Wet and dry progress in July

Two workdays this month mean the Garden has now gained an actual pond (not just huge squelchy puddles) in the boggy area near the northern fence line.


It’s officially a wildlife pond too, as a toad hopped in even while we were still digging. Hopefully plenty more plants and creatures will adopt it. There are no plans at the moment to artificially manage what grows there.

The pond is about a foot deep, a bit more in some places. If you feel the urge, you can comfortably explore it with wellies on, unless you’re peedie.

The earth dug out of the pond was barrowed a few yards away to make a bank to offer the polytunnel some protection from westerly winds. We need to get that bund higher to make much difference, come the winter – especially as the willows in the shelter belts have not put on much weight this cold, wet year.
So, if you’re doing any digging on site and end up with spare earth, please help build up the bank with your leftovers.

Other success? The picnic table now matches the shed, thanks to Jenny today painting it with preservative. By the time you read this, the wood should be dry.

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Comments
2 Responses to “Wet and dry progress in July”
  1. Sarah Conlon says:

    Hi Ian, Thank you for the pictures. The garden is looking great. I got called away to look after my parents for a couple of weeks and as a result haven’t been up to the garden for a while. By now our patch is probably looking a bit wild. This is just to let you know that I haven’t forgotten and indeed to have another go over the next couple of days. it would be extremely useful if you could you let me know the key no for the lock on the shed as I have forgotten it. In terms of funding ideas for the water pump etc. have you spoken to Dan’s wife (I’m afraid I don’t know her name). I believe she is an archaeological expert on the water spring next to the garden. A while ago on telly Monty Don did a programme about the gardens of France . On the series there was a Leonardo do Vinci expert who took Monty down to explore the water system in an old 15th century French castle. I know Leonardo da Vinci did work constructing a canal from Milan to Rome in Italy but realise that this has nothing to do with the spring near the garden even though in Scotland there is a hidden history of holy springs e.g. at Holyrood Palace or St Margaret’s Cave in Dunfermline. There are so many historic connections and there must be someone who knows someone who has at some stage researched the archaeology and history of the spring. I know in the not too distant past there used to be some sort of festival where they I think walked the cattle along by the well or spring on the site. It sounds a bit over the top really but I even have it in mind at some stage e.g. in the 1980s Orkney islands Council may have had plans to put a hydro electric water pump or flour mill on the site or create a special Stromness bottled water site. It might be worth talking to the engineering staff at Heriot Watt University or University of Highlands and Islands to find out what they know about the site. It may be that the project might be suitable for a volunteer student design project or might link up with charity initiatives e.g. Water Aid or Schumacher “Small is Beautiful” training funding initiative. Failing that the local foot ball team might have some ideas about where you can get man power or sponsorship from local business e.g. the garden centre in Kirkwall. At the beginning of the year we did an interstellar satellite mapping project with Dan in the freezing cold so maybe this is a way to get some sort of finance. Finally is funding available from the European Parliament for community gardening projects? I wish you well with the project . in the meantime if you could let me have the security no for the shed this would be helpful. Sarah Conlon

  2. Sarah Conlon says:

    Ian, forgot also to mention the Community Garden at Burnt island in Fife has restored their old water mill and also has a substantial community project attached. it might be worth contacting them to find out how they managed their various fund raising projects etc. best wishes and good luck Sarah Conlon

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