Mrs P and I Finally Agree – Part 1 #GardenPlans

There are a few things in life I can be sure; of a smile on payday, a tear on Dorothy’s first day of school, Beth becoming prime minister and that Mrs P will at first disagree on every big plan.

One of the reasons I fell in love with my wife was the fact that she doesn’t just agree with everything I want to do. She questions my decisions however trivial and pushes me to be a better person.

As very passionate and impulsive people that like to live life today, I get frustrated and I’m sure Rachel does too. But without that voice in your head bringing you back to earth once in a while who knows where we would be, what we’d be doing and what life would be like.

I reckon we’d be home-schooling Beth in an Ibizan colony with Dorothy living the good life and us running a cat/dog charity for all those abandoned. Or something like that.

But sometimes in life, we both agree on something that’s so batshit crazy it’s like two worlds colliding.

So let me tell you what’s rocking our world at the moment.

Think back to when you were a child/teenager I’m sure there are things that you’ve wanted in your life but your parents said no. Generally in my upbringing, it was because they didn’t have the money, time or inclination to actually do anything specifically for me.

I lived a lot of my life through my friend’s families having my first cinema trips, overseas holiday, house party, hangover etc….

This has made me be the parent that wants to ensure my children don’t go through that and we’re the family that can support and provide love to our children and a welcoming place for their friends too.

Now we’ve been having a chickens discussion for some time now and it’s been one that I’ve put the brakes on big time. There were too many things to do in the garden and we didn’t have the resources or effort.

Now let me introduce you to Sonny!

 

I’ve recently been reminded that life is too short. A friend who sadly was killed on his bike last year and would have been celebrating his birthday on Friday. It’s also nearly a year of his passing and his family situation is so similar to ours. With two girls and a loving wife it made me realise that you know what, he’d have given anything to spend one more day with those he loved.

This realisation has made me say yes to more things that enrich our lives both mentally and physically. The girls have all wanted a pet rabbit for a long while and after watching Peter Rabbit and seeing their faces light up, I asked myself would it make their lives brighter and teach them responsibility.

Upon looking for rabbit hutch’s first it was about £100 which was way out of our price range considering we’d also have to buy a rabbit. We then stumbled upon what could be considered a perfect storm. A rabbit with a few homes complete with its own double level hutch carry case and he looked adorable for nearly half what a bunny house would be.

We visited little cutey and he was adorable sitting on Mrs P’s lap and letting us stroke him while he sniffed all around. A perfect rabbit and we couldn’t see why he’d been moved around. Apparently, they were cat people and had him a week.

Taking him home we quickly found out why.

What a shit!

At 5 months old, he still hadn’t been snipped and started to spray. On me! He was also circling my head and running over my shoulders. Then he nibbled Rachel and it was a realisation that he’s not friendly. But at the end of the day, would you be friendly if you’ve had multiple homes and had no friends, let alone a girlfriend! Hey, the term “going at it like rabbits” is that for a reason.

So I digress, as technically this was my decision. (To let you know, he’s booked in for a special appointment. Poor fella.)

Talking about giving him space, we’ve both agreed that he can have an area of the garden to himself. A large area mind. Then we discussed fencing it off and we agreed. Now I don’t know if you’ve ever built a fence before but it involves a big trench, posts, holes for the posts, chicken wire, level lines and to finish concrete.

When you talk about putting up a fence, it’s different to actually start but if you’re gonna do something then you need to do it properly. At the end of the day, it’s not just to keep Sonny and friends in but to keep predators out too.

So Friday night was hammer time with me using some chicken wire to cover our existing fence. Can I just say that I bought it from a discount retailer (home bargains) and it was 16metres and a third of the price advertised in others?

Saturday morning was a mixture between cleaning shared breakfast, my hiking boots, a coconut flat white, visiting an aquatics centre (don’t ask) and picking up some 2×2 treated posts at the local timber merchants (They cut them down too!).

What followed after a quick pie and sausage roll was what can be described as ridiculous, backbreaking and utterly rewarding.

This was our overgrown garden from last year:

This is what it currently looks like.

Last year I cleared all the overgrowth and old plants from the left-hand bed to give us a view down the garden and extend the lawn. It was about time we did the same on the right. Most of our time on Saturday was spent digging. The roots on some of the brambles were just outrageous!

Diggin a little trend from the path (covered in sod) means I could run a straight line with some string to get the same heights throughout for the posts. I tied it to the picket fence in line with the top of the picket and then measured the same height on the handrail.

We dug out deep holes for the 2×2 posts (approx 40 cms deep) and filled a third with water. Now as I scooped in the post-mix until there was no longer any water in the hole just absorbed mix, Mrs P held the pole and checked the levels to keep it up upright on both angles. Really amazing how quick it started to strengthen.

So to continue the team effort with the decisions, after clearing out the beds we decide where we want to put the chicken coop.

Yep, chicken coop.

You heard it right! Mrs P has wanted this for so long, she has a real idea of want she’d like and who am I to say no. What better way to teach our girls about animal care, the benefits of fresh eggs and vegetables made in our own garden. How wholesome is that?

Now add into the mix that we’re taking these chickens from a battery farm background and giving them a free-range lifestyle. Sounds perfect.

So Mrs P and I have started the ball rolling with the rabbit, that meant we needed a fence, we have a fence so now we can keep chickens, we need a coop, so have to build a base, and we’re going to use the shed as a coop. It doesn’t stop there.

We’ve agreed to move the greenhouse to make way for our summer house.

OK maybe not that good but it’s going to be great!

I’m going to be teaching myself how to insulate, plaster and convert a shed into the best home office ever!

First I need to find a decent summerhouse, not sure we can stretch to something like this from Waltons though.

You see what happens when we both agree on something. A simple rabbit has turned into a full garden makeover and summer house. 🙂

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