Monday, 15 August 2011

Pond - baby steps, baby steps

Am taking this 'having a rest' lark seriously therefore Management and I had a lovely day on Saturday marvelling at the stonework on Hadrian's Wall and visiting Hexham.

As Sunday was bright and dry I couldn't resist another day outside. Hot and sticky morning spent turning one of the compost heaps. Mostly grass with a little sawdust added (it was the only "brown" available at the time) the heat already generated was tremendous and I worked in the middle of big clouds of steam - most surreal. Have re-made the heap with the shredded paper added - no pictures because, in truth, how many different ways are there to photograph a pile of garden rubbish?

Tried to work out the levels on the pond edge and it wasn't long before Management was dragged from whatever he was doing and forced to help. He's brilliant at spatial awareness and working in 3D, and I was too tired to think things through properly but after a couple of false starts* we ended up with something which might just work...

A bag of ready-mix mortar should hold the bricks in place and there will be soil banked up behind them. The lump of sycamore which LP had split just wasn't looking right so it got evicted and a quick bit of chainsaw action later - ready to go on the log splitter.

Management suggested that we use the usual 8" x 2" timber to edge the potager side of the bed and remove the wood that divided the pond bed from the middle/fedge bed. As always, he was right although I don't find it amusing to be dismantling things we've previously built before we've finished!

Sneaked off to Lamberlea Garden Centre and got a good deal on some nice looking pond plants. A bit premature, possibly, but Monday was the only chance I'd have this week for a little HRT. Also called in to Bennett's on the way home and acquired another car boot full of shrubs and perennials ridiculously cheaply.

On top of all this the decorator is back to paint five very, very dark wooden doors, they make the hallway look drab and dull but it's amazing what four coats of primer/undercoat and some carefully applied gloss can do. Our decorator is lovely and she's no trouble to have in the house but it's more mess, more disruption. Repeat after me: it will be worth it in the end, it will be worth it in the end.

The other good thing happening at present is the regular visit from two young Red Squirrel, no ear tufts yet so they're not old enough to have developed a winter coat. This one has a very pale tail tip and the other looks like a raccoon with a striped tail. After three road deaths last year this is great to see.

* which involved him bringing wheelbarrows full of old turves from the furthest point in the garden - and then taking it all back again when I wasn't happy with the result, sorry darling ...


  1. Okay, I'm jealous of your squirrel photo (to the power of 10)!

    Must say that between you and Management you certainly have the knack of making a great garden, pond is starting to look fab-u-lous.

  2. I do love seeing your red squirrel photos.

    Your garden certainly looks rather wonderful and the pond will be fab. Hope you are managing to have a good rest.

  3. Yep, I can see the finished pond now! :)
    I can do all the spatial awareness bit, but get bored and hacked-off with the technicalities - which is where Himself comes in! Sounds like you and Management have a similar 'team' approach to work?! :)
    How's your frozen shoulder doing?

  4. With baby steps you can have a little paddle!
    Really, it's going to be fabulous. No problem getting the plants early. That's the sort of thing I'd do!

  5. When I saw the title of this post, I thought it was a reference to recent Dr Who developments :-)

  6. James. I would apologise - but I'm not that nice {{{grin}}}, you could always visit and take some photos of your own.

    Mrs Pao, glad you are enjoying the squirrel pics. We're so pleased with how the garden is shaping up, starting to see it take shape makes all the hard work worthwhile (and no, of course I'm not resting enough)

    Nutty, I am sure much of this looks terribly familiar to you. Perhaps we should just put Himself and Management together (giggle). Shoulder much better, thank you for asking, Nurofen, long baths, bit of muscle manipulation from Management (he called it massage, I called it bloody painful, but it did help).

    VH, silly girl! Surely one paddles in a puddle ...this is more hip bath sized. Plants are happily sitting in buckets with rainwater.

    Roddie - oh VERY GOOD ..... definitely a Laughing Out Loud comment. So what's going to happen in the next half of the series - are they killing Dr Who off completely, is River Song going to take over ...... ???

  7. Lovely squirrel pic. He/she might be a baby, but old enough to manage hazlenuts by the look of it! Hope they keep coming frequently - it really makes the day doesn't it? Pond is looking good - when are you fetching the liner? I need to make sure I have plenty of cake available!

  8. Hi CB, sorry, bad Hobbit had the liner delivered cos it was quicker and cheaper than driving to Penrith (and yes, I know your cake would have made it worthwhile ....)

    The squirrels are funny - every now and again they drop a hazelnut and there's this surprised "d'oh - where did that go?" as they peer over the ledge and look at the ground.

  9. I'm sorry - you have gone bananas with blog posts and now I have a new ailment called blog comment lag!

    Do remember to stand back to see what has been done in the last week/monht/year, won't you?

    And did I see a sewing machine at bay recently? I would have been happier to see fabric wielded (or even evidence of the power cable - hmm?) but quilting WILL happen, I know!

    Even more power to your hobbity elbow!

  10. PS - With regard to cake:

    Could have offered prize winning lemon drizzle, fruit and sponge along with so many courgettes you might drown. No, really. People are avoiding me in the streets in case I foist courgettes on them.

    Flum says that runner bean are a compulsary item ATM, round here it is courgettes. And then some.

  11. Am very jealous of your pond ,,, I wanted one for ages but now, after consideration and hundreds of mosquito bites, I have decided we did the right thing. Yours is looking good and exciting me even before the liner is in!

    Am even more jealous of your gorgeous squirrel pics!

    I had a frozen shoulder for 2 years ,,, not nice!

    PS Has anyone any idea how to keep Verbena Bonariensis through the winter. I have a fabulous one and would love it to survive to next year.

  12. Hazel - thank you, blog comment lag is certainly a problem here too!

    Yes, I do stand back - the other night I looked at old blog posts for August every year since we came to Bag End. Interesting to say the least.

    Yes, the sewing machine is back on the table but until I sort out the big built in cupboards (heavy duty shelving) most of my fabric remains in boxes.

    Prize Winning Lemon Drizzle - hey, well done! Now please get in the car and bring some here.

    Jill - reconsider the midge situation. With all your trees surely you will have bats using a pond as a forage area each night. I know we have bats here and am looking forward to them discovering we have supper waiting for them! I honestly don't feel a garden is complete without water.

    Hope your shoulder is better now. Mine is OK if I am careful, thanks.

    Verbena - first, take some cuttings as insurance, greenhouse or coldframe for the winter. I'm guessing you could mulch well to keep the crown protected, but don't let it get too soggy in case it rots. Have you Googled it?


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