7 MAY 2020
Another fine day dawns at Church Gardens, this weather is really amazing and it certainly enables us to practically live outside which in my opinion is probably the safest place to be at the moment.
For some time, Patrick has been looking for a new resting spot for our caravan. We bought a second hand caravan about ten years ago for our specialist brick layer to stay in whilst he rebuilt the high kitchen garden wall (the first wall to be restored at Church Gardens). The caravan has been redundant for sometime, we have considered selling it several times, but partly poor organisation and also pleas from the (then) children prevented its departure and it had remained sat between our compost bins, literally a big ‘white elephant’. It has also occurred to us that we still have a great deal of wall restoration to complete and we might need the caravan for its original purpose again in the future. So an aesthetic solution had to be found to the problem of retaining an ugly caravan within a beautiful garden discreetly. Firstly, it needed to be moved to a less obvious position, the place chosen was a rather sunken spot previously used for compost under some trees in the corner of the orchard. This area is behind the new composting yard and the shade of the trees will also stop the caravan getting too hot in summer. I had a rather vague, crazy idea that we could let ivy grow over it, Patrick cleverly thought he could construct a mesh like structure over the caravan for the ivy to climb up. Our orchard is inundated with ivy, like all areas of woodland that have not been managed for many years, ivy comes along and fills the trees. The trees that will be shielding our caravan have curtains of ivy hanging from their branches, so the idea of the caravan being absorbed by the ivy is not that far fetched. We decide this is good plan…it is always best to make use of things rather than get rid of them (we are keen recyclers). It was unlikely that any one would have bought this elderly caravan, and we were not comfortable with the prospect of it being scrapped. This new position will make the caravan more usable, for example we could put a viewing screen for a wildlife camera inside it – we have long planned to set up a wildlife camera to view the badgers – making the ‘ivy clad caravan’ into a sort of nature hide! If nothing else, it would serve as an ideal isolation spot for anyone unfortunate enough to catch the virus!
Today is ‘D Day’ or should I say ‘C Day’ the day we move the caravan. Firstly, Patrick wanted to level out the remains of an old leaf mould heap which was obstructing the caravans route into its new resting spot. There was quite a lot of ivy that had rooted itself into the leaf mould, so I came out to remove it all and pot it up – 51 pots! This is to start off a little ivy nursery in preparation for growing ivy over the caravan. By tea time Patrick was ready for us to move the caravan, the tyres were pumped up and we gathered the family together to pull it, by hand into the orchard. This was initially much easier than we expected. Boards were put across the stream (presently dry) and we arrived at the prepared site that the caravan was supposed to fit into. This is where it became complicated, we literally did not have an inch to spare and there were branches to navigate, and the caravan has to be positioned exactly so its legs could rest on carefully placed slabs. This final part of the adventure took ages and all of our combined strength. We ended up ‘clapping for carers’ beneath the trees, but eventually Patrick was satisfied and we said goodnight to our old caravan, snuggled under the trees. Watch this space for the next instalment!