The first step towards our wild flower meadow, sewing Yellow rattle to knock back the grass…
So, the second – and final – stage of planting is underway.
It doesn’t seem that long since the first planting in March, but a world away in terms of planting conditions. I’m glad we didn’t know then how long it would be before we could ditch hats, scarves and gloves and one of the latest Springs on record arrived.This time around it was overcast, but the ground was soft and damp – and a lot warmer, so, hopefully, a good start for these trees.
Keinton Mandeville Primary School started us off on Thursday 14th November, followed by Oaklands Community School the next day and they made a great start between them. Saturday was the open community planting day and it was grim and grey – the sort of day when you might think sensible people would find better things to do inside, maybe by the fire – and really we had no way of knowing how many would turn out. A fantastic 50 did, though and an amazing selection of cakes – thanks to Hil, Liddy, Jessica and Margie – kept us going, so by the end of the session we’d got about 850 whips in the ground. All that despite Network Rail’s (seemingly) endless closure of the A371 between Castle Cary and Haddon Wood too.
This only leaves about 5,650 to go – thank goodness for the contractors who are finishing the job during the course of this week …and for Rose, who took proper pictures.
In response to the request for photographs of the Alhampton Open Garden day, here are a few I took on my walk around the village. Apologies if your garden is not in the gallery, but the lovely hospitality received in each garden meant I did not have time to take more pictures! For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Heather and I’m a freelance Garden Photographer, probably more well known for living in the house with ‘the big dog in the window’! Pictures are still in the process of being captioned and will be updated shortly. Hope you enjoy the pictures, any queries, please contact me by email.
Mark found a gap between rain showers last Friday and hired a mini digger to… well, do some digging.
It was a serious exercise, not just a boys and toys thing – though I don’t remember that any women drivers present were offered a turn – but we needed to find the land drains we’d been told about and that Richard had found during the divining episode.
To keep you up to date, the plan is now to locate the pond across, say, two thirds of F4 (to be worthwhile, we want it to be a decent size) and set a way back from, but running parallel with, West Lane. This will be further down the hill than some of us wanted originally, but is a good decision based partly on aesthetics and partly because it’s where Richard got stronger signals. It’s also more practical because of the levels and the amount of spoil to come out and be distributed etc etc
By the time I got there Mark had already dug two short trenches (thanks to Network Rail for closing the A371…) and was well under way with the third. The first bit of good news is that he cut drains about 3 metres apart, at a depth of about 3ft and water was actually running out and puddling in the bottom of the second trench by the time I got there with my camera; the second, that between 2 and 3ft down he found the heavy grey/black stuff that we love to hate. Now the only thing we have to worry about (and I never thought I’d say such a thing) is that the clay seam is broad and deep enough for our needs!
Now I know that pictures of muddy trenches are not necessarily the most exciting thing to look at, but we need to keep a record…