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It's blackfly that I associate with nasturtiums Jim. Didn't grow them this year but had some volunteers. Right mess all round this year, just hope to get it back next. 

Have to try and get the pond cleared a bit or the newts may find new quarters where they can move around. I hate clearing it out though, I worry about evry inhabitant down to the last nematode worm. But if nothing is done there will be no pond, it will fill up with leaves, bullrushes, sedge, irises and watercress


I know what you mean nut. My ponds a disgrace, it needs a new liner. The frogs and toads and newtlets have only just emerged, the bigger ones are bedding down for the winter. What time of year do I empty it for minimal wildlife disturbance. ?

Jim Macd

Hi nut, yes, plenty of black-fly. When I was kid I remember loads of cabbage whites visiting the Nasturtiums and watching them lay they little green eggs. The caterpillars would eat the lot. Maybe our birds ate them all nut.


Wow, you're so lucky having newts! I want a pond so much I thought about putting on at the front of the house but my partner firmly said NO! I was hoping the postman might fall in it.

Never met such a grumpy one! I think ours at the back had silted up rather than been filled in nut. They were very small, one the size of a big old bath, actually it is a big old bath, and the other about a meter cubed. I didn't discover them for a good few weeks after we moved in they were that overgrown. I did try clearing out the concrete one to see if it would still hold water but it didn't and this is what happened with my dogs. Excuse the carpet it was there when we moved in and I had a garden to spend money on.



I think clearing it out will be done in stages fidget. Then the inhabitants can move way as the tools move in. 

You like newts Jim? Did you see the pics I posted of the newts under the seed trays earlier in the year?

Jim Macd

No, I don't think I did, I don't get much time to log in unfortunately. I can imagine though I get loads of frogs and toads around my seed trays which is great since they eat the slugs.



Great Crested newts.

Roy Hill

"The trees are clipped and no wildlife is allowed in this NEAT patch."

As someone not from Surrey (rather further north, actually) I can say that particular 'affliction' also infects other counties. To paraphrase an ex-neighbour - "wildlife belongs in the countryside". Um, yeah - right.

On a wildlife note - a rabbit (from the warren that exists in my garden) is showing signs of myxi. The birds are back in their new plumage. Stacks of wrens and tits working over the cracks/joints in the drystone walls in their search for tit-bits. The local buzzards fledged two (I think). The family party has broken up, but there is still one 'resident' bird that is soaring the vicinity. That myxi infected rabbit may turn into a meal soon. The pond had well over a dozen newt efts at the last count. At least 2 of the 3 UK species. Every bit as interesting as watching fish. Greater and lesser waterboatmen, whirlygig beetles, water striders, various diving beetles. The pond had a late (minor) 'flush' of irritating algae, but I think the lemna minor has been eradicated (it was threatening to totally cover the surface - removal of every last floating fragment took some time). Southern hawker and common darter visited and were subsequently seen laying eggs.

I learned something about whirlygigs this year (after their arrival in the pond) - their eyes are 'split'; half to see under the surface of the water, half to see above.

Jim Macd

Wow, Nut, are you sure they aren't pot ones? 


Lovely aren't they I had 6 or 7 take up residence under the trays earlier in the year. A nice damp place for them.

We are well off for newts, very poor for frogs and toads. 


Jim Macd



Wow, I had one as a pet when I was little, till it ran off and left me.

How strange you have newts but not frogs. I have to shuffle down the drive on wet nights so as not to stand on them. They don't move, unless you catch them with the hose. You'd think they'd like that.

And I think half the reason I don't have a compost is on a couple of occasions I've come so close to chopping a toad one in half when turning it. I'd have had nightmares for months. 


I think we've got so many newts they get a bit hungry and eat the frog/toad spawn. There were frogs and toads when we came 20 years ago, but we didn't see the newts. Then we dug out the silted up ponds and the balance changed.

Plenty of all sorts of insects and their  larvae as well now. 

Jim Macd

It sounds great. Nut. Your garden in the photo there looks like I want my garden to look, it kind of did when I first moved in but all the trees were conifers and I didn't think they worked hard enough so I yanked them out. Maybe in 20 years mine will look like that again. but I'll be too old to appreciate it.


Gardens change all the time. The changes happen very quickly. We'll have to be careful we'd don't get too 'treed' to the exclusion of other habitats. The meadow is already much reduced in size and sun.


Hi Happy girl

I made a home for wildlife here in a communal garden in the center of town, I am restricted as to what i can do.

I tried scattering flower seeds around a local estate, and as you said '' what with the council mowers'' you don't hold out much hope. and in our area we have men spraying herbesides too!!  I complained to the council but they have the last word sadly!!

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