Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Show 'n' tell 

I realised I'd missed a trick here. For nearly a month now, large chunks of the weekends, plus a couple of days taken as leave from work, have been occupied with enlarging our garden pond. It would have been an ideal subject to follow on a day-by-day basis, but I never got around to it. So here instead is the whole (hole? sorry...) story in one go, told in pictures.

The bright, sunny appearance of the finished hole completely disguises the fact that the two days spent digging it were mostly very damp, and for the two days prior to that it was veritably chucking it down. So every trip with the wheelbarrow through the garage and up the precarious ramp into the skip was preceded by the Ceremony of the Scraping of the Boots - removing the layer of heavy, sticky clay which made me temporarily two inches taller and a couple of pounds heavier (or so it felt).

After the back-breaking work of digging, shovelling and barrowing (not to mention scraping every off every sticky spadeful into the barrow) this bit was fun:

The bare earth is lined with a layer of soft sand. Initial attempts at using a plastering float to apply it were soon abandoned in favour of daubing and spreading the sand with bare hands. Just like building sandcastles. I could almost imagine myself at the seaside...

Horizontal surfaces, which would have plant baskets standing on them, had an additional protective layer of old carpet, before the liner underlay was added:

The liner itself was a humungous affair:

It would have lined a pond nearly twice the size.

It was late when the pond had finished filling, and too dark for photos. Next time I remembered, I'd already trimmed the liner back and added York stone paving along one edge.

The final stage of construction was to add rockery stone around the edge

Now all that remains is the planting, both in and around.

The whole exercise, hard work though it might have been, has been thoroughly therapeutic. Hard physical labour with a tangible - and if I say so myself, rather attractive - result to show for it, does wonders for one's self esteem.

Visualise, plan, create, appreciate - a very satisfying cycle. One that I hadn't realised how much I'd been missing.

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