museums" or just dens, grass to camp out on in tents with friends, loam enough to feed us all and masses of fruit.  What changes it has seen since then - seven children all grown up, seven grandchildren nearly all grown up.

31/12/2014 at 16:14

Thank you Marion for your thread-I have so enjoyed reading your posts. Today was my last day of working as a catering manager after 38 years in the business-I was made redundant by the company I worked for back in December last year, and we have finally closed today. I am looking forward to spending loads of time in my garden, and reading about the things you have done with your plot have inspired me to make my garden 'pay its way' as much as possible. I think that it is quite apt to be 'retiring' on the 31st December-a new start tomorrow!

I'm sure I shall enjoy your new thread just as much!

Happy New Year, to you and everyone on this site!!

31/12/2014 at 18:16

Happy New year and a very happy retirement. Linda.  I retired at 29 to start my large family, then at 60 from my being a landlady of flats, then at 75 from boarding French children in the summer and students in the winter and then at 85 from being a volunteer at the Bristol Univ. Botanic Garden and, as I am still a "Nation of Gardeners" participant for Mr, Fothergills seeds no doubt have one more retirement to make!  The produce from the garden certainly helps with the budget and the exercise keeps you fit.

31/12/2014 at 18:57

I have really enjoyed your thread Marion, and these closing posts are lovely.  I am transported back in time and can see your children all doing their own thing in the garden.

I am so looking forward to reading the next one. 

Its like chapters in a book.

31/12/2014 at 21:03

Hi Marion, just catching up on your thread, so glad you've got your new freezer, new freezer for the new year , it's been a hard cold three days of getting up early and scraping windows, I'm too tired to do anything tonight.

well Marion I'm looking forward to writing to you in your new thread in the new year, but want to thank you for all your good advice this year and have enjoyed reading and looking at all your wonderful pictures over the year, I want to wish you the very best for the new year  

31/12/2014 at 22:51

Aww, flumpy1, it has been lovely having your company on the thread.  i was so glad you grew some nice tomatoes. More new veg for you to try next year I hope.  Soon be time to close this one so I am wishing you all a Happy New Year with lots of good gardening weather and plentiful crops.

31/12/2014 at 22:53
Thankyou Happy Marion your an inspiration to us all
01/01/2015 at 01:28
Happy New Year
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