Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • I built a step today, how utterly symbolic is that! Just one step, I'll need to build at least one more maybe two.
    My garden is a fairly unmanageable jungle for the most part, about 100 feet long and sloping fairly steeply. It's pretty typical for the area, a small yard behind the house with 6 or so steps up to the garden proper. The first third ot the garden actually looks a bit like a garden now, there's a sort of rockery, a bank with some largish stones set in it and a scattering of alpines. Then there's a level area with purple slate chippings and a table and bench. The next level is up another steep bank with a rather tumbledown dry stone wall at the bottom, I've planted an azalea and a miniature rhododendron at the bottom, a little clump of chamomile daisies and a small Acer at the top. After that it's pretty much untouched, a neighbour kindly strimmed the rest for me so it's at least under control a bit.
    There's a ruined stone building half way up which was apparently a pig house once. Two fairly old apple trees, too high for me to pick mostly!
    The bank is quite steep so I wanted steps up it to make the rest of the garden accessible.
    Last year my husband made a start by building a frame with the intention of pouring cement. That's as far as it went. I've found it difficult to get myself back out there as I was gardening when he came home and dropped the bombshell.
    I've been having a bad week, feeling like I'd gone right back emotionally to the day he left.
    Yesterday I was wondering how to get the steps built on my own, getting fairly depressed about the garden the house and everything I'm left to deal with. The front steps are made with a half log at the front edge and gravel over earth, that seemed like a good idea for the back garden too. Then this morning I had an inspiration. A couple of years ago we had to cut some branches off the Ash trees at the front as they were interfering with the electric and phone cables. I persuaded him to keep the largest straightest branches as I was convinced they'd be useful for something. So I hauled them through the house from the front garden and cut 4 small lengths which I set in the ground, in pairs, by banging them with a rubber mallet, then I cut some larger pieces which a put across the two pairs of uprights, took ages to cut the wood, turned out the best thing was a little junior hacksaw, learning all the time you see. I've cut a step shape and stamped down the earth behind my new step front and poured gravel on top, looks great, I now have to get rid of the grotty framework and do the same with the bottom step and build at least one more above the new one. should be enough wood, I have one large tree limb left and several small ones. I've had to create hazel staples, to hold the crossways pieces more firmly as they had a tendency to roll up the uprights under the pressure from behind, I have ambitious plans to create pegs from the hazel twigs by drilling into the front upright and the top crosspiece and hammering a section of hazel, like a peg, so rustic and creative am I!
    I'm so proud of my little step, it looks great and I feel a proper sense of achievement. It's put me back to feeling like I can do this living alone thing, I've just had a call from an organisation I belong to inviting me out to lunch tomorrow, so it's all looking good again.
    • Share

    Connected stories:


Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.