It is probably time to add a short article that outlines a potential threat to some of what we are trying to do with our garden, our projects and this website.

Like many people during lockdown I had to attend meetings online. I did so from my bedroom desk, which since cutting back the buddleia has a good view of the bottom level of the garden. It was during one such meeting with my line manager that I suddenly exclaimed in gobsmacked Bristolian “blimey! me gardens flooded!” As it turned out so had my neighbours garden as well.

This was in July 2021 and without going into detail a bit of a debate has ensued between ourselves and a housing developer as to the root cause of the issue. The flooding has occurred on several occasions since and without changes to the drainage in the lane at the end of our garden will unfortunately continue to occur.

So what does all this mean for our project. In hindsight it may have been a bad idea to sow the wildflower area but at the time I had hoped the flooding was down to a local issue which would have been fixed, but it turns out to be more complicated than that. Besides I had the seed collected, ready to go and already had my hopes set on a flowery area next spring….. so I just went for it!

7th July 2021

Unfortunately we suspect much of the seed was subsequently washed away, perhaps it will now germinate elsewhere in the garden (which should be interesting if the yellow rattle starts popping up everywhere, suppressing the grass). Another issue is the flooding may well have brought in seeds from outside the garden, as by November we started to see thick areas of docks appearing, although we should add we did already have a few about anyway, so perhaps they have just had a good year. Either way they like wet ground so repeated flooding may favour them.

We are also concerned about the wet area / pond project. Despite, as the project explains, the area being surrounded by a small bung, the flood water on at least one occasion engulfed the pond as shown below in a very poorly taken photograph. The flood water was an odd grey colour on this occasion, so it is likely pollutants from the lane and nearby roads has washed into the pond. Until this point the water had remained fairly clear in the shallow pond, but it’s been murky ever since. Our neighbour one morning found a pale residue all over his lawn following a flood so it is likely this same residue now remains suspended in the pond water. I could and likely will replace the water but there seems little point in doing so until whatever is causing the flooding is addressed.

28th September 2021

The developer has promised to consult with a drainage expert to look at the issue, but we don’t know when this will be. Thankfully November 2021 has been fairly dry so far, I don’t think the garden has flooded in a while, although it may have done during the evening/night. The water does drain away reasonably quickly once the levels in the lane drop, so it’s possible we simply do not see flooding occurring. One concern is during a wet winter, if the soils become saturated, that the garden will not drain and we could see longer periods under water.

Despite this setback we will push on with things and hope they fix the issue. Our next project is a wildlife hotel, made from left over materials after having our roof retiled.

DC – 20/11/2021