Ditches drains and waterfalls

We're up to our elbows in mud, and loving every minute

It’s not all about planting, weeding and edging here - a lot of the time we have to do repair work after the weather has flexed its muscles. We have been battling with the rain these last few weeks, to the point this morning when we came in and the rain had run over the beds and made an awful mess. It made such deep gullies that it had flushed out several tulip bulbs that had only just been planted.

We are used to cleaning up such mess, however this isn’t getting to the root of the problem and further investigations will need to be made to sort out why the water isn’t flowing where it should be in the first place. Only last week we got in a mini digger and had a blitz on all of our woodland ditches as these get blocked by leaves, compost and logs. Some of our smallest visitors (and I don’t mean the fairies) like to build dams with logs, and while this is very satisfying for them, it doesn’t do much for the removal of excess water in the garden.

The making of a waterfall

One of the ditches was found to have been very beautifully constructed, so two of the garden team set about clearing back the moss and overgrown ferns to reveal a very nice stone sided miniature ravine. Higher up in the garden, the mini digger had been busy clearing, so once the gardeners had finished, the water started flowing over it creating a very delicate waterfall. It's rather lovely to uncover the original bones of the site knowing that this had probably been there since the gardens were first put on the map in the early 1950’s.

Rain stops play

Because of the rain, we've often been forced into the offices, and the gardeners can be found hogging seed catalogues, planning for next year’s vegetable beds and typing up appraisals - you can hear heads scratching and brains ticking everywhere.

There is however something very satisfying in setting your work down on paper and seeing just how much you've managed to achieve over the year - plus it's a good way to start setting objectives for the forthcoming seasons.

RHS Garden Bridgewater announced

For us the undercurrent of excitement that has unfolded about the new fifth garden is causing much snack room chat at lunch times - I’m sure there will be no shortage of willing volunteers from here once the time comes to start work.

More information

Preventing winter damage
Installing drainage
Gardening on wet soils

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