Another Howton Grove Priory Update

A few of the 'smaller' leylandii
A few of the ‘smaller’ leylandii

We shall soon have been here three months. Visitors remark how much we’ve done in that time, but for us the days pass in something of a blur. We moved during the height of the grass-growing season so have been constantly dodging rainstorms of almost tropical intensity in order to keep the lawns mown. Friends from Wantage came and worked terrifically hard in the garden to clear many of the ‘smaller’ leylandii and some rather intrusive yuccas before starting on the proposed vegetable plot.

Hidden treasures
Hidden treasures

In the process some lovely bits of agricultural archaeology were unearthed. Now all we need are half a dozen strong men or women to help us move them to more suitable places! (The photo above shows an agricultural sink unearthed in the prospective vegetable plot. It will join our cider mill, cider press, stone horse trough and cartwheels to remind us of the barn’s origins.)

Our friend Damien Young at work in the garden
Getting stuck in!
Vegetable plot before clearing
Vegetable plot before clearing

Vegetable plot after clearing
Vegetable plot after clearing: laurel and silver fir still to go

Alas, we failed to keep a rampant clematis in check and had to call out an emergency gutter-clearing service since we don’t, as yet, have a ladder high enough to enable us to deal with such problems ourselves. The frustration! We are also having to call in a professional hedge-cutter to deal with the hornbeam hedge which seems to have set its sights on the moon, so lush has been its growth this year, and to remove some of the larger confers and laurels to allow planting of more fruit trees (we already have apple, pear and plum โ€” although the pear has no fruit this year and the plum looks as though it is ailing โ€” plus a flowering cherry which needs more breathing-space, and a magnificent hazel laden with nuts.)

Inside the house we have replaced some windows which needed attention. Tomorrow a builder comes to begin some plasterwork renovation the Bank requires, and soon after that, we hope to have the first of our bookshelves installed. Then, finally, we can begin to unpack our books which are piled up in boxes in the calefactory and garages โ€” and maybe begin to think about those areas we’d like to redecorate before our postulant-to-be takes up residence. (She was relieved to hear we had bought her a bed, but please pray that all visa issues are resolved quickly and positively)

In the meantime, the prayer and ordinary work of the house continue, the latter often in the early hours or late in the evening. Doing so has enabled us to appreciate ever more in what a beautiful part of the country we have found our ‘local habitation and a name’.

Just one problem: what shall we do with ‘Bro Duncan’s guest-house’? It would make some child a lovely play-house, having been beautifully made; but whoever would like it must dismantle/collect it themselves. It is listed for sale on ebay (and Bro Duncan has never actually been in it!): http://bit.ly/NlDOgO (link opens in new window).

'Bro Duncan's Guesthouse': the play-house in the garden
‘Bro Duncan’s Guesthouse’: the play-house in the garden
Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

16 thoughts on “Another Howton Grove Priory Update”

  1. Notwithstanding all the hard work required, it looks idyllic. (And that kind of hard work is indeed salutary for those able to do it.)

    I am so pleased for you and the Community and wish you every blessing there. Thank you for sharing this news. We were wondering:)

    Surprised that Bro Duncan hasn’t colonised the play-house as a chill-out pad which the poor boy sorely needs at times.
    Jack has his own brick-built pad in the garden which he uses frequently for contemplation. He is two extremes, hot-headed and eminently peaceful.

    Doggy Retreats – it’s the future!

  2. Goodness, you all must work so hard! The playhouse looks lovely, it is too short/small to serve as a useful and attractive shed, seed store, or similar?

  3. You could list the playhouse on Freecycle. It usually has a good quick response.
    I think that you have done a huge amount of work so far. I can’t wait to see how the vegetable garden shapes up. What type of pear is it? Perhaps it needs another near by to fruit.

Comments are closed.