A Castle in the Sky

In March 2013, after years of talking about it we eventually sell up and move out of the city with our 2 year old, Gracie. We both grew up in the countryside and this is what we want for our daughter. So we swap a 2 bed flat in London for a small country pile on the west coast of Scotland that needs a lot of work. I've done a bit of interior design and my partner, Ed has a good knowledge of the outdoors – but we're on a tight budget and we've both got a lot to learn. It's a life time's project and this is a record of our adventure…

Making hay… (Jun 9)

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The thing about scarifying (see Footprints on the Lawn April 21) is that we hadn’t quite taken on board that:

a) you have to wait for a decent enough dry spell to successfully pull out all the dead moss, which has been a bit of a waiting game on the wet West Coast
b) the elusive dry spell has had to coincide with Ed’s weekends at home
c) the whole process produces a huge amount of thatch (grass and dead moss) that must then be removed

The good news is that the sun’s been shining for days, Ed’s home for the weekend – and enough of the moss has turned brown to get started (luckily we got the moss killer to lawn ratio right and the grass is still alive).

As I’m now proficient on the ride-on lawnmower, I mowed and Ed and Gracie followed behind with the scarifier. By late afternoon the lawn was hidden under a frightening amount of thatch – and as the mower couldn’t cope with hoovering it up we had to resort to hand raking it into lots of separate piles, loading up the mini-trailer and ferrying backwards and forwards to the compost heap.  We were out there till late in the evening.

_MG_9585 scarifying

Even so, we’re nowhere near done.  There’s still loads of moss to kill that was missed from last time – and today we only managed a quarter of the lawn.

I’m now beginning to realise why the mention of us scarifying raised so many local eyebrows – but we’re nothing if not tenacious…


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