Overnight on Boxing Day nearly five inches of snow fell which promptly put an end to my gardening activities, especially as everything has since frozen solid. There are two gardens at Angler’s Cottage, one attached to the house while over the road is the river garden. Both are somewhat overgrown due to years of neglect, although early plans show the river garden to have been once formerly laid out with shrubs and a lawn. The cottage side has a lawn that looked as if it had last been cut sometime during the latter half of the 1800s and has been constantly mined courtesy of Mister Mole and his volcano-shaped heaps of soil. No doubt Mister Mole’s family and relatives are also responsible for similarly landscaping the river garden consisting mainly of invasive ground-elder and too many rampant trees. This necessitated having around ten trees felled in order to lighten-up the aspect. I also inherited some sizeable hernia inducing lumps of water-worn limestone which were hauled into position to create what will become a Victorian style fernery.
Other notable existing features of this garden included a dubious set of concrete slabs covering a cesspit and a set of ornaments that no tasteless garden should be without. Firstly a concrete pig painted blue (Why would you want to?) and close by a pair of concrete meerkats on ‘boingy’ springs. You can see where I’m coming from on this! Apparently, and I have it on good authority that between these two gems lie half of the ashes of the previous owner of Angler’s Cottage. Whether the half consists of a cremated arm, leg or some other body parts is probably best not dwelt upon. There is also a decaying concrete garage delightfully thatched with a dense mass of ‘out-of-control’ ivy that hides its cracked, leaking roof of asbestos sheeting. Adjacent to the garage and surrounded by iron railings is the choked village well. I hope over time to restore this and no doubt discover along the way the odd gold chalice or silver goblet thrown in by the past pious residents of near by Monk’s Dale. Okay, so its just a dream, but at least the well is small enough not to have allowed anyone to chuck in a rusting bicycle frame, and old iron bedstead, or a discarded Tesco shopping trolley!