Saturday, 1 May 2021

At the bottom of the pond


It's all drama in the garden. The fencing chap (not the £1,800 one) did a lovely job, except that he cut off my wisteria that I'd been carefully nurturing for a couple of years. It was just starting to get nicely established. There is a sad stump left behind. I am checking it daily in the hopes that it will sprout.

The blackbirds have had their nest plundered twice by a magpie. They yelled and yelled, but to no avail. It flew off with a very sizeable chick. I fear they have none left now and have had to start again from scratch.

This afternoon I emptied the wildlife pond. It tends to get leaves and apples and pears dropping in it from time to time and it had gone a bit green and sludgy. There were LOTS of frogs in there, as well as newts, so it was a bit of a trick to relocate them temporarily. The liner is all nice and clean now, the golf balls have been removed, the pebbles washed and replaced and the waterlily and the newts are back in the bottom. I just need a substantial amount of rain to fill it back up now. With a bank holiday coming up I might be in luck.

The pond really is such a good thing in the garden. Back when we had a bit of a freeze I was taking the top layer of ice off, mostly to remove the duckweed in a nice handy sheet. I was amazed how many birds came down to drink afterwards, I think they were happy to find water that wasn't frozen. And the frogs love it, and they're good for the garden, eating slugs, so it's beneficial all round. A little plug for ponds, in case you were contemplating one. 

Mine is very simple. A hole lined with some free offcuts of carpet from the Sort-It Centre, then a stout pond liner (not a rigid one), then filled with rainwater and a small waterlily. I'll get some oxygenating weed next time I'm at the garden centre. I've had other plants in the past. The iris was lovely, but the dog took a liking to it, and after a protracted battle, he won. I'll probably get one or two plants for the shallower water at the side too.

In other news, I have it on good authority (the chap on the check-out at the Co-op) that there was a punch-up at the barbers after lockdown ended. The urchins went to the other one and managed to have a nice trim without having to resort to violence, as far as I know.

Otherwise, life has been fairly free of drama and mostly all about work, which is no bad thing, although I could do with some more time. Twas ever thus. All clear at your end?


  1. Lovely to see you and your part of the world across the pond from me, CJ. Your landscape is much like mine in the area near the west base of Mt. Hood in Oregon. While I no longer have a pond to tend where I live now, I set up a little dish fountain on the back patio this week and posted a photo of a little fountain of Bleeding Heart flowers that are blooming by my front step. In general all is clear at my end.😁

  2. Lovely photos - especially the one of you! Shame about the wisteria; fingers crossed that it recovers. How exciting about the punch up at the barbers - a haircut and a show! I dislike going for a trim, so a good fight would improve matters no end. :O) R rescued a baby blackbird from some magpies last week. He was all for trying to hand rear it but I insisted we follow the advice on the RSPB website and place it in a sheltered spot. The parents found it and were feeding it but the following day it had gone and there were a few downy feathers on the lawn. I'm hoping the 2 were unrelated but I doubt it. Your pond sounds fab and I'm sure it will fill up again in no time! Enjoy the bank holiday. xx

  3. Oh the delights of pond cleaning. Well done on saving the frogs and I hope you get enough rain to fill it. Ours is covered again with more magnolia petals. My job this morning to scoop them out. Love the photos of you and Bertie, glad you had one of your boys capture you :) No barber fights here as far as I know! Hope the wisteria grows and enjoy your Sunday. B x

  4. Lovely photos, I want to follow up the sunlit path.
    Magpies are causing a lot of trouble at the moment, it seems.

  5. I went off magpies when I saw one with a fledgling starling, and the whole flock kicked up a racket to no avail. Really miss a pond in the garden, maybe a project for future years.

  6. I love the primrose. I looked forward to it every year when we were in Mildenhall, does not do so well here in the US, not in South Carolina anyway. Enjoy your blog and hearing about life there, I so miss the English countryside.

  7. Lovely pictures. Shame about the wisteria, let's hope that it grows back. Sad news with the blackbirds. Well done on clearing the pond, I think that all gardens and plots should have one.
    I've booked a barbers appointment for next week, and hope that it's a quiet visit!
    Take care. xx

  8. My sister was really upset to be witness to two magpies raising nests in one of her shrubs which housed a variety of birds nests.

    We all had our hair cut at home as we have a mobile hairdresser so no punch-ups for us either.

    An area of our pond where the filter pours water back in stays free of ice during winter and the birds love it. They also sit on plants and bathe all year round even though we have bird baths. The fish congregate watching as they think that the splashes are food being thrown in

  9. Oh, the poor wisteria!! My heart is breaking on your behalf as I've long pined for a wisteria. We had a gorgeously HUGE one at the stable I used to work at -- as tall as the old bank barn so really big (no idea of actual size but Extremely Tall) -- it used to positively DRIP gorgeous blossom...then someone trimmed it...down to a stump. I may have wept.

    I need no convincing in the pond department. Sidenote: my mum was telling me that local ponds are being ravaged - apparently by mink....they swim down to the bottom and help themselves to the over-wintering fish. Nasty pieces of work, mink.

    I'm the resident hairdresser in the house, so no fisticuffs here either. xo

  10. Nature is brutal, isn't it? Those poor blackbirds. I very much hope your Wisteria recovers and grows back. I've planting climbers and ramblers along our fence and hope they will be completely covered soon, like a hedge. I'd love a pond in the garden but the only place suitable has been taken over by Richard for his vegetable garden. I always leave a flat bowl of water out for birds and other creatures. No barber fights in our corner I think. I have a haircut appointment on Tuesday! Have a very lovely week, hopefully with less work than usual x

  11. What lovely countryside you have! I like the idea of a pond, but I don't think I have enough room that isn't already gobbled up by other things. Plus.......A very large Rottweiler named Buddy would be pretty sure to wreak havoc on it.

  12. My son reported people getting leery at the pub, under 21s have since been banned, but at the barbers! The bluebells are looking rather wonderful at the moment, aren't they? Cn x

  13. If your bank holiday was anything like ours, your pond should be full by now. Our cats are cross about the whole situation and have taken to interrupting meetings to vocalise their discontent.
    Boyfriend is currently planning a pond. His plans suggest it will take up a substantial piece of lawn. I'm staying well out of it...