Roger's Diary - Giles Landscapes CMS
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Roger’s Diary

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Watering in these Difficult Times

Many of us in this line of business get very distressed to see projects struggling in prolonged drought – where the only solution is to water and keep watering. But even watering can be full of hidden risks. Tree pits dug into clay can easily become sump holes when watered copiously in drought conditions. Clay can easily become compacted in dry weather and then turn anaerobic  in the presence of water logging by being enthusiastically watered through the drought. The problem can become worse when the symptoms of water logging are mistaken for lack of water.

A few days ago I had to travel along the M25 to get to terminal 5 Heathrow to pick up my son who has just returned from a London to Beijing over land trip. One of our large projects, Gunpowder Park just off of junction 26 has toilet facilities and is a wonderful place to walk round and chill out a world away from the hurly burly of the motorway.

This peaceful  park which ironically once was where most of our armaments were built or tested for World War 2 is now over 80 acres of wild grass and flower meadows and like all the best things in life, free!

Because this park was covered by one metre of clay to seal out the past, it was not without its water logging problems which soon became all too evident.

In the corner in front of the main entrance we planted a small grove of walnut trees however on the day of the opening I took a verbal ear-bashing from one of the officials saying that these trees looked short of water and stressed but in actuality the reverse was true - the Walnut trees were waterlogged and we ended up changing them to Alnus which can cope better in waterlogged conditions.

You’ll see in one photo there is a Walnut tree that was left as it was in a slightly dryer place but even that has a job to service all branches when compared to the healthy and happy Alnus grove.

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