Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Pond at Pottery House

When we moved to Pottery House in 2004 the pond was a bit of a muddy hole in the ground, devoid of life.

So we planted loads of oxygenating plants, introduced a few gold fish and started planting the edges.

Now the pond is teeming with life. There has been a big, writhing mass of tadpoles for the past few days on the edge of the pond and this morning we spotted 5 newts. There are also a few baby fish around.

The oxygenating plants are taking over and need clearing out, other pond plants such as mint are spreading healthily and the marsh marigolds have taken hold and are now in flower.

Much more planting to do round the edges but we're pleased with the results so far.







Monday, April 23, 2007

Water Recycling Project - Wrong Pipe Size

These things are never easy, there is always some complication not matter what DIY task you attempt (or is it just me?).

Today I finished all the outlet connections, these means that the water tanks are now connected to the shower pump and on to the tap on the outside wall. Hurrah.

Now to connect the tanks to the outlet pipe from the washing machines. First I ran one of the machines, went under the house and held onto the pipe to make sure I'm working on the correct pipe. The thought did occur to me that it's a little late in the project to be doing this, but as I'm getting to the point where I cut into the house plumbing and if it goes wrong we can't use the washing machines (which is a B&B may be a little of a problem), I thought I'd better check non the less. It was the correct pipe, phew!

Now it has occurred to me that if I don't put a U bend in the pipe between the tanks and the drains all the noxious gases will escape. It was then that I realised that the U bend pipe I had bought has a screw fitting on one end intended for connecting to the underside of a sink. Oh, no good for my tanks at all. So it's off to the DIY store.

It appears that all the U bends have the same fitting so the solution is to buy 4 x 90deg connectors and build my own U bend.

Back home, under the house I start to build my U bend and tank connections........OH! The length of pipe I have and the 90 deg connectors I've just bought are different sizes, only by a few mm but enough to stop a watertight connection. This is why I hate these sorts of project, there's always something that doesn't fit, or a bolt that breaks when you're trying to undo it, or a screw head that shreds, or a tiny part of something that breaks and makes the whole item it used to be attached to useless.

Back to the DIY store tomorrow!!!!!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Poor Soil

We have a problem with the soil at Pottery House, in that it's not very good. So we had a delivery of manure today which we can feed all the flower and vegitable beds. However when it arrived (compliments of a local farmer) it's a much bigger pile than we expected.

It's a great deal of work to spread it around where it's needed.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Water Recycling Project - Update

It's been a while since I've had time to progress this project, but today I resumed work.

I've been trying to fit the outside tap on the wall and run the pipe through to underneath the house. First of all I found that the hole I had drilled was too small for a 15mm copper pipe, so I had to drill some more, through breeze-block, which is tough.

At this point I discovered that I couldn't find my pipe cutter, so this was my first trip to the hardware-store.

Once I had the pipe through I tried bending the pipe (using a spring) but the pipe buckled and I had to rip the whole thing out and start again. This time I left 18" of pipe protruding and bent it on my knee (again with a spring) and this time it bent correctly. But then I found that the bend was too shallow so I couldn't run the pipe down the wall to my tap. So that bend had to be cut off and I made another trip to the hardware store to buy pre-soldered elbows.

This time I soldered on the elbow and finally managed to get the tap fixed to the wall with pipe attached through to where the pump is.

Then back under the house, I discovered that the connector I have to connect 22mm pipe to 15mm pipe wont actually fit over the 22mm pipe. Don't see the point of that, maybe I bought the wrong thing. Another trip............NO!

At this point I'd had enough for the day as I'd been at it for 6 hours.

But I really do have to get this project finished in the next couple of weeks because the garden is starting to need water, plus my hanging baskets will be going up in the next few weeks and I'd really like to get an automated watering system connected to all them.

So check back for the latest updates soon.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Fantastic Weather

Wow. the weather here in the Highlands has been absolutely wonderful for the past week or so. Warm with clear blue skies.

And with all the trees coming into leaf (with a fresh green colour) and the primroses and gorse covered in yellow flowers everywhere looks beautiful.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Spring Weather

We've been enjoying some beautiful spring weather in the Highlands over the last couple of weeks, with many days with not a cloud in the sky.

Not been quite as nice for the Easter weekend, but still had sunny spells.