A happy place is anywhere near water but particularly beside the pond, watching the goldfish.
Tag Archives: goldfish
A finished garden, the reward for the hard work designing and building it, I was sorry to leave it behind when I moved
I know August is not a traditional time for reflection in the garden but with the end of the summer holidays now in sight I find that I am thinking back over what I have achieved (or not) over the past summer that I had such high hopes for. The lack of progress with making something of my current garden and the fact that I am considering studying Garden Design as an optional subject next semester both have me thinking more about the garden in my previous house. We had been there two years before work started, the back garden was a complete blank canvas of concrete paving slabs, I had spent a bit of time working out a design that we both were happy with and we took some time off and with a bit of help, got stuck in.
We were working with a garden on a slope slightly less than 30 feet long and a little over 20 feet wide. We gained about an extra yard when we cut back the ivy growing over the wall at the back of the garden, never really got rid of the ivy despite pulling out bits of it on a regular basis. The garden had two permanent walls, an old stone wall at the back and a concrete block wall on the south side. There was also a block wall shed on the north side and a wooden fence dividing our garden from the neighbours on that side. The final side was the house wall. All the paving, blocks and stone created a great sun trap, although the walls and neighbouring houses meant that the garden had little full sun, so plants had to be able to deal with partial shade.
Working with the slope required a little ingenuity as well. We dealt with this by creating a pond and raised bed that were taller at one end than the other and had three steps going up between them to allow for the change in level. Much of the original paving was removed, a new patio at the higher level was created with more attractive paving slabs, and room was made for planting in borders around it. We edged the new patio with slate chippings to give a more gradual change between the hard landscaping and the planting.
This was a design that I was very pleased with and even happier with as it turned out in reality. The hard work and effort gave us a garden to be proud of and to enjoy living with, one that improved as it matured. We sold the house four years after putting it together and I just hope that any designs and plans I put together for our current garden give me as much pleasure as that one did.
After two weeks away the garden was not quite as bad as I had feared. It rained quite a bit while we were gone so the plants were well watered, but the weeds have taken over. I try not to use chemicals in the garden which means a lot of hand weeding.
So far this year we have enjoyed gooseberries, blackcurrants, broccoli, lettuce, lovely stewed rhubarb and a couple of raspberries. The birds have helped themselves to the white and red currants before we could get any and the strawberries are late flowering this year but hopefully they will ripen soon.
I didn’t get far with my plans for clearing out seeds so I’ll have to get back to that next year. The new pond filter is up and running and the water is a lot clearer with the UV clarifier clearing up the algae. It’s great to be able to see all my goldfish.
We managed to get two beds done in the veg garden, one with rhubarb, raspberries and some fruit bushes and one with potatoes. They all seem to be doing well, the rhubarb has filled out and the raspberries are spreading through the whole bed like a weed. I’ve never grown potatoes before so I’m looking forward to seeing how they turn out.