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Water Problems


By AndrewR


While some of you may be experiencing heavy rains or even flash floods, here in the southeast we are experiencing a heat wave and drought. This week has seen temperatures hovering around 30C with even hotter conditions forecast for today.

I run my garden on a ‘minimum watering’ policy – if plants are given the conditions they require at the outset, they should need less water in the long run and be able to cope with all but extreme weather. We now have that extreme weather and the possibility of casualties is looming.

Daphne mezereum, planted eight years ago, could be on its way to the compost heap. Daphnes are supposedly difficult but this one is a British native and has proved fairly tolerant during the past three summers (one extremely hot followed by two very wet). But I fear it is dying now, probably due to drying out at the root. This was its last flowering in March this year.

Meanwhile, the water level in the pond has been dropping regularly. I had hoped this was due to excessive evaporation but the past few days have proved otherwise as it is down by four inches per day. Yesterday I ran the hose to top it up only to find the surrounding soil becoming saturated; there is a leak. With the garden due to open in just over a month’s time, this gives me a major headache. I rang the Yellow Book County Organiser yesterday evening and she was very pragmatic and supportive and suggested displaying a notice on the day to explain the pond problem.

Such are the joys of gardening!

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Oh Andrew, What a terrible state to be in. Can you fix the leak? how would that be done? and how long would it take?
I've got a question for you. Where can I get a copy of the Yellow Book, as it seems a few GoYers are displaying their gardens and it sounds like a nice day out :~)))

2 Jul, 2009


At the worst, Andrew, you fill the pond with the hose just before the first visitors arrive.
Ian, the Yellow Book is available from most 'proper' bookshops.
I've just come in for a few minutes out of the sun!

2 Jul, 2009


Yes it s very hot down here on the south coast Andrew... but plants all seem ok... i water them all early evening......hope you manage to get your pond fixed in time......we havnt had any rain for a long time here......

2 Jul, 2009


Ian - as bulbaholic says, most bookshops stock the Yellow Book (they even know what you mean when you ask for it by that title). If you just want to visit gardens in your own county, most Garden Centres will have a county booklet displayed at their checkout.

As for fixing the leak, my pond is semi raised with a row of bricks cemented in holding the layer in place. The pond would have to emptied of water, the bricks be chipped out one by one, the layer replaced and refilled then the bricks cemented back in - a BIG job (for professionals). There is no way it could be done in time for the opening. As suggested, I may have to top it up just before the visitors arrive and keep my fingers crossed

2 Jul, 2009


Hi Andrew, Thanks for the info I shall be off into town as soon as I can (I want one of these books) As for the pond, Forgive me if I'm stating the obvious and you've already dispelled this idea, Could you drain the pond and add a second layer as a temporary way of keeping the water in?

Bulbaholic, I don't blame you for coming in out of the sun, its boiling out there today. :~))

2 Jul, 2009


What a headache, just when you least need it.
Such a pity about the Daphne mezereum. As you say, they are difficult, temperemental even, but the beautiful scent is worth having one if only for a year or two. My D. odorata turned up its toes last year, after suffering severe windrock in a 70 mph gale.
I'm sure your open day will go well, despite the pond. All the best.

2 Jul, 2009


Andrew hope you sort out your pond whatever you decide to do with it,& good luck on your opening day.

2 Jul, 2009


O No Andrewr im so sorry 2 hear about the leak :( Im sure if it dont get Fixed it wont spoil ur open day as your garden is so Lovely & full of other Fab items/Plants that The Visitors will love seeing :)

2 Jul, 2009


~Hi Andrew
~sorry to hear about your problems wiith your pond~I have recently had to invest in a wall mounted water barrel (from the company of the same name)which fits into the down pipe from the gutter and still looks quite smart if it is on view like mine is just round the corner from the front of the house.
Until now I have been relying on the water from the roof of my greenhouse which is normally adequate but as we seem to be having drier spells over the last few years I have had to increase my supply!
I hope your open day goes well in spite of your problems~we also have a leak between our two pools which needs sorting so you have our commiserations!
all the best!

2 Jul, 2009


Pond leakage is a nightmare any time but just before your open day is certainly law of sod for you,good luck on the day anyway and I hope you get it sorted soon........

2 Jul, 2009


Andrew what a disaster for u so close to opening day.I sincerely hope every thing works out for u, which no doubt it will best wishes for ur opening day!!!!!!:~))))

2 Jul, 2009


oh! the frustrations of water leaks. And just so all of you would know...If you ask for a Yellow Book here in the will receive a phone book (directory) LOL. wouldn't want any additional frustrations for ya. LOL

I do hope things go well for you Andrew no matter how you decide to handle the problem.


2 Jul, 2009


When is your garden open Andrew?

3 Jul, 2009


Sunday 9th August 2-5pm Ginellie

4 Jul, 2009


Good luck tomorrow, Andrew.
I hope the pond stays topped up with water for the afternoon. :o)

4 Jul, 2009


How far is berkshire from Notts, Andrew?

4 Jul, 2009


A long way Ian. I'm about 35 miles west of London

4 Jul, 2009


Hmmmmm :~))
9th of August you say?

4 Jul, 2009


Good luck for 9th August... sorry got dates confused. Lol.

5 Jul, 2009

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