I obviously hope you enjoy browsing through the postings on here - do feel free to leave comments as it's always good to see who's visiting and to hear about other people's experiences - after all you never stop learning do you?

If you've any gardening questions or you live in Brittany and are looking for some gardening help - be it design work, planting or general gardening or you simply would like some advice, please don't hesitate to CONTACT ME or call me on 0033 661 77 23 89 (from UK) or 0661 77 23 89 (from France).

Happy gardening!

Saturday, 12 January 2008

What... no butts?!

After a phenomenal amount of rain fell last night accompanied by strong winds - I woke up to discover that the stream which runs through our woodland had become a torrent... causing flooding to the surrounding fields and with more rain forecast... I was very lucky to see a young pair of water rats this morning enjoying themselves in all the extra water but they didn't hang around long enough for a photo - so you'll just have to take my word for it!

Unfortunately it's making the job of doing a great deal in the garden right now quite difficult - so have decided to spend my weekend planning our vegetables for 2008 and working out what to buy and when to plant - all good stuff!

Despite these pictures - it's good not to get complacent with the quantity of water right now - a good time to ensure you have some water butts in place to store water for when we really need it - with the way the weather has been going, your guess is as good as mine as to what weather we have in store this summer. So now is the time to start getting prepared!


Marguerite said...

Bonsoir Miranda
Nous avons eu du vent aussi chez nous, mais pas de pluie diluvienne. Notre jardin est parfois détrempé, car malheureusement nous avons une terre argileuse et entre le moment où il est détrempé et lourd et collant, et celui où il est sec donc impossible à travailler, il y a un moment où la terre est agréable et il ne faut pas le laisser passer. Le sol argileux est souvent sec et dur très vite je trouve.
C'est en ce moment qu'il faut préparer la terre !
J'aimerais avoir une serre pour garder mes cactus et mes géraniums, mais cet hiver il a de toute façon fait trop froid pour les serres non chauffées et de plus nous n'avons pas de place...

A wildlife gardener said...

Hello, Miranda. thank you for your very kind comments on my blog. i have been delayed this year so far with other commitments but i hope to do another post soon.

I have enjoyed scrolling back a few posts to get to know a little about your blog. you have a lovely garden. The post on lunar planting was of particular interest to me as my father and grandfather always sowed their crops and kitchen garden vegetables by following the phases of the moon.

shirl said...

Hi again, Miranda :-)

I couldn't agree more! I thoroughly enjoy using the water from my water butt which we installed last year about this time :-D

Miranda Bell said...

Bonsoir tous le monde...

Hi Marguerite... you were talking about your difficult soil - you might like to consider a "no-dig" system where you build up your current soil with good compost - leave it from late Autumn and over the winter through frost and worm activity it will gradually get mixed in with your current soil and give you something much more workable at this time of year... there's plenty on the internet to learn about this organic system of gardening! Hope that might help.

Welcome to the Wildlife gardener... glad you liked the site - lunar planting is fascinating and one that I think there is a lot of truth in - it all makes perfect sense really! What area of Scotland are you from?
Will be visiting your site again soon!

Hi Shirl - the water butt has been great - especially during winter as we normally get our water for the garden from the well and during winter the pump is off and pipes emptied incase of freezing... would you believe I had to buy this from the UK and bring it to France as they just don't seem to sell smaller ones over here - crazy!

Happy gardening all... will post some more pics of the water situation here v. soon as it's got worse but am hoping to get out in the garden at the weekend - with the promise of better weather - here's hoping!

kate said...

Hi Miranda,

I had no idea that you had flooding. Sometimes it is good to have times when you can do some planning and not have to be out working in the garden.

It looks as if you have a good setup with your greenhouse and water barrel.

I have never seen water rats ... I will have to go and see what they look like!!

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Kate - I can't say that we've had loads of flooding here in Brittany - it just happens when we get so much rain at once and then it just has no where to go! Having said that this is the first year that the water had completely covered our little bridge over the stream - I think the UK has it much worse than here though - do you not get any where you are?

The little water rats are so sweet - generally very shy animals - take a look at this link... http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/wildfacts/factfiles/268.shtml

the other animal we get on the water too is a musk rat - rather bigger http://www.francethisway.com/wildlife/ragondin.php

This is going to end up being more of a wildlife site than one of gardening! A bientot - Miranda

kate said...

Hi Miranda,

I just read the links you provided - the water rat seems to fare better than the musk rat. They are both cute, but I suppose the musk rat does more damage to fields.

We don't often have flooding here unless there is a stronger-than-usual snowfall and a quick spring melt. Sometimes we have flash flooding in the summer, but that hasn't happened for awhile.

I wanted to ask - is a water butt a water barrel?

Bonne fin de semaine !

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Kate - yes the water butt is a water barrel... funny how we all have different names for things!

Bonne weekend Miranda

Cheryl said...

Hi Miranda
Lots of good advice here. It is so important to have water butts in our garden. I have seven here and they are well used in the summer. My garden is south facing, so when its hot, its hot.