Latest posts by bazouteast

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wild life pond

Posted: 27/09/2017 at 22:21

Leaving aside what you put in it, planning a Wildlife Pond is a nice problem to have.  I run a large, mature pond (Koi, Rudd, Tench, Goldfish) but if I were setting up a small, quick, WP from scratch I would go for a plumber’s plastic(*) Header Tank, about 3 x 2’, 18” deep, set into the ground, with turf to the edges. Turf helps amphibians come and go. Add bricks and rocks to create a shallow end so you can watch birds having a bath (make sure you can watch from your window). You could even cut an edge in the tank and overlap to another and using a pump, create a flow circuit. I had a friend who did this - the top tank was choked with creepy crawlies and plants - a great natural filtration system, while the lower tank had fishes.  You could add a small fountain if you like a bit of bling.  Maybe link shallow tank to deeper tank with a ‘stream’ lined with concrete or vinyl. At 18” deep you CAN grow small Lilies (I've done it) and also loads of plants that encourage wildlife. I say just go for it. Experiment, watch what happens, learn, then tweak it to emphasise what you like. It's not a once-only scenario. LIke any garden you can change things. Within a year or two, you'll be an expert, tweaking your pond to suit your preferences.

(*) Before I get flamed on industrial plastics leaching hydrocarbons, volatile compound contaminants, destroying wildlife habitat and environment, I should add I helped a friend with this very project. It has been wildly (wild-lifely) successful for ten years. Not a mutant toad in sight and so many Blackbirds wanting a bath he's thinking of installing a Take-a-Ticket and wait for your number system! So spare me the lectures.

Talkback: How to choose slug-resistant plants - part two

Posted: 23/04/2015 at 19:18

I sometimes collect slugs as night falls then chuck them into the pond for Koi supper. They love 'em - especially those long orange slimey ones.  But the best ever deterent is frogs and toads. When I first arrived at my place the garden was a wilderness, the pond choked with weeds and with frogs.  That year after dark I would often see 20 or more hopping around the lawn and not a slug anywhere. But we gardeners interfere, tidy things up, the habitat changes, frog numbers decline. The Slugs - 1 Gardeners - 0.

having a moan about...

Posted: 09/02/2013 at 23:28

Yes, the cold weather is frustrating when you want to get going in the garden. I have an apple tree and around the base are loads of bulbs. First up are the Snowdrops. They have been in bloom for two weeks already. It's so wonderful at this time of year to see them so pure and white and in such profusion. It tells me winter is on its last knockings and spring is just around the corner.  Next will be the Crocuses, then Daffs, then the Tulips & Bluebells. So get loads of bulbs in next year - they are a great alarm clock and they make you feel optimistic really early on, and you can start planning when they bloom.

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