We have quite a large garden which, from time to time, we try to bring under control. We have been known to grow vegetables, plant an orchard and, once upon a time, we built a pond. It is a constant battle against the weeds. Nettles and docks usually win, but occasionally we get the upper hand.

Never mind, whatever its condition there are lots of birds, insects, butterflies, frogs and other creepy crawlies and we console ourselves that while the garden is not as neat and tidy as it could be or that the vegetable harvest is sometimes neglected, the wildlife benefits and certainly the variety of birds is of great delight.

Some of our successes and failures in the garden are recounted here. I will leave you to decide which are which.

The garden directly to the front of the house is lawn, er well, OK, grass which stretches down to the pond. To the left the land rises sharply and there we planted an assortment of trees and ground cover shrubs. The intention was that it would be low maintenance, but that is not have it is in practice. Brambles and nettles run rampant. Battling them is exactly that, with scratches and stings to prove it.

For a number of reasons we neglected this area of the garden for a few years but have recently begun tackling it again, giving the Webmaster and excuse to buy a new chainsaw which he has been busy learning how to use.

Before the time when on-line activities took over from real life we spent a lot of time gardening. From when we first moved to Ladymoor Gate and began tackling the overgown parts of the garden and fighting to convert the grassed areas into lawn we had always wanted a pond. In 1999 when I was between jobs we decided it was a good time to begin. I expected to have at least three months before starting a new job, which should have been plenty of time. The pond building went to plan, but job hunting went much faster than expected and so finishing the pond was "outsourced" to my parents while I rejoined the ranks of the wage slaves. When it was finished the pond was delightful. The plants quickly established themselves, the few fish we introduced multiplied each year and the frogs soon moved in. Unfortunately the fish attracted passing herrons and although for several years we succeeded in fending them off, they finally feasted on our fish. The frogs however went from strength to strength and each spring the pond is heaving with frog spawn. 

Read more about how we built the pond and what happened next

Digging the pond - Building the pond - Watercourse - Rockery - Lining and filling the pond - The finished pond

Having so much land available it would be a shame not to grow some of our own fruit vegetables. The gardening programmes and magazines make it sound easy (subject to some hard digging and a bit of weeding) but each time we have tried we have struggled against our natural competitors. Occassionally we have succeeded but mostly the birds, slugs, snails and insects enjoy more of our labours than we do and I swear the weeds grow many times faster than the crops. As for the grass, it re-occupies the cleared spaces in the blink of an eye. 

Maybe one day we will have something we can write about in this section, after all weekend magazine gardeners manage to write a column a week. Who knows we may become experts in pest control and watering melons.


After Andy died on 21st May 2004, we decided that we needed to create some kind of memorial for him. We weren't sure what to do exactly but we were considering planting trees or plants somewhere in the fields or garden. We also considered some kind of monument, but were really unsure about what we were actually capable of doing. We also need somewhere to place his ashes.

 Towards the end of 2004, we were doing some garden tidying near the old gravel garden, which had become completely overgrown. After a couple of days hacking through the undergrowth, we reckoned that with a serious effort we could turn it into some kind of memorial garden.

Spotted in the Garden