Practical Ecology

Nature Switched On

 

 

 

 


in the Pyrenees  the first 10 years

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gallery 1: 2006-2012
gallery 2: 2012-

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>> 2008 Dec  6
<< 2008 Nov 15

                         a   S T A M M E R  project              

2008 November 28, 29 & 30, Friday to Sunday


Another challenge to face for the still unfinished garden house: snow. Snow itself is not such a problem but when it starts to melt all kinds of unpredictable things happen on the roof with the temporary ill-fated PE sheets. We had again some leakage inside the house. The water damage is mainly limited to the wooden floor (with the straw infill) as the straw bale walls are protected on top with EPDM sheet.

 

 

 


 

Perhaps we should have bought one decent big strong canvas by now but I think that next week we will be able to finish the roof with the EPDM sheet (althoug this is something I also thought a couple of weeks ago..)


WWW   NSO


The snow that fell was quite wet and only formed a thin, short-lived layer.
Higher pond, looking west.
Saturday 9:45

 

 

Looking at the garden house through a caravan window.
Friday 10:43

Looking north-west
Saturday 9:49
 

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Last week (22 November) we finished the placement of the roof beams (although we still have to add the lateral lookouts)  and fixed most of the vertical OSB boards on the ring beam. Because of the slightly tilted ring beam (commented on 15 November) we had to readjust the supporting structures. Eventually the roof is quite level now, for the moment.

 

 

 

 

 

The last roof beam has been fixed.
The long lookout towards the south will give nice shade in summer.
Photograph taken on 22 Nov.15:48

Details of the ring beam (below) with a fixed roof beam on top. Notice the adjustment of the beam angle, to maintain a 5 slope.
Photograph taken on 23 Nov.12:48
   
 

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This weekend we were busy with the perpendicular boards ('bird blocks')between the roof beams. They are nailed and glued and add stability to the overall roof structure.

 

 

Right under these boards we fixed a strip of wood to act as an edge for the plaster that will be applied up to this height. The vertical OSB boards will be completely covered with plaster, although an additional mesh of chicken wire will have to be placed because the earth plaster can't attach to wood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

West corner of the garden house, with the bird blocks in place with a strip underneath
Sunday 14:22

 

 

A difficult corner of 45. Unfortunately we had also placed some bales in bad shape in this section, which had to be corrected with inserted boards.
Sunday 14:23

Inside east corner.
OSB boards will be fixed under and on top of the beams, with straw in between.
Sunday 14:26

Inside west corner
Sunday 14:27
 

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Snow, ice and frost always create interesting patterns and forms, especially in and around ponds. Even a simple and recently installed pond can be an endless source of this kind of art, changing every minute and every angle of view.  Simplicity in design and the growing of few different, spontaneous species is an advantage here, and so is a large water surface; quite different from the typical common garden pond with its overkill of species, colours and structures were you can hardly see any stretch of clear water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lower pond, looking north.
Sunday 8:35

Lower pond, looking east, with some almond and oak trees in the background.
Sunday 8:42

Higher pond, with Iris pseudacorus, looking north-east.
Sunday 8:28

 

A collection of olive and almond trunks near the higher pond, looking north-east.
Sunday 8:34

The red tinged plant on the shore of the higher pond is the common 'weed' Polygonum aviculare (Common Knotgrass), here growing to a surprisingly aesthetical effect. Birds appreciate its seeds. 
Sunday 16:30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

The melting zone near the shore and around stones is especially fascinating.
Higher pond.
Sunday 16:35

Higher pond.
Sunday 16:24

 
 

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I managed to free some time for garden work. Following the ideas of permaculture I commented on last time, I continued applying mulching with straw; this time on some plants I planted this spring. The mulch will maintain these plants warmer in winter, suppress competing plants, maintain humidity and stimulate soil life.


 

Unable to suppress completely my own scientific roots, I decided to set up an experiments, applying the mulch to only 60%  of the number of plants of the same species with the same development. The species experimented on are: 5 Berberis vulgaris (Common barberry) plants which have survived the summer with some difficulty, and 5 plants of Cistus albidus (White-leaved rockrose) which are in very good shape. It would be very interesting to notice differences, especially after the coming summer.
I must confess that I am not very happy with the aesthetic effect of the straw mulch on the terrain but I trust that the colour will quickly fade into something less conspicuous and that within some years (months?) the earth worms will have soaked the organic material into the soil.

 

Higher, western terrace with 3 plants of Cistus albidus tugged in with straw.
On the right a plant without straw.
Looking north-west
Sunday 15:23

 

Lower terrace with 3 plants of Berberis vulgaris with straw mulch and 2 plants with only a circle of stones.
Looking north-east.
Sunday 16:01

 
  This olive tree (cultivar 'Pascual')was planted 2 years ago but hasn't grown much. Perhaps the mulch will give him a boost.
Higher terrace, looking west.
Sunday 15:22

introduction
floristic catalogue
faunistic catalogue
contact
index
gallery 1: 2006-2012
gallery 2: 2012-

map
>> 2008 Dec  6
<< 2008 Nov 15

 

 

 


 

  

 

 

 

 

 

Latest revision on:  01/08/2018