Thursday, 13 September 2012

The Big Pond: We did it!

What a day, a few paragraphs and handful of pictures just don't do it justice.  Just to recap, this is how we left things last night:



8.15am
  I don't normally feed the troops before starting work but I was expecting rather a lot from them today :}

8.30am


9.00am. 
    Bert was showing off his new trailer and had a free hour to help move bark chippings.

Management resumed welding duties and LP continued the mammoth task of cutting turf from the path-to-be in order to build up the ledges and everything went very well until late morning when the weather decided to be unhelpful.



LP took the opportunity to go to Workington, bless him, and collect some steel so that Management could continue working on the decking frame and I shot off to Cockermouth to try and find more black pegs to hold the under-path membrane down.  Didn't find the pegs I wanted but did find this, which did not improve my mood at the time:



Thankfully, after lunch things settled down.  For anyone who thinks we live in palatial splendour, this is the state of the utility room now I've taken the carpet tiles up.  Like many people in the country we never use what urban folk would consider to be the 'front door'.  This is the main entry into the house so I guess it's a good thing we don't feel the need to impress anyone!





I'd spent the morning moving stones and assorted debris off the ledges and LP kept raking over the soil for me until we were confident we'd got rid of as much potential 'liner puncturing material' as possible.  Over the last few weeks we have collected an assortment of non-organic carpet, underlay and other fabrics to go directly onto the soil.  Hence the idea to re-use the carpet tiles.



I laid out all the material, covering the soil as best we could.  Finally found a use for all those left-over builders' bags once Management had cut them open enough to be laid flat.  The idea was to put down a layer to prevent the sand from, over time, dissipating down into the soil.





There followed the absolute slog of moving five tons of sand.  It quickly became apparent that LP was the most skilled when it came to spreading it out so Management and I took turns at filling or moving the wheelbarrows.







The conversation at this point was probably along the lines of "that's a bloody big hole".  To get a sense of scale, both LP and M. are 6' tall . . .





A friend came round to help with the 'proper' underlay and actual liner.  We bought all the pond supplies from Bradshaws who always seem to send far more than actually ordered.  Using underlay left-over from the Top Pond plus this delivery we were able to cover the entire hole twice. It looks relatively simple in these pictures - of course, this was the point when the wind came along for a laugh, hence all the bits of wood to anchor things down (and yes, we had to crawl around UNDER the liner to ensure all of them were removed!)







Sadly, not recorded for posterity was the 'experience' of unfolding the entire liner on the grass in order to re-fold it to make fitting it into the pond a slightly simpler task.  That was when we realised that, once again, Bradshaws hadn't sent us what we ordered.  I'd bought a 12m x 15m liner to give us plenty of 'wiggle room' and offcuts to lay on the ledges.  Bradshaws sent us 12m x 18m.  Bless them.  Try unfolding that and refolding it in a windy West Cumbrian garden!



TA DA.  Hosepipe hooked up the big IBC tank next to the greenhouse and collected rainwater starts to trickle through.






15 comments:

  1. Oh - all that spare liner, you could have made a proper big swimming pool instead! What fun! (*ducks and runs away very, VERY fast!)

    Seriously - well done to all - can't wait to see 'full' pond pics. :-)

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    1. Thanks Hazel, we certainly have enough spare liner to make multiple small additional ponds, NOT that we are even joking about such activity. I will use much of it to put another layer between the ledges and the stones & soil which are shortly to be piled therein (thereon? upon? too tired ........)

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  2. Amazing progress Bilbo, I can't wait to see how you develop this pond. Where is it in relation to the other one? I'm struggling to figure out the layout of it all.

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    1. Hi SewAli, if you go up to the top right of the screen and click "Finding your way around Bag End" I may just have answered your questions! The map will enlarge if you click on it.

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    2. SewAli: PS - the quick answer is that the Big Pond is just about in the same place as the HUGE bonfire you helped with.

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  3. Only just realised how BIG it is seeing your apprentices standing near it or in it! Fantastic! Have to agree with you about the "things" spotted in Cockermouth. Similar stuff spotted here in Beverley last week. It's only September for goodness sake, still summer in my eyes!!!

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    1. Thanks Jill, I thought the workers added a nice touch of scale! I agree with you about the 'seasonal items' although it's never been summer here this year :{

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  4. Woww, that is a VERY BIG pond indeed. I'll bet you're excited to see it all planted up and finished now?

    As for those Christmas decs, I just loved them. I was in a card shop on about 3 September and they had loads of Christmas cards, 2013 calenders, etc out.

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    1. QuiltSue, not so much excited as rather daunted by the realisation of just HOW MANY PLANTS we're going to need :}

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  5. And Hobbit said: "Let there be a fracking POND already!"

    A wave of determination disturbed the Force, alerting Jedi everywhere. Common mortals and muggles watched in awe as the earth was reconfigured, reformatted, re-purposed.

    First excavation. Then layer after layer of substrata. "And SAND shall cushion it all." So it was said. So it was done.

    Next, fabric and skin and, finally, rains were summoned post haste. The drops gently caressed the membrane, smoothing out the wrinkles, slowly filling the voids. Filling a pond.

    And Hobbit, totally knackered at the end of the day, looked upon her mighty efforts and her faithful companions and said. "Damn, that's some fine work! Anyone for a cuppa?"

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    1. Kris, you're mad, completely and totally mad (although that might be why we get on so well!)

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  6. Well impressed. I made a pond on Magic Plot several years ago - did it all 'properly', dug deep with a pickaxe, lined it with old carpets and sand before battling with the liner and filling it. It was a huge task but my pond was teeny weeny compared with your lake. Hence being well impressed!

    Mine's no longer - removed by the Observer journalist who tried to steal my plot from under my nose a few years ago. Ah well, we live and learn....

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    1. Hi Scarlett, I am so sorry the Magic pond is no longer, your 'plot problems' happened before I knew you. I realise ours is more of a small tarn {grin} and blame Management entirely for it, the man is never afraid of "thinking big". At present it looks huge and sparse but in a couple of years I reckon the planting will blend it into the garden . . . at least, that's the plan!

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  7. Hahaha...seeing this brought back many memories of similar antics at Gnome Towers when we did our pond...which pales into insignificance at the side of Lake Superior!!!:-)

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    1. Lake Superior? You silly girl, been at the Falling Down Water again? At least Gnome Towers has the Tea Palace and a wonderful stream . . .

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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 :)

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