A time for reflection

After all the uncertainties of 2020, the last year has been one of major progress in the Wild Garden. This has been made possible by both an increase in our membership which has been most welcome and an increase in our weekly volunteers. So much so that we have had to buy more mugs for the obligatory coffee break! 

The path down the east side of the canals has always flooded in winter due to the run-off from the woods. We have now dug drainage ditches down the side of the path and resurfaced the path so that hopefully the water will flow underneath rather than over the top. So far this seems to be working well. 

It has also been a time to reflect and plan ahead with two exciting projects. In the north-west corner of the Garden many of you will know there is a rather swampy patch – a combination of leaking water from the canals and run-off from the surrounding woods. There were also a number of badly diseased ash trees. We have been felling the ash and clearing the area to create a Glade of Reflection in this area of the Garden.

The prominent feature of the Glade will be the newly planted Swamp Cypress. The Swamp Cypress is one of the few conifers in Britain that is deciduous; the needles turn a stunning fiery red in colour just before they fall in autumn. In time this should be a spectacular addition to the Garden, as our picture of the future shows. We are installing a new path around this area and our plan is to plant a small number of low-growing clusters of shrubs and trees around the Glade. 

Looking forward into 2022, the next major project will be to restore the top of the lower sluice dam. This has become badly eroded over the years resulting in loose stones and flooding. The plan is to drain down the canal, lift and clean up the existing stones, reclaiming any that can be re-used and then install a new top course of stones. At the same time, we aim to tackle the significant leak flowing around the back of the dam wall. All in all a major project. 

Do get in touch if you would like to know more about any of these projects.  Email:info@wychwodwildgarden.org.uk; Phone: 0845 8056804 

Mike Watson 

February – March 2022