What did you do in your garden today?


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Yesterday evening was a nightmare.

I'd been doing a bit of dead heading of the roses in the garden and was about to come indoors around 8.00pm. when I decided to change the water in our Marinelli fountain. Easily done, I just put a bucket under it and pulled out the drain plug. Then filled it up. I then decided to check that it was working. We don't have it on that often. I can overide the switch for it in the lounge by plugging the supply into a spare socket in the garage.
I turned it on, everything in the garage tripped out. Tried it again, same thing happened. I removed the fountain's mains plug and re-set the RCCB and everything else came on again.

Fortunately, I've a fairly sophisticated RCCB that protects everything in the garage, shed, the old pool systems, tea-house, all the garden lighting, the jukeboxes, plus two freezers.




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The fountain sits on top what was the former koi pool pump sump on this concrete stepping stone.

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I had my suspicions, so I decided to try to sort it out as heavy rain was expected today, Friday.

So I dragged all 71kilos of the fountain off the stepping stone on which it sits and took a lump hammer and a bolster chisel to the mortar plinth below it to free up the stepping stone.

As I suspected, the sump was full of water, to the level it would have been when the pool was working.

This is what it looked like, when we had the pool. This holds 40 gallons. You can see the mains supply that connects to the pumps via waterproof connectors, though they were never immersed, just got a bit damp.


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When I installed the fountain, I blocked off the outlets to the filter, the waterfall and the overflow drain. The sump is connected to the pool bottom drain, by a 4" pipe. I drilled several one inch holes through the sand and cement base of the pool and one through the bottom drain, so when the pool was filled in and paved, the water would be able to drain away. It's worked well for a few months, there's never been any surface water on the new paved area.

I'd retained the mains supply to the pumps which were in the sump, disconnected one in the garage and connected the other one to a 13 amp socket, at the top of the sump, under the rim into which I plugged the fountain transformer which I situated next to it. The low voltage supply coming up through a hole in the stepping stone.

Last night I found the sump full of water and the socket with its plug and transformer, submerged!

So I got my wet n' dry vac out and pumped out the water. I then saw that the water was still coming in through one of the holes I drilled in the side of the sump where I'd attached the socket. So I blocked it up and the other screw holes with mastic.

The fountain is designed for the low voltage cable to enter under the fountain through a groove in its base and I'd drilled a 1" hole through the stepping stone to accommodate it.

I decided I wasn't going to risk putting mains electricity into the sump again, although it had worked perfectly well supplying the two pumps it contained for thirty-odd years.

I put the transformer on the garage wall, above all the sockets that control functions in the garden, via switches in the lounge and the plug into the socket which originally supplied the mains voltage to the fountain and connected it up and have just the low voltage go to the fountain. I drilled a 1" hole in the centre of the stepping stone and pulled the cable through and cut off the wire from the transformer and connect the pump and LED lights up.. The connector now sits in the tiny recess under the fountain base. I then replaced the stepping stone and dragged the fountain back onto it, filled it up, turned it on and it's working again. It took me until 9.30pm.

This was the way I was going to do it when I bought the fountain, but when I had a conversation with the supplier before I bought it unseen, when I had no idea what sort of transformer etc., came with it, I was told any alterations would invalidate the guarantee.
But now I don't care. It's working fine.

Fortunately the transformer is completely sealed so no water got into it.
It doesn't really matter if the sump fills again.

What I think happened is that the ground water has been rising, it's probably come up partly through the 4" pipe and through the side of the sump through the screw hole, water probably got between the plastic sump and the concrete into which it was set as it shrinks as it cures so leaves a tiny gap all the way round . The 20 tons of compacted hardcore in the pool probably offered more resistance.


I've still to re-make the plinth, but that will have to wait until it's dry on Sunday.
 
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about a month ago, moved a climbing rose from a shaded area, as it had been there a few years of which it had been moved from an area it would have died at. But, for years it kept on living in this shaded area, as I had to find a final place for it. Finally I found a better spot for it. (boy that is a lot of history) Anyway, fast forward, upon moving it, lots of thread like roots just gave way. So I thought, well I killed the poor thing. But put it in the new area anyway, better soil, more sun etc. Today, lots of new leaves on it, many stems seem alive coming out of the soil. So its alive. Ordered up a climbing trellis for it, will get it all situated this weekend with some mulching etc. I am pretty happy about it. I know its considered a very hardy climber.
 
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As it was dry today, I made a start on re-securing the fountain. I had to put small bits of York stone under the edge of the stepping stone to get the fountain level, before I started on cementing it in.

I stuck a cane down the redundant hole with the plug in the base and it and it came up dry, so the sump hasn't filled up again, even after all that rain on Saturday.

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It needs some more "tarting up" tomorrow. I can't skim the base of the the plinth until the cement has gone off.
I've got to make up more mixture of mortar, mahogany and black paint, to paint the base to match the fountain. I'll just use a brush to apply it.



This is mission control, in the garage, it just got bigger.

These sockets connect to all the lighting in the garden, 5 porch lights, two low voltage spotlights, two 12v lights in the lanterns, two sets of fairy lights and a 15w fluorescent on the ceiling of the tea-house which illuminates the tea-house doors and of course the fountain. No mains voltage cables are exposed in the garden.
That's a 25 year-old radio cassette player, above the socket bank, designed to look like a 1947 Wurlitzer 1015 jukebox. "Not a lot of people know that."

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I've added the transformer for the fountain above the one for one of the Blagdon spotlight on the side fence that used to shine on the waterfall, but now on the fountain. The transformer for the other spotlight that illuminates the pagoda and the one for the lanterns are attached to the tea-house ceiling. The load is much less since I removed the two 150w spotlights that shone on the koi pool. The shed and the tea-house have their own supply.

This lot has been working for over thirty years. They are on the garage supply but are controlled by the switches behind our lounge curtains. An armoured cable goes from under the lounge floor through the concrete raft on which I laid the patio and under the path next to the garage and through the bottom of the garage wall.
 
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about a month ago, moved a climbing rose from a shaded area, as it had been there a few years of which it had been moved from an area it would have died at. But, for years it kept on living in this shaded area, as I had to find a final place for it. Finally I found a better spot for it. (boy that is a lot of history) Anyway, fast forward, upon moving it, lots of thread like roots just gave way. So I thought, well I killed the poor thing. But put it in the new area anyway, better soil, more sun etc. Today, lots of new leaves on it, many stems seem alive coming out of the soil. So its alive. Ordered up a climbing trellis for it, will get it all situated this weekend with some mulching etc. I am pretty happy about it. I know its considered a very hardy climber.
I just renewed a cascade rose and ended up combing roots out to some degree when I removed the old compost. It looks happier now that it got a trim and a combing and some food and new compost.
 

Meadowlark

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Soil replenishment time in East Texas.

These purple hull and crowder peas are wonderful legumes that in addition to providing tasty meals are outstanding soil building agents. They grow several feet in all directions providing an excellent weed prevention system in addition to soil replenishment.

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It takes about 5 minutes to shred them into green manure and seeds mixture which in just a few short days will start the cycle all over again. I hope to complete three cycles before frost and have a rich healthy soil bed for fall planting.

peas shredded 2019.JPG
 
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Today, taking out the noisy power sprayer, spraying a wooden bench ---taking dirt off----so maybe in a few days after it drys can put a fresh coat of stain on it. I hate making noise like that sometimes. then there are little weeds to get at here and there. after I am tired of the noise.
 
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Last year I did the swing bench on the pergola , 4 coats of good deck floor paint. will be the last time I should do that for a while. this one will get a different finish. then there is the wooden rocker, but I get to move that inside the gazebo for the winter, so I might skip it this year. always something to do.
 
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Last year I did the swing bench on the pergola , 4 coats of good deck floor paint. will be the last time I should do that for a while. this one will get a different finish. then there is the wooden rocker, but I get to move that inside the gazebo for the winter, so I might skip it this year. always something to do.
There was a "Whicker's World," documentary on TV nearly forty years ago. It was on a gated community in the USA where only people of retirement age could purchase a property and live there.

A remark he made has always stuck with me.


They were almost completely independent. The residents as volunteers, ran all the services, mail, security, utilities etc., He said it was a place where, "You got up in the morning with nothing to do and go to bed each night with only half of it done!"


I can always find something to do in the garden.
 
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Yes, @Sean Regan , they call them "continuing care facilities" or some called "over 55 community" My good friends, just down the street went to one, they are 80 years old. Cost them $4,000.00 a month. Lost of cleaning out of their home first. I am not there yet. Thinking when I finally retire, all this will just be done daily without issues. Like tomorrow and Tuesday, have long day at work with lots of focused stuff. anyway, taking Wednesday and balance of week off.
 
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Yes, @Sean Regan , they call them "continuing care facilities" or some called "over 55 community" My good friends, just down the street went to one, they are 80 years old. Cost them $4,000.00 a month. Lost of cleaning out of their home first. I am not there yet. Thinking when I finally retire, all this will just be done daily without issues. Like tomorrow and Tuesday, have long day at work with lots of focused stuff. anyway, taking Wednesday and balance of week off.
I cannot imagine you not taking care of your area, people, plants, what have you.
 
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I planted some radishes, small headed cabbages, thyme, chives, basil, cilantro, sage, zucchini and summer squash as if I did not have enough in the freezer. I do love the fresh yellow squash though.
 
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Its cutting grass day. finished 3rd staining on a deck chair--now drying time. Will go about pulling some weeds before taking the mowers out . Have to use the push one is smaller spots. Then the large one for the rest. Rained a bit last night so giving it a couple more hours before heading out. cleaning up breakfast dishes, buttermilk pancakes and fresh saute peaches in butter.
 

Meadowlark

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Here's a followup photo of the results of the pea shredding I posted about above. The peas have germinated(second generation) and are growing quickly. I'll probably shred again in early Sept. and then one last time in Nov. The corn that was growing to the right of the peas has now been tilled under and planted with more field peas. I don't know of a better, cheaper, easier way to replenish soils and prevent weeds than legume cover crops.

peas second generation.JPG
 
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Just picked more blueberries and will have to water them tonight.
We have 3 rows of blueberry set tangent to the setting sun and over the last decade or more the first row grew too tall with the sun energy. I just sheared the first and second row down to change the way the sun falls upon all of them in an effort to make it more equal, so we have a southern exposure of short, medium, tall now instead of Tall, medium, medium.
 
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Logan

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@DirtMechanic I have them in pots because the soil isn't right for them.Yes i have tall ones and they get taller every year, i should prune them but hubby wouldn't let me, so i just cut out the dieback ones. The black birds had some of them, i didn't cover them properly so they got in. I've got to sort the garden out next month, it's getting like a jungle.
 

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