Planting season is here and once again I am hindered by something solid under the ground preventing access for new planting. This time I unearth an old field drain. It appears at the tennis club fence and then tracks underground a short way. It was full of soil but not carrying any water. Bone dry.
Interesting to see where this is. Above the area where the path was broadened a few years ago because the path at this corner was very narrow. Below the path is the section of the bank where there has clearly been land slip in the past. I suspect this old field drain may be part of the reason for the slip. Who knows.
Right now though the soil is dry and very easy to dig. Lots of crushed stone (blaise) in the soil which seems to aid drainage and I am told will be OK to support growth. Planting is Holly, Blackberry, Blackcurrant, Redcurrant, Horseradish, White strawberry (because the birds will not eat them!), Rhubarb and then some edge planting of ivy and fern to maintain the woodland feel. Its an area of the slope that has been bereft of plants other than self seeded grasses, weeds and a few wild flowers. The odd daffodil as well. This planting is to establish some edible woodland plants. Fingers crossed, the light levels are reasonable but it is North West facing.
The old drain pipe is now removed.
12th November 2012.
Update from my other half - "it can't be a field drain". There's no area to drain unless the tennis courts were cambered to that point or there was a herring bone drain system in place and there's no sign of that. More likely is that this was the septic pipe so maybe this is the pipe that served the septic tank that people tell us became blocked and took away a section of the hillside? Anyone got any more info?????