Monday, 2 July 2012

End of Month View - June 2012

Being Scottish, it may come as no surprise that I’m a bit of a rain gardener. Truth be told, I actually enjoy gardening in the rain so much more than on a sunny warm day - which honestly we do get too!

However, muddy ground in the area of my wildlife pond build is becoming a bit of a battle just now – but one I am determined to win. Finally after three years of on/off garden work here the end is almost in sight :-)

Before I go on any further, my thoughts go to families that are battling muddy water clean-ups in their homes and gardens here in the UK (and elsewhere). Summer flooding always seems so much worse to me. Let’s hope the worst is past.

The image below was taken at the end of the month (as I join Patient Gardener, Helen and other bloggers) is a pretty accurate snapshot of how things were and had been at the end of June.




The garden table spent most of the month quietly covered and unused. Meanwhile, June was the month where foliage plants just partied it up and up! The garden is getting noisy now ;-)

As a garden blogger I am known for my postings on my bird, nestbox and hedgehog visitors. However, I'm a plantswoman at heart and I really must get out with my camera more often to capture what’s happening around all my borders. I’m loving the way some plantings are taking shape now – I just need to remind myself of this and not move anything for a year ;-)

Interestingly, Helen was chatting in her post about how she has unknowingly succumbed to foliage plants. I’m on the other side as I add more flowering plants to my strong foliage garden. I like how as gardeners we all have both different and similar likes. As garden bloggers we can get so much inspiration from each other.

Finally, on the photo above, that pile of turf has a tale to tell! Part of my wildlife pond works has been working towards a flat clean area to make a grass path. I also intend having a grass edge to my pond. Freshly delivered turf to a store I happened to pass by on a day out with my daughter seemed to be too good an opportunity to pass up despite other stores being considerably closer to home.

Boot already grass turf pick-up ready with a large fabric bag previously used for a gravel delivery to keep it clean, sleeves up, I lifted 10 strips of grass turf into my boot bag. Delighted with my find we headed home. It absolutely was not the day to have the car break down on us.

Fortunately, I was able to stop on a hard shoulder of a busy duel carriage road (just off the Edinburgh by-pass) but we were getting pretty close to the evening rush hour. Rescue service & police called we didn’t have to wait too long to get help. However having lost power to drive my car (due to a burst alternator drive belt) getting the car on to the rescue van’s tow ramp was proving tricky due to the weight of both car and turf!

Finally sorted, it was a steady (busy commuter) drive direct to our usual local garage which was a bit of a drive away from our breakdown. We were very grateful to be taken straight there. My husband met us there with his smaller commuting car, seats down and boot lining sheet ready to receive the grass turf. However, having an electronic only boot opening on the breakdown car it had to be briefly jump started so my key could open the boot to get the turf out!

Phew… small car loaded, we finally got home safely and we didn’t need to abandon the turf anywhere! As yet, the turf still waits patiently for the muddy earth to dry and get its final levelling. Since then, my pond liner and underlay have been bought and as soon as we get a couple of dry days I can begin again – first job will be to load the boot with the bags of excess earth I don’t have a home for that is huddled under my hedge to keep dry.



Okay, coming back to the title of the post and to my end of the month view, back at the end of May this is how the pond works looked…



And here we have it at the end of June…



At a glance, it perhaps doesn’t look like much has changed but levels etc have. I have been very busy on other garden area tidy-ups too hence my absence in the blogging world. Last year at this time was hard (and for the rest of the year). I couldn’t face my garden during health issues with my husband.

Back in March, he had his 6 month check-up and everything was ok which is good news for now. It looks like he is getting closer to becoming diabetic but he is a very lucky man and this post is a long way from this post back in September last year. For those new to my blog, I don’t usually share personal stuff.


Coming back to my end of the month view… here’s the pond works from the other side on the 30th of June...



Finally, here’s how things looked the next day on the first day of July. You can now see how this is taking shape…



I’m trying not to get too carried away as I still have a lot of hard work to do yet and lots of ideas to implement but… it’s looking very promising that I’ll finally have my completed wildlife pond for next time. Oh… I do hope my plans and ideas come together :-)

So my garden blogging friends (I’ll be over to catch up with you soon), what garden plans do you hope to complete during the month of July? Do share in a comment, I’d love to hear. Sending my best wishes to you all :-)


This post was written by Shirley for shirls gardenwatch in July 2012.

10 comments:

Cher' Shots said...

Gardening is one of those things that you either love it or leave it. Like you, I also LOVE it. And as the landscape around us continues to change with my new 'ideas' I'm loving it more and more. I'm so anxious to check back and watch your progression.
'love & hugs from afar'

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Yay for the new gardening area!

That cool garden in the first shot was a sight for these sore eyes. We're SO dry here... we could take some of that rain that you all seem to be getting too much of this summer. (Actually, we would take all of it, at this point!) :-)

Sue@G.L. Allotments said...

At least once the liner is in the rain should fill the pond up and save you one job - although maybe that will be a signal for a heatwave.

Christina said...

I smiled while reading your adventures with the turf; I'm sure it is a story you will always laugh about in future but was not a laughing matter when it happened. Christina

Lisa at Greenbow said...

It looks like progress to me. I know it will be beautiful when you are finished so take your time. What drama getting the sod to your house. I hope your car is well now.

Midmarsh John said...

Bit of a fraught time collecting the turf Shirl, Nice to see the pond coming along. It won't be too long now before it's ready to start attracting some wildlife.

gwirrel said...

Hi Shirley,

Hey! At least you up in Scotland have LESS than average rain so far, compared to us down in inger-land with far more than average :(
baaaaaah.
You're making good progress with the pond and I'm looking forward to seeing it finished soon :)

shirl said...

Hello everyone, I’m quicker of the mark with replies this time :-)

Cher, I agree with you completely. I hope I don’t keep you waiting too long for my next pond update. I’ve had a night off tonight. Thanks for popping by :-)

Kim, yay indeed! I enjoyed your last post but was sad to hear you will be leaving the garden you have shared with us over the last few years. On the upside – watching a new gardening area from you will be fun. I love the way you use colour and texture in your garden plantings. Wishing you rainfall soon – lol… careful for what you wish for ;-)

Sue, my thoughts exactly – on both counts!

Christina, yes we got there in the end getting our turf home. Lol… my daughter said: ‘a story to tell the grand kids ;-)

Lisa, yes progress is being made and tonight I have had a break away from my pond works – I was getting too desperate to see it finished and need to step back again and look what is next to do. Yep, hope I didn’t bore everyone with my turf (sod) story but just what were the chances… yes car seems to be well again now :-)

John, just a little fraught… pulleys from the RAC tow van had to be used to pull my car on to the tow ramp and for safety we had been asked to stay inside the van. However, the weight and pulley pull did begin to lift the front of the van up which we were a little uneasy about. We began to fear that towing wasn’t going to be possible. All the way to the garage I found myself focussing on whether or not I was feeling the front of the van lift - It didn’t. The worst part was on crossing the very busy Forth Road Bridge where there was no hard shoulder. Thanks, I had time off my pond works today. Looking forward to seeing what, how and when wildlife discover my finished pond. Having low maintenance gardens around me this is going to be interesting and I might need to be patient :-)

Liz, lol… I didn’t want to say ;-) I’ve had a peek at your EOM post and I’ll be over again soon. I love the way your borders are taking shape. You make a good point for new gardeners that read your blog that a border does need a review in planting once things grow. That’s the fun part for me. When working on a new area, instead of heading to the garden centre I often go plant shopping with a wheelbarrow around my garden which thins out overplanting at the same time. Having a small garden I spread (usually by division) a plant around a few borders and I find this works for my space. Thanks, I hope my ideas work with my pond. It’s been a bigger job than I ever imagined – nearly there though :-)

ShySongbird said...

Goodness, that car breakdown sounded rather unpleasant! Glad you were able to get home safely eventually, complete with turf :-)

I think the new pond is going to be wonderful! You have been teasing us with it for a while now so it will be lovely to see it in all it's glory and then watch its progression and hopefully see lots of visitors :-)

It is so good to read your husband is still progressing well. My dear old Dad developed diabetes when he was in his 50s or 60s due to surgery on his pancreas gland but it was always very well controlled with tablets.

shirl said...

Hello Jan, yep not the best of cargo in the boot for a breakdown that’s for sure. With all the rain, it still waits to find its final home. It’s green and lush though ;-)

Thanks, I am hoping my pond will work out with all the extra thoughts I have for it. I am building it for me the gardener as well as the wildlife watcher :-D

Thanks, in a few days my husband sees Doc. If we are told then that he has diabetes then at least we won’t be guessing his diet so it might be easier. Good to hear tablets worked well with your Dad :-)