We have the builders in


Apparently “having the builders in” ranks as one of the most stressful events in anyone’s life. But although we are having to adapt to some disruption, we are finding it all most exciting.

We are embarking on the first phase of building works here and turning our clock tower into our second holiday cottage. Hew is having a wonderful time making decisions on flooring, kitchens, four poster beds and log burners. Meanwhile my mind is buzzing with ideas for the new courtyard garden we plan to create for our new guests.

It will all be lovely when it’s finished – a relaxing retreat for two with glorious views out to the garden. The builders are good fun to have around. One of them came in the barn where I was potting up dahlias the other day and asked if I had a bit of four-by-two. “I don’t think we have” I replied searching around. “How about some two-by-four” he said with a grin. And don’t worry – I’m ready for them if they ask me to look for some tartan paint. They’re a great bunch and I’m sure they will try their best to do that thing they never do on Grand Designs and come in on budget and on time.

Big changes here, but nothing changes so much as the weather in March. We are likely to have sunshine, gales, rain, hail and frost and often all on the same day.

But whatever the weather, spring is here in the garden. As I write this the garden is filled with daffodils, iris, hyacinths, the first green shoots of hawthorn and the first sprinkling of blackthorn blossom in the hedgerows. What with some of the wettest weather I have known in my life, February was a strange month – so it is a relief to arrive at March.