London (change)


Latest posts by hypercharleyfarley

raised ponds.built out of sleepers and scaffolding boards

Posted: 25/03/2014 at 10:40

Oh dear...............  I wonder just how I've managed to survive all these years?  Even more - how I survived childhood days spent fishing for "tiddlers" in the local ponds and streams, managing to get home safely after hours spent riding a bike or my pony (without a hard hat!) and so on...........    I really think people have got to give children some sort of opportunities to do things which aren't totally without risk of any sort.  At this rate, we'll soon be advised to keep them confined to a cot or playpen until they reach their teens - and then what would happen..!  By all means don't make a pond which would have a very deep part which might be unnecessarily dangerous - but most of all, teach them to know and understand what rules you have as a family and let them take a few chances about getting wet!

Polluted ground

Posted: 23/03/2014 at 11:33

thanks Edd - when I've more time, I'll read through that thread.   Although I do know that there are things one shouldn't pour down the drains, I also know that there are lots of people who are unaware of that!  My work for an estate agent - I show people round houses in a rural area - means that I meet all sorts of people who have never come across private drainage systems.

 I often meet people who, having read in the sales brochure that there's oil central heating and private drainage at a property, are confused as to what's what.  For instance,  they'll sometimes mistake one of those green plastic oil storage tanks for a septic tank!  Yes - Really!. ...........  when I point out that in fact the drainage system is totally underground and that what they're looking at is in fact an oil storage tank, their next question is usually "oh! - so, how often will I have to fill it?"........................................


So, having been brought up in the country, and living in the country, I'm quite aware of lots of stuff which people who've only ever lived in towns don't even think about, hence my thought that sometimes stuff which shouldn't get there often ends up in a septic tank.  In answer to another poster, yes - I do know about plucking and dressing poultry, and about management of muck heaps and the ways of using farmyard manure.  My father was a farmer and I grew up on a farm.  I'm also much much older than many of the people who post on this forum (David K knows what I'm going on about!) so have seen lots of changes during my lifetime, whether it's getting a proper septic tank system instead of having a cesspit, and having central heating instead of just open fires................!

Polluted ground

Posted: 22/03/2014 at 19:35

Raw sewage - whether the neighbours are fit & healthy or not - is something which you shouldn't have to deal with.  It won't be simply what you might call "human waste" but will contain all sorts of chemicals too - just think of bleach and lavatory cleaners for instance.  Some people even pour things like paint solvents down drains, so the chances are the afffected ground will have to be dealt with in some way rather than left to recover over time.  If it were my garden, I'd want it dug out and removed completely, because any residues can  - and probably would - remain for for a very long time.   

The neighbour ought to be responsible for any costs involved, but I can see a difficult situation arising here if it's proven that tree roots from somewhere beyond his garden boundary turn out to be the cause of the problem.


gardeners world

Posted: 22/03/2014 at 19:19

Hi Scott - I think you've made some good points in your earlier post, but I think it's quite a task to decide just how "basic" any advice needs to be.  For example, if you compare a programme about gardening with one about cookery, I don't think people would expect to be told (in a cookery programme) what a hen's egg looks like or which is a chicken wing or a leg!

I think almost all of us would like to see a longer programme - or even more than one per week.  It would be simple to have one about growing vegetables, for example, and another about flowering plants and shrubs.  Both quite different, but with lots of things in common as regards soil type/preparation/equipment etc.  I guess that unless and until one of the commercial channels decides to make gardening programmes - and thus attract advertising from the various sorts of  suppliers and so on - it's rather unlikely.

Infant school garden

Posted: 21/03/2014 at 13:02

I think the above posters have given you some very good ideas!   Children often don't know/can't recognise some plants/weeds, and a wildlife-friendly garden might be one way of teaching them about what are common weeds - and that nettles sting! 

You might also be able to grow something edible which wouldn't take up a lot of space - such as runner beans, for example - so that they can begin to learn what some of our vegetables look like.  Growing peas, too, might be good - the children could then pop the pods and try some raw!

Hedging advice pls

Posted: 21/03/2014 at 10:46

How about eleagnus?  There's a variegated one - lots of good strong yellow on the leaves which looks good throughout the year and a brightness in the winter months too.  It's OK to prune it to shape, if you should need to, but I don't think there's anything which will give you a "quick-fix" as any shrubs you plant will take some time to fill big gaps.

Hornbeam Hedge

Posted: 20/03/2014 at 14:30

I've got two "weapons" (whippets) which do catch the odd rabbit or two, but the dogs aren't outside in the garden 24 hours a day - whereas the rabbits are ...................

The first one I've seen this year - 2014

Posted: 20/03/2014 at 14:26

anyone mentioned wild violets yet?    Saw the first of them here in the wood yesterday, and the buds on the horse-chestnut trees just starting to open.

Polluted ground

Posted: 18/03/2014 at 18:02

Hello again - sounds as though you've had to do what was needed here about 20 years ago, ref a better soakaway.  The last time I had the system emptied & cleaned - a couple of months ago now - the chap said  "it's a good system, this one!  They don't make them like this nowadays".

This for Artjak - The lids of the two adjoining tanks in the system here are at ground level, and the brick chambers are approx  4' x 4' x 4'.  What happens is that the waste goes through the drains into the first tank, the heavy/semi-solid stuff settles in the bottom part of the first chamber and when the level reaches a certain height the (mostly) water at the top drains into the second chamber.  This settles too, and eventually the (by then much cleaner/clearer) liquid passes into the run-off pipe when the level in the second tank reaches a certain height. In other words, the tanks don't simply fill up, thus needing to be emptied.  It can - and does - sometimes take years, depending on the construction and sizes.

 It sounds to me as though there may well be some sort of blockage in the OP's neighbour's system - tree roots are sometimes the cause.  The fact that the OP mentions a willow tree raises the issue - willows are notorious for having a large and vigorous root-spread.



Polluted ground

Posted: 18/03/2014 at 17:02

Hi Nut - there are several sorts of systems these days - far far removed from the sort which until very recently were the "norm".  I think there's one type where the tank is part-buried in the ground and made from some sort of water-permeable material.  The contents are supposed to be "semi-digested" in such a way that just pure water seeps out - or so they say!  I'm not sure I'd be all that confident about it though because you need really well-drained land to start with, I reckon, for that to work properly. They seem to use this sort of system for barn conversions hereabouts - where the farm buildings are converted into several dwellings and all share the same drainage system.

My septic tank system is now about 50+ years old - twin brick-built chambers with the eventual run-off going through a plastic perforated pipe which is buried in a trench about 4ft below ground along the hedgerow in the field below. This pipe was placed on a gravel bed in the bottom of the trench,  and then covered with quite a bit of gravel before being back-filled with the earth which was dug out in the first place.  It's obviously a larger capacity than the house really needs - I've only had to have it emptied three times in the last 23 years.  It's quite useful really, in that it really saves quite a bit of money - water rates are far lower if you don't have access to mains drains and if (like me) you have a water meter as well.

p.s. I think Dove's talking about a cess-pit, rather than a septic tank system. These days I think one would say "tanks OK - pits definitely not"!


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