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Safe, I hope!


After the dreadful floods almost exactly a year ago (can you believe it?) we obviously had to do something to protect the house should we get such horrific weather again.

So we’ve been having flood protection built – and today, next door’s wall was finished.

I’ll start at the beginning, back in August. My husband came out into the front garden and we laid out kindling in the shape of a wall across the other side of the path from the existing low double wall, which would have to be raised.

You’ll see that I’d already dug up the plants from that area, and I also removed all the plants from the low wall, and put them in temporary beds by the greenhouse.

empty wall

temporary beds

Next, the stone arrived from the quarry. It was a real feat of driving to get the large lorry with a crane on it into our car park, to drop off four dumpy bags of blue lias stone.

squeezing through the gate

the crane


Mark had been booked to build our new wall, and he dug out the footings, put in the cement and laid a course of stone – all in one day.

the wood is to make drainage holes in the base of the new wall.

the end of day one

By the next day, the new wall was almost complete.

end of day 2

On the third day, he raised the height of the existing wall by about 10 inches.

almost finished

So as soon as the cement dried, I filled the walls with compost and planted them up.

I added some violas and clumps of Iris histriodes ‘Lady Beatrix Stanley’ and ‘Sheila Ann Germany’.

Well – our neighbours liked the look of the walls, so they booked Mark to build theirs. That’s what’s been happening this week – and thank goodness the weather’s been kind – it’s all done.

yesterday – almost done

the wall finished.

The final task is for flood gates to be fitted across the paths – they will slot into position if they’re needed. At last, should there ever be another deluge, we hope we’ll be safe. What a relief to be able to say that!

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The walls look great. Brilliant craftsmanship. It must be such a relief to have it all nearly finished and will give you peace of mind.

13 Dec, 2013


And you have some lovely stone walls as well! Flood gates are a lot more high tech than sandbags! I'm sure we are all trusting you won't have any more awful experiences like last year. It looks very nice too. Brilliant.

13 Dec, 2013


Hear hear Stera!

I truly admire your skill and determination Spritz, to make beauty out of the destruction of a year ago, and fervently hope that those flood gates will never be needed x

13 Dec, 2013


I was thinking about you last week Spritz when our side was flooded, my son lives in Boston very close to the Stump but it didn't get across the railway line, some of his neighbours weren't so lucky..
Those walls look really good, Mark has done himself proud, hoping and praying you'll never need the floodgates but at least you are now prepared should the worst be repeated........

13 Dec, 2013


Beautiful stone work,Spritz..your builder has done a great job,as they look wonderful..I'm glad you have peace of mind now,and can sleep easy knowing you will be safe.

13 Dec, 2013


Like Lincs, I wondered how you were last week Barbara, good to know you were fine. You'll have peace of mind with your new walls and they are a very attractive addition to your garden too! I live a few miles from the Humber bridge where the low lying villages were badly hit by the flood water, luckily ours is on higher ground.

13 Dec, 2013


The walls look fantastic. It must give you some peace of mind now that if ever there's another huge flooding event, your house and garden should escape the damage received last year.

13 Dec, 2013


Thank, everyone. Mark really is a craftsman - he takes great pride in his work and never has to advertise.

I feel a lot better with our defences prepared, because although it's unlikely, it COULD happen again, as it did on the east coast last week. I really felt for those folks.

Funnily enough, several people have walked up our path between the walls, and haven't even noticed them, so they must 'fit in' the garden well. :-))

14 Dec, 2013


Mark is a very gifted man, the wall is a joy to behold, it looks delightful filled with your choice of plants, not surprising your neighbours wanted him to build one for them!! so something good came from the disaster, good to feel safe again.......

14 Dec, 2013


I'm pleased for you. You won't have to worry about being flooded again with that wall in place :o)
It looks nice too, built with local stone and planted up :o)

15 Dec, 2013


Thanks, Dd and Hywel. I'm afraid next door have now planted things in their wall - they've planted pretty flowers, such as azaleas (in bloom!) so one blast of frost or east wind, and all their efforts will be in vain. Such a shame. :-(((

15 Dec, 2013


Don't you itch to tell them Spritz!
I feel sorry for all those supermarket poinsettias being stuffed into trolleys for a cold windy trip across the car park. :0)

15 Dec, 2013


Oh such a shame, still we all live and learn......

15 Dec, 2013


Yes, Pam, I would love to be able to help with ideas for planting up their bit of wall - but my advice wouldn't be welcome. :-(

Ah well. As Dd says, we live and learn. Maybe this will be a learning experience for them??

16 Dec, 2013


Your wall is lovely and the plants are so pretty.

17 Dec, 2013


Thanks, Sixpence. :-)

18 Dec, 2013


Only just now come across this blog of yours, Spritz! Belated New Year's greeting to you! LOL!

How have you fared with all the rain we had in December & the first half of this January? Have you had to put up the floodgates? I hope not! If you did, did they really save you from flooding?

I loved the walls you had put up as well as the flowers you've put in them! Shame about the flowers your neighbours put in but I hope they don't loose them too soon.

20 Jan, 2014


Yes, Balcony - we came within an inch of flooding (and testing the walls!!!) The flood gate has been put in place several times... and part of the garden has flooded. At the moment, the stream is behaving, but there's yet another Atlantic storm on its way here later this week. Eeek! Poor Henry - he has to jump over the gate to get out and it's not good for his arthritis. :-((

21 Jan, 2014


brillinat bit of work, in conception and execution - and if your neighbours all do the same it should present a united front to fututre threat so you won't get sneaked up on from the side

21 Jan, 2014


It's only us and next door who can help ourselves with walls - the other houses at risk will have to think up different strategies. I just hope it never gets that bad ever again! They did say it was a one in a hundred years 'event'. Let's hope it was!!

22 Jan, 2014


amen to that! but it seems that recetly, "one in a hundred years" seems to happen a bit more often. fingers firmly crossed, anyway

22 Jan, 2014


I know - our local BBC news is full of pictures of the Somerset Levels, all under water. We're just grateful it isn't us - this time. I really feel for those folks. :-(

23 Jan, 2014


This is such a relief - I've kept wondering how you were getting on, as I'm sure lots of us have.

23 Jan, 2014


I suspect our flood gate will have to go back in today, as there's yet another amber warning out. It started raining in the wee small hours - again, and there's more on the way, too. :-((

We've had three dry days in a row, so the stream has had a chance of dropping, thank goodness. :-)

24 Jan, 2014


After all the recent rain I am wondering how your flood preventions have fared lately? hope you are all OK.

13 Feb, 2014


Yes, thanks - the garden has flooded three times, but the water didn't quite reach the new flood walls. I'm glad - although it would be sort of interesting to see if they work!

14 Feb, 2014


Good to hear the defences haven't been breached, fingers crossed for todays deluge x

14 Feb, 2014


In one word - horrific! The storm is still with us and that's 24 hours now. We're trapped here, with the lanes all awash. The TV reporter was talking about the danger of Bridgwater itself flooding. The river Parrett goes right through the centre. I've seen the Dutch pumps at work but it's still fingers crossed for hundreds more homes at risk.

15 Feb, 2014


Did your flood defences hold up? I hope they did & that you weren't flooded for a second year!

We lost power during the gale force winds of last night! As we were in bed & asleep when it happened we didn't notice! I only realized the power must have gone during the night when I saw my radio/clock blinking which it only does when the power is interrupted. I calculated that it had been off for about 2 hours & 20mins.

Nothing the worse for it, thank goodness.

15 Feb, 2014


The water hasn't quite reached the flood walls, Balcony - it came close several times. I feel for those poor people who have been so badly affected. It was four months for us - they won't be back in their homes for a lot, lot longer. You were lucky there!

16 Feb, 2014


I still see in my mind that reporter in waders, water up to his chest.....and the door knocker of the house!

You must be so relieved Spritz that the foresight to protect your home worked.
It must be a worry when the water is lying for weeks inside and out.....would the foundations be undermined.

16 Feb, 2014


Relieved for you Spritz, hard to believe with the sunny springlike day we are having that so much of the country is underwater......

16 Feb, 2014


Yes, and I don't know if you've seen the huge Dutch pumps they brought in to help to drain the Levels? Well, the river bank won't support their weight, so they've been turned off until the army come up with a solution. That's a real blow for the poor people on the Levels.

17 Feb, 2014


That wasn't on the news - how awful and so disappointing. I was thinking about you again last night - you have a lot of friends rooting for you.

17 Feb, 2014


I know, and I really appreciate it. xx

The army have started dropping shipping containers onto the bank to shore it up. They really do work fast, and we all hope the Dutch pumps can be turned on again today.

Of course, our BBC local news keeps us all up to date with flooding events.

18 Feb, 2014


I've seen these Dutch pumps working in some places on the news on TV & the amount of water they can shift in 24h is mind-boggling! Millions & millions of Lt can be shifted in that time! I said to my wife that though that's an enormous amount of water it really doesn't "tell" you very much - but if they told you so many Olympic sized swimming pools of water can be shifted that would be a different story! LOL!

18 Feb, 2014


I'm relieved to tell you that the measures the army took, which was using ship containers dropped onto the river bank, worked well, and the pumps are back on.

Unfortunately, the area is now a tourist trap and 'Joe Public' are parking all over the place to watch - blocking the main road to the M5! I think the police will have to start moving them on. I know it's interesting and a very unusual spectacle, but they are a real nuisance. Why can't they park safely and considerately and walk there???? Laziness??? Grrrrr......

19 Feb, 2014


Barbara I'm so glad you've had this lovely wall built I often thought about your beautiful garden after the last flood , fingers crossed you will never have that problem again ...

25 Feb, 2014


Hear hear, Amy!

26 Feb, 2014

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