Miscellaneous



History of the garden


The Land was previously used as a camping park.  

Campers started coming to (formerly known as) Tabor Farm campsite since 1947.  That was fifty-five years ago. 

The campsite started when boy scouts were looking for somewhere to stay. Things in those days were very basic, one toilet for forty boys, that is basic! 

Around 1967 the campsite's name was changed to St Brelade Camping Park Ltd, 

In 1994 St Brelade Camping Park Ltd closed the door for the last time.. 

I had this land, which had been used for camping. It had a few small silver birch trees on a large area of grass. 

On the first day of obtaining the land I thought I would like to build a pond at the end of a garden. I measured out a large circle about one hundred feet across and looking at it from the house. It didn’t look right as it needed to be nearer to the house, but at the time I still wanted to have it at the bottom of the garden.  I compromised and compromised again until I was satisfied. I didn’t want a straight wall pond so hence the result. 

The second day we started digging the pond out with a JCB. It took two months of evenings and weekends and during that time we sank a six inch borehole of two hundred and twenty-five feet, giving me around three thousand gallons an hour and then we erected a twenty thousand gallon holding tank. 

In early November 1995, the crater for the pond was ready and waiting for the three hundred tons of ready mix concrete for the seven-inch base with ninety six sheets of steel mesh to be embedded and six and a half thousand six inch concrete blocks with six thousand four hundred feet of half inch steel rod embedded between courses. 

Pouring the ready mix with a concrete pump for the base only took five and a half hours. Building the wall with a good gang took five weekends. The best weekend the men laid two thousand six hundred blocks in two days. 

During the winter 95/96 the filter system was constructed. Trees and hedges were dug out and replanted. 

The waterfall with eighty odd tons of stone was constructed and loads of soil was moved around the garden at that time. 

In late February 96, when many feet of pipe work and plumbing had been completed, it was time to render the inside of the pond then give it a fine coat of plaster. I had to wait for the right time, about three weeks, for the weather conditions. They had to be just right, dry and warm, before the fiberglass company could do their work.

We started planting bushes and shrubs at this time, with help of course, and we ended up planting over three thousand five hundred. 

While all this was going on, someone suggested that I could buy some fish in Guernsey. I didn’t have to be told twice. I went over there and saw a dozen or so fish that I liked the look of and ended up getting a couple of dozen, some were flew over, but that’s another story. 

With over half a kilometer of pathways laid and the fish in their new home, all I had to do was to wait for the plants to grow. Life was going to be dull if I didn’t have something to do all day

The Fantastic Gardens in St Peters valley were closing down at that time and I purchased quite a few different types of smallish birds. Since then I have learnt a lot about birds in a very short time, thank goodness. 


 Sanctuaries 

Bird and fish owners, who are giving up keeping their pets for many reasons, have added to the collection.  

Birds, (normally cockatiels and budgerigars) and pond fish handed into the sanctuary must be fit and healthy and will stay there for life. Any off- springs may be sold and part of the moneys will be donated to The Animal Shelter.

 Many birds have been placed in my care by their owners for all sorts of reasons, some because the bird makes too much noise (budgies don’t make that much noise) for the neighbors or grandma cannot look after it, or something like or “We like to have holidays without having to worry about the bird”. I am not complaining. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than going into the one hundred foot long aviary to feed and watch the birds antics. 

 Ease of access. 

There is ample car parking adjacent to the garden; wheelchair access could not be easier and all pathways are flat except one that takes you behind the waterfall, which has a gentle incline. 

The Open Garden days are organized entirely by the fund raising committees of the charities concerned. They advertise the event, the catering, the car parking, and most important raising funds. They use part of the garden where tables are set up for serving refreshments. Refreshments vary with each fund raising committee. There might be cream teas or it could be a BBQ.  

Other visitors to the garden. 

We have small groups of visitors to the garden such as a group organized by a travel agent from the UK.  

They pay us an annual visit and they are all keen gardeners and very enthusiastic.


Working Garden. 

There is always something going on in the garden, planting or digging out plants, moving stones,  doing a bit more landscaping, working around the pond or in the aviary or even in the birdhouse. Always doing something but not all by myself, I have help at the weekends. My help is normally somewhere in the background, working hard.

Details of the pond. 

The pond holds one hundred and fifty thousand gallons of water, which is approximately seven hundred tons.

The pond is one hundred and eighty feet long and four feet six inches deep and is shaped like a figure of eight but with six circles, the largest is thirty-eight feet across and the smallest is eleven feet across. 

The bridge is thirty-six feet long and was built using railway sleepers and telegraph poles. 

The waterfall is forty thousand gallons per hour and it is built using eighty-five tons of granite and loads of backfill. It is eight feet high and overall twenty-six feet wide. Although the actual fall is only fourteen feet wide, the water cascading over it is well worth seeing. 

The pond filter system including the vortex tank holds fifteen thousand gallons of water.

Six electric pumps and three sand filters can move up to twenty-four thousand gallons per hour. 

The floating aerator moves three tons of water per minute and throws water five feet high and sixteen feet across. 

The aviary

The aviary is one hundred feet long and thirty feet wide and six feet six inches high, with a hundred or so nesting boxes and other shelters and hoppers for the birdseed. All the water running in the aviary comes direct from the borehole. There are also nine newly landscaped ponds. I imported eighty tons of large pebbles, some weighing over half a ton. We placed these before I had planned the aviary. 

The birdhouse 

The birdhouse is thirty-eight feet long and ten feet wide with internal and external flights for the birds.

Sanctuaries 

Bird and fish owners, who are giving up keeping their pets for many reasons, have added to the collection.  

Birds, (normally cockatiels and budgerigars) and pond fish handed into the sanctuary must be fit and healthy and will stay there for life. Any off- springs may be sold and part of the moneys will be donated to The Animal Shelter.

 Many birds have been placed in my care by their owners for all sorts of reasons, some because the bird makes too much noise (budgies don’t make that much noise) for the neighbors or grandma cannot look after it, or something like or “We like to have holidays without having to worry about the bird”. I am not complaining. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than going into the one hundred foot long aviary to feed and watch the birds antics. 

Ease of access. 

There is ample car parking adjacent to the garden; wheelchair access could not be easier and all pathways are flat except one that takes you behind the waterfall, which has a gentle incline. 

The Open Garden days are organized entirely by the fund raising committees of the charities concerned. They advertise the event, the catering, the car parking, and most important raising funds. They use part of the garden where tables are set up for serving refreshments. Refreshments vary with each fund raising committee. There might be cream teas or it could be a BBQ.  

Other visitors to the garden. 

We have small groups of visitors to the garden such as a group organized by a travel agent from the UK.  

They pay us an annual visit and they are all keen gardeners and very enthusiastic.


Working Garden. 

There is always something going on in the garden, planting or digging out plants, moving stones,  doing a bit more landscaping, working around the pond or in the aviary or even in the birdhouse. Always doing something but not all by myself, I have help at the weekends. My help is normally somewhere in the background, working hard.

Details of the pond. 

The pond holds one hundred and fifty thousand gallons of water, which is approximately seven hundred tons.

The pond is one hundred and eighty feet long and four feet six inches deep and is shaped like a figure of eight but with six circles, the largest is thirty-eight feet across and the smallest is eleven feet across. 

The bridge is thirty-six feet long and was built using railway sleepers and telegraph poles. 

The waterfall is forty thousand gallons per hour and it is built using eighty-five tons of granite and loads of backfill. It is eight feet high and overall twenty-six feet wide. Although the actual fall is only fourteen feet wide, the water cascading over it is well worth seeing. 

The pond filter system including the vortex tank holds fifteen thousand gallons of water.

Six electric pumps and three sand filters can move up to twenty-four thousand gallons per hour. 

The floating aerator moves three tons of water per minute and throws water five feet high and sixteen feet across. 

The aviary

The aviary is one hundred feet long and thirty feet wide and six feet six inches high, with a hundred or so nesting boxes and other shelters and hoppers for the birdseed. All the water running in the aviary comes direct from the borehole. There are also nine newly landscaped ponds. I imported eighty tons of large pebbles, some weighing over half a ton. We placed these before I had planned the aviary. 

The birdhouse The birdhouse is thirty-eight feet long and ten feet wide with internal and external flights for the birds.