Category Archives: Garden

New Gardening Project: A Hole II

Fourth step: Do not drill too deep! The lower side of the groundwater is a watertight layer of some sort. Here it is marl (a kind of clay) of a greyish colour.

The watertight layer here is a greyish marl

The watertight layer here is a greyish marl


There is absolutely no need to drill into it and a waste of time and money (I paid for the meter drilled including the necessary amount of well casing). Also: the lowest part of the well casing is a filter. In most cases it is just the same pipe as the well casing with fine slits (3mm is enough here but your mileage may vary) but there are more expensive solutions, too. Any length of this filter inside the watertight layer if of little use and reduces the area where the groundwater can flow in.

Fifth step: case the well, that is: put a pipe into the hole to avoid the collapse of the whole. The drill string should be hollow to allow for it and needs a drill bit that you can screw out from above.

Well with pipe

Well with pipe


with pipe (blue) and some elongation (brownish)

Peek into well-hole with pipe (blue) and some elongation (brownish)


The pipe is something you can buy at e.g.: Amazon, at least that’s what I thought but despite a lot of hits for “Brunnenrohr” at amazon.de I got nothing at amazon.com for “well casing” except for the caps for the top.

Sixth step: clean up the whole mess before you go on 😉

Quite a mess!

Quite a mess!

Next: securing the well with the help of a bag of concrete.

New Gardening Project: A Hole

First step: find a good place for it. Hint: dowsing does not work.
Second step: mark it.

It's just a stick in the ground. The story about the grounded Stick is over at the BBC.

It’s just a stick in the ground. The story about the grounded Stick is over at the BBC.


Third step: empty out everything that’s not a hole.
This things costs a fortune and has no build-in level?

This things costs a fortune and has no build-in level, save an auto-level?


The tomatoes do not grow very well this year.

The tomatoes do not grow very well this year.

We should have a nice little hole at this point. As this hole is deep enough to reach groundwater level and beyond we can make a lot more out of it, for example: a well.

A nice little how-to, a bit more useful than this will be put in my next post.

Hungry Bumblebees Are Not So Humble

Hungry bumblebee, trying to break open a rhododendron bud.

Hungry bumblebee, trying to break open a rhododendron bud.


I found this little critter flying around our purple rhododendron, visiting the nectar providing blossoms and tried to make a picture of it. It took me some time to persuade my cheap little diggi-snapper to switch to the macro-function. After the first nice picture of the bumblebee visiting an open flower and doing what bumblebees do inside an open flower (let me assure you: it looks quite a bit like…uhm…) the insects jumped to the adjacent blossom which was still closed. We botanists call that thing a bud. So it sat there, right on the bud seemingly doing nothing, taking a break or something. If it had not been for the nice profile I would have waited until it visits the next open flower (I think I’m still bound to the very finite number of pictures available on celluloid in my thoughts instead of the over thousand that fit on the 8GB card tucked in the camera). It was only later at the large monitor that I saw the curious behaviour.
With the help of the large monitor it was also possible to identify the species: Bombus terrestris which has a long proboscis of about 8-9 mm (don’t know how much that is in old money) which could be long enough.
I made a handful more pictures which you can see (in full resolution now) at my Flickr account. Please follow the link in the Flickr-plugin.

PS: And at some day in a future far away I will be able to spell “Rhododendron” right the very first time.

Now, that is bold!

Sleeping! right in my herb bed!

Sleeping! In the middle of my herb bed!


That’s just…
I don’t even…

And if you think that it is weird with this cat sleeping in its litter box, you might a take a closer look:

Holstein cat, still nappin'

Holstein cat, still nappin’


Can you see it? It might be visible better with a shot taken from the other side:
And still nappin', one wont' believe it

And still nappin’, one wont’ believe it


See where it laid its head on? Yes, that’s a stone. Quartz, to be a bit more exact, rolled round by the powers of the water of the river Rhine, buried under some soil when the Rhine meandered away, digged out again, and placed carefully in my herb bed to keep the cats—especially this cat—from using it as their litter box. And now? Now this brute rests its head on it like on a well aired cushion filled with the finest eiderdowns! If it weren’t for the proof by these pictures, one would have a hard (ha ha!) time to believe it!

Things You Won’t Find in a Well Groomed Lawn: Part VI

Bittersweet (Solanum dulcamara)

Bittersweet (Solanum dulcamara)


A plant known under many names:
Fellenwort, felonwood, poisonberry, poisonflower, snakeberry, are the english names I found (there are most probably way more) and some of the German names are Bittersüß (bitter sweet), Hundbeere (dog’s berry), Mäuseholz (mice wood), Mausholz (mouse wood), Natterholz (verbatim: adder wood, but “Natter” is also a synonym for a snake in general), Saurebe (hog’s tendril), Stinkteufel (stinking devil), Süßstoff (sweetener), Teufelsklatten (devil’s claws. Klatten is the Middle High German word for “Krallen” meaning claws), Waldnachtschatten (that is the official name, I guess).
All parts of the plant are very poisonous!
Just if you need to know 😉