Wednesday, 12 September 2012

A big "Big Pond" day

To tell the truth, I've been rather superfluous to requirements today.  I don't mind at all, a huge amount has been achieved and all without my dropping with exhaustion at the end of it.  Despite not having to work flat out I didn't manage to take decent photos and today's pictures are a motley bunch.  We had a late start to allow for a weather forecast which predicted it would stop raining by 12.00.  Not entirely accurate but close enough ...

On Monday LP had strimmed the inside of the pond which on its own made a huge difference. We raked all the debris and loose stones away and I made the throwaway comment "if you need some solid material to bolster these ledges could we excavate turf from where the path is going to go"?  Now, for those who haven't been paying attention over the last year; 12 months ago Geoff dug out the ponds (and the back path) and we have been waiting ever since for the rain to stop long enough for the ground to dry enough for him to come back and do the rest of the path.  The spoil from the paths was always intended to go into the pond . . .  So what did LP take it upon himself to do?  Cut barrow after barrow of perfect turves enabling us to finish the internal ledges of the pond AND create a path at the same time.

As with numerous other projects at Bag End, on more than one occasion I was left thinking "damn, this is so straightforward, why haven't we done it sooner" but that way lies madness.  We didn't do it sooner because we were waiting for Geoff.  Geoff couldn't come because it hasn't stopped raining for months.  It's being done now, that's all that matters.

   The Crab Apple, Malus John Downie, wanted to get in on the act and is currently holding the title of Most Beautiful Plant in the garden with masses of apples changing to luscious, jewel-like colours each day.

In this middle of all this cleverness Mike Graham arrived with a perfectly timed load of bark chippings, Bert arrived with more pony poo and Management decided that now would be an extremely good time to finish welding extra bearers to the decking frame*.

My contribution to the day was copious amounts of tea and coffee, and laying some geo-textile membrane and covering it with the aforementioned bark.  Management was cream-crackered as he was working in the sun and didn't have a welder's mate and LP was exhausted.  I did tell LP to go home on more than one occasion but he refused saying "the job ain't finished yet" and admitting that he was enjoying himself.

Tomorrow, we're going to do it all over again, followed by old carpet**, five tons of sand, acres of pond underlay and enough pond liner to create a small circus tent!

* on the basis that balancing on a steel frame, above water, holding an electric arc welder, might not be a lot of fun . . . 

** lots of horrible synthetic stuff that friends have donated and which, in theory, won't rot in five years time.  Oh yes, and the floor tiles from our utility room.  I figured that in a month or so (if the builders turn up) I'm going to be pulling it all up so I might as well do it now and save a trip to the local rubbish tip.


  1. A day of great progress! You must be so pleased to see such a big step taken in one of the bigger garden projects.

    The crab apple tree does look pretty. Our two are now very old and have hardly fruited this summer, but a full crab apple tree is a beautiful sight.

  2. What a lot of hard work! I bet it will be wonderful!

  3. Aha! That beautiful crabapple just goes to prove that malus aforethought is very fruitful. :-P

    Looks like you're in full gear again. You go. I'll watch..

  4. I am impressed, Bilbo. This garden is going to be spectacular. When you open
    it to the public I shall be over from the Dales to have a closer look at it.

  5. John Downie is a lovely tree when in blossom too - will you use the crab apples?

  6. Thank you all for the much appreciated comments, it was a great day and wonderful to be making so much progress.

    Crab apples - maybe in future I might make some jelly but for now I am happy for the birds to have them. The blossom smells wonderful in Spring, the fruit is beautiful in autumn, that's good enough for us.

  7. I look at your blog from time to time and am amazed at the progress your making. It looks wonderful. Thank you for sharing it.

    1. Hello Bea, thank you for visiting, and for both taking the time and having the manners to say 'hello'. You're very welcome here, hope you will comment again.


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