Category Archives: pond

Colour in the garden in early June

Now that we have had a bout of rain, we are now getting some lush new growth – not just the plants but also the weeds. June has started with loads of welcome sunshine and in the stumpery area the golden coloured plants are absolutely glowing. I have lots of different ferns all around the garden but the Dryopteris crispa congesta in the stumpery are sporting the their bright green, upright fronds. The ivy along the stumpery side wall, Hedera helix Goldheart has mainly reverted back to dark green as it is pretty shady over there, but when the sun does fall on the Acer Shirawanum Aureum, it picks out the gold hearts in the ivy leaves in the background. Just in front of the Corylus avellana contorta is the very bright Oregano vulgare Auereum. The oregano makes pretty good ground cover which can brighten up the somewhat shady stumpery.

bright green new fronds on Dryopteris crispa congesta
Dryopteris crispa congesta
bright golden leaves on Acer Shirawanum Aureum
Acer Shirawanum Aureum
golden foliage of origano aureum
Oregano vulgare Auereum

Newly planted in the stumpery is the very pretty Primula Japonica Apple Blossom.  I usually like to plant in groups of 3 or 5 but I had also bought the primulas for pond side so just bought this one and hope I can divide it soon to get a nice clump.  I like it beside the old log (there are pink aquilegia to the left and blue ajuga to the right top).

Primula Japonica Apple Blossom beside old log
Primula Japonica Apple Blossom

The other acer in the garden (in the raised bed) is looking fabulous right now, flowing over the side walls down to the ground.  I will need to pull out a few of the London’s pride as it is getting pretty over grown now, and give the acer a wee trim later in the year.

Acer palmatum Dissectum Garnet in the raised bed
Acer palmatum Dissectum Garnet
 Acer palmatum Dissectum Garnet in the raised bed, end on.
Raised bed

The pond area is taking a while to get going this year.  The marsh marigolds have gone over but the cotton grass ( Eriophorum angustifolium) looking nice.  I am still waiting for the newly planted primulas to flower.

Just now we are getting lots of sunshine and very little rain so my main jobs just now are keeping things watered, pond topped up and staking some of the tall flowers.

Eriphorum angustifolium in the pond
Eriphorum angustifolium

Ta Da Redwings…

Yeah I finally managed to get a photo of the redwings have a bathing in the pond.  Not a great photo as I have a new lens which I haven’t got used to yet, and it was through a window, and my hands were very shaky.  I can count 10 (there is one skulking behind a plant). I am so please as I have only ever seen 2 and this is the first year I have seen them in the garden.  They were having a bit of a stand off with the blackbirds.  The female blackbird won and saw them all off, but as soon as she started to bathe, the redwings came back.  She did manage a few minutes bathing before she gave up.

wildlife, birds, redwings, pond,
Redwings (Turdus iliacus)

Warm at last…

finally a warm day to loiter in the garden.  Lots of things are coming up now but only in little clumps and they haven’t quite spread out as much as I would have liked, but then I am quite impatient in the garden.  I have a few Fritillaria meleagris (snakes head) in various places but they look a bit sparse so I may have to splash out more money and buy a few more to put on a bit more of a show.  I do have some white ones but they are not quite in full bloom yet.  The Caltha palustris (marsh marigold) is looking nice and bright and it is always the first thing in my pond to flower.   I just love my mossy-grassy logs in the stumpery and I do have a favourite one right now.  It is a shame that it will just rot away so I will just have to take lots of photos of it to stick in my scrapbook.

Fritillaria meleagris
plants, pond,
Calthea palustris
Mossy-grassy log
plants, stumpery, moss,
Mossy-grassy log
plants, stumpery, moss,
Mossy-grassy log

The new pond 2014…

The old pond was in need of a revamp even though the birds and frogs still enjoyed their visits to it.  Gardens by Water Gems did all the work and the initial planting and I love it!  We just wanted it in the same position as the old one but we needed one wider and deeper with a few shelves for planting.
In the old pond the frogs would spawn at the right hand side.  The birds would bathe at the left  hand side and they didn’t disturb the frogs so the frogs would get a chance to hang about with their pals at the surface of the pond in amongst the plants.  In the new pond the frogs now spawn on the left hand side and the birds bathe on both sides so the poor frogs don’t hang about as much but we still get loads of frog spawn in the spring.  I don’t particularly like the pigeons bathing in it as they tend to leave a grey scum on the surface.  Hey ho.  A couple of years on and we are still wondering what to do with the wall area behind the pond.  In the summer it has Purple loosestrife growing in front of it but after that has died down the wall looks very bare and scruffy.There used to be ivy covering that area and although it looked great (I have even seen frogs climbing  up it) it just dropped debris and leaves into the pond and we were always trying to stop it growing into the pond.  I could possibly put some sort of screen over it but there is very little room between the Purple loosetrife and the wall.  Don’t know.  The Water soldiers can be a bit thuggish so they are constantly being pulled out but there is always one or two babies that come back.  The duckweed can also get out of hand unless I skim it off regularly.


A few changes…

We have all heard about ‘global warming’ and the effects it is having on our weather systems – but just whose prediction will be right?  Some theories suggest we are heading
for a mini ice age across Europe (Gulf Stream conveyor belt theory) while others predict hotter, drier summers with wetter autumns and severe winters along with flooding from higher sea levels.  The earth may also be going through a magnetic flip – where the poles
actually change their magnetism.   Only time will tell which, if any, theory will be correct?
Here in the UK our weather patterns are changing and these changes are already affecting our wildlife. Spring is staring earlier and our growing season is getting longer. Some
species are adapting to these changes while others are struggling.  Already a rise in sea temperature has affected the sand eel population in Orkney and Shetland. Sand eels are the main food source for guillemots, puffins and other sea birds so a reduction in sand eels has drastically affected the sea bird population.   Similar affects can be seen in our own back yard.  Our blue tits are having trouble feeding their young as the caterpillar numbers are peaking too early.  The frogs are coming to our pond earlier to spawn, but the hard late
frosts are killing all the frogs spawn.  To help our wildlife out a bit we are putting mealworms out for the blue tits.  Live ones are best and although I had an interesting few months when I decided to breed some myself; it is a lot easier to just buy them mail order instead.  To help out the frogs we keep a bucket of spawn in the cool conservatory
during spring and once they have hatched into tadpoles we can pop them into the pond.  We lost a few plants and shrubs in some summers due to the very hot and dry conditions but most of the others have survived well needing only a bit more mulch to keep the moisture in.
Climate change however is not the main culprit for some of the changes in our back garden.  In February 2006 we acquired a new canine friend, who is in his element
the back garden.  In just his first week here he found that he could leap effortlessly over the 1.5m walls – hence the addition of trellis above all the boundary walls.  He took our neatly coiled hose for a wee jaunt around the raised bed, around a few trees then chewed and reduced its length by a few meters.  He runs full pelt up, down, across and through the garden and has already worn a muddy trail under the right hand arch.  One fine game is to
find and dig up the peanuts that the squirrels have hidden.  He has absolutely no respect for our borders – crashes his way through the tulips and Narcissi and even has a chew at the odd branch while it is still attached to the tree.


One major project in 2006 was stripping out the old pond liner and replacing it.  Poor frogs – we made them a makeshift pond; a large flat container with their old pond water, stones and a few plants, then placed it  about 2 meters from where we were working and popped our amphibious friends  into it.   Harry stripped away the old liner then added some new soft sand while I cut back the water lilies, divided the flag irises and threw away any overgrown oxygenating plants.  Meanwhile, our home sick frogs who did not appreciate our efforts at a makeshift abode, jumped straight into the sandy layer before their new home was finished. We were astonished to find that only 2 weeks later the new pond liner
had sprung a couple of leeks.   ***bleep bleep*** exclaimed Harry.  This time they were just patched with pond lining tape.  Just when he finished filling it up with the old water and plants a couple of ducks turned up!

pond 2002