Saturday, 18 June 2011

Bio Swale

Since finishing with the University of Greenwich, I have been working on the St. Peter's School pond area to try and prevent rainwater washing off the playground into a nearby garden.  I began by installing a couple of drainage channels (after 2 hours of chonking out concrete haunching beside the playground with a clubhammer and bolster) to divert the excess rainwater away from its natural flow.

The drainage channels then take the water under the fence into the pond area.  Unfortunately it is too low to flow into the pond so I have dug out a channel for a bio swale or rain garden where I will use plants that can cope with being inundated with water but also can cope with drying out (thanks again to Jamie for advice and his pdfs).

Whilst digging out the channel there was a deluge of rain "marvellous" I thought "a chance to see it in action", except it filled up pretty rapidly as I had only got as far as the Buddleja so I had to dig furiously to make the channel longer and allow it to get to the point where any excess will flow gently away from the pond area down a slope and away.  It is all working well and I look forward to getting the plants and planting then with the help of the children and making it look more than a muddy trench.

By the way, I received my letter of confirmation from the University today for my degree classification, an Upper Second Class Honours Degree, 2.1 by any other name.  So the teachers at school were right, "he does have it in there if only he would apply himself..." 

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Onwards and Upwards

That's that then.  I found out yesterday that I got a 2.1, Upper Second Class Honours m'lud.  I am coming round to the idea of liking the sound of that although I was originally a wee bit disappointed as I had rave reviews from others at the exhibition, tutors included, so I had hoped for higher things.  My grades over the last 2 years do reflect my final mark so I am happy with that, I'm not average any more, I am one step up from average! 

The work has quite literally flooded in.  I have been asked to revamp the pond area at St. Peter's Catholic Primary School and include some drainage beside the playground as when it finally rained here in Kent on Monday the water flooded into an adjacent garden.  It is a project that I have wanted to do for a couple of years now as it will be a good advert for me although I fear the pond will be a problem as it is raised up slightly.

I spent yesterday making a few adjustments to the woodland path at St. Peter's that Miss Willmott, Miss Ford and myself constructed last year, including a new step and levelling out areas of the path where the landscape fabric had become exposed.  It was so nice just to smell bark chippigs and soil once again, its been a long time...

Thursday, 2 June 2011


Well that really is it.  

Yesterday we met with the people from the Landscape Institute to tell them what we thought of the course and the University and had to run the gauntlet to leaving through a corridor full of tutors, just as well they never had knives, could have been a Caesar moment.  Then in the afternoon I met with John Wyer of the Society of Garden Designers who was really positive about my work so thankyou John for your input.  Also thanks Jamie for your encouragement, from now on it'll be all me, me, me.

Yesterday we sat around a table outside at Hadlow for the last time as students drinking coffee as we have done so many times before.  Odd to think we won't do that again as we are now Professional Garden Designers.  So tomorrow evening we have our evening to celebrate finishing then its out into the real world.  Scary...