How to create a natural wild pond in two days – that’s good to look at too!
buy a prefabricated pond liner plus native plants for in the pond and around it
Mark out the shape of the pond and excavate to the right depth levels for each section.
Choose a location that’s not too sunny or completely dark;
direct sunlight for only a part of the day is ideal.
Place pond in excavation and make sure it’s bedded down solidly and level at top edges.
Sloping ground down to the pond makes it look more natural and catches rain.
Start to build landscaping around the dry pond.
I’ve added rocks backed by an earth bank behind the pool, using the excavated soil, which will offer hiding places
for frogs, toads, mice and insects, and nesting places for bumblebees.
Don’t add water yet as debris will inevitably fall into the pond during this stage.
Add further landscaping including a sloping area where animals can get in and out
I’m adding graded pebbles to make an attractive little beach area
When all major landscaping is in place, fill with water and add pond plants at their appropriate depths.
Add planting round the pond.
I’ve added grass turfs on top of and behind the rocks.
Buddha figure is optional; other icons available
Add grass turfs round remaining edges of the pond
Construction completed. the grass will soon settle in and fill in gaps between the turfs.
Don’t add fish; they decimate all small life such as tadpoles and invertebrates.
The right creatures will find their own way to the pond in due course. It’s magic.
the pond in use
Birds and other animals immediately start using the pond for drinking and washing.
First of all we see a sparrow who gets very annoyed at being turfed out by a male blackbird who wants a good splash and is followed by his partner:
Writing your book: the problems you might be experiencing while trying to get on with it
Peter Cook, when told by a dinner companion that he was writing a book, said “Neither am I.” – it’s clever and funny…and it expresses a very common situation. Is that the book-writing situation you’re in?
Many things can get in the way of writing your book. Here are just a few:
time flying by
not sure how to start
lack of confidence in writing ability
perfectionism: writing bits then throwing them all away
Once you’ve decided that you’re going to write a book, orientation of the content is vital. Ask yourself these questions: What is it about? What can you in particular bring to the subject matter? What distinguishes it from other books in the same area? Who will get value from reading it? How can you speak to these people?
Next you can get down to planning. Think about the shape of the book: how would the content naturally break down into sections? Can you summarise the content of each chapter? What would be the best order to arrange these chapters? Does your planned order have a logical sequence, taking the reader on a journey?
Then you get on and start writing the first material. Discipline is needed for writing; ideally, set aside a regular chunk of time each week and stick to it. You don’t have to get finished copy down in the first go – make notes or a very rough draft to start with, and edit it later. Many people think “I just can’t write; I’m not a writer” If you feel this kind of blockage, just think to yourself, “How would I explain this particular idea if I was directly speaking to another person?” and just write that down, or record it on an app for later transcription. Develop the habit of putting yourself in the position of a listener who doesn’t know this subject matter: what would you need to tell them in order to grasp what you’re explaining? If you really can’t fit it into your busy schedule, or feel it’s beyond you, editorial consultants are available to help.
In the old days, you had to find a commercial publisher who wanted to publish your book; that’s still the holy grail of getting a book out, but publishers are now highly averse to risk and want authors who have huge public profiles. Fortunately that’s no longer the only way. It’s easy to publish your own book, and Amazon make it even easier, promoting your title if you publish through them. Print-on-demand means that an expensive print run isn’t needed. E-books are also popular these days and are even less expensive to get out in the market place.
So think about it: what’s the book you have inside you? What’s the book you’ve always wanted to write? Then go for it!
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“Yah well it’s a very simple dish, I just threw it together, you just take three small poussins that have been fed on organic Zechuan pine kernels and marmite, and marinate them overnight in a coulis of fermented blueberries with a good dollop of vintage Indonesian rum, then while that’s on the go you Continue reading “Annoying Archetypes #1: The Annoyingly False-modest Cook”
I’m a linguistic specialist; my specialism is identifying how wrongly people express themselves noticing when people do things wrong, and getting annoyed at it. I am very good at my job. Why can’t people simply use language correctly? Continue reading “Annoying Things People Say”
I was sitting in a cafe In Brighton the other day, drinking a skinny decaff soy latte and pondering on the nature of existence, when I suddenly realised why things go so terribly wrong in our lives. It’s because of all those heavy negative trips that our parents lay on us when we’re young… Do these words ring any bells?.“You’ll poke your eye out with that stick!”…“We’re not made of money, you know”…“Don’t expect too much, then you won’t be disappointed.” This stuff can shape your whole outlook on life. HNTs, I call them. Thanks, Mum and Dad; I know you meant well. Continue reading “Heavy negative trips your parents laid on you”
Every Tuesday morning, I travel to the delightful Sussex village of Ditchling for yoga class; I’m the only man among thirty delightful Ditchling ladies. At the end of class, another delightful group of Ditchling ladies takes over the space for a choir rehearsal. As part of this activity they make wonderful cakes, chutneys and jams, and sell these to one another to raise funds for the choir. I purchased a jar of this home made jam from a delightful choir lady at the produce table, and brought it home; it was the most delicious jam I had ever tasted. Continue reading “Secret Jam: a tale of rural intrigue”
How to Create an Amazing Urban Wildlife Garden
– what we’ve learned in 15 years
In 2002 we moved our family home from Brighton UK to a nearby town. The reason? – we didn’t have a garden. Our new home had two gardens, neither very large. The rear would be the domain of our lively cocker spaniel Rosa, and the front space would be for …wildlife!
Now, 16 years later, that front patch is a wildlife paradise – a veritable jungle among many houses with more sterile gardens or hard-standings for their cars. So what better than having wild nature right where you live? Continue reading “Our wildlife garden”