Yay! New Pond has new residents!
It began like this. A donated pond liner and hard graft digging a hole in tough ground. Gradually the pond and bog garden took shape during the week as I added some rockery stones (also donated).
And a couple of pond plants which I bought.
I was on a roll and with a spurt of energy I quickly turned this previously barren piece of garden into a water haven for wildlife.
I placed the rocks around the pond edge so that there are plenty of cracks and crevices for frogs to crawl into and for me to plant creeping plants to soften the edges. I made a gravel path from the Toad Abode directly to the pond, and fenced the whole water area in with feature edging and wire to prevent hedgehogs falling in. Although hedgehogs are traditionally good swimmers, they can’t get out of a pond with steep sides. Just in case one decides to take the leap, I dismantled an old wooden CD holder and placed it in the pond to act as a ladder. Hopefully, if the worst does happen, a clever hedgie will be able to escape quite easily.
I made the bog garden by digging a hole at one end of the pond and lining it with thick plastic membrane. I did fork a few holes in it so that it doesn’t get too water-logged and filled it in with layers of pea gravel, soil-based compost and potting compost to finish. I gave it a good water before planting some yellow irises taken from my other pond, a marsh marigold and two other bog plants I cant remember the name of!
To provide a backdrop, I moved some teasles into the corner and planted some of my foxgloves and cottage perennials around the back edge. I have sown some hollyhock seeds for next year so the whole area should look beautiful come summer 2017.
I moved the donated tree trunk to the side of the pond so that any frogs who fancy exploring will have plenty of insects to eat.
I finished off by making a seat with the donated bricks and railway sleeper then spreading bark chippings over weed-control fabric covering the whole water garden area. The bark not only provides a nice look to the area but it also provides a home for little critters and this morning, the fledgling blackbirds were rooting through the chippings clearly finding food!
I think it looks fab!
After hauling rockery stones into and out of my car boot yesterday (2 loads) as well as a ton of bricks (1 large load) and collecting a large bird feeding station I’m having a lazy day today. That doesn’t mean inactive, just less physical than the last few days.
There doesn’t look to be many rocks there but my goodness they were heavy and awkward to pick up. I’m not complaining as they were donated to my wildlife garden cause as were the bricks so a little effort on my part is not a chore.
This morning I took my cup of tea into the wildlife patch and sat watching the birds have their breakfast of dried mealworms, sunflower hearts and fat balls. In the 30 minutes or so I was there a variety of birds arrived; Starlings, sparrows, a juvenile blue-tit, a juvenile blackbird and a pigeon. The baby blackbird looks a little like a thrush with speckled feathers but with mum and dad close by and not a thrush in sight I am confident that my choice is correct.
I love the juveniles who have just fledged. They are mostly bigger than their parents due to their fluffy feathers which they puff up. It looks funny seeing the family together perched on the wall or fence but it wont be long before they lose that cuteness and look more like the adults.
I finished my cup of tea in the sunshine, and went to plant some seeds for next year’s plants. I am focussing on cottage garden varieties such as lupins, sweetpeas, Echinacea and hollyhocks. All loved by the birds, bees and butterflies. I cant wait until this time next year when I hope to be doing more sitting than digging!
Sundays are meant to be lazy anyway I keep telling myself.
I’m not going to argue with that!
….and this time it is to my wildlife garden.
I have so many ideas that I hardly know where to start so I am still collecting my materials and features while I keep planning where best to site them.
I know for instance that I want a rockery around my new pond. Not only will this be the home for creeping plants but frogs and toads can crawl between the stones and shelter in the crevices. Today I replied to an offer of “100 rockery stones” on Freecycle and secured them all to be collected at my convenience. This is amazing as it should enable me to build a lovely rockery around the pond with plenty of stones to play with. And all FREE!
Hubby fetched me 6 used tyres on Friday which I will use as planters. I will be taking delivery of more tyres in due course and use them for raised beds to plant butterfly and bee-loving plants which will also give the garden some height in places.
I have already planted up 3 tyres with nasturtiums on the lower deck, and Echinachea plants, which both bees and butterflies love, on the top deck. I have put the tyres next to the yellow iris “pond” which I know houses lots of frogs. The nasturtiums should grow into thick, creeping bushes with lovely red and yellow flowers providing plenty of damp and shady conditions for the frogs to enjoy. Cabbage White butterflies lay their eggs on nasturtium plants, on the underside of the leaves, and a little later these turn into caterpillar food for the frogs, toads and hedgehogs. Next to the pond, and at ground level, they should be easy meat for my garden inhabitants.
My latest project is the Welly Wall. I will be collecting funky children’s wellies to grow herbs in and hanging them on the wall. This makes a useful and colourful display and shows how any container can be recycled and used as a planter. I think it will appeal particularly to children who will like the colour and imaginative use of their old wellies.
Next project; A frog and toad abode made from logs and stones.