Previously, on the riverbank..

Stumps were called with four posts in the ground. Both of us were bearing the scars.. the horse flies are horrendous down there. Add to that the one of us who stopped the sledgehammer with her foot.

I suggested that perhaps I should hold the poles for a bit and he wield the hammer. But then my wellies sprung a leak..


Erosion defences 003 Wm


There’s been a lot of rain. Is it just me or is the river level starting to rise?


Erosion defences 005 Wm


Mike spent the best part of a week collecting stones, farther and farther up and down stream. A dry stone wall in the making. Well, dry for now.


Erosion defences 007 Wm


And then finally, yesterday, it was done.

Yours truly returned, with a few ferns, to make it feel at home. Let’s see the water shift that then.


Erosion defences 008 Wm


2017-12-01T17:38:45+00:00August 19th, 2013|Tags: |


  1. Suzanne Dutchess County, NY, USA August 19, 2013 at 12:21 pm - Reply

    Woo! That turned out very nice. The ferns top it off nicely. I love the bird nest ferns. Well that’s what they call them here. Unfortunately they are grown in greenhouses only and are not hardy for me.

    • Jessica August 19, 2013 at 2:21 pm - Reply

      Thanks Suzanne. I think it’s harts tongue fern, Asplenium (or Phyllitis) scolopendrium. It is everywhere here, so I’m assuming native. But I’m new to woodland plants and guessing, so could well be wrong.

  2. Jenny August 19, 2013 at 12:50 pm - Reply

    Looks great – the stones are a really pretty colour. I hope it sorts out the erosion problem for you.

    • Jessica August 19, 2013 at 2:24 pm - Reply

      Thanks Jenny. I hope so too. The stones were all brought here by the river, which is just as well because carrying them down the hill would not have been funny!

  3. Crafty Gardener August 19, 2013 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    Hoping all your hard work pays off and the erosion is stopped.

    • Jessica August 19, 2013 at 2:24 pm - Reply

      It was hard work too!

  4. Pauline August 19, 2013 at 1:20 pm - Reply

    That looks really good and ready to divert any water that comes rushing at it ! I like the way you have finished it off with ferns, I’m sure more plants will move in by themselves and soon it will look as if it has always been there, job well done!

    • Jessica August 19, 2013 at 2:26 pm - Reply

      It’s quite a jungle down there, so I’m sure the plants will move in, and the posts will weather down.

  5. snowbird August 19, 2013 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    Wow! It looks really lovely, especially with the ferns on the top. I love the stones as well, it looks so natural, and is now also a feature.xxxx

    • Jessica August 19, 2013 at 2:30 pm - Reply

      Eventually that whole area will become a bog garden, but maybe not this year!

  6. elaine August 19, 2013 at 2:40 pm - Reply

    Excellent job – I reckon that will do the trick – let’s hope you’re not out for a ‘duck’ – get it!

    • Jessica August 19, 2013 at 6:07 pm - Reply

      Nice one Elaine! (Holds head in hands..)

  7. Wendy August 19, 2013 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    Dealing with the bank sounded hard work and a bit of an ordeal at times, but the final result looks great. It does blend in well with the woodland surroundings.

    • Jessica August 19, 2013 at 6:19 pm - Reply

      We will maybe do a bit more stone packing around the sides, build the bank up behind it with more earth, and do some more planting. I’ve got some ivy trailing down too but it’s a bit weedy at the moment!

  8. jabblog August 19, 2013 at 2:50 pm - Reply

    That looks sturdy and attractive and I’m sure it will do the job. I don’t suppose it will do anything to deter the horse flies though . . .

    • Jessica August 19, 2013 at 6:21 pm - Reply

      I’m not sure what deters those. Little b*ggers they are.

  9. Jo August 19, 2013 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    It looks great, especially with the ferns softening the top of it. I’ve never actually grown ferns, though I have plenty of places in my garden where I suspect they’d grow well.

    • Jessica August 19, 2013 at 6:23 pm - Reply

      They seem to be quite easy. I’m frequently shifting them around the place and they seem to take, provided they have plenty of water whilst they are establishing.

  10. justjilluk August 19, 2013 at 3:35 pm - Reply

    Well done both, not only practical but beautiful. What are you going to injure yourself doing next?!

    • Jessica August 19, 2013 at 6:27 pm - Reply

      Thanks Jill. I haven’t found the right moment to open negotiations yet. Perhaps when a few days have passed and once some wine has been consumed!

  11. Simone August 19, 2013 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    That’s a great job! Now don’t tempt fate Jessica!!!

    • Jessica August 19, 2013 at 6:27 pm - Reply

      I thought about that after writing it..

  12. haggiz August 19, 2013 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    What a fantastic job you’ve made of it. With the ferns and a bit of weathering on the wood it will be like it’s always been there. I am so impressed how well you both work together and get the job done to such a good standard. Julie x

    • Jessica August 19, 2013 at 6:44 pm - Reply

      Thanks Julie. It took a bit of time so I hope it does the job.

  13. knitsofacto August 19, 2013 at 4:43 pm - Reply

    Nicely done! Hope the scars heal soon. And the horse fly bites stop itching!!

    • Jessica August 19, 2013 at 6:46 pm - Reply

      Still scratching..

  14. Antoinette August 19, 2013 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    Wow that looks great and I’m sure will do the job very well. We’ve got plenty of horse flies here too! I served as a lovely ‘aperatif’ when exiting a friend’s swimming pool recently 🙁

    • Jessica August 19, 2013 at 6:48 pm - Reply

      They seem to love me too. Them and every midge and mossie for miles around. Thanks Antoinette.

  15. Em August 19, 2013 at 7:30 pm - Reply

    It looks fantastic; very Grand Designs! I look forward to the next time it rains REALLY hard to see if it does the job but I’m sure it will.

    • Jessica August 19, 2013 at 9:35 pm - Reply

      Maybe over time the water will erode the weaker bank around it. The gabion could become an island!
      It will be interesting to see what happens. If it works we can always extend it, especially if the river provides more stone!

  16. frayed at the edge August 19, 2013 at 7:53 pm - Reply

    Proper job! Malcolm was most impressed – it’s just a pity that you are too far away for him to helped!

    • Jessica August 19, 2013 at 9:36 pm - Reply

      Thanks Anne. Plenty of scones in Devon… 🙂

  17. Helene August 19, 2013 at 7:57 pm - Reply

    Oooh, that looks like hard work! Looking great, I hope your bites are easing off, I am so allergic to horseflies, I feel for you!

    • Jessica August 19, 2013 at 9:53 pm - Reply

      Their bites really swell up on me too. And oh so itchy.

  18. CJ August 19, 2013 at 8:33 pm - Reply

    It’s beautiful! You’ve done a great job, you should be proud of yourselves. It such a lovely spot, how fantastic to have your own bit of river.

    • Jessica August 19, 2013 at 9:59 pm - Reply

      Thanks CJ. The river is pretty much hidden in the jungle at the moment and the path to it treacherous. But when it’s opened up in the future it could be lovely. An awful lot of work though!

  19. Sarah August 19, 2013 at 9:11 pm - Reply

    The finished article looks beautiful as well as useful. All the mishaps along the way must have been worth it! Let’s hope it doesn’t get fully tested for a long time to come. Thank you for your lovely comment.
    Sarah x

    • Jessica August 19, 2013 at 10:04 pm - Reply

      The river does come to the top of the bank in winter, which is why we made the gabion slightly higher.
      Take care, Jx

  20. Rosie August 19, 2013 at 9:36 pm - Reply

    Job well done, it looks strong and sturdy enough to withstand the water and the ferns make it look as it it has always been there. I know from experiience that horsefly bites are very uncomfortable – my husband got bitten by midges on our walk yesterday but for some reason they didn’t bite me, I wonder why?:)

    • Jessica August 19, 2013 at 10:12 pm - Reply

      You must be immune Rosie, and I’d love to know your secret. They drive me mad when I’m working under the trees – they seem to go for my scalp and face.

  21. Pats. August 20, 2013 at 8:59 am - Reply

    Oh, well done you….. just wait till it rains.!….we had a stream like that once….say no more. (paddles quietly up the bank wet through!)

    • Jessica August 20, 2013 at 10:32 am - Reply

      I think I’m looking forward to the rain…. oo-er.

  22. BadPenny August 20, 2013 at 9:02 am - Reply

    That’s a fabulous job. Well done. The ferns look settled already.

    • Jessica August 20, 2013 at 10:33 am - Reply

      Thanks Penny. Glad it’s done!

  23. Shaz August 20, 2013 at 10:10 am - Reply

    Very impressive, functional and pretty too 🙂

    • Jessica August 20, 2013 at 10:34 am - Reply

      Another thing off the list, it never ends does it? Thanks Shaz.

  24. woolythymes August 20, 2013 at 12:05 pm - Reply

    gosh, you guys do amazing work. That is beautiful!!!! Of course, love the ferns on top…..but I’ve never seen a stonewall assembled like that—–it’s really lovely!!!

    • Jessica August 20, 2013 at 7:41 pm - Reply

      Thanks Steph. Hopefully the wire will keep the stones in place against the raging torrent!

  25. Linda August 20, 2013 at 5:05 pm - Reply

    A job well done. I’m sure you were forever looking at the weather forecast or the sky to see if there would be any more heavy rain. The ferns look good too!

    • Jessica August 20, 2013 at 7:44 pm - Reply

      I feared the water would rise a lot more than it did, we’ve had so much rain! But then the summer has been so dry I think the earth has absorbed most of it.

  26. Vera August 20, 2013 at 6:00 pm - Reply

    Oh well done, and so artistically finished off! That wall looks good and strong, and pretty!

    • Jessica August 20, 2013 at 7:46 pm - Reply

      If we did it again I’d use metal supports rather than wood, but it sort of morphed out of a Plan A that didn’t come off! Thanks Vera.

  27. CherryPie August 20, 2013 at 7:36 pm - Reply

    It is looking good 🙂

    • Jessica August 20, 2013 at 7:48 pm - Reply

      I’m hoping the ferns will grow a bit more, and the ivy. Then it will pretty well disappear I think.

  28. Janie@Alabamaroses.blogspot August 21, 2013 at 3:57 am - Reply

    I have to remember this post. We have a creek, that when it rains, erodes a great deal of the bank.

    • Jessica August 21, 2013 at 9:20 am - Reply

      Hi Janie and welcome to rusty duck!
      It’s a bit of an experiment on our part, with an element of make it up as you go along! We’ll be watching with interest over the winter to see if it works. We may well do some more of it next year if it does.

  29. Mise August 21, 2013 at 10:46 am - Reply

    You are intrepid and ambitious workers, you two. It’s looking great.

    • Jessica August 21, 2013 at 6:58 pm - Reply

      Or mad. Thanks Mise!
      Thought of you today… my pink and orange combo on the bank is just coming into flower.

  30. Rosemary August 21, 2013 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    It looks so professional – well done to both of you. The ferns are the crowning glory – I am just thinking of all the wonderful plants you could grow down there – skunk cabbage if you want to keep it au naturel, and the simply gorgeous Candelabra Primula which come in such wonderful shades if it is an extension to the garden – lucky you.

    • Jessica August 21, 2013 at 7:11 pm - Reply

      Definitely the primula, I love them too. I was at a place today where they had several gunnera in the bog garden, looking very stately. Another must have, if only because they will cover a lot of earth!

  31. Josephine August 24, 2013 at 6:52 am - Reply

    Full marks !
    The wall is most impressive, I hope it holds back the river.
    We had floods again in the city of Nashville, just last week, have you ever seen a house floating down a river, the power of water, never to be underestimated.

    • Jessica August 24, 2013 at 9:58 am - Reply

      That’s awful Jo. Water has awesome power, as we seem to be discovering more and more these days. A little bank erosion is insignificant in the scheme of things.

  32. Willow August 24, 2013 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    Breathtaking gardens and your photos are gorgeous. Thanks so much for sharing them.

    • Jessica August 24, 2013 at 10:08 pm - Reply

      One day I hope so, thanks Willow!

  33. Laura August 29, 2013 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    Beautiful! You have such interesting inspiration…the end result (almost) worth the bruises?!?

    • Jessica August 29, 2013 at 9:48 pm - Reply


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