15 January 2013

An air of anticipation hangs around the place

It's all quiet up here at Plas y Nant but not for much longer as the first of the workmen arrive next week.  As usual there's a lot been happening in my office, though, and as I'm about to get even busier with one thing and another we've now employed a gardener. You can't imagine what a relief that was for me, especially after all the extra work that now needs doing to repair the grounds after the floods.

As my Facebook followers will know, last November we had an unusual amount of rain in a very short space of time. In the middle of the downpour I decided to pop out into the garden to check on things and the first thing that struck me on opening the cottage door was the noise from the waterfall. I ventured round to have a look at it and was practically struck dumb. Normally when we're having heavy rainfall it looks like this

but now it looked like this

and it stunk of peaty earth!

At this point I was very worried as the stream that runs down past the cottage in quite a deep channel was about to overflow and there didn't seem to be an end in sight to the rain.

By now I was starting to panic and turning round in circles for some reason best known to myself. It didn't seem to help matters so I gave myself a talking to and decided to follow the stream and see what was happening lower down in the grounds. Well what a sight met me there which resulted in me spinning round in circles again. Part of the woodland nearest the house had turned into a river which resulted in the stream at the top of the drive overflowing to form a lake right outside the main entrance. Fortunately this is up a few steps so it didn't flood inside.

However, the drive had now become a raging torrent and was impassable.

After a few more spinning circles I turned my attention to the rest of the garden - which was even worse. The water normally flows down from the stream into a culvert under the drive staying underground until it arrives in the pond at the bottom but now it flowed overground from the drive, down the embankment, where it also burst up through the culvert, and flowed down over the lawn

before cascading into the pond.

Now I don't often cry but I must admit by now I was, however this soon turned into hysterical laughter as I wondered what the next calamity was waiting for me in the wings. Still we were fortunate that day as only the grounds were damaged, none of the buildings were flooded and everything is repairable.

This is how the lower garden looks now after the floods.

As you can see it's had a whole heap of stones deposited in it and the retaining wall at the back has been damaged. The culvert now appears above ground, where the wall was, resulting in the stream running down the lawn into the pond

and the pond is now a shale beach.

As for the drive, well that's a bit of a bumpy ride at the moment!

The next few weeks will see the garden put to rights and work will finally get underway on the main house. It's all change here at Plas y Nant in more ways than one.  I'm intending to post photos on the Facebook page of all the dramatic transformations but until then I'm enjoying the last few days of peace and quiet.

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