Archive for the ‘england’ Category

England’s Lost Lake a Review

 

 

Englands Lost Lake

England’s Lost Lake, The story of Whittlesea Mere.

 

 

The fen country was for centuries, millennia even, a vast expanse of open water fen and bog that stretched from the Wash inland to the higher ground to the North and West. It has been described as a vast sump soaking up and holding the water flows from those surrounding counties on higher ground. A map of Huntingdonshire dated 1645 shows towns and villages as islands amongst the bogs fens and open water. Although drainage had been started in Roman times it was not until the seventeenth century that the serious work began with Van Vermuyden as the chief engineer. Eventually the last mere left undrained was Whittlesea Mere; Paul Middleton’s  England’s Lost Lake tells the story of that nineteenth-century project updating an earlier work produced by the WEA in 1986.

It is an interesting read, detailing not only the draining of the Mere itself and the methodology but also describing some of the players involved. The way of life of those that had earned a living from the mere is explored too. We learn of the Reed Cutters, Wild Fowlers and those that fished the Mere. We are informed of how the different seasons provided other means of earning a living for those whose livelihood depended on this vast lake. Details are given of the wildlife, insects, flora and fauna that occupied the area. The species that have survived and those that were lost, some completely unique to the area.

One is left with the feeling that the project was not the overwhelming success envisaged and returning a good proportion of the fen to its past state was partly an act of expediency. This though is purely my own personal view. Whatever the reasons the Great Fen Project is something that those of us that love this landscape, welcome, a view I share with the author.

If you have an interest in the Fens and its history this is a book you should own.

One last point Paul if you are reading this can you tell me about the Shelerode?

This book was sponsored by the Fenland Trust.

 

 

Wondering how the weather is going to affect sales this spring

I have managed a company manufacturing iron garden structures  (arches, arbours,gazebos,loveseats,obelisks,pergolas,etc.) for close on twenty four years and despite our products being semi permanent structures our sales are dependant to a great degree on the weather. A wet spell and a late cold spring delays fhe start of the season, although this year a promotion with Harkness roses has helped move things forward. Prolonged wet and cold weather in England also depresses sales, not just for us directly but also for our garden centre customers and other people we supply.

Paradoxically a really long period of hot sunny weather over several weeks with little rain has the same effect, only a really wet weekend interupting the hot weather helps. It seems people give the seaside a miss and go to the garden centre or look on the internet instead.

Ideally I would have liked a sunny Easter, a nice varied weather pattern in the coming weeks with decent amounts of weekend sunshine and a bit of rain then hopefully two sunny bank holiday weekends in May.

What weather suits other people for their gardens, gardening or garden business? I would be interested in their perspective.

Harkness Roses voucher offer extended on the seriousgardener.co.uk website

We have extended the Free Harkness Roses £5 gift voucher offer.

Would you like a free £5 Harkness roses gift voucher?

If you order an arch, arbour, bower, gazebo, loveseat, obelisk, pergola or tunnel for your garden from us before the 30/4/10 you will recieve a free Harkness Roses gift voucher to help you buy something great to grow up one of our products. If you are gardening in the Uk and grow roses take a look.

Click the link for details Harkness

The Hard Landscaping Show

Just recovering from the Hard Landscaping Show, it’s the first time I have exhibited at a two day trade show at some distance from base, although I have exhibited at local three day garden shows and one day trade shows. With all these shows, it is what proceeds it that takes most time and effort. We had two new products we wanted to launch at the show (an obelisk and loveseat) so I had to get them out of the design studio in the head and into a solid form, adjusted, finished and photographed. We had a few quotes for printing a colour catalogue but decided as we keep adding to the range to buy a large capacity colour printer and do it ourselves, (well myself), not as good as a really top quality professional job but a good servicable result that I can adjust for every print run large or small.

The show was quieter than I hoped  but I had the opportunity to meet some very nice people from the  Landscape Juice Network and The Garden Network together with hopefully, some future customers, so all in all a positive experience. The quality of work from Chris Nagle, Helen Nock and Lisa Beard is impressive. Tim Matcham from the Garden Network stopped by and was kind enough to pick the winner of our prize draw for us.

The new products launched at the show have now been added to our seriousgardener.co.uk website.

When the dust has settled in a month or so we will be able to gauge the success of the show, and I will write again.

Thanks to Claudia De Yong and Steve Callaghan for inviting me to exhibit.

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