Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Last year I fell heir to an old galvanised tank and wanted to turn it into a pond, but I didn't have the muscle-power or the expertise to do it on my own, so I applied to BBC Scotland's gardening programme for some help - on the basis that I wanted to recycle the tank to create a better habitat for the frogs and toads that frequent my garden, who were having to make do with two old glazed water trough for their ablutions

I was really pleased and surprised when the programme's production company contacted me to say that they were willing to help. They came on Monday, with plants, liner and hard landscaping bits and pieces and a crew of five to help me make it happen. All I had to do was make lunch for us all and to pitch in and help at various stages of the work. I knew TV did a lot of takes, but it was really amazing to see how much they need to keep track of continuity between shots, and how much the poor sound man was picking up - including the mechanised street cleaning cart and the road works a quarter of a mile away!

It is obviously very late in the season for the plants and therefore they don't look like much now, but I have a mixture of native grasses and sedges, including the twisty form of juncus, as well as Japanese iris and Gunnera magellanica, the tiny Chilean cousin of that big beast of a plant, and a gorgeous water lily, that will not put in much of an appearance until next year.

We moved my water troughs over beside the new pond and in the process evicted this frog in one of the photos here. He kept going back to where they had been, and we found him looking at this old stone frog, which the old lady we bought the house from had in the garden, and I've never had the heart to throw out.

I'm really delighted with the results and I now have my morning cup of tea outside so I can enjoy seeing how it is bedding in. I've had my lymphodema sleeve on my arm for the two days since, but it was worth it! The crew even brought me some water from their own production garden at the Beechgrove, so that the water would immediately start to develop its own bio-diversity of wee beasties. And I hope to keep you all posted as it develops.

The programme airs on BBC Scotland on 16 September, when you can see me covered in mud and looking a complete fright!


Blogger Kay said...

Oh I hope there's a podcast avail/\. That is so cool!

12:28 pm  
Blogger Rouchswalwe said...

The first shot with the two looking at each other is brill, Anna! What you describe sounds very exciting and now I wish I were in the UK so that I could watch the show. Needless to say, I'm very much looking forward to your updates about how your garden grows.

2:53 pm  
Blogger BarbaraS said...

Wowee! So not only do you get a pond and a nice new habitat for the frogs, you get to be on TV too! I wish we could see that here in Ireland, maybe on a link afterwards?

Photos are a scream, and I bet the process of tv filming got you thinking poetically too :)

4:00 pm  
Blogger Colin Will said...

Sounds great A. Look forward to seeing it. I think I'm in Moray on the screening day, but I'll catch it later. BTW, new community garden on a different site in Dunbar looks to be a potential winner.

10:54 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

Thanks all, it was a really fun project and I've loved "water dipping" for beasties since I was little.

Colin -Good Luck with the new site. I'll need to hear from you why it had to change ..

10:58 am  
OpenID rosneath said...

good old Beechgrove!!
don't forget, everyone, you can watch it on iPlayer if you miss it! and that means everyone all around the world! just go to after the 16th September
oh, you didn't know I worked for BBC Scotland? how did you miss that?

3:41 pm  
Blogger Lucy said...

Drat, we'll be away that week and can't get i-player outside the UK...

Love the frogs.


4:48 pm  
Blogger PI said...

What a delightful post. Love the frog and how great to get men coming to help. Great story.

5:08 pm  
Blogger Pam Hart said...

Cue the frog Anna! I see a new career for you and Prince Charming. What a great project and so fun to see glimpses of it and your garden. I'll be looking for the show here or via iPlayer (don't know about that yet/will check it out.) Look forward to the pond's progress.

8:28 pm  
Blogger savannah said...

how exciting! wonder if i can see it here? xoxo

1:00 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

I'm not sure roseneath is right about i-player working overseas - I think the BBC have some cunning way of limiting it.

1:58 pm  
Blogger Rachel Fox said...

Found it on the i-player. Enjoyed the camera angles - particularly the one looking up at you two from the bottom of the tank!

9:18 am  
Blogger apprentice said...

Thanks Rachel. I look so serious!

5:51 pm  

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