Saturday, 26 November 2011

Who invented decking?

Okay, who invented decking for the garden? I have loads of the stuff, it came with the house when I moved in 2 years ago. It had just been put in by the vendor that year so was in effect new, and I have to admit it looked smart when I viewed the house, and, along with a hot tub (oh yes!) and the 14 decking lights (which worked for exactly a week after I moved in) it did look stunning in the evening. But the hot tub was sold before I moved in (good) and the lights failed (water in the electrics and the cost of fixing is more than installing) and to be perfectly honest I'm not a decking fan, never have been. I did have a plan to rip it all up when I first moved in, but a mix of the cost of laying a patio and complete lack of time meant it has been left on the to-do list. And it looked okay, so why rip up perfectly good hard standing for the chairs and so on.

Anyway this decking is slowly becoming lethal. I wont use chemicals in the garden, so I try and keep the moss on the wood at bay by regular cleaning with a brush. However last week when going to top up the bird feeders I nearly came a cropper, it literally was like ice and only by clinging onto the silver birch did I avoid slipping down the 3 steps and into the shed, but in doing so pulled a muscle in my shoulder which still niggles. I could use a chemical moss cleaner, but don't like doing so for the birds and wildlife, or nail chicken wire everywhere which works well in a nature reserve, but looks a mess in a garden, so I think I will bite the bullet in the spring and rip it up. But what to do before then?

Well I'm ashamed to say I have relented and the decking has had a through scrub with Jayes Fluid. It's not the most environmentally friendly product on the garden but it works, and the smell takes me back to my agricultural days.

So after giving the decking a through coating of Jayes Fluid during the week, this afternoon I was out there with a stiff brush and the hose to give it a really good scrub.

Its sort of worked but it's not by any means moss free yet. But at least I can walk on it. Having the feeders over it is good in one way as the spoil is picked up by ground feeders, but their "after mess" is also causing a problem. I may have to go for a radical rethink with the feeders, but I like them being there as I can sit in the conservatory and watch the birds antics.

Speaking of which while writing this posting in the fields out the back a huge rook flock and carrion crows have been getting very restless. Can't see why but often if corvids start getting agitated by a hedge, there's possibly an owl roosting there.

But while spending a few hours in the garden it gave me the chance to have a mooch about. It's been a very hectic week and I've not seen much daylight since last Sunday. So it was very welcome to go and see what was happening. And, as many of you have mentioned, it's unseasonably mild and as a consequence, odd things are happening.

I'll begin with the paperwhites. I know these are not early, but they came into bud at the end of October. So I've had them in cold storage for a month but no longer can I keep them cold, as I always love having paperwhites on display at Christmas (alongside daffodils from Jersey - makes me think spring isn't far away). But today finally one pot has flowered, so I've brought it into the conservatory. 2 more pots are not far behind but I'll try and stagger them.

But out in the garden, strange going's on. A pair of great tits were calling their territorial call this morning, and in the plant kingdom.......... I have a honeysuckle out.

And lavender!!

One of the pots containing tere a tete narcissus is showing good growth too

All quite odd for the end of November, especially when one thinks a year ago today Britain was shivering in a very unseasonal snowfall which brought most of the country to a standstill. Personally I like a nice bit of cold winter, but not for too long. Just enough to sit in front of a log fire and while away the long winter nights with a whisky or two ........ mmmmmmmmmm!!

Speaking of winter, my last Living World of the year goes out tomorrow, a surprising take on the holly story. If you miss it at 06.35hrs, you can listen again HERE.


  1. Beautiful photographs of your late/early flowers. I found a forsythia bloom today and there are still sweet peas and nasturtiums in flower here. It has been a strange November.

  2. Lime sprinkled on a dry day work for us.