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All Decked Out at The Haven


By david


It has been quite a while since I posted an update from the Haven. Progress has been slow, due to weather conditions. Gales in May brought down several large trees, and 3 weeks of constant heavy rain and thunder storms in June and July stopped progress in the “Hint of the Orient” garden.

This is a July pic down by the stream. Normally, this would be a trickling rivulet, with many stones visible, and the odd brown trout. Instead, the raging torrent swept away part of the banking, and I lost several grasses, and also some geraniums kindly sent by GoYer Amy, as well as successfully sown seeds of blue Lobelia and Ligularia sent by Lori all the way from Ontario. I still haven’t quite got over this tragedy, but am just so glad that I didn’t sow all of Lori’s seeds, and am about to try germinating some more.

More gales in September brought down more trees, which had to be slowly cut up and removed from the stream banking.

One of my last blogs showed the construction of a lily pond with an oriental-looking water feature. We never did get around to getting plants for it this year, and Squire and M’lady are still debating whether to have fish in it.They have also decided against the trick of painting it with yoghurt, in an attempt to get moss to grow on it, so that it might age and blend in with the mossy wall behind.

These frog motion detectors are my “revenge” for M’lady “planting” plastic ducks and water lilies in the new pond.I cheekily bought them in a local £1 store. Guess what? They love them, have replaced the batteries, and the frogs are still sitting there! :-D)

After building the pond, my next project was to construct an adjacent decked area, where an old caravan had stood.

The weather frustrated me, as it made a relatively straightforward project stretch well beyond the proposed time schedule. Getting the deckboards to the Haven atop Squire’s car (the timber yard simply would not deliver along the mile-long tractor track) took up a whole day alone.

The decked area measures just over 16ft by 11ft, and is sufficient for the 2 steamer chairs and a small drinks table. This area is a real suntrap for most of the day, and there is sufficient space to move the furniture around, as the sunshine dictates. I was glad that we did, at least, have one late summer mini heatwave. Received several text messages from M’lady on those days, mainly reporting that she was opening her 2nd bottle of champagne by noon, LOL! I would reply to the effect that, like the 5th -10th boards in from outer edge, hope that she didn’t have any screws loose, as those boards didn’t yet have all theirs in place!

I re-used all the trellis panels which previously supported the rather wild Wisteria up and over the caravan. I have re-erected them in a form resembling an old folding screen, as dictated by the roots of the conifer tree behind, painted it all to preserve, and hung some garden artowrk upon it. I made a corresponding planting area for climbers, which will be of Oriental origin.

The low “fence” dividng the area from the grass was made from more recycled trellis. As many of you will know, it is almost impossible to totally kill off a Wisteria.

The one seen in the pic (below) once totally covered the old caravan, but keeps on growing after it was struck
down to remove the wreck. I am currently training its tendrils along this low fence, just to break up the area a bit.

It was this huge old Wisteria, after all, which gave us the idea for a “Hint of the Orient” area.

Alas, it will probably never look so good again. :-(

This brings me to last week, when M’lady and I went on a shopping trip to a very nice, privately-owned GC, to buy 4 6ft tall Bamboos to screen off the rather old, rundown wooden garage.

We spent well over an hour choosing 4 healthy specimens, before making our choice. Then… M’lady spotted the Buddhas! Trying to make her choose just one was “Mission Impossible”, as she just had to have one of each!! And, so, now there is…….

…….this lovely head………….

….this jolly Buddha………

…and this 3ft tall one, which is my personal fave, with the 4 Bamboos (Phyllostachys aurea) now planted behind. So much for a “hint” of the Orient!!! Still, as said b4, it is their garden, not mine….and it was great fun going shopping with someone else, and not with my money!!

The area around which this last Buddha is seated is to be made into a raised border, mulched with gravel or slate, and with minimalist planting of Oriental grasses or Azaleas……..well, that would be my “vision”, but, of course, anything could happen!


More blog posts by david

Previous post: Spring Colour at The Haven

Next post: A Haven for Birds



Welcome back David! Sorry you lost so many things to the awful weather and the raging torrent.
You are doing a great job there! The sun patio looks wonderful, as do the bamboos!

23 Oct, 2011


Yes welcome back David. You are making everything look great. Wonderful job. Like it all.

23 Oct, 2011


Glad to see you back David. M'Lady is very lucky to have you on board for all the work being done around their garden. I think a coating of yoghourt would work wonders on the fish in the pond but it won't be necessary for the lovely lady in your last statue pic. I would love something like that in my garden.She looks so serene. I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of the plants to the stream. Looking at it when you first showed it it is almost unbelievable that this raging torrent is the same stretch of water. At least you now know to avoid planting in that flood plain area again. I have some spare lazula sylvaticus, if that is of any use to you for your oriental garden.

23 Oct, 2011


Hello David and welcome back, gosh that stream has turned into a river, hope you are not too disheartened, it might go the other way next year, it will be interesting to see what happens then.
I do like your decking area, sounds as though M,Lady does as well especially with her glass of bubbly close at hand, lol.
It all looks good David, hows things in your own garden? its funny you popping up tonight, I only made a mention of you and your crew in another blog earlier today, I hope they are both hale and hearty...

23 Oct, 2011


Nice to hear from you David. You've been busy with the garden. That stream looks dangerous. We've had a wet cold summer here aswell. The decking area is lovely.

24 Oct, 2011


hello Davind...i love the decking by the pond ..what a difference you have made...i'd love a glass or two with Ma'lady sitting there.....:-)

24 Oct, 2011


Well well, how nice to hear from you again David. Funny because I was double checking you just a couple of days ago, wondering where you had got to! Been missing you. Lovely deck that....great job! How is your own garden coming along then? What theme have you been working on this year, or have the children found other more pressing interests to distract them.....? I do hope you'll be back again before another few months have passed by.....:))

24 Oct, 2011


I notice the avatar has changed ~ is that a clue for the new theme David?

24 Oct, 2011


Hi David...
That stream turned into a torrent didn't it !
You've been very busy... decking area looks lovely..

Are your children getting even more interested in gardening as they grow up ? Have they come up with new theme ideas ?

24 Oct, 2011


Nice to see you back, love the changes you are making and all the planting, how's your garden coming along these days?

24 Oct, 2011


Many Thanks for all your lovely comments, folks!

Will be able to give detailed replies in next day or 2, as working a set of 13hr shifts right now. X

24 Oct, 2011


Hi David...lovely to hear from you....

25 Oct, 2011


Hello stranger welcome back :o) gosh you have worked miracles, I'm sure M'Lady and Squire appreciate your hard work and commitment to doing the job properly ,I hope they occasionally share the Champers with you !! I have one of those frogs we bought it for the grandchildren they are fun !
I'm sorry about your loses in all the bad weather I've put a few seeds in the post that you might find useful :o))

25 Oct, 2011


Hi there nice to have you back, think we've all had a bad summer, but your garden looks lovely, well done.

26 Oct, 2011


I put the idea of aa yoghurt coating to them, Scotsgran, but they won't hear of it. In fact, they clean that fish constantly, lol! I really like Lazula, and had it once in a previous garden. Very tempted to take up your kind offer. :-))

My ears must have been burning, Lincslass and Karen! :-)) Our own garden fared badly, too, and haven't had much time to devote to it as would have liked. The children still like the pirate theme, however, so will be making plans for full steam ahead with some new ideas we had.

Thank You, Hywel and Sandra. Yes, saw weather reports to say that there had been more "squelch" than "Welsh" in your summer. :-(

Hi Tt. They do still enjoy gardening and have been getting involved with it at their school. Am very proud of them!

I hope that I get more opportunities to go out with them and spend their pennies, Bilbo! :-)

Was thinking that some dwarf Azaleas would look nice with the Buddha, Homebird. Your daughter's combination sounds wonderful. :-)

Hi Amy, they are not too mean with the champers and, yes, have had some occasionally. :-) Very kind of you to send more seeds. Will let you know when they arrive. X

26 Oct, 2011


Many Thanks, Motinot and Clarice. It's great to have time to be back again - not that I've been very far away.

That Heuchera rotted, Motinot, but growing on a bit which survived. :-)

26 Oct, 2011


I have lots of lazula David so let me know its not going anywhere.

26 Oct, 2011


Will do, Scotsgran!! :-))

29 Oct, 2011


Glad to see you again, David! :-))

You have had a very busy summer by the sound of it! Shame the rising torrent swept away some of your plants from beside the stream!

I've seen in Spain what can happen to a little stream after a thunderstorm! It's frightening just how fast a placid little stream can become a raging torrent that sweeps everything moveable before it!

We were witnesses to a similar event 2 Christmases back when we went to visit our family in Cuenca. The little "river" that runs below my mother-in-law's place ("below" being a couple of 100 ft!) became a raging torrent in half an hour or so - it literally grew from being a couple of inches deep in the centre to a foaming, mud laden torrent more than 3ft deep! Fortunately it's well protected at its pass through the city to its merger with the big river with high walls at least 10ft high much of the time.

29 Oct, 2011


Its soooooo nice to see you back David, have missed your 'haven' blogs very much. Wow that water is jolly high in that stream there, scary really how our weather can change so rapidly. The garden looks fab and I love that deck, did you take any photos of all those thousands of bulbs you planted? Would be nice to see them, some day. Keep up the good work & spending!!!

2 Nov, 2011


hello David, good to re-connect again. I took the summer off from Goy to go on my travels so it's catch-up time . Looking forward to the Winter conflabs, quiz's & general mischief keeping us from thinking too much about the cold indoorsy season.
Like you I too have changed my avatar, sold my old blue V-Dub so it was time for change.

2 Nov, 2011


Many Thanks, folks, for the "welcome back" greetings. Gosh, Balcony, that river sounds quite dangerous. The rain in Spaind doesn't fall only on the plain, does it? Will be trying to catch up your successes at the allotment this summer. :-)

The progress was too slow to have anything to blog about, Grandmage. There is a couple of tons of slate chips, and other goodies waiting for my next visit. Posted bulb pics of the bulbs in one of my 2 previous blogs. looking forward to seeing them again nexct Spring. :-)

Aw, Bampy, you sold that beauty? Well, I suppose that I should really find a gardening avatar, but this is one of my fave pics from this summer. No doubt, the GoYers will keep us entertained through the dark evenings. :-)

4 Nov, 2011


Hello David ... I too was wondering if all was well with you & your family ... such a shame at the loss of plants in the bad weather ... I love the trellis around the decking ... what a difference to the area before! ... I like those Bamboos ... would never have one again in my own garden though ... little thug took over! ... You made me smile with the Frogs ... how disappointing that M'lady actually wants to keep them ... lol! :o)))

8 Nov, 2011


Hi Shirley :-))

We are all fine, right now, Thank You. Have been amazed, to be honest, by how much was lost, both at The Haven, and at home. Have had Cordylines, phormiums and hardy grasses for years, but lost the lot. Was astounded when they all seemed to have survived the unusually cold winter of -14C, but the unseasonal gales in May finished them all off, and anything else we had newly planted.

Re the Bamboo, had explained the difference between small clump-forming varieties and, as you say, "thugs" which take over, but M'lady wanted instant height and spread. Am going tomorrow to put down membrane and slate chips around them and the Buddha. Yes, can't believe that she has really kept those frogs - even replaced the batteries, lol!! :-))) Mind you, she is an expert at "mind games", and this, together with her always having to have the last word/say on everything. I can just imagine her thinking..."David knows that I DETEST those frogs, but am going to go along with his game of "revenge", hahaha..." I wonder what might appear next? :-D)

8 Nov, 2011


hi David sorry im late but nice to hear from you and hope all is good for you and the children.
sorry about all the damage at the haven but seems you soon get things under control again,
love the frogs and deck to.
they are very lucky having you to take over the garden, bet its not looked so good in a long time, well done :o))

9 Nov, 2011


Hi Sandra, and Thank You for dropping in here (must catch up with what everyone has been doing this summer). Eilidh was in hospital for a few days last week, she really wasn't well, but is fighting fit again. James now under the weather with a virus - never a dull moment!

This area has definitely proved a hit with the owners, and it is quite fun to listen to their plans for developing it further.


9 Nov, 2011


all the best for Eilidh and James

9 Nov, 2011


Have shown them this, Sticki, Many Thanks! Both now sound asleep, and am about to do same. :-))

9 Nov, 2011


glad Eilidh is better david and james is soon better, thats being a parent, we get all the scares and fun, you do a great job david :o))

14 Nov, 2011


Thanx, San - it is just an "occupational hazard", isn't it? :-))

18 Nov, 2011


What a lovely decked area, David! And that Wisteria, wow!

13 Jul, 2012

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