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Daydream fund challenge part 4

edited 4 October 2014 at 12:24PM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
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  • pink_poppypink_poppy Forumite
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    Hi everyone (from Argyll :wave:)
    I haven't posted for ages but have tried to keep up with everyone's news. It's been fairly quiet on here lately, I hope everyone is doing ok.
    I'm now living permanently (I hope!!) in Scotland. Our house sold within a week of it going on the market and I moved up here a couple of months ago. We're hoping to buy somewhere as soon as possible but the market is a bit too frisky at the moment!! :eek: We missed out on the house of our dreams last week so I think we're just going to sit back over the Christmas period and see what happens in the New Year.
    Dave, I had a similar experience to you with PPI. I knew we didn't need it (I was a suspicious so and so as well) but we were led to believe it was part of the application process. I was never happy about paying it and I too cancelled it after a while. I'm hoping we get at least a few pounds back, we've had a letter to say a decision is due within the next 4 weeks...
    Caledonia dreamin' ...
  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    Well done, poppy, for finally moving north of the border and putting your dream within reach! :beer:
    I completely agree with renting first; we did it! You'll have the advantage of being chain free and ready to act when the right thing comes along. Also, you'll know the area better and be able to occupy the new house in an unhurried manner, rather than the mad scramble that often accompanies moves. ;)

    Not much to report here. We've cut most of the garden hedges now between us and I've made a start on the last of the road hedge, which probably should have been the first for renovation, as it looks rather thin, but hey-ho. :o

    We're also due to start planting hedging in the yard to soften the look of the thatcher's barn a little. I doubt if we'll ever apply to convert our barn to a residence, but if we did decide to sell it at a future date, the attractiveness its surroundings might make a difference. Also, with the other barn conversions now paying for a gardener and smartening-up their communal areas, we want to reciprocate by tidying our bit and hiding our crappy wood barns that are very functional, but ugly. :A

    I'm re-evaluating willow and eucalyptus as firewood, because they're not as bad as people say if dried correctly. Our willows are coming towards the end of their lives and often break in the gales, but rather than replace them with something noble and slow-growing, I'm now thinking 'more of the same?'
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  • greenbeegreenbee Forumite
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    I’m burning willow Dave, and it’s fine. It’s dried surprisingly quickly (or maybe I just took ages to process it!).

    How are you renovating your hedges? Mine finally has some height, and the tops, where the new growth is, look great, but the bottom is looking prey awful.
  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    Greenbee, our field hedges were just left for the ten years prior to us arriving here, but on the road hedge the outside face must have been cut annually or there would have been an issue with Highways. It faces a B class road with hourly double deckers and occasional lorries.

    So, we inherited a hedge up to 20' high in places. We cut the inside face when we stock-fenced and on alternate years after that, plus annual cutting of the road face every autumn. This gave us a high hedge of very variable thickness.

    We had other fish to fry, so it wasn't until about winter 2015 that we began to tackle the road hedge with the hope of achieving a balance between control and wildlife friendliness. We've done about 40m-50m each year since, cutting back many of the trees to leave selected others, mainly oaks, that still have an acceptable shape after being ravaged by occasional attacks from the flail. These trees are now left to grow naturally, though the buses etc trim them a bit!


    Trees we cut down, re-sprout vigorously with multiple stems, while stems that aren't too prickly or large, (mainly hazel and oak) are also part cut through and laid horizontally, where they re-sprout, forming maybe 10 or more stems for each one treated that way. All this thickens-up the hedge greatly.

    But....as we work, we find places where there was too much ivy or bracken growing and not enough hedge, so into those I plant bare root seedlings by pushing a 6' iron bar into the soil, twisting it around to make a hole and stick the baby tree into that. A quick stomp around and that's it.

    Most of the bare root trees we plant now are oaks, hazels, hawthorn and a few others we rescue from places where they spring up, unwanted. They go into a nursery bed for a year or two and then we don't need to pay for something that occurs naturally. :D

    We're on the final phase of that hedge now. The other 3/4 has just been cut; both sides and top, so it will be 3 years before the top is done again on all of it and it'll all be much thicker.

    So, a long answer for that specific mixed hedge, but for ordinary garden and single species hedges, the reason they're too thin is usually single row planting and not enough cutting-back in the first years of establishment. Most people go for max height, but in the long run it's not the best way.
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  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    I've been back to the hedge laying again, briefly, but the on/off weather has made things tricky and I'm being constantly caught out by the short days now. After my lunchtime doze, I think, "Right, let's get cracking!" and two hours later it's almost dark! Really ought to know better at my age.:o

    This week, we went up to Somerset for the funeral of our friend, who died recently, aged 98. We'd met through school; his second brood of children being the same age as ours, and one in my class. Always jovial and relaxed, Richard lived next door to a popular TV entertainer, whose grandchildren also attended the school, so we had the benefit of his services for things like concerts and our kids had the run of his huge garden, swimming pool etc. Happy days. :)

    The funeral reminded me sharply that those days are now far off. Most of the entertainer's children were there; some now pensioners. One had once been a centrefold girl.

    Richard's son gave a great, unscripted eulogy and brought people to tears at different points. The bit I connected with was, "As a child, I never really knew what my Dad did,"... (that's something I never got a straight answer about either!) ... "he just seemed to drift about amiably." In fact, Richard had been a bomber pilot, worked in industry, and he was an author of technical pieces and a part-time biographer. But, as the son put it, "he most enjoyed just pottering at home, reading or out in the garden, having bonfires."

    That would sum me up quite well too! :o

    He had the last laugh anyway. I never thought I'd go to a church funeral and hear the strains of "Always Look On The Bright side of Life!" :rotfl:
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  • edited 30 November 2019 at 10:41PM
    in_my_welliesin_my_wellies Forumite
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    edited 30 November 2019 at 10:41PM
    Dave, It sounds like your friend had a good life.

    I enjoy reading others posts, thank you. I've not much to report. The wet has made me concentrate on inside. I've been making jam, jelly, pickle, chutney and bottling fruit from the garden to make room in the freezer ready for Christmas. I'm only now limited by a lack of jars.

    I've decided my hens need toughening up. I let them roam in the garden at this time of year. When it started to rain all went quiet and I couldn't find them. I searched round the back, the veg plot, everywhere only to find them sheltering (an making a mess) in the utility room!

    I still can't quite let go of my little piece of Leicestershire. Along one corner I have a blackberry hedge along an old stock fence, about 25 meters, 5 meters nearly joins the bottom corner of a neighbouring property on a different lane. He has a privet hedge at the bottom of his garden nearly joining my land. There is about two meters between the roots of his privet and my stock fence. All the gardens along his lane have this space between their hedge and the stock fence, each with a gate, presumably so each can cut the back of the hedge. Once a year my neighbour comes through and cuts his privet but then turns around and slashes down all my blackberries leaving the 5m wide open. Any attempt at growing sapling is hopeless even when labels twice the size of the plant are attached. Negotiation is futile, I've tried many times. Thank goodness for more distant neighbours in Devon. Sorry for the rant

    On a positive note mum got her winter fuel allowance and said I should have it because 'I need the heat on all the time'. I know her dementia won't be cured but her new tablets are definitely having a calming effect and hopefully clearer thinking
    Love living in a village in the country side
  • alfie_1alfie_1 Forumite
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    hi all..
    been off radar again but feel like a human again so ....


    weather was atrocious here and fields very boggy so ive been playing musical fields with the horses to try and prevent to much "bog'ing" ...
    our fields back onto the perimeter of the beaulieu river [with a public riverside walk between ] . the bit between that and the river is an SSI... the marina on part has been visible in a picturesque way ...BUT they have decided to extend the moorings and this is "supposed" to be for visiting smaller boats .... [hmmmm] friend who owns the fields put in objections via a professional consultant so all facts put forward ...ignored ! and it got permission ??
    they only mentioned the few new spaces going to be available and not the full extent of the area being "developed" to the public
    they have already "spread " the work yard area by 100% sneakily [but google earth shows before and after AND even the different colour of the stone used on the surface ] nah ! been since approved ...
    now the fact that the planning officer is a member of the yacht club AND the wildlife people rent offices from the estate OF COURSE has nothing to do with it !!!
    needless to say the noise and light pollution of the dredgers working 24/7 is driving us mad ! so much for the SSI !
    sorry rant over !


    mum had a fall and twisted her ankle ! BUT she is up and at 'em still . she really is an old battle axe in the nicest possible way ...


    ive spent the last 2 days turning the house upside down for some vital documents and its so frustrating as I KNOW ive seen them recently and put them somewhere SAFE ... so safe I cant bl**dy find them ... need them for tomorrow !!


    its been bright sunny but VERY cold here for the last 4/5 days ... better than rain !


    if ive missed vital info from you peeps , sorry
  • in_my_welliesin_my_wellies Forumite
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    alfie, have you scanned your documents and left them in the scanner? That's where I found my passport after running round like a headless chicken for 1/2 a day last summer.
    As always no one thinks/cares about how these planning decisions affect ordinary people

    Cold and frosty all day here - lovely!
    Love living in a village in the country side
  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    The development of the Marina is going to bring in more tax £ for the council, I expect, alfie.

    Money opens doors and excuses people; like these posh folk who jet around the place for their 'important' activities, but it's all OK because they offset their carbon when someone else plants some trees for them. I'd be more convinced if they planted the trees themselves! :p

    Glad your Mum is still bouncing back and you haven't been zombified after all. :)

    I know what you mean about those infuriating searches. I had one only a few days ago, where I turned the place upside-down, looking for some bacon, only to draw a complete blank. I was panicking a bit, imagining rotting bacon somewhere daft. Eventually, I found the receipt, which listed all the meat items, bought, but no bacon. Only then did I recall I'd spotted it wasn't British, so I decided not to buy any. :o :A


    Think you may need a roll of razor wire for your Leicestershire neighbour, wellies. Either that, or a man trap. :cool:

    Long ago now, when we moved down here, we retained a bit of our old garden. I don't want to give you ideas, but one reason why several neighbours were very keen to buy it was the decaying commercial greenhouse sited there. I'd also planted an evergreen tree directly behind the neighbour who put in a loft conversion overlooking our carefully screened upper garden. He got the special joy of buying it and then cutting it down! :rotfl:
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  • edited 4 December 2019 at 9:09PM
    DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    edited 4 December 2019 at 9:09PM
    OK it's picture time for our secret garden, which may be a secret copse one day:

    P1030794.jpg
    I know it isn't exactly the winter garden at Rosemoor, but I'm quite pleased with the overall effect. The fields are looking a little grim now.

    The picture will get larger if you click it, but full resolution takes ages....or maybe I need a new hamster.

    The Liquidambar will be stunning when it becomes larger. The prickly thing centre frame is a Hawthorn, Crategus prunifolia, which had a fiery display + berries about a month ago. The birds have stripped it now. Slightly to the right, in the border, is quite a large Foxglove tree and the little thing on the right is a Gingko we planted about a month ago. There's also a fastigiate hornbeam, pretending its a poplar.

    Anyway, I just felt like a picture, as I'm fed up with the election and other depressing stuff! :p
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