I threatened you with a septic tank

I wouldn’t be that mean.

All I’m going to say is I now know where every waste pipe is located on this farm. And dare I say that now I’ve cleaned them all out I have a shining halo. And stinky clothes.

Really reeking bits. Cuffs. Splashes on lower hems and socks.

I was trying to work out if it is possible to just divest oneself of all one’s clothing and skin outside the door and streak into the house and stand in front of the fire warming up.

Mid winter isn’t really the time to be sorting out one’s waste pipes.

You know that expression hanging round like a bad smell? If you hang around me, you will realise I’m the bad smell.

But it’s sort of fixed and we won’t mention it again.

The good news is: our old /current septic tank is condemned. So I get more potager room.


If you look over to the left hand side of the potager, beyond the jostaberry bushes, the new garden is under the tarps.

I’ve planted plenty of blackcurrant bushes on the edge. But now I get to play in the huge area behind.

Actually I’m plotting a large but neat compost bin area. Hardly exciting. But I just don’t trust what lies beneath. I know there is a huge rubble pile of rocks masquerading as a soak field for an old fashioned septic tank. But until I can wrestle those monster brambles out of the bank I don’t want to commit to anything delicate like crops.

It’s hidden under tarps and oak leaves right now. I had to expose the septic tank for everyone to stand around it shaking their heads in disgust.

More fruit bushes. More compost bins. A green roof on the bins in the form of succulents. That might be fun.

In the meanwhile I have to wait for the old tank to be decommissioned and the new one installed. Typical gardener: getting ahead of myself.

Instead let me show you something I have been working on all winter.

A new landscaping project. The terrace in the duck pond area at the far end of the farm.

It’s a blank canvas. Either looking like a mess.

Or neat and tidy with a brutal strim.

I decided after a bit of heavy snow and damp weather to see if I could lift the weeds.

And you know where that ends.

It’s so much fun.

And I have plenty of material to build up the edges of the track which had either eroded, or been so steeply sloping it was a perilous adventure with the mower.

And fear not, that won’t stay a blank canvas for long. I need to mulch it. And then when the eragrostis curvula grasses come into growth in spring, I’ll lift and divide.

And plant up this entire bank.

So no dithering. If I’m going to spend the month of March or April making a new garden, I’d best get on with cutting back the grasses now.


This time next year I might be able to regale you with a panoramic shot of all three banks (lawn bank, pool bank and duck pond terrace bank) in glowing grasses glory.