All things must change

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Sometimes I need a prod, especially when I’ve been so pleased with a part of the garden that I’ve not noticed when, actually, it no longer works. It happened with the bivouwac as I stubbornly resisted calls for it to go, first by Katie then the boys. I was convinced that my vision of a philadelphus clad den was best, despite the fact that it was too small and damp to be of any use. One day, annoyed at the latest dissenting comment I knocked the whole thing down, recycling the wood into other parts of the garden to form log piles and frog hides. In it’s place we put a fire pit and woodland area, with logs to sit on and oaks in pots mixed in with ferns. Not only did it look a million times better, but we all used the area too. I was wrong.

Recently the same thing happened again, only this time with the boys’ ‘pirate ship’. I was so proud of it (it was the first thing we built) that I didn’t notice that a) it was rotten in places b) the boys are 8, and being a pirate isn’t cool and c) the doorways were too small, being designed for three-year olds.

A few weeks ago the boys (encouraged I’m sure) produced a plan of their new den. It was great, but the old feelings of stubbornness still surfaced. There was nothing wrong with the old one, I told myself. Except there clearly was. Anyway I resolved not to do the dance this time and just to get stuck in with the conversion. Along the way (we are homeschooling after all) we learnt about budgets, coatings, schedules and spreadsheets as well as power tools, postcrete and guttering.

It’s already better – still unfinished, but it’s exciting to be recycling something that had clearly seen better days into something that’s going to be used. It’s a good reminder that a garden is constantly evolving, and that goes for the buildings as well as the landscaping and plants.

Update: a van load of recycled pallet wood later, from the lovely John in Rawtenstall, and it now looks like this:

Just the windows to go in and done landscaping on the front to do… and there’s been talk of a veranda…


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