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New Things In Your Pond Today...

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Post by freebird on 17th April 2015, 9:24 pm

This is just work in progress and you only get to see the progress, not the messy bit! The pond is a preformed liner that has been in nearly 30 years. I would never, ever use one again because it is a complete pain in the backside to cover the edges of it. I've never been a fan of 'paved all around the edge' and have tried various things over the years, none of which have really worked.

This is part of the latest incarnation. The pond was massively overgrown, so the man cleared it out in the autumn. It's now very newly planted, home to some newts and hopefully (if the newts haven't eaten them all) some imported tadpoles which I've not seen since putting the frogspawn in the pond.



The partly submerged stony shelf is all balanced on a toughened glass shelf out of a cupboard, and was put there mainly for birds to drink and bathe, as well as for creatures to exit the pond. It has been an instant success for the birds at least.

The left side is just bits of broken paving that needed a home, but I've decided to try some toughish alpines to scramble over them and colonise the gaps. All a bit of an experiment - no point in putting pond edge type plants as there is no additional moisture here. A boggier bit towards the bottom of the pic for iris siberica and primulas and anything else I can lay my hands on.

The right hand and back of the pond still to be worked on. Since taking this pic I've made a log pile at the far end, again to shelter small creatures.

Decided not to have water lilies as the pond is in shade for a considerable part of the day. I like water hawthorn and find that lilies tend to crowd it out so am having just that, to see if it will do better on its own

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Post by FloBear on 3rd July 2015, 9:13 pm

I'm having a bumper newt year and am pleased that the damselflies and dragonflies have returned after the major pond-clear last autumn.
Have had lots of tadpoles too and, only the other day, found a minute frog in the grass so I know at least one of them has made it to froghood!

Had some photos to add but still can't do it Mad
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Post by Dandelion on 3rd July 2015, 10:13 pm

That's encouraging Flobear. My pond is choked with pond weed now - not the stuff you can wind round a stick, but the annoying tiny leaved thing. I'm really going to have to do a major clean in the autumn. (I know I keep saying it, but it's crying out to be done now!) I'll have to be disciplined, because when the season is right for cleaning the pond the weather will be colder and probably wetter, and I won't want to do it. But a major overhaul is the only solution. (And there's a horrid waterlily which I knew was a mistake as soon as it flowered, which can come out. Think 1960s flowery rubber swimming caps, and that should give you some idea!!)

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by FloBear on 5th July 2015, 5:09 pm

Dandelion, your description of the lily made me laugh! For a moment I thought you meant you'd be wearing the hat - and other appropriate gear - for pond clearing.
You're right about the pond-clearing season being at a time when the weather puts you off. I have to admit that is why mine tends to get overgrown. I'm resolving to be more attentive to things pondy now, but we'll see.
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Post by Dandelion on 5th July 2015, 10:27 pm

If I can find a swimming cap like the dreadful waterlily, I'll wear it to clean the pond out and take a photo!!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Ploshkin on 6th July 2015, 9:55 am

That we must see Dandelion.
Sadly, my pond seems to be devoid of underwater life this year, I'm sure that the great diving beetles are the culprits as they are apparently ferocious predators but they are fantastic things to watch. There were about 8 in the pond last year. I've seen some larvae this year but I'm thinking that the adults will disappear if there is nothing for them and life will return next year. All part of the circle of life.
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Post by FloBear on 9th July 2015, 10:44 pm

I've just realised that I have not seen a single pond snail in either of my ponds! Plenty of other life, though.


Good grief!!! I appear to have managed to insert a photo. An awful lot of trial and error and can't guarantee it will ever happen again.

Perhaps I'll try again and see if I can do another.

Woo hoo!!
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Post by Dandelion on 10th July 2015, 10:07 pm

Amazing pictures FloBear - worth the perseverance

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by freebird on 11th July 2015, 8:51 am

Oh well done Flo. Not the most user-friendly photo posting system is it.

Love the frogpole.
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Post by FloBear on 11th July 2015, 5:48 pm

Thanks folks.
I had lots of frogpoles and newtpoles, I thought that one might be a newt - not always easy to tell the difference! Was worried that the water level being lower than I would like, would mean the tiny froglets would have trouble getting out so I made frog-ladders for them.
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Post by Dandelion on 11th July 2015, 8:25 pm

How did you make frog ladders Flo? Am intrigued! The level in my little pond was so low that I put a couple of buckets full of water butt water in there yesterday. Hopefully the heavy rain which has been forecast for tonight actually happens, as none of the rain promised over the past week has materialised. The water level was so low that I could see old flowerpots from marginals which had fallen in to the pond - I started to hook one out with a cane, and upset a frog who was obviously hiding inside. Will tidy up when it's colder...

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by freebird on 12th July 2015, 8:08 am

I know rain water is best for topping up the pond, but I tend to top mine up little and often with tap water. I take the view that a small amount won't be too harmful, and keeping the level up is probably less stressful for the pondlife, as it will stay cooler.
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Post by FloBear on 12th July 2015, 8:23 pm

Nothing elaborate, Dandelion, just a few bits of old shed with some leftover pieces of plastic netting stapled on.
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Post by Chilli-head on 12th July 2015, 8:57 pm

I like your ladders, Flobear. Aren't ponds always supposed to have a sloped exit ramp in case things like hedgehogs fall in and can't get out ? Not that we get many hedgehogs these days Sad

I don't have a pond at the moment (though one is in the plan), but the topping up little and often makes sense to me, as one does with a fish tank to avoid changing the environment too quickly. For the fish, I leave water sititng uncovered overnight for the chlorine to disperse before adding it to the tank.
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Post by FloBear on 12th July 2015, 10:59 pm

Chilli head, when the pond was originally built the water came up far enough that the froglets - and anything that fell in - could get out of the shallow sloping areas. However, due to shrinkage of concrete and degradation of bricks, the water level is lower now, hence frog ladders.
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Post by Ploshkin on 13th July 2015, 10:28 am

CH wrote: Not that we get many hedgehogs these days

Funny you should say that CH, we don't often see hedgehogs either. But, we were shearing this weekend & getting the shed ready on Saturday I went to empty out a bag of left over wool dregs from last year & there was a sleeping hedgehog in the middle with little babies, probably just a few days old. There were definitely 2, possibly 3 but I just covered them up quickly & didn't linger. Yesterday morning I went to fence off the corner so that they didn't get trampled by sheep but she had gone & taken the babies hopefully somewhere safer.

I like your pictures Flo, we get loads of the beautiful turquoise damselflies & sometimes ebony ones - turquoise with really black wings. I like your frog ladders too, I expect the newts use them as well though they're probably better at climbing up the bricks.
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Post by FloBear on 19th July 2015, 11:14 pm

New a few days ago is the Pontederia that has flowered after being savagely culled in last September's Great Pond Clear-out. Only two but it's a welcome sight nonetheless.

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Post by Dandelion on 20th July 2015, 10:57 pm

It's a bit like an orchid -any relation?

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by FloBear on 27th July 2015, 6:03 pm

Sorry, have been awol giving crew cuts to camellia bushes and conifers.
It's not related to orchids as far as I know, Dandelion. However, when I heard someone say on a gardening programme that lettuces are in the daisy family, I could believe anything.
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Post by Ploshkin on 20th February 2016, 4:55 pm

I have frog spawn.
How do you sneak up on frogs?
From the track I could hear the frogs burbling and the water looked as if it was boiling. I snuck round the end of the polytunnel and then tight against the side. I did the last 5 yards in the open commando style (I don't mean without pants Shocked but as soon as the water was in my line of sight they all dived down out of sight. There must have been 30 or 40 of them.
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Post by freebird on 20th February 2016, 8:15 pm

Oh, I have frog spawn envy. You always read that if you start a pond, you will attract frogs. Not us. Many years ago we used to have many visiting frogs, but no spawn. Now we haven't any frogs. Occasional toads and plenty of newts. No frogs. Sigh.
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Post by Ploshkin on 21st February 2016, 12:50 pm

We had hundreds of frogs even before we dug the hole / pond but as soon as it was dug they were in there. Sometimes we are lucky enough to catch frog migration night when they are all converging from different directions heading for the pond & ditch. An added bonus of having so many frogs is that we also have water shrews (same shape as standard shrews but charcoal grey with white fronts). Unfortunately I have only ever seen a dead one but have come across their nests surrounded by dismembered bits of frog.
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Post by Dandelion on 22nd February 2016, 10:09 pm

It was certainly 'frog weekend' for us too - loads of them! I tried sneaking past too, but never succeeded. I was very happy to see them (there has been a big blob of spawn for the last couple of weeks, but no obvious frog activity) - having given the pond a total clean out in the autumn, I was a bit worried that they might have been put off.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by FloBear on 16th March 2016, 9:54 am

The tadpoles have hatched in the last week or so in the front pond. Still a squirmy mass though bolder ones are setting off on their adventures. Saw two crows hanging about nearby. Wondered if they would try and partake of tadpole soup - I'm convinced that I've seen magpies doing that.
No spawn at all in back pond though newts have been spotted. And it's crystal clear at the moment.
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Post by Dandelion on 16th March 2016, 5:02 pm

We have tadpoles and magpies - probably why we don't have many little frogs!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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