Tired of climbing a ladder to cut back ivy on this gable end,done twice a year,I decided to strip it all off & rethink the planting at the base.

This took a week to do,some areas pulled off easily in huge mats of ivy,others lower down needed a saw, hammer & chisel to release the thick roots,boy do they grip.Fortunately even after 26 years,the stone work is fine.

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Oh what have I started !

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Thick ivy roots.

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It isn’t the work that’s exhausting it’s the clearing away & dragging all debris over to my bonfire area in the orchard..

Eventually ,all done & look I found the 2 wood corbels of the fireplace,I had no idea they came right through the 3ft thick walls.Surprising after 26 years under damp ivy they’re still rock hard .

At least now some pointing can be done unhindered.

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Almost done,much better.Cleaner & tidier. I shall replant the base where I’ve cut down all the Arum lilies ,some will get planted elsewhere & a climbing rose placed at the back.

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Next I’ve been experimenting with cement/concrete. I need to upgrade all my paths,so I set about trying to find the best pattern or mould for stepping stones.I’ve used cake moulds,cardboard boxes & even an old frying pan….so far !

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Having expected disasters,I couldn’t believe how easy this craft is.The hardest part is lifting the bag of ‘beton’ from the car !!

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Just a test

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This the very first stone, impressed with a shortbread tin,but not hard enough.

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Not sure what I shall do with these little hearts . 🙂

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This will become a step for my studio ….once out of the cardboard box !