My garden seems to belong to two eras: before and after the hurricane. Before the hurricane, I had a wonderful greenhouse. Twenty or so feet long and 15 feet wide (I sorry, but I belong to the pre-decimal era). It had a two foot, L-shaped raised bed, an inside water tank, electric light, and staging and it was made out of wood. The hurricane took the wood and glass off somewhere… What with children, parish council, and other commitments it never got replaced – until last year that is.
After two years of growing outdoor tomatoes and more half-hardy fuchsias than I could
accommodate indoors, it was time to reassess the situation. I’d saved a bit of money, so spent a few weeks drinking tea with friends who had greenhouses and inspecting theirs. Choosing the right greenhouse can be tricky: Aluminium or wood, and what size?
Surfing online for greenhouse providers, it soon became clear that what I needed was a wooden one. Price for price there wasn’t much in it, but the bonus of the wooden frame was that two very nice men came and erected it. Wood is easier to knock in nails or cup hooks too. Yes, these are important so that there’s something to fix tomato canes to, especially if grow bags are used.
All I had to do is convince my husband to build a good solid base, just a bit bigger than the
greenhouse. The one I chose was 6 foot by 10 foot – mainly because I couldn’t afford a larger one.
We sited it with the door facing west – just because that was the way I would be approaching it –
on a good clear patch of the old orchard. I would have preferred to have the water butt at the front, but apparently the design meant that the guttering fell towards the back. The water butt is 125L – a larger one would have been much better.
The greenhouse was in place by mid-September and, just before the frosts, it was not only packed to capacity with my fuchsias, but I also bought a couple of rolls of bubble wrap and fixed that to the inside with drawing pins – easy when it’s a wooden frame.
But what has happened to the base of the old greenhouse? It’s still there. The raised bed has been dug out and lined. It is now filled with water and forms the top part of a waterfall acting as a filter for all the silt that gathers in the main pond. It has worked well, especially as I found an old quern stone as an outflow for the pumped water.
A raised bed sits in front to hide the rather ugly breeze blocks and there are a couple of water lilies gracing the water. Behind sits the oil tank, disguised by a reed screen up which grow clematis and roses. The water tumbles down over a waterfall into a larger pond inhabited by the few koi that have escaped the heron. It’s a fairly large pond of around 22,000 gallons and 4 foot deep with a ledge around part. The plan was to grow marginals – silly idea if one has koi, as they ate them!
We’ve got an exciting event going on over at our Primrose Facebook page – a prize draw for this lovely and unique Easter Island statue water feature!
To enter, just visit our Facebook page and follow the instructions. Hurry, the competition closes on Friday the 13th of April!
Just what is an Easter Island Head, though? The statues on Easter Island are known as Moai and have been standing on the island for over 500 years. The statues are made of tuff, a type of volcanic rock, and the largest statue weighs 86 tonnes! Of the 887 statues known, a number have been transported off the island, including two on display the UK – one at the British Museum in London, and the other at the World Museum in Liverpool.
The statues sit on the island of Rapa Nui, known as Easter Island in English – so called because it was discovered by a Dutch explorer on Easter Sunday, 1722.
Now that you know a little bit about Easter Island and its statues, enter in our Easter competition to win one of your own! The competition is open to UK residents over 18, and it ends at noon on Friday, 13th April 2012.
Whether you have grabbed a bargain tabletop water feature or splashed out on a large stainless steel fountain, you will need to care for your feature to ensure it stays at its best.
Water features require different care depending on the season. During spring and summer when the days are hot, water can evaporate quickly so you must keep an eye on the water level in the feature to prevent it running dry. Remember that the pump must always be submerged in water – if the fountain is left running but is without water, this can cause considerable damage to the pump and prevent it working properly in the future.
Likewise, in winter it is important to make sure that the water in the fountain is kept above freezing point. Water expands when it freezes, so if it is allowed to freeze within the feature, the pressure can cause a lot of damage, potentially preventing the fountain from working properly. If you have an outdoor water feature that you can bring indoors, the temperature inside your home should be high enough to prevent the water freezing. However, if you want to leave the feature outdoors, you should remove any water at the start of the winter, or alternatively try Primrose’s Fountain Frost-Free, an eco-friendly and safe product which you simply add to the water to prevent it freezing, enabling you to continue enjoying the feature throughout wintertime.
Fountains can also be prone to algae growth, particularly outdoor fountains; the supply of water together with plenty of sun provides optimum growing conditions. This can cause the water in your feature to turn green. To avoid this, make sure you change the water regularly to prevent any build-up of algae. You can also buy a water feature cleaner which will keep the water clear and free of algae. Primrose recommends Ambienté Fountain Safe as an economical, effective and safe fountain cleaner. This can also be combined with Ambienté’s Stainless Steel Water Feature Cleaner, a fantastic, innovative product designed to prevent limescale buildup on stainless steel features and to keep them shiny and clean.