Garden paradise update

Today, after a most refreshing weekend cycling and wildcamping, I finally feel like i can deal with things again. It was unexpectedly sunny, so I switched from doing inside admin to chopping down a dead tree at the gate. After maybe 2 months of feeling shit it’s great to be able to make a plan and execute it, when everything is too much it’s hard to get even basic stuff done. So the gardening has kind of stalled whilst I vegetated. But then again the weather has been so shit there hasn’t been much gardening to be done.
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Problem / Solution

A small fix but a good one.

Next to the second IBC, it seemed like a puddle was developing everytime it rained a lot, on the paved floor. So i took out a paving stone to allow the water to drain away, which helped but of course also left a whacking great hole for someone to mash their ankle up in.

So then i put the stones that were sitting on the verge nearby into the hole. Problem solved!!

Battening down the hatches

Even if an occasional daisy flowers, the temperature is dropping and it feels like time to prepare for winter. The rainy days have been interfering with this process somewhat.

Recently I’ve been clearing back the brambles (again) in the front and back gardens, with the aim of making space for a polytunnel in front and another vegetable field in back.

I haven;t been doing many updates, I’m under no illusions that the readership here is small but dedicated, so props to you for sticking with it and when i look back in years to come, after the glorious revolution and yet with the curious survival of the wordpress server farm, this is the time i had the shit with people wanting to live here and spent a lot of time brooding on that instead of fucking gardening. Hopefully that is resolved now.

There’s still a lot of old chopped wood in the back garden which we didn’t use last year, so I’m keen to get that dried out and undercover.

The outside kitchen project has stalled a bit, again blame the weather mainly. However the offer of some free transparent corrugated plastic for roofing has reinvigorated things, since that is exactly what we were looking for!!

Water update

Seems appropriate to do an update on the water situation when it is chucking it down outside. It’s the first rain for two weeks, since i worked on the gutter actually and i’ve been waiting for a chance to test the new gutter, which is now feeding into a second IBC.

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It seems to be working out … I did bolt the two new gutter parts together, but that will still need to be plugged to stop water coming through, but then three points of leakage (one into the IBC) is better than many drips!

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The pond itself is still looking quite sick, going yellow before the rains made it look healthier again. I spoke to the neighbour and he suggested running a hose from the sloot. I’m already running a siphon but it seems to stop working frequently, probably becuase the water is quite silty. I dug down into the bank to have a look and i found some very large holes dug by animals going through the clay layer, so i suppose over time rats and whatnot have pierced the waterproofing of the lake… not sure qhat can be done about that, unless i leave it to groundwater levels which are currently low since it’s been generally so dry (with occasional mad rain).

Gutted

Well after a week of rain i must say i’ve realised that i’m spending too much time moving water around and getting soaked in the process. Whilst it is fun and does make me feel like I’ve showered when i haven’t, it’s not really sustainable or practical…

The gutter on one side of the house has fallen off, so i’ve been collecting water in an assortment of buckets and basins and then pouring it down pipes into the pond to try to keep it from drying up. This has been depressingly ineffective until this week when it has rained a shitload (the IBC went from zero to 1000 litres in two days!!). I’ve also worked out how to siphon water from the sloot and i’ve been emptying the IBC periodically, so now finally the pond is filling up again and the lilies look happier.

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Fuck knows why it got so low, i thought it was on ground water but seemingly it’s not. Until this week, july has been very very dry, so maybe it’s just that. But you can see from where i painted the bridge that now the water is 20cm lower than it was three months ago..

Anyhoo, now things are improving, since we skipped some huge bits of metal which have formed an imporvised gutter which makes the roof leak only in three places now. Once i buy some bolts, it should reduce to two places. The plan is to install the second IBC under one of these places. Then we’re in business. And i don’t have to run around getting drenched any more!!

Weather grumbles

The weather has been annoying lately, sunny days turning to rain and vice versa. No mater what weather app I use, it seems impossible to predict when it’s going to be wet. This has been frustrating since the gutter broke just next to the IBC and so water was dripping down next to the IBC but not going into it. Thus I needed a dry day to fix it (and a million years to scratch my head and ponder how to get the gutters to drain better, even though it should be simple). I was finally able to get to that yesterday, I hope the bodge I did involving gaffer tape and superglue (the old favourites) will be enough to make it work.

Lack of rain has also been a problem regarding the pond, which seems to be steadily drying up. I’m not sure the reason for this, I thought it was at ground water level, now im not sure since the sloot seems to be at the same level as before. Maybe the pond does this every year? Nevertheless it is now getting lower and lower, many of the lilies are now in mud not water. I’ve been siphoning water down from the IBC and trying unsuccessfully to get water from the sloot.

To end on a happy note, today I saw the first dragonfly on the terrain!!

Garden developments

Gardening has gone in dribs and drabs this week, for a few reasons, among them the incredibly heavy rainstorms we had midweek. Finally some rain!

The squash and artichoke are beginning to grow and the peas and beans are going great guns.

I took up some potatoes today and was disappointed by the tiddlers I found, so they need to be in the ground longer.

The rucola still isn’t really growing, a friend said it’s because the seeds I have are shit and that is probably true. So avoid Buzzy seeds. Shame I didn’t get round to ordering organic seeds online yet.