The Mound

17 Oct, '10

The weather has finally turned in Bahrain. It’s no longer the stifling 50C, to a much more tolerable 35-40C. It was hovering between 30-35C over the weekend, which got me to finally get out and work in the garden. And that I did.

I missed doing “real” things in the garden. My garden is a little of 6 years old so it’s much more mature than it was when we started obviously. But that, I mean the trees have reached a respectable height now and are providing nice shade. The shrubs are all happy with their locations, and some are even fighting with each other. Almost all the plots are filled and there is hardly a place to position new plants unless I allow the lawn to be eaten into, which is something I have allowed to happen over the past few years.

With maturity, I guess it’s only natural to suffer from some hard to get rid of weeds. This is not a declaration of defeat, but just a fact of life and one that makes gardening somewhat interesting. A case in point is a nice mound in our front garden which for some reason got to be taken over by weed. I couldn’t bring myself to pour chemicals over it to get rid of the weeds, so I took this opportunity to take radical action!

I decided to remove all the grass and weed off the complete area and create approximately a five meter circle, get 10 tonnes of garden sand and create a new mound, a bit higher and hopefully much cleaner one. I tasked my trusty gardener Roy to start digging the area and get rid of all the grass and weed. He did that over a week or so (Roy only comes in twice a week for a couple of hours each time) and we left the patch as is to make sure that we didn’t miss anything. That done, Roy moved the sand into the garden and mixed in four 70 liter bags of compost into the sand, added some fertiliser and generally prepared the area to receive a carpet of Japanese grass next week!

Now to make it a bit more interesting, I decided to create a band of about 30 centimeters deep around the circle, inserted plastic divider both on the outside and inside of this band and decided to fill that band with river stones. I think the place will look quite dashing when it’s planted.

Here are a some pictures shot this afternoon for you to have a look at the progress so far.

That wasn’t the only thing we did this past weekend. My wife and I were out in the garden throughout Friday and most of Saturday as well. We purchase 660 kgs of river stones and I covered the area around the two Washingtonias by the pool (pictures to come soon), the first area was around nine square meters and the other was just over four square meters. We also purchased about twenty 70 liter bags of pine bark and spread those over a problematic flower bed on the North side of the garden. The design of the house and the garden there might as well be a Venturi tube! Wind comes in from the sea and almost gusts down that path. So it’s very difficult to get many things to grow there, and even the trees we planted there take a lot longer to establish. The rusty red colour of the bark contrasts very well with the green grass.

I also took the opportunity to cover a small bed by the front door and another under my study’s French windows. The place looks like it has received a nice fresh lick of paint now!

But it’s not over! I have an old small pond whose pump packed up. It was like this for several months I confess, I just didn’t get a chance (or the gumption) to do anything about it other than clean the pump and filter, get it to work for a few minutes – or hours if I’m lucky – and then just leave as is. Well no more! I got a good sized submersible pump and installed it there last evening. Now the water is circulating quote well and at last we hear the nice sounds of a water fall to add to the nice atmosphere of the garden.

It was a pleasant and very satisfying weekend. Needless to say both Frances and I slept like logs those nights to wake up to some welcome muscle pain the next day.

They’re delivering 60 trays of Japanese grass tomorrow so Roy should be able to lay the carpet over the mound. Can’t wait for that operation to complete…

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