Tuesday, 31 January 2012

The things you find (and giant NGS tea pots)

Work continues apace on the new land with discoveries aplenty. Usually the only gift the land gives us is bricks and rubble, but we have found something new...

However, before that check out my new tea cosy in NGS colours that Mum has been knitted! it is actually a giant catering size teapot that is perfect for the open garden. The teapot its self is a bit of a family heirloom from aunt Betty, and now we can add to it. Mum the pom pom is simply inspiring!
white, no sugar please
Anyway...it all began last weekend when I was clearing a bed for some fruit trees I still need to order. I’m finding picking the right tree really difficult as some things you know...like a Greengage and yellow plum, but an apple tree? Who knows which one?!! I want to buy something a bit heritage but there is such a diversity of choices that I know I will buy something that tastes rank and be stuck with for a long time.

Anyway, the bed was all about dug and then just before lunchtime I hit a big bit of concrete about a foot under the surface which I couldn’t budge, so asked Steven to come and help after lunch. An hour later we realised we had found something big as the lump grew and ended up being a solid wall base around 9ft long by 6ft. The sun went down, and over the week it provoked much debate as to whether it was an Anderson shelter (a World War 2 war shelter that was common in the UK), a greenhouse base, pond, grave or Roman plunge pool.

Everyone loves a before and after.....this is the area in summer as a pumpkin patch
Other side the 'wild garden' aka the annoying patch of nettles and brambles we couldnt be arsed to clear
So last weekend we went into the garden and began our Time Team excavation....it was all very exciting to see what was there and slowly but surely a large concrete pond, 3ft deep and complete with pedestals for lilies has emerged.
Also to emerge was a huge amount of crap, including some of the more exciting and random finds which includes:
·         About 20-30 small glass bottles of different size
·         A very rusty push lawnmower
·         A large iron wheel (old fashioned wheelbarrow wheel?)
·         A jar of cloves
·         A budgies food pot
·         3 tea pot lids
·         More broken glass
·         2 old fashioned solid irons of different sizes
·         A Victorian? Marmalade jar
·         A White Horse Peckham beer glass
·         Shoe polish tin
·         A fireplace surround
·         Lots and lots of rubble
Iron and a metal wheel?!#!
Cleared pond..pedestals at side. pallet is a half hearted attempt to help one legged cats and dopey hedgehogs
All very exciting, and something we will keep (all be it with a pond liner). Oddly we were considering a formal rectangular fish pond in that area so we are obviously mystically connected to the land. I also like that we are keeping something of the old garden which adds to the integrity, and all of a sudden the design for the bottom of the garden makes sense, hurrah!
Rubble I have also been ingeniously assembling into a mound which I’m hoping looks something like a Neolithic burial mound. The idea being that it is a bit of a folly that I can stand at the top of and survey the land from and look down on the neighbours. It’s been kind of growing and growing as we find more rubble, and has got to the point where I need a step to climb up it. I don’t think Steven and the family quite know what to make of it as they look at it, pause and then ask what it is for and how I will cover it. However it WILL be fabulous, a triumph of folly design, vertical and arid gardening....that and its saving me £500 from getting more skips.
No its not an ugly pile of rubble, its a sophisticated garden feature! (well it will be when its finished)
So still lots to do, don’t get me started on plant orders or the amount of money I have spent on seeds. There is also a tree surgeon to sort out, a garden day to arrange, a summerhouse to make the base of and order and a corner of the garden I don’t have a clue about!
Bottom of the garden looking wintry.....frosts have finished off the last of the nasturshums and Dahlia imperialis however Nicotiana tabaccum is still flowering away 
Still more digging next weekend and soon it will be over, but what odd/crazy things have you dug up from your garden?


  1. Wow, that is amazing, Clive! What a fantastic reward for all that hard work. I rather like the neolithic burial mound too.
    I use tree surgeons Edward Payne. They're based in Wandsworth but very, very good, and they go all over London. I know several ladies of a certain age who only get them to prune during the summer so they can admire the six-packs... http://eptrees.rtrk.co.uk/?scid=5401&kw=5544955

  2. Your comment on the second to the last photo made me laugh!

    Quite a haul there!! And that iron wheel is a definite keeper! I think it's a really good idea to keep that pond and restore its function at least, it's all part of the history and adds to the charm (and visitors enjoy a bit of a story too).

    Since it is a formal shaped pond, do consider a Boxweld liner so it won't have and fold and creases, and a UV filter to keep it clear (and have fishes!).

    On our big dig we found an old Charles and Diana mug, and a Marathon wrapper (aka Snickers), amongst others!

  3. Victoria: thanks for the tree tip, we have found a burly Scot however I suddenly like the idea of holding on till summer.....

    M&G: thanks for pond tips, pond and fish wise you are in a different league as your project is so big! I hope that Charles and Diana mug has pride of place somewhere!

  4. I'm very glad we're not the only ones that found structures and a variety of odds and ends when we renovated the garden. We had to get a mini digger in to take out the remains of an old pond buried under one of the paths. Then there was the foundations of a small building with lime mortar. There's a lot of plants that won't grow in that area.

    We had a great very fit rugby playing tree surgeon up here. He had his work cut out removing the old tree stumps - all ten of them.

    Good luck with the pond and the.. um.. "garden feature"..

  5. Oh wow, double wow! How exciting. I am totally envious of all the space you have.
    As to the apples, my neighbour has a most amazing apple tree, of totally red apples and they have pink flesh and are the most flavoursom apples I have ever tasted, sadly neither of us know the make, but I will make some enquiries.

  6. People ! Don't burry your beloved furry friends in your garden then sell your house without telling !
    That's what I could say in response to your question...

  7. Ug Celine, that must have been a discovery! Ive found it hard enough digging up the artifical ones. Dead pets is probably a grim one. I have found lots of fox skulls though...