You won’t need me to tell you, The Heap has been there for a very long time.
It’s the spoil from an enormous hole dug for a (waste) Water Treatment Plant, the first project taken on when we moved into this place. It was a necessary and urgent job. The previous arrangement was rustic and let’s just leave it at that!
Last year Mike weeded The Heap. But you wouldn’t know it now. The large projection from the top looks like a tree, species unknown. In its early days The Heap was almost double its current size. We’ve chipped away at it as soil or rubble were needed elsewhere but finally the remainder has found a new home.
This is where it’s going:
The derelict pond
I’ve agonised over this one because I’ve always wanted to have a big pond. And this one is big. The picture was taken during the recent very wet winter and yet the pond is all but empty. If it held water I might have had ducks in their own infinity-edge pool. But in reality it leaks like a sieve and that’s hardly surprising since it sits as if suspended out over the slope.
It’s also totally overshadowed by the canopy of deciduous trees, another factor leading us to think it would be difficult to maintain. We’ve taken the decision to start filling it in.
You can get a better idea of the geography by clicking on the ‘Map’ tab above. The pond is there. The Water Treatment Plant is the hatched portion of the turning area, marked ‘K’. It is buried under railway sleepers, just seen in the photo below.
Once The Heap has gone the next task is to tackle the hedge.
I’m not entirely sure what it is, perhaps Lonicera? It forms the boundary all around this side of the turning area and my plan is to chop it back by half to two thirds. With a bit of time spent clearing the woodland down below we would get a good view of the river from here.
On the other side of the drive, an overgrown shrub border.
The large blob of green in the middle is a pyracantha gone wild. It’s next in the firing line, after the hedge. Perhaps I can hold Mike back until the berries have been and gone but the plant has got far too big for where it is, sprawling out across the gravel. The pile of stones underneath it has been plucked from the earth all over the garden. They’re being saved for the restoration of a cobbled path.
And is that the sum total of our workload for autumn?
Spending time on the terraces and the formal part of the garden has been all very well..
but look what’s now happened to the slope!