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Posts Tagged ‘bank’

Sweet pea sanctuary

May 29, 2013 Leave a comment
Growing unmolested

Sweet peas growing unmolested

At the end of last summer we ripped up the dry sweet pea stems, pods and all, and spread them in bundles around the place to seed themselves.

Nowhere are they unwelcome where they’ve sprouted, but in a lot of cases they can’t be left.

In our bit of lawn, for example, which would be about 6 feet tall by now if we’d left it uncut.

But on this bank, on the shady side of the house where nothing else grows, they can flourish to their hearts’ content.

Clive complained about the lack of variety in the colour but I defended them vigorously.

“There’s purple,” I said, “pale purple, deep purple, white, deep purply red, pinky purple, pink, pale pink …”

I would have thought that was enough, even for flowers in such quantity!

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Framing the view

May 7, 2013 Leave a comment
Wisteria arch and belvedere

Wisteria arch and belvedere

This part of the garden is my very favourite but it came together by accident.

I planted the wisteria half way up the steps in the picture imagining it would grow both upwards and downwards.

Naturally it only grew up, so to channel its ebullience when it reached the top, I made an arch for it to twine over.

The white balustrade, rather than a romantic feature, was conceived originally as a safety barrier round the roof of a water tank which should have been buried underground.

It all happened as if an artist had taken charge and was turning our mistakes to advantage.

But with the green hills and blue mountains beyond we couldn’t have gone very far wrong – everything we created made a frame for them.

Landslip

April 6, 2013 1 comment
Galileo's tobogan run

Galileo’s tobogan run

The photo shows our own private landslip, one of Galileo’s favourite places to play.

It’s where a gate would slide across if ever we had one, in a part of the drive widened by cutting into the bank.

The gabions (wire cages) filled with stones do a wonderful job of holding back the rest of the bank.

But landslips, including ancient ones elsewhere on our land, aren’t always predictable and contained.

On the road to Foligno last Tuesday, a landslip went right across one carriageway and carried a house with it.

Nine families were evacuated from their homes just in case.

The road is still closed today so we went in the other direction to do our shopping to avoid the traffic jams along the diversion.

I dare say there’ll be many more consequences of this extraordinarily wet spring.

Water channel

April 4, 2013 Leave a comment
Long waterfall taking the escape water away

The waterfall taking the escape water away

With all the recent rain, the spring is still flowing abundantly.

Today Chokri and I overhauled my Japanese water cascade so that the bulk of the water escaping from the blue pig runs right away.

First we took out one section of the pipe that goes into the blue pig, and sent the water directly from the broad pipe into the top, wrapping a piece of tarpaulin round it to prevent debris going in.

Joules and Galileo drinking - updated

Two redheads drinking

Then we built a snake of roof tiles, weaving in and out of the violets, down to the foot of the bank.

At the end of the channel we put a tray for the dogs to drink out of.

It wasn’t long before we had our first customers.

Violets are blue, rivers are green

March 31, 2013 Leave a comment
Violets with the river in the background

Violets with the river in the background

Snatching our moment between showers and storms, we went down to the River Topino, which runs through the valley below our house.

The river was a swollen torrent of opaque, greenish water.

Clive spent his time considering how he would work out the flow rate using Pooh sticks.

I walked along the bank with Galileo and found violets growing in great expanses round the boles of the poplar trees.

It was a strange contrast: the turbulence of the current and the sweet-scented delicacy of the flowers.

Galileo’s outing

March 12, 2013 8 comments
Galileo on a mission

Galileo on a mission

Galileo is in a very typical posture in the photo – nose down, following a scent.

Being from truffle-hunting ancestors, I guess he must have an extraordinarily powerful sense of smell.

He’s still very nervous of strangers. When someone comes he slips into some inaccessible corner and sits there with eyes as big as saucers.

Today I took him for his first little outing to try and get him used to the world.

He walked with me, on his lead, the short distance from where we were parked to the bank.

The bank teller, a friendly young man, spotted him through the window when I picked him up and was crooning over him before I’d even negotiated the security turnstile.

He reached across and touched Galileo, who then spent the rest of the visit cowering in the footwell of the counter.

It might just have been that Galileo knew he was retracing his steps, but it seemed to me that he had more confidence on the return walk.

He certainly didn’t do my image any harm in the bank!

Rosemary in flower

January 5, 2013 Leave a comment
Rosemary flower braving the frost

Rosemary flower braving the frost

I haven’t been outside much lately owing to back problems, but I couldn’t bear to disappoint Joules any more.

He loves it when I venture forth, whether it’s to garden or just look round; he positively skips with excitement.

I found that the wild boars (probably, although it could be a particularly energetic porcupine) have dug an enormous hole in the bank where the garden slopes down, undermining a lavender bush.

Just above this excavation, I noticed that the rosemary, despite other flowers turning brown due to the frost, is producing pretty pale blue flowers.

If old wives’ tales are to be believed, that means my ascendancy over Clive (ha, ha) is still going strong.