Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Underwater growbags

I reckon the hardest thing about making a pond isn't digging a huge hole, lining it and filling it with water.  Experience indicates the hardest thing is making it look half-decent after you'd done all of the above:}   I hate being able to see the liner and having the tops of black plastic planting baskets visible is just as bad. Ages ago I found some wonderful coir 'sausages' which were used along riverbanks in the same way as you hang fenders off a boat.  They were planted into and as roots grew from the rolls to the ground they strengthened the riverbank and helped prevent erosion. Somehow the brain translated this into the idea of making underwater grow-bags which would fit around the large rocks we'd already put in place.

The weather forecast promised rain today but lied and I wanted to get on with the pond.  No work-in-progress pictures - how exciting is a photo of filling a sandbag with soil from the big pile next to the greenhouse?   Once a bag was in place I cut a couple of slits in the hessian and just pushed the plants into place.



I didn't get everything finished in one day but it's all looking much, much better even though the water is now murky and brown with dissolved mud.  The amount of nutrients I've accidentally added to the water will guarantee a huge algal bloom in a few days but that will eventually clear and will give small pond creatures something to eat - I plan to transfer some of the tadpoles from the little pond once I've finished messing around with the water.



Found a couple of metres of hessian in the sewing supplies which has been pressed into service as another method of covering the liner.  Eventually all the fabric will rot, not sure what I'll do about the fabric covered edges but the plan is that by the time the sandbags are no more the plant roots will be holding the soil in place.



Once everything is planted and has settled a bit I can add more stones.  If the small pond is anything to go by, the blackbirds are happiest bathing when they can stand on stone which is covert by about an inch of water so I need to try and replicate that.  THEN we can start to think about how to make the edges look less revolting and THEN get the pallets moved and THEN get the soil dug over so I can replant lawn and THEN think about a steam/overflow watercourse.






14 comments:

  1. What a lovely idea, can't wait to see it. Can you bury the edges under the lawn? We did that on one side here - although obviously it was not a very big job.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think you do need patience with a pond to wait for it to mature and a natural one ironically is the hardest type to get looking right!

    ReplyDelete
  3. CB, I've done that once before and ended up with grass that was impossible to cut without either risking the liner or al the bits floating in the water!

    Sue, you're right about needing patience, unfortunately, that has never been my middle name! There is so much else to do, however, that maybe it will mature a bit whilst I am off somewhere else :}

    ReplyDelete
  4. try burying it deeper! We cut the grass wihtout any danger of catching the liner, it is about 3" below the surface - I'll show you what I mean when we come over later!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Amazing progress ,,,, I had to look twice to make sure it was your pond!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jill, hope you will be able to see it for yourself soon.

      Delete
  6. I would never have thought to put my pond plants in jute bags at the old house. Hunh. Leave it to Hobbit to get the idea and then run with it. We'll be watching to see how everything shakes out. Will you allow turtles in your water world?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Morning Kris, it's all looking quite good so far, must make time get some photos to update blog. Turtles are not native and wouldn't be remotely welcome at Bag End, nor will anything else which swims around and eats other pond inhabitants (so no fish here).

      Delete
  7. It's really starting to shape up now - can't wait to see it in real life...not long now!
    Get more rockage, baby boulders and pebbles to cover up the liner edges, then use Irish Moss as 'grass' for the first few inches round the pond before allowing real grass to grow - that way it'll all be covered and you won't get grass bits in the water!!!
    Sometimes I astound myself with my brilliance!(she said, modestly!!!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mrs Gnome, welcome back from Distant Lands :} What utterly splendid ideas you are having, must be all that Calva. "More rockage" - lovely description!

      Irish Moss - more info please (and don't say "I'll bring you some" because you know how impatient I am!) Didn't I notice you growing it in pots in order to have quantities ready?

      The only "flaw" I can see with your magnificent plan is that the birds are busy trying to unpick the hessian bags in order to gain nesting materials and I think they might attack nice soft, snuggly moss too .....

      Delete
    2. PS to Mrs Gnome: Ignore the Irish Moss question - I've just ordered a large packet of seed! OK, it's the wrong time to sow it and plants won't be ready for months but it is absolutely exactly right for Bag End! Thank you :}

      Delete
  8. Hello, just came across your blog and wanted to say how much I love your garden. You have worked very hard to create a lovely space with a fantastic view. Great quilts too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Debbie, thank you for taking the time to leave a message. Glad you like Bag End, shame there aren't many quilts these days but that might change when I eventually get this place under control :}

      Delete

So there I am, chuntering on to myself, but it would be lovely to hear from you. Thanks to all who take the time to comment - it makes my day :)

and I always delete spam - my blog, my rules :-}