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Kate Bradbury

Latest posts by Kate Bradbury

Talkback: How to clean bird feeders

Posted: 17/02/2012 at 11:58

@JAG, I agree that cleaning detergents are unnatural and may contribute to some human diseases that exist today. But I would say that bird diseases are on the rise and some are now passing between species when they previously didn't (avian pox in great tits and trichomonas in finches for example). The advice of the RSPB and other wildlife groups is to keep our feeders clean, so I'm sticking with that.


Talkback: Making mini ponds

Posted: 17/02/2012 at 09:58
Frogs can climb really well DIGWEED, mine often use the trellis to climb into my tin bath pond, even though there are two much easier routes into the pond!



Posted: 15/02/2012 at 14:45

That is so cute! Your frogs are very lucky to have you.


Potted ponds in Thailand

Posted: 15/02/2012 at 14:40

@Audrey 2 - a tin bath makes a very good pond indeed (I know, I've got one). You could sink it if you want to, but you don't need to, my frogs are happy climbing into it via the wall trellis or the pile of stones I've laid against the side of the bath. But if you do sink it, it will be less likely to warm up - and therefore dry out - in summer. Do let us know how you get on.

@SarahH2 - yes it could be worth wrapping the potted ponds in winter, as the containers could break in freezing weather (especially if terracotta). They'd be too heavy to move into the greenhouse though!

@Esvery - I have a shady garden, too. I've got brooklime, frogbit and hornwort growing in my pond. You could also try water forget-me-not, which is very robust, though it might not flower as much in really shady conditions.

@Marygold - any body of natural water in a garden will be used by one creature or another - I regularly find my frogs in the bird bath! You can make a decent pond using an old tin bath or Belfast sink - which may only be one-metre-squared. If you grow submerged, floating and emergent plants in it, you should attract a range of water creatures, such as frogs and water boatmen, even the odd dragonfly if it's sunny.


Talkback: Making mini ponds

Posted: 15/02/2012 at 14:27
How lovely, oldchippy. I'm sure the sudden cold blast had birds returning to gardens in droves, to fill up on berries and supplementary food. I've not seen many birds in my garden this year - certainly not fieldfares - there must be enough for them in the local parks and wildlife reserves.



Posted: 14/02/2012 at 15:05

Hi Sandra 3, if you don't mind waiting, you could just encourage blackbirds into your garden and wait for them to bring local ivy into your garden for you! Our resident blackbird deposited five ivy seeds last year, which I've transplanted and are now growing very happily against my wall. Much easier than going out to find it!


Potted ponds in Thailand

Posted: 10/02/2012 at 15:17

@oldchippy - I think they'd be able to fly out. They're not much deeper than my pond, and I've seen birds fly out of that easily enough.

@happymarion - yes but it's soon faded with all this snow! Great idea re sunken buckets.


Potted ponds in Thailand

Posted: 10/02/2012 at 14:29

Water lilies.

 Water lilies and duckweed, with hibiscus hanging over the pot.

Lotus, with chillies growing to the left.

 Water lilies and Cyperus papyrus.

Tropical water lily in a colourful pot. Note that the flowers of the lily grow far above the leaves. This is to prevent damage from flooding, which is common in tropical countries.

 Not a great example, but a fun container!

 Water lettuce makes a simple statement.

Water lettuce and water lilies.

Again not the best example, but can you see the tadpoles?                              

Thanks to Ross Bayton for help identifying these pond plants.



Posted: 10/02/2012 at 14:09

donutsmrs - how lovely. My small container pond is frozen over so next year I'll wrap it up with bubble wrap.

happymarion - I look forward to hearing how late your frogs are!


pruning trees & shrubs

Posted: 10/02/2012 at 13:57

Hi tarttartan, definitely don't prune your cherry tree now. This job needs to be done in summer, to prevent the fungal disease silver leaf. You could tie ribbons around the branches you want to cut now, so you know what you're cutting in summer.. but otherwise, leave well alone.

Regarding your pieris, I would also wait a while. In winter, there's the potential for pruned plants to get die-back, so you'd have to prune all of this out anyway at a later date. Wait until temperatures increase and prune your pieris in spring, instead.

Hope this helps

Kate team

Discussions started by Kate Bradbury

Talkback: Queen wasp

Lovely x x 
Replies: 6    Views: 458
Last Post: 21/04/2013 at 07:22

Talkback: Leaf-cutter bees

Saw my first leaf-cutter only a couple of weeks ago Richard. Didn't get a chance to look at its underside... Kate 
Replies: 5    Views: 502
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 21:40

Potted ponds in Thailand

Just some of the many 'potted ponds' I found in Thailand 
Replies: 13    Views: 3045
Last Post: 24/02/2012 at 20:24


Replies: 5    Views: 976
Last Post: 15/02/2012 at 14:45


Replies: 1    Views: 386
Last Post: 17/12/2011 at 08:16


Replies: 4    Views: 466
Last Post: 14/12/2011 at 20:26

Favourite tools

Replies: 17    Views: 1080
Last Post: 28/04/2012 at 10:06

Redesign of garden

Replies: 35    Views: 5679
Last Post: 15/03/2012 at 19:49

Seed buying

Replies: 7    Views: 1046
Last Post: 06/01/2012 at 12:16

Plants still in flower?

Replies: 64    Views: 17595
Last Post: 19/01/2012 at 21:10
10 threads returned