Helen's Garden Renovation Project

Friday 19 March 2010

Two tarpaulins

Filed under: Progress — Helen @ 2:58 pm

I took this week off work; that is, the day job. Once again, I chose wisely. Apart from today, the weather was perfect – dry, sunny, not too hot, not too windy. I have managed to put in about 1.5 to 2 hours a day. Even today I managed to do about an hour’s worth of digging before the rain got going properly.

I saw my first butterfly on 16 March, but it wasn’t a brimstone. It was orange or brown. It was too far away and was fluttering away too quickly for me to say anything more about it.

The bad news is that there isn’t much to see in the way of progress. I have been digging up some of the turf from the area where the pond will be, and burying it in deep holes. You can see some of this work at the base of the picture. I have also been digging up the viburnum roots. The roots are not, in my opinion, very high quality. It’s easy to put a spade through most of them. However, they make up for their lack of solidity by quantity. The viburnum has put out suckers in an area way beyond the original planting site. I am nowhere near finished digging it up.

Two tarpaulins now in use

Two tarpaulins now in use

I am also puzzled about how the garden slopes. I had always throught that the garden sloped down towards the end because I get flooding there when it rains a lot. However, I am now not so sure. I think that when the first pond was built, at the end of the garden on the left, the landscapers may have lowered the level of the ground to make the area flat. When I have finished digging up the viburnum and moving everything off to the right hand side of the garden, I will see if I can work out what the gradient of the garden really is, and whether it is feasible for me to have a perfectly flat lawn.

I have bought a cat scarer from Amazon. It is called ‘The Big Cheese’. It works by detecting infra-red movement and emitting a high-pitched tone that only animals, children and young people can hear. I can’t hear it because I am too old, but I tested it on a 15- and a 16-year-old and they could both hear it. They said it was a very annoying sound, but they thought that people wouldn’t be able to hear it in my garden unless they were outdoors.

Actually I have bought two cat scarers, but I thought I’d start off by deploying just one and see what happens. I am hoping that the cats – and the foxes – will learn very quickly not to come into my garden and therefore the sound won’t play very often, so there won’t be much nuisance to young people in neighbouring gardens and the batteries won’t need to be recharged every week. The problem with my garden at the moment is that there are too many things in the way, like lumps of concrete and plant pots, so I don’t think I can cover the whole area with one device. I have pointed the cat scarer at the area they seem to like best. Today has been quite rainy so the cats haven’t been out, but it will be interesting to see if they stay away when it’s dry.


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