Water water everywhere

Like so many in the UK we have suffered a very wet week and weekend.  Although, luckily for us our house is on the side of the Malvern hills and so not really at much risk of flooding unlike some people who are having a horrid time.  Whenever we have heavy rain for any period of time our patio floods as you can see above.  We have to put a plank across so the cat can get into the garden and so I can get out and feed the birds without necessarily resorting to wellie boots.

When we first moved here about eight years ago the far right hand corner of the patio (top left in the photo above) was constantly flooded.  The ground is awful just a mixture of builders rubble and poor soil and digging in the corner uncovered lots of gravel  and a rotten fence post.  Obviously  this was a long term problem so I decided that we might as well make it into a pond.  We have to put in some supports for the fence post and these created an edge to the ‘pond’ and when it had drained one day I filled the bottom with large cobbles and planted out marginal plants; things that would enjoy having their roots in the water but not be too bothered when it dried out.  There are a lot of Cyperus glaber in this area which I had grown from seed and which annoyingly self-seed all  over the place.

Anyway, needless to say, as soon as I had done this (above) and was pleased with my pond, already with a resident frog, the water mysteriously disappeared and didn’t come back even when it rained.  My Dad did some investigating.  The Malvern Hills are full of springs which appear and disappear.  Further down the slope from us Dad discovered that some serious work had been done to clear debris and rubbish from a permanent spring, which is almost a waterfall, and the water was flowing very freely.  We suspect that whatever the workmen did improved the drainage and the water that was sitting in the corner of my garden was linked to this spring and now flowing away.  Bye bye pond.

However, having been rather distracted with other things in recent years I have been very good at blanking this corner and it has remained full of cobbles  with Cyperus glaber flowering profusely in the summer and when, like this week, we have excessive rain it does act like a sump with the water slowly by surely draining into  it.  Although not as pretty as when it was a pond.  When I was taking the photo above this morning I noticed that the water was actually running into the corner through the mortar of the wall behind it – so this is obviously where one of the flood springs is located.

On a plus note the ground slopes up a little to the house and garage and so far the water hasn’t got that far.   This flood is a minor inconvenience for us but my thoughts are with those who have suffered much worse and also with people in other parts of the world who have had to deal with flood, hurricanes, serious drought etc.

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About Helen Johnstone

I live in Malvern, Worcestershire and am a very keen gardener. I started the Patient Gardener Blog in January 2008 as a way of recording what was happening in my garden and connecting with other like-minded people. I started a second blog PatientGardener 365 January 2013 in order to try and post a photo a day to capture what is growing in my garden or places I have visited
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14 Responses to Water water everywhere

  1. Christina says:

    The power of water and its ability to always find its way to the lowest level is sometimes quite scary! Christina

  2. Yvonne Ryan says:

    Maybe some little yellow rubber duckies would look cute swimming by your back door?.And if they get too cold just bring then in and let them swim in a warm bath! Water not so great if not where intended. Hope not too much more rainy autumn. It has made he news here, not very inviting!

  3. kate says:

    Flooding is such a lottery… I’ve been OK so far, but any smugness was dissolved by a bloke on the radio saying ‘I’ve been here 20 years and it’s never been anything like this’ – made me realise that you can never tell. And vice-versa, like your disappearing pond. Water is strange….

  4. Cathy says:

    You bagged my post title before I’d even written it, Helen! Kate has summed up the potential smugness effect well – because we can of course never tell. Drainage improvements elsewhere, blocked drains overflowing, there are so many ways those of us who live above clear flood hazards can be affected, and often without warning. That’s quite apart from the longer term effects of people struggling to get to work, crops being ruined, etc in terms of rising prices, damaged livelihoods and the like. Your pond story is fascinating, though.

  5. Holleygarden says:

    So interesting about the underground springs and how connected they are to different areas. It would be fascinating to be able to see a map of all the water that’s flowing under our feet!

  6. Glad you haven’t had to resort to your wellies, Helen. How funny (and annoying) that having forced your hand to build the pond the drainage system changed. Tsk! Dave

  7. Pingback: Nobbut a Drop* | Rambling in the Garden

  8. Horrific, isn’t it, what some people are having to deal with. I am grateful to live on a little hill, without much behind us.

  9. Mark and Gaz says:

    Interesting little history of that part of your garden, of what was a pond that has now disappeared. My thoughts are those who got affected by the very wet week and weekend we just had. I was looking at some of the photos others posted yesterday, the amount of rain that has poured in some parts have been phenomenal.

  10. Anna says:

    Talk about ‘walking the plank’ Helen. Glad to read that you are safe and sound and able to venture out into the garden.

  11. How disappointing to build a beautiful pond then have it run away from home. That’s very unfair.

  12. My goodness Helen I had not heard about the flooding…glad to hear it is not too bad for you…snow here now although Nov has been dry and warmer until this weekend.

  13. Yvonne Ryan says:

    Just been watching News on TV – Just hope your area not so horrendous flooding!!! Good luck – thinking of you. We (opposite season) still bit windy but 22degrees cel now and getting warmer!

  14. My heart goes out to the families and friends of those who have been killed. So many have been affected by the floods and the storm front is still heading north. Here in the east of England, it is difficult to believe any of this is happening. Water levels are high, but it is a beautiful day.

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