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Difficult weather for gardening this year

19 comments


I’ve been a part time professional gardener for 10 years and full time for six and this has been by far the most difficult gardening 12 months I’ve known.

Lasy year we had a drought in my area( Just south of The Wash in North Cambridgeshire) in October and I had lots of cancellations from my customers for whom I only cut lawns. Then we had by far the coldest winter in the last 20 years and I lost nearly 90% of my normal winter earnings and then we had 10 weeks with only two days of the lightest rain this spring and early summer. All the lawns went brown and I had a huge number of cancellations. Now it’s been very wet for nearly 3 weeks and I’ve been practicing my drowned rat impersonation.

If I start a lawn in the dry and then it turns wet I have to finish and my customers look on in horror or amusement as I pace their lawns with rain pouring down my neck whilst I curse quietly to myself ! :^)

Gardening is one of the loves of my life but in very hot or very wet weather I’m like a bear with a sore head!

Anyway I said this blog would look at some of the projects I’ve undertaken in gardens and here’s one I did in the garden of a previous home I lived in about 20 years ago

Here’s the before photo

and after

You can see from the photos that the pond was originally the base and first 18 inches of brickwork of an old garage. The garage was blocking the view of the rear garden from the lounge and kitchen so I knocked it down, built up the wall where the entrance had been and converted it into a pond.

Within a year there were regular visits from a king fisher who proceeded to eat all my small goldfish!

below are two more before and after photos from a different angle

If you would like to see more detailed photos and text showing the whole of this project they are available here

http://www.flickr.com/photos/31559373@N00/sets/72157594433468162/

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Comments

 

wow anchorman what a lousy year you must have had. but your photos are fantastic. by the way welcome to GOY . I'm sure you will enjoy it on here .

25 Aug, 2010

 

A clever way to improve the view, planting is brilliant. I think many of us will emperthise with you over the weather though it must be harded when your income depends on it.

25 Aug, 2010

 

If I had a kingfisher coming to my garden pond I would be down at the pet shop every week buying new fish for it LOL.

25 Aug, 2010

 

So would I Bulbaholic, beautiful birds. Earlier on I was bending weeding when a Heron landed a few feet from me. I nearly fell into the pond!, they're massive up close. Last year we saw him pluck out a large Coy carp 14" he landed in the field and flipped it end on and it was no more.

25 Aug, 2010

 

Nothing as spectacular as a heron but I often sit for 5 minutes at dusk next to my pond. My cat Moz often comes down to sit next to me. The other evening a wood pigeon flew down to the pond for a drink. Both Moz and I didn't move a muscle and the pidgeon ,sublimely unaware of our presence stayed for 2 minutes for his eveing drink.

25 Aug, 2010

 

I was thinking the same as Bulbaholic, only with a net and jacksharps perhaps. Last night I opened the front door and there was a fox cocking his leg up my spirea bush. He finished what he was doing and strolled off. Our garden man comes every 2 weeks but was not needed for 2 months. He cut the grass last Thursday, after all that time, and now it is already about 6 inches long in 6 days. A very funny year indeed for gardeners who earn a living from it.

25 Aug, 2010

 

You might want to think about whether your gardener will stay your gardener if he's not needed for 2 months! I seriously considered giving up earlier this year. . Perhaps you could find him something else to do at least some of the time?

Mosty of my customers are 80+ years old and I've replaced some of the lost gardening time doing odd jobs for them such as gutter cleaning out, fence painting and other odd jobs round the home.

25 Aug, 2010

 

well i am glad i am a hairdreesser then lol. i can do wet or dry < joking aside>
i fully unerstand wot you must b going tro. but i have clients who are allways complaining there gardener never turns up . wen xpected as well. am sure you are not 1 of those ........... [0)))

26 Aug, 2010

 

From chaos to calm, what a transformation, the view is amazing Anchorman,
and I agree its a lovely time at dusk to sit out and take it all in...

26 Aug, 2010

 

He did turn up, as he has other elderly customers living near. He is as much a friend as a gardener. He likes to have a chat with GJ too. One of those hyperactive people who who can't stop helping people. He cleans gutters and rinses out empty water butts. and gets the high pruner out if requested. Grubs out redundant shrubs. Gets the compost heap to go down or digs some of it out for me. We didn't need him for 2/12 for grass cutting due to heatwave and drought........now I need him back in a week!!!!!!!!!. I bought a new garden hose on a reel too LOL ))))))

26 Aug, 2010

 

Fabulous makeover Am. It must be so hard when your living depends on the british weather, let's hope for a good autumn and a better weather next year:-)

27 Aug, 2010

 

wow it looks fantastic. Yes I agree the weather has not been great gardening weather this year

27 Aug, 2010

 

Hi Anchorman - I've been reading your previous blogs and looking at your photos, must admit I am very impressed, you definately have a talent there. my business can be weather sensative too, at times very frustrating so I now how you feel.

28 Aug, 2010

 

what a lovely transformation. how much skill and determination you have. i am very new to this site and i just love the wonderfull photos and stories like yours.

awesome!

28 Aug, 2010

 

It can be so hard for, gardeners/Landscapers as you are, anchorman..
It is an healthy life, being outside most of the time. `I know you are dedicated
to your work, as it shows in your Blogs, but it is not a steady income..
As the Seasons change, so does your income.. have had Gardeners just for cutting my lawn, as it is a fair size.. Each Gardener i have had only last for a few months, complain it just does`nt pay!! They have desperately tried, to get large contracts, & even if they do, the weather lets them down..i can Sympathise with them!!! Especially! if they are genuine
like yourself...the last Gardener i had, packed up, moved to Kent & worked
for a chap full-time who owned large orchards..i am now again, without a
Gardener : ~ ((
I really think, you are so creative in your work, project, looked so good
great makeover...i bet the people who moved into your house, did not have
to do much in the garden, it looked well planned & established..
Loved your pic of the Kingfisher, what a little beauty!! Heron..do not mention
the word...they had all my Koi, now there is a net over my pond for good...
Another great Blog & pics anchorman : ~ ))

28 Aug, 2010

 

Thanks for your kind comments Freesia. Gardening is a tough life and I couldn't do it if I didn't have very outgoings. I do enjoy it though but winter is a very hard time to get through.

28 Aug, 2010

 

I'd have you in my "back 40" as quick as wink if you were in my area. You have a wonderful gift Anchorman....and I can understand the variance in your income would be a real problem for you. Hope the autumn proves to be co-operative and you can do your job in good weather! :)

30 Aug, 2010

 

The expression "back 40" is a Canadian expression that means "my property/acreage/back garden" etc.....just thought I should clarify, Anchorman. I'm working on getting some pictures taken of the back garden....I've been out there today gathering windfall apples from our tree but they all seem to be infested with bugs! Still some left on the tree but not ripe enough for picking yet.
It's the apple tree and the weeds that seem to be thriving.

30 Aug, 2010

 

How wonderful to have a visiting Kingfisher.....such a beautiful bird and you even managed to get a shot of it too! :))))

11 Nov, 2010

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