Thursday, July 01, 2010

Pond Life

Before this picture was taken there was at the end of our garden some very ugly decking panels nailed around a swing and a plastic slide. It took up the bottom third of the garden and made it appear smaller.The wooden structure has been dismantled and stacked up against the left hand fence ready for removal at a later date.
This left the right hand side with some bare earth and a compost bin half way up the garden. I moved the compost bin to the corner near to the shed building.I shovelled the yukky compost that was left from the previous occupants. As I did the clearing work I saw a Frog in the earth besides the fence. He was grinning at me and hopped away. I had seen in our garden a Toad at night, and a Frog during the day. Chris Packham from the BBC's Springwatch said he had used a baby bath before as a mini pond when he was younger. I sent Cat looking for one at Asda. She did not find one but suggested we use the Turtle Sandpit that was by the bins outside. Its big, round, and green.
I dug a Hole around where the decking/compost bin had been, and sunk the Sandpit into the ground. I heaped the earth up around it trying to make the mud come up to the edge. I left a triangular bit of soil between the pond and the compost bin. This will be the natural part of the garden. I planted some Ferns, Grasses, and Bergenias around the edge and filled it up with water from the outside tap.

I read on the internet that you should never use tap water to fill a pond. But I had no rainwater to fill it with. I let it settle down for a few days before I bought some plants. I was worried about animals falling into the pond and drowning. I made a small set of steps from bricks and rocks. The garden birds immediately walked around the pond to the stone steps to drink and bath. They have used the water ever since I filled it up.
I had a eureka moment and when we went around Newmiller Dam I borrowed three jam jars of lake water. The third one was teeming with beasties. My own water was sterile, topping up with other pond/lake water brings the first signs of life. I guess they would occur naturally over time but adding some beasties speeds up the process. Cat photographed me adding the jam jars lake water.

After four days this was the pond. I had bought two plants because I read you needed oxygenating plants to stop the water going green with algae. I had bought some Astilbe to go along the edge. I thought of the planting around the pond to cover the earth up. I sowed a packet of Wildflower seeds around the pond. I want them to germinate, flower, and self seed. I want a wild area full of nectar rich traditional wild flowers. Bee's, Butterflys, and Hoverflys will flock to it I hope. It has been so hot and dry that the germination has not been quick.

This was the second time I saw this Frog in our garden. He was the frog that launched the Pond experiment. I have never gardened with water, and aquatic plants. This Frog is the reason why we now have a pond on the right hand side.

A few days ago the pond looked like this. I have since bought new plants to fill the pond up so it has one third plants. The water has got darker in colour and is swimming with beasties in it, and insects on top of it. When I got back from work last night there was a large dark green Frog sat in the pond on my water grass. His eyes were reflecting the light. When he eventually sat on the pond edge he was huge. He was not the Frog from the photo but a new one.
He has gone this morning. I hope that he is hiding from the predators and that he will return to the pond. Its like Kevin Costner in the Field Of it and they will come...

I had an email from Emma Lee of Awarding The Web saying I had been nominated in the 2010 Garden Blogs category. I have been ranked at number 31 on the world wide web by a panel of judges. I have displayed the star badge on the right hand side. Thanks Emma!
I love to blog about the garden, the birds, wildlife, and anything else that I enjoy. It is lovely that so many people read it, and that some readers have left comments.
Some days you wander if anyone reads your posts or is it a mad self indulgence? Talking to yourself on the internet? I have a passion for the natural world and writing. Taking photographs has also helped my artistic brain in composing and trying to shoot them well for publishing on the blog. The pictures help illustrate the prose mostly. I'm happy for the accolade.


Anonymous said...

The pond will develope so quickly you will wonder what it was like before you had it! keep on posting I love reading about your garden and comparing it to my little urban patch

Water Features said...

This is a great project and as potent a gateway drug into the world of water features as there ever was! If you do find yourself wanting to branch out into something more extravagant there's a great range available here - and they're very frog-friendly.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the ranking. Looking for information on guppies, seeing how small some water gardens are, now you have me wanting to add one to our yard.

Guppies also eat misquito larva.

Georgina said...

Hey Bruv! You're just great, No 1 in Brother Ranking! The pond looks great and I hope lots of frogs come by to your pond (and you take lots of pics). Love sis xx