JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

This week it rained a lot

This week it rained a lot, so we worked on the kitchen wall.

Wednesday 19 May

I hear that people need to water the plants in their gardens towards the coast here in the Netherlands. That is hard to believe when I look out of the window. It is raining every hour almost. Today we had a day of building on the new house, and we decided to continue our indoor project. Next Wednesday will be the last day off in this series of Wednesdays that we both have had the entire day off. My wife got time for her vaccination next Wednesday; I will drive her to get it. I am still waiting for that I can make the appointment.

During our morning walk in the garden, I discovered that the lily of the valley, convallaria majalis, was flowering at the rain gauge. We planted this on 16 May last year. That is precisely one year ago. Actually, last year we got two of these plants. We planted them near the rain gauge. Last weekend my wife moved one of them to the north side of the pond. This is because we will have sheep here, so we will not keep this mini flowering garden. All plants here need to migrate to safe places.

Talking of sheep. We heard nothing more from our new contact. The nets we ordered are in the delivery. We got a tracking code for them, but it is not sure when they will show up.

Also last year on 25 July a friend came to visit us, and she brought with her an oak tree. That tree survived the winter and was planted in our oak forest. It is doing great.

The trees we planted earlier this year are doing fine. We got two Castanea sativa trees that are a bit stubborn in taking off. That is not bad at all because we planted 18 of this sort. We gave away 7 to friends. So 16 Castanea trees are showing that they are alive and well.

It will start to happen that this blog becomes a multi-threaded story arc where different plant individuals have their own story. I think it will soon be time to make a photoshoot to show the trees and shrubs we planted this spring.

Although I am writing a lot about this morning’s garden, it was just a quick walk actually. We went inside and made us ready for the work of today.

First off, we discovered that the plate would have no beam to rest on in the corner. With that, we had to find a beam and mount it in the corner, but we turned the place where we store those beams in the container into a mess. So that was not easy. We started to clean up the mess, and as soon as we found the beam, we could continue inside the house. Voila, some screws, and the beam was up.

Now we could start working on the plates for real. The northeast corner of the kitchen has reinforcement bars of steel. We had to router away a slot to make the plate fit the corner. Both the top and bottom of that corner have those bars. No problem, I cut away material so that the place could be mounted flat on the wall.

We finished the first layer of plywood on the wall late in the afternoon. It was good to end the day without a cliffhanger. Next time we will do the same thing again, but we will put up gypsum plates on this wall.

There is a bit thin stripe at the top of the wall not covered in plywood. This is because we bought just barely enough to cover the wall with plywood. Over this, we will mount gypsum plates.

The gypsum needs the same holes. It is easier to make holes in the gypsum, though. It will be great to have that part done. Then there are only three walls left in the kitchen, but I think we will use only the gypsum on those walls.


Saturday 22 May

Time flies when you are having fun. Well, we do not have it especially fun, but time flies anyway. Since Wednesday, we have had a storm passing by. It was perhaps not rated severe enough to get a name. Since then it has been raining a lot.

We received the fence for our sheep. Today we brought the fence to the new house to unpack and read the instructions, but we decided to try another day. We sent a photo to our contact person from whom we will lend sheep, and she was happy we got the equipment. Perhaps she will come to us and have a look at our farm next week.

Then we started working on the gypsum wall that we put up plywood on Wednesday. It was not feeling efficient just yet. We are recovering bit by bit old knowledge from the last time we worked with the gypsum. Each time we have a Deja Vu feeling, “oh yes, that was how we did it.” One thing we found is that the drill we used until now for electrical outlets is too small. It is of the correct size, but that is too small. We had better results using jigsaw instead. That is what we will do from here on.

We are just ten or so plates away from finishing the top stack of regular gypsum plates. If we continue with all walls on the ground floor, then we will soon be able to sit behind the stack of gypsum plates and still be able to look out from the living room. I am looking forward to that.

Today we got a visit from a neighbor. He had bought a cheap but very exact geo-positioning device. He demonstrated this to us. It sounded as if we perhaps could borrow it from him one day. That would be interesting. I could, for example, create a map of where we planted all trees in the garden with a 1.3 cm precision (almost a half-inch precision).

In the evening, we went to our local french fries market wagon. New for tonight was the chicken that roamed around to find something to eat. A nibble fell out on the ground at one point, and the orange hen got it first. The white hen then chased after the orange to steal it. That was funny to see. We would like to have chicken one day as well. So much to do before that can happen. Heads down working, chop-chop.

Sunday 23 May

Today we received friends to visit us. Besides that, our goal for today was to put out the sheep fence so that it is ready for the sheep. The electricity unit of the fence came with a book, and we read it carefully. It said you have to mount the unit on a wall. Well, we decided to put it in the crawl space of our house. In there, it can’t get stolen. If it was hanging on a wall on the outside, it is easy to steal. I decided to make a stand for it to hang on. Here I started on the stand. It has two planks for the base, and then two beams cross and also beams perpendicular.

We got plenty of leftovers like this from the wall. I put up planks on the vertical part and hang the unit on the stand. Sweet and simple. On the backside, I reinforced the vertical beams to make sure that the thing cannot fall over.

Next in the plan, I took the stand and the electrical machine into the crawl space. I took a cable connected to the machine and the other end through a bit of hole up in the utility cupboard where it was connected to the mains. Well, not quite yet. That had to wait until we were finished with the nets. From the machine, I connected two cables, run through a pipe out in the garden—one for the ground and one for the net. When the sheep get in contact with the net, their feet are grounded, and that will form a circuit, and the sheep will feel an electric shock, which will make them not want to pass the fence.

You can barely see it in the photo, but the net is there. If you click the image, you can zoom in. We cut the grass where the net is standing. It was one of the instructions of the electricity unit.

Now everything is set up for the sheep to come. I hope we will get more information about that next week.

It has been growing so much since the rain came. I started to cut thistles with the scythe to bring things into control, but it is hard to see where we planted trees and bushes. One tree got cut a little too much in this action. It will survive but cutting a tree when weeding is simply awful. Because of this, I decided that trees and bushes need to be free from rapeseed and thistles so that they are easy to spot.

Our son came with ut today, and he worked on harvesting gravel from the verge. We started noting a faint green shade in the middle of the driveway. Later it will be green in the middle. That is how I want it to be.

The grapevine is doing fine. I moved it on 29 March. It usually had sent out more leaves by now, but now it is trying to find a new place to live. We noticed leaves coming, and that is reassuring. I was unsure if the heat would start already at the end of March, but that did not happen. It became another cold two months. This has been great for nature, especially the last two weeks with the rain we received.

At the same time, on 2 April, I moved our Santolina, and it is okay. It did not look like it was alive for a long time, but now I see leaves coming out. Actually, in our old garden, the Santolina was one single plant. Here I divided the plant into several, and they are now all looking like they are happy. That is great.

This week we worked inside due to the weather. We finished the east kitchen wall. If we get less rainy weather, we will go outside and finish the south wall.

I was born 1967 in Stockholm, Sweden. I grew up in the small village Vågdalen in north Sweden. 1989 I moved to Umeå to study Computer Science at University of Umeå. 1995 I moved to the Netherlands where I live in Almere not far from Amsterdam.

Here on this site I let you see my creations.

I create, that is my hobby.