Sunday, August 14, 2011
Tidying up the Pond
Pulled out all the plants, not that there's much in there, the iris roots were taking up much of the space and had completely outgrown their container. The water hawthorn is still hanging in there but being swamped out by the roots and the oxygenating plant. I scooped out all the sludge at the bottom which is a very fine silt along with several pebbles that have fallen in over time and grit from the plant pots.
The pond settled overnight and was lovely and clear this morning until I scooped out even more sludge and stirred it all up again. I'm sure it will slowly come back and the invertebrate wildlife will return. Much of it is now in a bucket and can be returned to 'restock' the pond if there's anything interesting swimming around.
The old iris rhizomes have been completely dug out and I've ended up with about a dozen leftover plants having replanted three of them.
I also upset the ants which had taken up residence in the plants, pebbles and under the slabs around the pond as I've completely stripped this back too. It looks a little bare at the moment. The before photo would have been a mass of iris leaves and not a lot of water showing, edged with cerastium (Snow in Summer), grass and sempervivum getting rapidly covered by the ant's nest. I've got some stonecrop growing in another part of the garden which will be ideal around the edge.
While clearing everything out, I discovered a frog and one large gold, well - black and gold fish which, as it was gasping for air on the surface in the silty water, I transferred to my 'new' pond. It and the water hawthorn will go back once it's settled again. No sign of the frog today, although the fish has been splashing about in the new pond, whether it's trying to make a break for it or just catching insects I'm not sure. It's got surprisingly fat considering it doesn't get fed.
The 'new' pond is a large container that will just sit on the patio and get planted up with water loving plants and maybe a small fish or two. More on that later.