|Reservoir of dreams|
In September 2018 we decided to turn our redundant reservoir (the area within the yellow rectangle in the photo below) into an exhibition garden - we will post progress here as the project unfolds...
This photo, taken during the summer 2017, clearly shows just how overgrown the reservoir was, with willow and bramble, among other invasive plant life. It has been home to a variety of wildlife, some of which we wish to continue to support. Others need to move out, such as foxes, badgers and muntjac deer.
The reservoir was dug into the ground back in the early 1980s and is far deeper than it first appears from the outside. It's only when you climb the bank do you see the pool of water at the bottom, which sits below ground level unless we have a significant amount of rain.
We want to keep some water in the bottom to help with the general moisture level but will probably build up the soil around a central channel so that we can put in a raised deck walkway, which will enter and emerge from the banks of the reservoir to allow better access to the garden.
We will also create stepped walkways up and down the banks to facilitate maintenance as well as allow visitors to get in among the planting to experience it fully.
Views from the top before work gets underway:
Replicating a natural environment
Hosta are woodland plants, naturally found growing on the lower
slopes of mountains where they form the bottom layer of vegetation.
Above them grow small trees, such as acers, so our plan is to introduce a canopy of trees to provide shade and create structure, consisting largely of varieties you would find them growing under in the wild.
It is very exciting to plan this as a giant floral marquee display after years of trying to simulate the effect in limited space. A lot of imagination is required at this stage.
A couple of months into clearance and a lot has been done. This is a panoranic shot of the south-east corner of the reservoir, nearest to the packing shed, before we began the clearing process:
This the view at the end of November 2018:
Most of what is left is growing from within the reservoir and consists largely of willow. A lot of this will need to be removed and replacement trees planted to create a shady canopy over time.
The photos below: standing on the north west corner of the reservoir bank looking north, north east along the line of poplars, then north east. The far right hand photo is looking south-west from the same spot, towards Mickfield Church (if you could see it hiding behind the trees).
More to follow...