Union Street Urban Orchard

While I was in London last night, I had to take a walk to try and find the car park I had planned to use.

While doing so, I came across the (closed at the time) Union Street Urban Orchard. I think it’s a fantastic idea :

Designed by Heather Ring of the Wayward Plant Registry and built with the help of Bankside Open Spaces Trust and an array of other helpful volunteers the garden will regenerate a disused site in Bankside and create a place for exchange between local residents and visitors to the Festival.

As the above quote from the site says, they’ve taken a disused site on Union Street, and created an urban orchard in it. They’ve recycled pallets, tyres, wood, glass and more to make the orchard. Sadly it’s only in situ until the middle of August- although at that point the trees from the orchard will be transplanted to three or four other sites around Bankside.

Personally I’d like to see this done far more often, creating valuable green/growing space in disused plots and areas throughout cities. Of course I realise that London prices are huge and the cost of those plots is almost certainly prohibitive – but at the same time if you can make use of those disused plots that aren’t doing anything anyway, well why not?

If all else fails, I think that local authorities could/should do a CPO on some of these disused plots, and actually make solid use of those plots for the local community.

The Union Street Urban Orchard is a fantastic project. I hope it puts ideas in the heads of a lot more people.

Cat vs. Pond

One of the other events of the weekend was Psycho Cat finally discovering the pond – and being fascinated by it. The tadpoles intrigued him, but he can’t catch them.

Hunting Tadpoles

Hunting Tadpoles

The frogs are interesting too, but disappear into the bits of the pond he can’t get into.

Of course, when he realises/remembers that he’s a Turkish Van (and thus quite adept at being a swimming cat) then he may spend more time in the pond than around it…


As well as the immense number of tadpoles in the pond, we’ve also got at least six frogs of various sizes/generations. All told, it’s been a remarkably successful wildlife pond, especially for having been in place for only a year.

Frog The First

Both the one above and the one below were sitting quite happy in the pond at the same time (and at opposite sides, so I know they’re different ones) – apparently they’ve decided that sitting still is one of the better defences, and they only move when you get too close.

Frog 2

Frog The Second


Just over a year ago (16th May, to be exact) we put a pond into the garden – nothing huge, but a little ‘nature pond’, with the intention of making it a useful home/habitat for the frogs/toads we seem to have all year round.

Over the Bank Holiday weekend we looked in the pond, and there’s loads of tadpoles in there. No idea whether they’re frog or toad tadpoles – I guess we’ll find out once they’ve changed state a bit, as currently they’re just classic tadpole-shape.  There’s also a load of tiny bug things (can’t you tell I’m a specialist in this stuff?) and larvae that they’re feeding on, and stuff at the bottom for them to hide in, so it seems like it must be a pretty good layout.

I’m ridiculously chuffed about this, as I didn’t really expect it to get to this state ’til next year, and possibly the year after. But no, we’ve got a working nature pond on our first try.

Now if only we can get birds in the nextbox, and owls in the owlbox. Then I’ll be really happy. (Admittedly I don’t expect anything in the owl box until Hound pops her clogs, because she’s so bloody noisy and irritating)


Yesterday we got another couple of fence panels painted – only about another 85 to go. (We started off with 97 to do, and it’s a shitty boring job, but it’s going slowly)

One fence panel, half done and you can see the difference

One fence panel, half done

The wood is very dry, so it’s sucking in the treatment as soon as it’s applied. Probably means we’ll need to do a second coat at some point, but I need to get the lot done first.

Garden Produce

One of the better bits of this gardening thing- spuds growing in their buckets

Potato plants in their buckets

Potato plants in their buckets on the patio

No idea what the particular types are – I lost the labels, in typical style – but they’re all growing well, and I’m really pleased with how things are progressing.

Last year the buckets weren’t that successful when we bought spuds from Suttons – this year they’re from Homebase, and seem to be doing much better.

Malvern Spring Show

One of our main reasons for coming to Malvern this week on our break was to go to the Malvern Spring Show. My mum’s always recommended it as a good plant/flower/garden show, so we thought we’d give it a thrash.

We went to Chelsea show a couple of years back, and hated the number of people crammed in to too small a space, and being unable to see what we wanted without fighting our way through the people first. The show was OK, the size and people were awful.

By contrast, Malvern was a really pleasant experience. There were still lots of people, and plenty of shitheads with sodding tugalong trollies, but it didn’t feel crowded. In the indoor exhibitions there was plenty of space between stands, wider aisles, all told there was just space to spare. There was tons to see, lots of stands, exhibitions, products and the like, and it was a really good day.

We came out of it with plenty of ideas for the garden, shitloads of brochures and information, and sore feet from walking. We’ll be going back next year.