Posts Tagged ‘soil’

The Low Road

December 13, 2015 Leave a comment
The High Road

The High Road

A pink rose arches over some steps.

The photo was actually taken a couple of years ago. Since then more than one shaping branch has come and gone. This Spring, again, I’ll have to saw off the current one to let a younger, higher one take over. Otherwise it will be Duck or Grouse.

If the rose has taken the High Road over the stairway, there’s also a Low Road, formed by settlement of the soil under the concrete of the top step.

This is the domain of couch grass, which thinks nothing of groping its way blindly through a metre-long tunnel in search of new territory.

My latest gardening project is to cultivate the little piece of ground to the left of the steps, but the couch grass the other side has ambitions.

Today I hauled several wiry stems out of the communicating passage; they were obviously the advance party.


Off the grid

April 9, 2013 2 comments
Off the grid

Off the grid

We have two peach trees which suddenly appeared as tiny saplings out of the soil of our newly planted orchard.

They derived from the scrappy old orchard that was there before.

The 43 trees that we’d just planted in a grid were about a metre tall, while these saplings grew up virtually from ground level.

Now they’re beginning to catch up.

Last year, weight for weight, they probably produced nearly as many peaches as the 2 grid ones, except that the ‘rogue’ fruit is very small – sweet but small.

This year, goodness knows, because their blossom is a lot more abundant.

It’s hard to believe how different the blossom can be between 2 species of peach tree.

On the grid

On the grid

Japanese water cascade

March 13, 2013 1 comment
Japanese garden by blue pig

The Japanese-style cascade

Last night, just as we were about to go to bed, I happened to notice a different note to the water that always escapes from the blue pig water tank when the spring is running abundantly.

I checked the pipe that goes into the pond: nothing was coming out so the connection had to be broken.

While Clive leaned out of the bathroom window holding a torch for me, I put together the two separated parts of the 10 cm diameter pipe and directed the immensely strong flow of water down the proper channel, securing one side of the pipe with wire attached to a screw in the trunk of an oak tree.

This morning, I found my bodge job had held so far and the water was running through to the pond.

However the normal escape water was still saturating the soil at the foot of the blue pig and needed to be led away.

So I constructed a mini Japanese-type water cascade using old roof tiles – very rough but, if none of its elements slip, effective.

If the spring was abundant for a larger proportion of the year, I’d love to do a proper job – but preferably not propped on a slippery bank in the rain!


March 8, 2013 Leave a comment
Groundsel seed head, magnification x 10

Groundsel seed head, magnification x 10

The problem with the arrival of Spring is that you realise just how much there is to do in the garden and are forced to accept there’s no time to do it in.

The weeds seem to have had a good time this winter; there’s more greenery in the gravel of the courtyard than I’ve ever seen before.

There are clumps of couch grass in the flower beds that bring up more soil than I can lift.

Groundsel, of which there is masses this year, is easier to pull up.

However its seed heads, beautiful though they are, just mean more work further down the line!