Last year I moved house, leaving behind my old urban wildlife friendly garden with the small pond at the front and another at the back both created by myself in the 1990s. I also left behind the bog garden and the log-pile, the rockery, standing stone, micro meadow and the French walnut tree, Frankie’s champion conker tree and the famous rowan tree that had a song written for it. That’s all gone, left behind for the new owners to do whatever they will with.
The new house is quite different. It’s in a rural location with more land around it, and a slightly different climate. I’m actually on the Isle of Wight, across the Solent water off the south coast of England, just between the south east and the south west. The new garden doesn’t have a pond either large or small, so I shall probably end up installing one sooner or later but that won’t be my first priority. My main aim with the new larger garden is to put it into productive use. There are some old apple trees left over from when the land was an orchard, and I’m hoping to rescue some of them, the apples are good. There is also a beautiful Chilean Myrtle tree Luma apiculata which would be a crime to mess about with but everything else will be up for review once I’ve seem what’s there and how it all works together.
Lawns are not really very practical things so one of the first jobs will be to turn some of the prime positioned lawn area over to food production. There are two discernible vegetable patches already in existence and to these will be added a number of raised beds for easy access and to provide a depth of soil that can ensure plentiful crops of tasty vegetables without digging. To make the first raised bed, I’m hoping to experiment with a block building system, a bit like lego for grown up gardeners, called Woodblocx. They also do wooden block planter frames for garden ponds, so this could well be of interest to readers of the smallpond site here, since 2001.
There is a large established pond next door by the way, so the aquatic wild life is already in situ, I’m told there are frogs, toads, newts and slow worms present.