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Keeping up with the garden

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We live on the green-sand ridge so the soil is very light and sandy. The warm, sunny weather quickly dries out the soil. It brings on the blossom very rapidly, but the grass soon begins to parch and turn brown.

 

We really could do with some more rain.

 

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I see what you mean about the grass... The plants look resilient is that because of the earth?

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You have a great looking garden and a lot of patience! :)

 

Do you water the grass when it's dry like that?

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Whatever it's a close cut.

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Do you water the grass when it's dry like that?

The only watering we do is of the plants in pots. Everything else has to take its chance. We put down "Oasis" once a year on lawns, it's a product that retains moisture, but the ground is so sandy that watering lawns is a waste of time. If I dig down about a foot then I am into bright yellow sand, just like the beach. The borders are treated to a large quantity of top dressing every year, which I buy from the local authority and everything that comes of the garden is composted and put back again. It amazes me how all this stuff disappears back into the ground and still leaves us with light sandy soil. The lawns were scarified in April with a powered machine and afterwards were cut rather closer than usual to get rid of all the debris. It's normally cut with a rotary mower set to about five centimetres. 

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That's interesting. So are the foundations of your house on sand too?

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All the towns and villages along the greensand ridge are built on sand.  The greensand ridge is where the edge of a shallow ocean once was - in prehistoric times. I think of it as stretching from Leighton Buzzard to Sandy, but I wouldn't vouch for the accuracy of that. The whole of this area is riddled with sandpits where greensand has been extracted for use in building etc.

 

When I was making my garden I dug up several small fossils of molluscs. The rough stone walls that you see in my garden are made from soft sandstone that is largely a by product of sand extraction. I bought twenty tons of it from one of the local pits. When I was building the walls I hired a small cement mixer and dug the sand for the mortar from the garden.

 

Well compacted sand makes a very stable base for building and I believe that the sand on which we are sitting is undisturbed since the cretaceous period. It doesn't expand and contract like clay when it gets wet and dries out. But you have to be careful not to let it get washed away by surface streams.

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Sitting in the shade on the terrace with a long lens (100-400mm) on the camera and hoping to get some bird pics, but they kept away. Just for fun I took a few pictures of anything I could frame without getting out of my chair. All the pics are hand held. The furthest is the collared dove on my neighbour's chimney. The lens is stabilised, otherwise I doubt I'd be able to hold it still.

 

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Some great photos there :)

 

I've noticed the birds in our garden have nearly all disappeared, hopefully they'll be back soon.

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They are probably nesting now.

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I think the last picture works for me... It sort of draws me in.

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