The move is complete and after almost two months in the sedate surroundings of a Shropshire town, I am beginning to feel a little settled. Country life it is not - not even country-ish, so I've had to rename this blog in the interests of truth and transparency. I do, however, have a lovely large garden with established trees and areas of interest - so there is potential there.
And to be fair - the fields are not that far away...
My new house has a fishpond. `So what?' you may ask. This is what:
Since we moved in, the dog (high maintenance water-loving terrier that he is) has been fascinated by the fishpond. The pump, which causes a sort-of waterfall effect to run, is some sort of miracle in his little doggy eyes. Which is all good and well - if he would just confine himself to the waterspout. As if!
Cue the full-scale Pond Wars. Not content with the pump, the dog decided to chase the fish. Not content to stay on the bank, the dog decided to chase the fish IN the pond. In no time at all, my days became an endless round of fishing the dog out of the pond and washing him off (turns out just drying a dog doesn't get rid of the smell of pond). Thankfully the new house has a downstairs shower, but the dog-washing became so frequent that he actually responded to my roar of `GO!' by jumping in the shower and waiting to be washed down....before going back out and repeating the exercise.
My first offensive consisted of the deployment of pea-netting left over from last season. A morning spent with garden wire and pliers making dozens of little pegs, and the pond was (semi) covered over. Ha! I thought.
The dog watched me. And when I went inside, he jumped on the pea netting until he loosened it enough to sink it and walk into the pond....
`GO!' (sound of the shower and much swearing, closely followed by a good deal of time spent on Amazon).
The second offensive was to fence the perimeter of the fence with an easy-fit wire fence. Slight issue in that the pond is irregular and the fencing roll wasn't quite enough. But it seemed a barrier was established. Ha!
The dog watched me - and then houdini-d his wiggly little terrier body down the side of a bush/ over a rock/ under a barrier - and was back in the pond. (which, by then, was beginning to look a little bruised around the edges, with the fish in full panic hiding...)
`AAAArgh! GO!' Back in the shower, lots of swearing, lots of head scratching and much complaining on facebook.
As is often the case, it was my gardening friend, Margaret to the rescue. She referred me to a site which makes custom-made pond covers - a bit like a cake cover , but on a larger scale. I didn't really fancy a completely covered pond (what's the point if you can't see it?) but Margaret's suggestion of a secret garden sparked the imagination.
So it was back to the internet to order bigger fencing and a gate.
And then a weekend with the middle daughter fitting fencing (and a gate) and....
I'll say this very quietly so the terrier can't hear - I think I have won.
It's an uneasy truce. The dog looks for gaps - constantly - and so there is still a degree of barricading to be done. He also sits at the gate and barks and barks (and barks and barks and barks...) until he is let in to play in the pump water. But it's a sort-of truce. And I won. Maybe.
The secret garden is a work in progress. I have bought some shrubs to grow against the fence and a honeysuckle to grow over the arch. But it will be a while before it is truly `secret'.
A happy result of the pond wars is that I have discovered a new fruit bearing bush. The honeyberry is a newly introduced (to the UK) plant, something like a blueberry, but related to the honeysuckle. They produce berries that are a strange elongated shape, but are apparently delicious. I have purchased two of these and they have pride of place in the secret garden. Honeyberry / RHS Gardening
So there we are. No longer country-ish, but still growing...