When beginning to plant the land here at Bealtaine Cottage over ten years ago, one of the most important tasks was to dig out drains and create two large ponds.
The upper pond is mainly to catch the silt washed down from the hilly land behind the cottage.
The lower pond as a pure delight for humans…a place where the sky is pulled onto the earth and light is reflected upwards, back towards the sky.
In order to keep the reflective powers of the water, it is essential for me to clear the pond weeds and plants every year.
This is an arduous task, but a beneficial one for all the trees here in the Bog Gardens.
As I pull up the weed, huge roots packed with fertile silt come up with it.
This is then spread around trees and shrubs in the gardens.
There is a substantial amount of fertility spread this way.
However, further back, in the silt pond, the sandy, loamy soil is dredged out in buckets.
All this is happening because of extreme weather, causing heavy rains that leach the soil on the hill and wash it down into the stream that feeds the ponds.
In the face of climate change, it is imperative we adapt in these small ways, for much of our topsoil is being washed into the oceans.
Besides which, silt is one of the most productive soils known to humankind!