Friday, December 04, 2015

Drainage: My Great White Shark

The first thing I said on seeing this today was "Flippin' 'eck". Actually, I didn't say that, I said something else, but I don't want too much profanity here. Then I thought, "We're going to need a bigger pond." I stood on the small rise which is where the fruit bushes used to be (by that white fish-box you can see on the right middle ground), looking long and hard at the situation. There's a natural dip in the allotment, with the lowest point extending from the southern end of the pond, and going 10ft or so to the north, where that heap of topsoil is in the right foreground. The pond needs to be excavated out of all of that. Clearly, it's not going to be enough as I have it. I might take it back a little too, into the fruit bush mound, but that's a whole other story.

I was short of time this morning, but I made a start by shovelling that heap of topsoil out of the way. That done, I dug a wee trench about a yard long and a foot wide, and as expected it began to fill with water. That's fine, but it means I can't really extend the pond until its waters subside somewhat. Then, the plan is to dig a whole new hole in the ground, going down at least a yard, maybe more like 4ft. And taking care this time to have a curvier and sloped edge, a beach for the froglets and anything else that may fall in, like a hedgehog. It'll be an irregular but largely oval shape, 8x15ft at it's greatest. Between its eastern edge and the hedgerow, and for a few feet north and south, there'll be a pond margin with appropriate plants, especially reeds and bulrushes. The hedgerow to the east will best consist of alders, which like damp conditions. To the west will be the path, the French drain beneath feeding the pond.