The garden has two ponds in it one small and oval, the other rectangular and large. They were heavily overgrown with ivy and brambles. We have been waiting for the springs to dry up. This usually happens in early summer but the wet weather this year has kept the flow going and it doesn’t look like it will stop. So work has started. The mud in the bottom of the oval pond was damp and sticky and not too bad: the floor of the rectangular pond was a swamp. However, a large part of the overgrowth has been cleared so the ponds are visible again. The oval pond is shown on the 1868 Ordnance Survey map and is probably Victorian in origin. The rectangular pond is older and has a much more complicated, and not very well understood, history, dating back to the 18th or perhaps even the late 17th century.
Work also resumed on the clearance of the raised beds along the back of the garden. These have got a lot snowberry and elm suckers. Clearance is going to be a slow job.
There is still water in the culvert under Honeywood but the level has dropped and the pond floor now looks damp rather than sodden. I hope to resume the clearance next session.
The baskets and pots are looking splendid.
Back in the winter lockdown when we could not do any gardening Sue Kelsall (the chairman of The Friends of Honeywood) got the project noticed by the British Association of Friends of Museums and the result is a feature in their newsletter.
It has been good growing weather. The baskets and pots have flourished, helped along by regular watering deadheading and feeding. The weeds have had a good time and are trying to re-establish themselves in areas that have been cleared. These have been re-weeded. Hopefully two, or perhaps, three, areas will be ready for planting in the autumn. The most dramatic change has been in the front garden where weeding and clearing has exposed the yarn-bombing artwork; part of a whole series of decorations that have appeared around the Ponds. The huge weeds in culvert in the front garden have been cleared so you can see the water again.
We had another work session today. The main job was re-weeding the previously cleared beds to eliminate numerous small seedlings.
I decided to mattock out some of the snowberry roots on the raised beds. I hadn’t got very far when I noticed that I had turned up an odd-looking worm. On a closer look I realised that it was a tiny slow worm only a few centimetres long. Fortunately the mattock had just missed it, so it was unharmed. A check on the web suggested that it was very young although it would it be unusually early it if it was born this year. I thought it might be attacked by a robin that was looking for lunch, so I laid a foam plastic kneeler over it. When I came back a while later it had gone, probably into a hole in the soil. It seems likely that there is a nest in the vicinity so I stopped work and we will leave the area until we can get advice on what to do and not do.
There were slow worms in front garden some years ago. I thought they had gone and it’s nice to find that they are still around the site.
The Council’s tree contractors have given the mulberry a big haircut, so it is not casting so much shade and is not in the house gutters. It grows at a huge rate and is likely to have regained most of its former size by the autumn.