Where will the path lead?

Where will the path lead?

the walled garden

Can this really be almost the shortest day? Edging the central path reveals much more than expected!

Sunshiny and unseasonably warm in the garden today. The birds were singing and the robin followed me everywhere. Each day we are making new discoveries and today was no different. I decided to edge the centre path of the walled garden. Yesterday we discussed laying it to gravel as the turf has been getting extremely slippery with all the wheelbarrow and foot traffic, thanks to the extent ad speed of the renovation project. Indeed when it rains, we could well be in the middle of a muddy festival site, which is not the image we want to promote for dear old BE!

When I dug down, what began as simple edging soon turned into ‘trenching,’ so intent was I on getting all the creeping buttercup and dock roots out. After a while my spade hit something solid and careful excavation revealed an ancient drain, in beautiful condition, just over a foot down.

the old drain in mud

I know its very muddy, but you can just see two slits of the drain in the centre of the image, the rest is still buried under the path…

Really excited I began clearing the path on the other side. Martin had predicted an original drainage system some weeks ago and now we could see that what had appeared as a turf path, was in fact the culmination of soil washed down from the sloping beds over the years. That meant that underneath , the original path still existed. Sure enough, there was the edge of brickwork and flint all the way along. I lay a glove in the ditch as soon as the hard-core edge began to reveal itself and photographed it to give you some indication of depth…

 

the old drain

You can just make out the old brickwork lining the original path. My plumb line is in the foreground and the glove indicates depth…

I was lucky enough to use the most stunning plumb line I’ve ever encountered. It’s Victorian and beautifully crafted. Such a pleasure to use the perfect tool for the job…

the old plumb line

The Victorian plumb line, which still works wonderfully!

old garden tool

And here is another lovely old tool, the half moon edging iron. Cuts through mud like a hot knife through butter…

Around the estate, Martin was busy loading and taking the scrap metal for recycling, making special clips for the downpipes of the drains which flow into our new water butts and making final preparations ready for Charlie’s arrival tomorrow. Adrian and Martin were busy pruning and tidying the rose garden.

I must share this with you before I go…at lunch time, beside my seat was a Christmas card from Tony labelled ‘Merlin.’  I rather like it; a definite contender as a pseudonym. With great disappointment that I noticed Pip’s card was correctly labelled ‘Pip’ rather than Tony’s usual, ‘Peppa.’

This was my last official day at work before Christmas and it seemed fitting that I began working on the new central pathway which runs like a vein through the heart of BE. While digging I was reminded of those lovely words by Ralph Waldo Emerson,

Do not go where the path may go, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
the robin bird

Spot the robin!

Sending Christmas blessings from Brent Eleigh. May your festive season be full of amazing new discoveries. Love from us all XXX

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