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Latest posts by Gillian53

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Photos of your ponds please

Posted: 28/02/2014 at 22:05

I took this about September last year. The water had been in from the end of July. We had trouble with levelling due to dry, crumbly soil. so we had liner at ground level rather than it tucked under the grass as I had seen on Pond Conservation site. I left about 6" of liner then put new turf between the edge of remaining lawn and over the liner. I had some hessian sacking that I tucked under the new turf and dangled it over the liner and into the water. This acted like a wick and the grass is now well on its way down to water level in most places. You can see it poking out under the grass at the far side.  I was worried about the turf on the liner drying out but it's absolutely alive with worms. It's the best thing you can do for wildlife. Love it.


Cost of bird food

Posted: 19/01/2014 at 12:50

I never tell my husband what it has cost when I unload the car boot. Usually a sack of sunflower hearts, a premium no waste seed and a blackbird/robin mix. I do feel guilty (but not for long) as it is just so much cheaper in the long run. The bags that the supermarkets sell wouldn't last an afternoon. Although, at the moment I'm not having to put too much out.


Posted: 25/09/2013 at 20:02

 Our planting was probably too late, as the plants are starting to die back before they've put on much growth. But hopefully they will all be back next year. Two frogs now and loads of insects+larvae. Just starting to get a bit of blanket weed but I'm putting that down to being in full sun as the weather's been good since the water went in. Hopefully, once the water lilies grow again and I put some more 'rafting' plants in next year this should solve the problem. Going to sort some log piles around the edges tomorrow to provide more cover for the two frogs, as a cat is visiting regularly.


Wildlife gardening...hopes for the future

Posted: 08/09/2013 at 20:07
I too am in my fifties and am the only person on our street (and probably the estate) who gardens for wildlife. I don't feel it's too difficult as all of the plants are perennials which either self seed or I collect the seed and plant them in pots. The lawns get smaller as the borders get wider and most of the small back garden is now a pond. At work, I can't believe that the people in their 20s just don't understand why we need any insects, let alone bees. Why would I want frogs in the garden? Why do I spend hours pond watching? Why feed the birds or have a bee house? Perhaps primary schools ought to reintroduce nature walks and nature tables. Then again, my kids are in their 20s and think the pond is the best thing have ever done and they too will have one if they can ever afford a house with a garden.
I did have a chat with a local garden fencer about the lack of access his concrete fence bases allow for hedgehogs and frogs etc. He was laughing, because a man had asked him to leave a gap for hedgehogs and he (the fencer) thought it was a joke!! But a lot of gardens are practically hermetically sealed these days.


Posted: 08/09/2013 at 19:26
Little Weed. I think some people use bricks to raise plant pots to the correct planting depth for each plant but in a shallow wildlife pond most plant pots stand in the shallows or the water lily pot is at the bottom in the deepest part. Some that need 4" or 5" above the top of the pot, I have placed on an upturned plastic plant pot in the deepest part. We put playsand in the bottom and washed pebbles around the shallow ledge. The plan now is to dig a bog garden and make a few hiding places with logs and stones. In fact my other half is now fully converted to the joys of the pond that he is going to dig another. Will be another small one but in a slightly shadier spot. This will leave us with a very small area of lawn but I'll be happy with the borders of bee friendly plants and ponds. It should be cheaper as i can take cuttings from original plants.
ps I heard a small splash the other evening and there was another small frog making its way to the other side. So that's two in the last few weeks and I never saw them before we had the pond.
So build it and it appears they will come.


Posted: 30/08/2013 at 22:35

Great advice Dovefrom above. We had a wasps nest in the airbrick just to the left of our door last year. Husband said he would have to take thefloorboards up to get to it so we just left it, knowing that they wouldn't return this year. They weren't a problem and we just 'worked' round them. This year they are really keen on the new pond, spending a lot of time on the part submerged pebbles and bouncing about on the surface. I put down halves of apples for the birds and they too keep the wasps busy.

They have also been very busy on certain plants eating the ?aphids. Very good pest controllers.



Butterflies & Bees

Posted: 30/08/2013 at 22:20

 Think this a whitetailed bb. but not sure.

Butterflies & Bees

Posted: 30/08/2013 at 22:15

 Just two pics of tortoiseshell and comma on my 'weeds'


Posted: 30/08/2013 at 22:05

Daintiness, I hope when mine's established it looks like yours.  I like the overgrown look. This week, I have seen a few different wrigglers which appear to be damsel fly larvae, although I am no expert. There were two mating on my hollyhock today but just too quick to get a pic. I can't believe just how quickly the pond has been colonised by so many insects. There was a single frog yesterday but he must have been passing through as he certainly wasn't born here.

I have noticed that some of my pond weed (elodea crispa?) has started to look slightly 'beige'. I pulled some out and it appears to be covered in limescale (similar to the bits in a kettle) which easily crumbles off. Any ideas. Pond's clear as a whistle. I am going to remove the elodea though when a supply of native weed arrives.

There was a single, small frog the other day which must have have just been passing through.


Posted: 23/08/2013 at 15:51

I think it's the time of year when the bumble bee colonies are dying and it's only the queen that survives and hibernates over the winter. Once again, I'm not certain but I believe she will already have her eggs ready for laying next year and starting another colony. I don't like to see them dead or dying but at this time of the year there isn't a lot we can do. Earlier on in the year when they got a bit sluggish from cold or rain they appreciated a warm hand and a drink of water sugary  water. I have read not to give them honey as it could possibly spread some diseases from area to area. But sugar does the trick. Will certainly miss watching them in the garden. Roll on spring!

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