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Weston's Mark Cox ends up in hospital after waterbutt incident but still advises over autumn planting

If anyone out there has ever thought about fashioning a tall raised platform about 8ft off the ground to hold a large waterbutt in order for sufficient water pressure to be created to irrigate a medium sized garden, then having spent time building said structure and then subsequent hours dripping wet in A&E for treatment to a dislocated shoulder, bruising and some quite nasty splinters I can talk with some authority when I say don’t do it!

They say pride comes before a fall and that’s exactly what happened, I stood there marvelling at my construction, with cup of tea in hand and chocolate hobnob in the other. It was at that moment that the present Mrs Cox asked me if it was stable and then proceeded to wobble my highly engineered water tower. Alas I had slightly miss-calculated just how top heavy the aforementioned structure was as waterbutt, timber and over 50 gallons of greenish water, not forgetting tea and biscuit, washed me to the bottom of the garden where I lay motionless looking very much like I’d been shipwrecked. Thankfully after my nearest and dearest - or saboteur depending on your point of view - had stopped laughing she agreed to take me to the nearest hospital.

Well I can tell you the present Mrs Cox soon changed her attitude when the consultant at A&E said that I would have to spend a night in hospital for observation. Shortly after I was admitted to the ward my wife said she would just pop down to the hospital shop to get me a few bits and pieces as my stay was not exactly planned. She couldn’t have been gone long before the gentleman in the bed across from me asked if I was the same Mark Cox that wrote for the Spalding Guardian as he’d just seen my name on the end of the bed. My fingers now individually bandaged meant signing an autograph would be impossible and I certainly was not going to agree to a selfie in my current condition.

Flooding is the focus of this week's Out in the Garden (51454821)
Flooding is the focus of this week's Out in the Garden (51454821)

Fortunately John, whom I now know is an avid fan just wanted to know what would be in this week’s article. I told him that I hadn’t written anything yet but that I was going to talk about getting your garden tidied up ready for the cooler months ahead. For instance if you have pond of any size then now would be a good time to net over it to prevent falling leaves from rotting in the pond and clogging up any filters or fountains etc.As the ground is still warm, believe it or not, this time of the year is perfect for planting evergreen trees and shrubs. There is still a good amount of heat left in the soil to get them established before winter. You will need to water them in well and keep watering them once a week if the weather turns dry.

If you have time I said you could also lift and divide up any large overgrown perennials such as Euphobias and Agapanthus. Dividing them now will prevent them from taking over next year and it will encourage new stronger growth next year. I will have to leave it there John I said as my wife had returned to my bedside with obligatory grapes, toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, and deodorant. And here’s something to keep you entertained she said as she handed me a copy of Robinson Bloody Crusoe…..

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