Having put SpindleTree to bed for the winter, December came and went while we worked inside the new orangery/conservatory. Some of the flooring was laid using 4500 brick pavers. Underground waterlines were installed in hand-dug trenches 250 feet long (first, you dig the trench and when the pipes are installed, you fill in the trench and all the earlier hard work vanishes!). We spent January learning how to control the temperature and humidity levels to prevent condensation on the windows (air circulation is critical!). But, all in all, January was fairly quiet on the garden front (apart from the almost ceaseless rustling of seed catalogue pages) – not much happening which matches my energy level which was in hibernation.
February has dragged on until about ten days ago when Susie’s genius niece and I finally began to reconstruct our presentation about SpindleTree for horticultural societies. It had been lost during the infamous crash of Susie’s computer last year (the equivalent, for us, of the Great Crash of ’29 with many of the same emotional consequences and rebuilding it has hung over us like the Sword of Damocles ever since. But the new round of speaking engagements looming in March finally forced us to spring into life and get going on this project.
As always happens, ‘getting going’ gets one going on other things, as well. I have been repairing and painting the model buildings of famous English garden structures which we use for croquet hoops in the summer. For the past several years since they were built, they have had a natural wood finish but weather and general wear and tear has stained them and worn them down, so refurbishment is absolutely no longer to be delayed. There is a photo here of one of the models in its coat of many colours. All of the models will be on display come opening day here at SpindleTree in early May.
And, before I forget, we have now received a shipment from England of a terrific new souvenir for SpindleTree fans which will be on sale in our gift shop come spring. We’re hoping that when you come to visit us you’ll want one of these useful and attractive items for your home!
Now that we’re up and moving again, the approaching new season begs the question “Will 2013 be a repeat of 2012?’ Will March be hot and April freezing? Can we start to clear the gardens early or will Spring come at it’s ‘normal’ time? Will there be a repeat of the dreaded drought? Whatever eventually happens, we will have to cope, like gardeners everywhere. After all, that’s what makes dealing with the great outdoors the challenge that it is.