Our new home in the country!!

We looked high, we looked low, we looked everywhere we went, but finally we found our home in the heart of the country! I know it’s been a while since we spoke last, but lots has been happening for us as a family and not much of that has been gardening related. You may remember me telling you we were moving, well it FINALLY happened!! We sold our property really quickly and also found our new home fairly quickly as well (all in November 2016). It was all going smoothly and wasn’t as stressful as many people had made it out to be. Then once all the survey’s started then all sorts of things came up. The main problem was, we didn’t know, that where we were living, apparently we didn’t own the bottom half of that garden?! Yes it was all a shock to us as well. We kept joking that our chickens were trespassing on council land. Once we discovered this (in February 2017) we were told that it was very simple to sort, and wouldn’t take long. What isn’t long to us, and what the council think of as not long are two different things. 5 months!! Yes you heard me correctly!! But finally it was sorted. We were very close to moving many times, but then something else came up. We wanted to move in the school Easter holidays, but that didn’t happen, June wasn’t good because of exams, so once they were out the way then we could set a date. We only had about 7 days to pack up the house, once the boxes had arrived. That’s really hard to do, especially when you have nowhere to put anything. It felt like our house was a cardboard box factory for that week. I just had to keep reminding myself that this was only going to be for a little while and soon they would all go. I don’t like clutter, lack of space and mess, it makes me stressed and cross. Mark took most of the week, running up to the move, off. So between us we packed up everything. When we moved in to that house in April 2001, Emily was 17 months old and George didn’t even exist. We hardly had anything. After 16 years and 2 and a half months, you accumulate lots of stuff. Our official moving day was Tuesday 11th July, but because we were moving such a distance the removals guys came on the Monday and packed up most of the boxes in their lorry, and just left us with the TV, the fridge and our mattresses. They were amazing and worked unbelievably hard. If you’re moving I would recommend them, Robinson’s Relocation. When they’d gone at the end of Monday, we went out to our local Superfish restaurant to have dinner. I wasn’t going to cook, well I couldn’t as they’d packed away my pots and pans! We then went to sleep in a very empty and echoey house. We woke in the morning and the guys arrived again to pack the rest of our belongings in their lorry. It was a huge lorry and we filled it right to the back. They had to stack some of my plant pots on top of each other so they could fit everything in. Just before we left we had an emotional last walk around the house. All of us got emotional in our own little way. George was born in the lounge (it was planned), so it’s the only home he’s every known. Emily has lived most of her life in that house, and it’s the home that Mark and I have also lived in for the longest. We said farewell to our neighbours, all who are brilliant and we love to pieces. The square were we lived was like a little community, everyone looked out for each other. The lorry left to travel the 75 miles to our new home. We handed our keys into the estate agents, got a sandwich and then started the drive down. As we were driving down, it occurred to us that we were actually homeless, which is a very weird feeling, and that all our possessions were in the back of a lorry. The lorry was limited to a certain speed, and we could go faster, so we didn’t have to hurry. The drive down was very uneventful, and the motorways were clear, all of them, even the M25? We did get stuck in a little bit of traffic, because there had been a small shunt between 3 cars, but it didn’t slow us down by much. Finally we arrived at the estate agents and picked up the keys, and then drove to our new home. We beat the removal company by just a couple of minutes. Then it was time to off load. It was getting quite late so they offloaded the essentials, like the mattresses and the TV and a box of food, and then left us to relax. Again we went out for dinner that evening to our local pub. Very tasty. After a slightly bizarre nights sleep in a new house with lots of strange sounds and no light pollution (when it’s dark, it’s dark), the removals men arrived the following day to off load everything else and put the boxes in the correct rooms. We’d numbered the boxes and the rooms, so they knew where everything needed to go. I made sure I had plenty of tea, coffee, cake, biscuits and fruit and anything else I could think of to keep them going. Once everything was off loaded we were again surrounded by boxes, but because our new home is bigger it didn’t seem as bad. Now we’ve been in for a little over a week, we’ve now unpacked most boxes, just about 6 left to unpack, so it now feels like home. We’re all settled in, and are getting used to our new surroundings. The garden is the next thing to conquer. I have a plan, and loads I want to do with it. But before I can get the chicken in their final place, and the greenhouses up and then my raised beds in and start to create my little paradise there are 10 cypress trees at the end of the garden that need to come out. They’re 10 foot deep and 8 meters tall!! The farmer opposite can do them, but he’s busy at the moment harvesting, so I may have to wait until he’s done. As soon as I start the garden, I’ll make a video, so you can join me. But here is the garden as it looks at the moment.






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21 Responses to Our new home in the country!!

  1. Douglas Smith says:

    Good luck with the Cypresses and hope you get good weather for putting up the greenhouses and raised beds

  2. ronald allen says:

    wow……. you guys ……nice place …….i have had some good times in the country…..wife bought some property in the Philippines a few years back …….she is going there oct to fence the one lot. ……then…she wants to sell one of the two lots …….it is subic hills…..

  3. How exciting. I hope you enjoy country life. We made the move 10 years ago and could go back to the city now for all the tea in China! Cheers Sarah : o)

    • Mark works in London, so commutes every day. He says it’s easier than before and always gets a seat. It still feels like we’re on holiday, have to keep reminding ourselves we’re not.

  4. mimamc says:

    Can’t wait to see what you do with your garden Claire. Glad you are mostly unpacked and settling in.

  5. Juliana says:

    Lovely garden spot. Hope you love your new place!

  6. Look forward to a new series of videos. With being so close to the house you could do a youtube live video. All the best in the new house, it’s great to see that dreams do come true.

    • We’ve just bought a new camera and I’m going to have to figure out how to use that. The internet signal isn’t brilliant, so I doubt if a live session with Claire’s Allotment would be possible. But I’ll look into it. How’s you allotment this season?

  7. NebraskaDave says:

    Claire, moving is so much work. I can’t imagine what it would be like to move with live stock as well. The are many pros and cons to starting over with a new place. It will be interesting to see how you weave what you have learned from years of gardening into building a new garden. I’ve been working on developing my garden for six years and it’s still not done. There have been challenges and set backs along the way but mostly it requires a lot of time that’s just not available for me all the time. It still provides me with a sanctuary place to enjoy nature’s best.

    Good luck with developing your new home and gardening space. Have a great day.

    • A friend of mine looked after the chickens for a week while we moved, so that was wonderful. We told them they were going on holiday for a week. We’re settled in our new home now, I’ve just got the garden to tackle, which will be a work in progress for the next several years. We’re all so pleased we took the plunge on moving, none of us are looking back. Hopefully I’ll get out in the garden this weekend, Mark and the kids are out at Comic Con, so I’m at home on my own. I’ll see what mischief I can get up to. I can’t wait to get started on the garden, there is lots to do, but I have plenty of time to get it sorted.

  8. Congratulations, Claire! Enjoy your new place and have a great day.

  9. mferland1ael says:

    Congratulations Claire and Mark! I am looking forward to reading and watching your progress over the seasons and years to come. Will your growing microclimate /season be much different in your new location? Do you have a front garden to enjoy as well?

    • I love it the way you think Mark will be helping in the garden. It’s all down to me, but that’s a good thing. Mark does help when I need to take a load of garden waste down the tip. An extra pair of hands is always good. We don’t have a front garden, we have a gravel courtyard that 3 properties share.

      • mferland1 says:

        My wife and I share the gardening duties, she handles the large front and side flower gardens while the backyard is my domain, mainly focusing on fruits and vegetables but also planting/maintaining flower borders and pots in the back of the house. Its a shame you can’t send photos with these comments or I’d add some photos for you, if you’re at all like me you like to be able to visualize what someone is talking about.

  10. It’s good to share the garden duties with someone who knows what they’re doing. You seem to have your garden sorted between you. It’s always wonderful to see other peoples gardens. When I had my allotment, I would often walk round the site to see how people were keeping their plots. You get ideas and use them yourself.

    • mferland1 says:

      I agree, for us its on walks around town, visiting formal gardens or simply visiting a neighbor’s vegetable garden. Sometimes its learning what won’t work, I remember recently there was a fad around here where people would grow plants like tomatoes upside down in special pots. I don’t know if that kind of thing was an idea in England but having seen friends and neighbors that tried it, I didn’t see the value or benefit.

      • I’ve never heard of growing tomatoes upside down before. I had to look it up. That’s just weird. Don’t know where it originated from first. But I’ve not known anyone do it. I won’t be doing that.

      • mferland1 says:

        You aren’t missing anything, I don’t think of my neighbors that tried it that any still are using those odd hanging bags.

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