June 2, 2014

Thanks Dean Barkley for the new photos of Crossway Passivhaus showing the new land landscaped. Such a difference from the 2012 shots ! It seems strange to think of the original plot size now ! Not bad considering we only completed on the land purchase in November 2012. It was a busy 2013 !

Thanks Dean Barkley for the new photos of Crossway Passivhaus showing the new land landscaped. Such a difference from the 2012 shots ! It seems strange to think of the original plot size now ! It’s certainly difficult to spot where the old boundary was - partly thanks to a nifty bit of (unassisted) circle mowing my me ! Not bad if I do say so myself !

Thanks Dean Barkley for the new photos of Crossway Passivhaus showing the new land landscaped. Such a difference from the 2012 shots ! It seems strange to think of the original plot size now ! It’s certainly difficult to spot where the old boundary was - partly thanks to a nifty bit of (unassisted) circle mowing my me ! Not bad if I do say so myself !

A massive thanks to Francis Squires of Squires Young landscape architecture;
http://www.squiresyoung.co.uk
for putting together the landscape design.
Thanks too to Paul & Colin Watts (and Andy of course!);
landandgardenservices@gmail.com
for all the groundwork, rabbit fencing, pond extending, tree planting, shifting & digging in tons of manure (thanks to Tudorhurst B&B opposite for all the manure !).
Thanks too to Martin Pain for all his skill & hard work in planting & staking more than 60 different new trees, seeding the new grass areas, planting hundreds & hundreds of native whips, over a thousand daffodils, snowdrops, grasses etc etc
Time to let nature take its course ! With an ongoing helping hand from Martin Pain and yours truly of course !

A massive thanks to Francis Squires of Squires Young landscape architecture;
http://www.squiresyoung.co.uk
for putting together the landscape design.
Thanks too to Paul & Colin Watts (and Andy of course!);
landandgardenservices@gmail.com
for all the groundwork, rabbit fencing, pond extending, tree planting, shifting & digging in tons of manure (thanks to Tudorhurst B&B opposite for all the manure !).
Thanks too to Martin Pain for all his skill & hard work in planting & staking more than 60 different new trees, seeding the new grass areas, planting hundreds & hundreds of native whips, over a thousand daffodils, snowdrops, grasses etc etc
Time to let nature take its course ! With an ongoing helping hand from Martin Pain and yours truly of course !

The new pond has transformed the water use & irrigation at Crossway Passivhaus. We now run a powerful DAB submersible pump from the pond to water the new Netafim irrigation ladder on the roof - finally giving the roof the water it needs during the Spring months.
We also use pond water to supplement our vegetable area irrigation.
The pond was vital in watering in everything during last Summer. We managed a circa 95% success rate on new planting which I’m told is very good - especially considering the hot dry summer we had last year.
The pond is also host to an ever expanding array of animals & beasties - most notably countless Great Crested Newts ! We got rid of the fish so that the GCNs could establish. This has worked a treat so far !
With all this landscaping not a litre of mains water was used - so my water consumption stays well below 80 lpp per day.

The new pond has transformed the water use & irrigation at Crossway Passivhaus. We now run a powerful DAB submersible pump from the pond to water the new Netafim irrigation ladder on the roof - finally giving the roof the water it needs during the Spring months.
We also use pond water to supplement our vegetable area irrigation.
The pond was vital in watering in everything during last Summer. We managed a circa 95% success rate on new planting which I’m told is very good - especially considering the hot dry summer we had last year.
The pond is also host to an ever expanding array of animals & beasties - most notably countless Great Crested Newts ! We got rid of the fish so that the GCNs could establish. This has worked a treat so far !
With all this landscaping not a litre of mains water was used - so my water consumption stays well below 80 lpp per day.

May 18, 2014

The clever new alternating tread staircase in Ash fixed to the back of the big wall/door at Crossway is a thing of beauty. It provides easy access to the play deck (or more accurately, the loft !) and is yet another fun surprise when the door is opened. Thanks to Mountshill woodwork & joinery in Cranbrook for their great workmanship.

On top of the arch fitting a new roof irrigation system yesterday (17th May). I don’t get up on the top of the arch often but every time I do I’m blown away by the view. It really is awesome up there. Good view of the garden too. New planting at the bottom of the arch still needs to settle in but the rest is looking lovely.

On top of the arch fitting a new roof irrigation system yesterday (17th May). I don’t get up on the top of the arch often but every time I do I’m blown away by the view. It really is awesome up there. Good view of the garden too. New planting at the bottom of the arch still needs to settle in but the rest is looking lovely.

Oscar’s proving himself to be a very helpful extra pair of hands in the garden now. He’s even using his initiative to stack up combustible rubbish ready for a bonfire & here is planting out the broad beans. It’s lovely to see and immensely satisfying on many many levels.

Oscar’s proving himself to be a very helpful extra pair of hands in the garden now. He’s even using his initiative to stack up combustible rubbish ready for a bonfire & here is planting out the broad beans. It’s lovely to see and immensely satisfying on many many levels.

All cleaned up. Life on dry land for the pigs is much easier now. Looking after these animals during that winter was pretty damn miserable - for us, let alone them.
Not long till bacon time now … ! The first 2 scheduled for first week of June. One for a hog roast, the other for various porky goodies !

Thanks Jason King for a marvellous job covering over our clay pizza oven. No more polythene sheeting over the top to prevent it being washed away in the rain. It’s not parabolic but it’s a rather fitting addition to the garden. We used some of the spare Lambs bricks left over from the Staplehurst Free Church build. Looking forward to the first spring pizzas !!!

Thanks Jason King for a marvellous job covering over our clay pizza oven. No more polythene sheeting over the top to prevent it being washed away in the rain. It’s not parabolic but it’s a rather fitting addition to the garden. We used some of the spare Lambs bricks left over from the Staplehurst Free Church build. Looking forward to the first spring pizzas !!!

View from the pond side seat at the beginning of Spring 2014. Looking forward to a vigorous 2nd growing season for all the new landscaping. Hoping to be able to put my feet up & enjoy it all this year rather than frantically watering it all the time & draining the pond.

View from the pond side seat at the beginning of Spring 2014. Looking forward to a vigorous 2nd growing season for all the new landscaping. Hoping to be able to put my feet up & enjoy it all this year rather than frantically watering it all the time & draining the pond.

Feeding bread to the (absent) ducks ! Photo taken early April 2014

Feeding bread to the (absent) ducks ! Photo taken early April 2014

March 22, 2014
It’s nice it’s nice to see the pigs legs after so much time in the deep sticky mud. They can clean up now ready for “bacon time” !! These bloom in’ pigs have already cost over £400 each to get this far. Now I love bacon but not that much ! Still a very rewarding experience & one we shall do again

It’s nice it’s nice to see the pigs legs after so much time in the deep sticky mud. They can clean up now ready for “bacon time” !! These bloom in’ pigs have already cost over £400 each to get this far. Now I love bacon but not that much ! Still a very rewarding experience & one we shall do again

As soon as the ground was firm enough to bring the digger in we built a hard standing for the pigs. Thanks to Colin& Andy once again. Getting the pigs out of the mud & onto dry land was fun ! I went splat face first in the thick sloppy pig poo filled slurry - nice :-{

As soon as the ground was firm enough to bring the digger in we built a hard standing for the pigs. Thanks to Colin& Andy once again. Getting the pigs out of the mud & onto dry land was fun ! I went splat face first in the thick sloppy pig poo filled slurry - nice :-{

Right. As soon as I can get a digger in we’ll make a hard standing. It’s just SO wet we can’t do anything but give them plenty of straw in their house. This photo sums up a miserable wet winter

Right. As soon as I can get a digger in we’ll make a hard standing. It’s just SO wet we can’t do anything but give them plenty of straw in their house. This photo sums up a miserable wet winter

It’s lovely now the children are old enough to actually help rather than hinder the planting of seeds for this years crops. Such events make for wonderful memories !