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My Stream Bank Project - I DID IT!!!!


You may remember that I started to clear the bank of the stream that runs through our garden at the far side of the bridge. This was a project I had been thinking of doing for some time. This is why – it was an eyesore!

Well, finally I got round to it, encouraged by my husband who built a little paved platform so that I could get down the wall onto the bank. It was a tough job to clear the weeds.
Then I started the laborious task of digging out the roots of nettles, brambles, long grass, cow parsley, dock and so on while trying not to fall in the stream! Wellies were definitely required, and Henry was shut indoors – his favourite occupation is gallumphing up and down in the water, barking happily! Here’s my progress after the first day’s work.

Then I hit the proverbial wall. It had been such physically tiring work that I wished I had never begun! So I took a day off, and went off down into Devon to my favourite Nursery with a list of marginal plants (I used Beth Chatto’s book – such a help!). I felt inspired to get the rest finished ready for planting my goodies! BUT
The next day the rain started. It went on…and on… and up came the stream level! The water covered quite a lot of the bank I had sweated over. Wasn’t it fortunate that I hadn’t actually started the planting! I was waiting for my husband to help empty the ‘brewed’ compost bin into the empty one, to add humus to the bank soil.

But this afternoon – I dug in the compost and planted my precious marginals! That was of course the best bit!

What did I plant?
I found a Zantedeschia aethiopica ‘Crowborough’, two Lobelia cardinalis, two Iris laevigata, two Primula vialii, a Ligularia stenocephala ‘The Rocket’, a Marsh Mallow, an Astilbe arendsii ‘Fanal’ and a Lysichiton americana (Skunk Cabbage) – the last given to me by a friend. I had grown Lythrum (Purple Loosestrife) from seed last year and had a whole row of pots lined up outside the greenhouse, so I planted several of those too. What fun I had with the Skunk Cabbage! I cut the pot off, wired a large stone to a bigger pot and replaced the plant. This was to ‘anchor’ it at the far end of the bank, with its roots in the water. Fingers crossed that the stream doesn’t rise before the plants get established, or they will probably end up near Grenville at Bristol! Finally, a photo of the Primula vialii because it is the only plant in flower – and it’s a beauty!

i wonder what my next project will be? Hmmm. A look round the garden is called for.

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What a sense of achievement when you've done something you've been putting off for a while! Well done!

2 May, 2008


wow well done, you did great.

2 May, 2008


Wow you did all this despite a flood? Very impressed.You say a friend gave you some skunk cabbage - know them well do you?

2 May, 2008


This planting will look so natural

3 May, 2008


This is looking lovely. Well done, such a graet project.

3 May, 2008


Quite a daunting project, but what a difference it has made ! Let's hope the weather is kind this month so that the plants get off to a really good start ...... looking forward to seeing them when they mature.

3 May, 2008


Hi Spritz.
Forgot to say how lovely your natural stream is. Its such a fabulous feature, and you are so fortunate to have it running alongside your garden.
We are not too keen on the 'synthetic' versions of streams in garden settings as they rarely look authentic and can look very contrived.Please post up some more photos when the plants are established.How about a Gunnera as well ?-Sorry, you know we have one in a container and we are Gunnera fans!!!

3 May, 2008


You never cease to amaze me, Spritz! In your shoes, even with that lovely natural stream, I may well have given in long ago to even the possibilty of flooding and done nothing about the banking and planting, but you are getting to grips with it and tackling it, at some expense(physically and monetary), and the results, I know, will be
brilliant. the primula vialii is really lovely!

4 May, 2008


It looks GREAT Spritz and it can only get better. Great accomplisment for you.

4 May, 2008


Congratulations, all your hard work certainly paid off.

4 May, 2008

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