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The North Garden

a greenhouse diary



Around 10 weeks after we move in. Salvaged industrial blue plastic containers will be used to store rainwater run-off from the roof. The gradient from the N garden down to the edible Forest Garden in the S of the plot will allow gravity feeding of water. The pipe along the N wall carries rainwater from the roof guttering. The soakaway is still exposed. Pallets and inherited blue mains water piping litter the plot.


Concrete blocks from the replaced N wall of the house stored on the concrete base of a recently demolished greenhouse. These and the other building materials that litter the garden will be recycled in some form or other.


The day after the first snow of the year, Bruce Davis and his team at Eternal Energy Systems install Photovoltaic Panels (PV's) on the S facing N wall. The roof is unsuitable for these and this wall is subject to the least shading in the entire plot. 12 panels have a Declared Net Capacity of 2.17kW
Find out more about Eternal Energy Systems at: www.eternalenergysystems.co.uk


The PV panels hide the rainwater run-off pipe from the roof gutter. We decide to move the recycled water storage barrels to a permanent place beneath the panels, raised on concrete blocks. The drainage mats taken from the roof in preparation for the installation of a Living Roof are temporarily stored in the middle of the garden. Pots brought from the previous house still need sorting.


A 'Bee Condo' is very simple to construct out of spare materials. It creates a 'hotel' for solitary bees and wasps to lay their eggs for overwintering. A variety of different woods and bricks are drilled with holes of different diameters and stacked within a roofed frame. Hollow stem stalks are also tied into bundles and added. Different species will chose the cavity that suits them and will lay their eggs before abandoning them. Some use leaves to plug the hole and others mud. Every little helps in these times when these creatures are under threat.


With work underway on the edible Forest Garden in the South of the plot the North Garden is left to enjoy the sun and the rain.


We invite our friend and neighbour Dr Sheila Macdonald to supply us with her professional garden design skills. She and Mariette talk through ideas and possibilities.


Sheila's suggestions for the North garden. Planting ideas as well as two water features, three seating areas and various paving and paths.