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Beach Hut

May 2009

OK, it doesn't look much at the moment, but this area was once about 20 tonnes of dirt, brick, glass, rubbish, car parts, branches and about 15 years worth of bonfire remains. We've filtered about half the pile of earth by hand and re-used the earth in other areas of the garden and pushed back the rest far enough to be able to make a simple retaining wall. Digging the holes for the posts proved to be a real pain and slow going because of the huge flints in the ground. We snapped a few sheer bolts and had to stop to repair Izzy each time before we could get the auger out of the ground.

We then roughly back-filled the earth up to the wall and flattened the area directly in front ready for the summer hut. Seven load bearing slabs were laid to form a hexagonal shape which were precisely level ready for the installation.

June 2009

After the beach hut was installed I worked on building the path around it and Karen worked on turning the remains of the mound of earth into a little garden area, digging out more of the bricks, rubbish and weeds and planting some roses lavender and the like. Over time we hope the plants will grow and spread and fill the area with scent and colour.

I fitted willow to the retaining wall to soften that and then put in the edging boards for the path. We put down a double layer of landscaping fabric and Emma helped to clean and lay almost 3 bulk bags of pebbles to form the path (hence the name Beach Hut). The biggest job left is for the farmer to replace the tatty old rusty barbed wire boundary fence which he has told us will happen, we just don't know when.

And this is the result, a perfect place for breakfast or lunch on sunny warm days overlooking the farmland off to the distance. As you can see we still have to put turf around the edge of the path to finish that off but in the meantime some old tarpaulins have been fixed down to prevent the chickens digging holes. I've fitted a leisure bettery and a 5w solar panel which operates an energy saving globe light in the centre and some solar powered twinkly lights have been installed to finish off the effect for evening dining.

Our only other problem is the rabbits! They seem to have a problem with the flowers Karen has planted and they are doing their best to dig up everything they can. A couple of times we have come out to find the path covered in dirt (which we have removed, cleaned and relaid) and huge holes leading into the mound.

As a temporary measure we have fitted some more willow at the back of the mound to see how determined they are. It is only a low fence so the rabbits can easily jump over if they want to although it has kept the chickens out of the area.

Being vegetarian it is obviously a bit of a contradiction but I'm afraid it is now war with the plague of rabbits in the back garden!

April 2010
In April the daffodil bulbs we planted in November came up.

June 2010
This month we uprooted all the box bushes from the front garden and replanted them around the beach hut to make an instant hedge. It was good to get rid of the tarpaulin sheets that we put down to keep the weeds at bay for a while.