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Water, water...


(started writing this this a while ago and then got sidetracked)
(Back at the end of May), we had three nice dry days and there was a bank holiday round the corner so I got the Belfast sink out of storage and gave it a clean and sealed the plug hole to make it watertight.

And then the rain started. In between the ‘showers’ on Saturday morning, I did manage to clean out the little corner that I’d earmarked for the sink. The soil here was rank! If there’s not much other than Welsh poppies and a buddleia growing in the raised beds then this corner was even worse – not even moss was growing and I soon found out why when, about 4" down, I hit something hard which turned out to be a neat layer of bricks, sitting on top of a layer of 1" thick quarry tiles. Now it seemed a shame to leave the tiles under the bricks so up came the bricks, up came the tiles and down came the rain.
Twenty minutes later my hole in the ground was full of water. Muddy trainers off, kettle on, feet up!

Sunday and the sun came out, after a fashion. I had a nice level, if somewhat waterlogged, hole and put the bricks in place then took them up again, deciding that they needed to be on a bed of concrete. And while I was about it, I’d get some pond liner and make an official bog garden at the front.

The rain water finally drained away enough to make a concrete bed. The sun was shining brightly and I used dry mix concrete and watered it in. The rains came about 10 minutes later!

Several days later (rain and working late slowed things down) and finally able to dig out the bog area and discover another reason for water retention – solid clay less than a foot down! Rain was starting again so tipped in a load of gravel and moved the sink into place – it had filled up with rain water during the week which I had to bail out.

Sink in place, levelled, finished off with some of the salvaged quarry tiles and planted up.

Bog garden filled with mix of compost and well-rotted manure. Leave it settle!

Another week (more rain to help the soil settle) and move the bog arum, acorus and sisyrinchium and a small hosta to the bog ‘garden’. Bought this hosta this morning on my way down the A6 from Manchester – there was an ‘extra’ in the pot but I didn’t catch what the chap said it was (just heard ‘rubra’) not sure what will take and am quite prepared for failure! But I’m hoping that at least the Sis. and acorus will spread.

Finally, add gravel mulch and top up the gravel on the water plants (preferably remembering to rinse it first!)

It took three weekends in all – probably about 3 hours work if it had been done in dry weather!

And now a month or so on – the water plants are doing well. Slugs have definitely discovered the hosta – I’ve only found two slugs and one snail in the yard and these were on the now-departed euonymous.

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How interesting. Makes you wonder if there used to be a small shed or something on that site. Some nice lush green will make a world of difference to that corner and give you lots of pleasure. Your tiny bog garden could be an ispiration to people who thought they hadn't got room for one!

30 Jul, 2014


Thanks Stera. I don't think there was a shed as I removed a bit of wall that wasn't quite part of the raised bed. Can't imagine what was there and why they didn't continue the raised bed along to the wall.
The clay continues along the width of the yard at least - I've dug out further along for a pond and struggled to get the depth for the pond (will write that up when the waterfall is finished)

30 Jul, 2014


You're a bobby for punishment! Looking forward to details about the pond-to-be.

30 Jul, 2014


I feel quite ashamed that it's taking me so long to do anything in my tiny yard when I see the work that some people achieve within a few weeks of moving in.

31 Jul, 2014

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