Sunday 9 March 2008

Frog emergency and other garden matters

My nearly-mother-in-law and I were out at the fish pond this morning. She was topping up the water levels when she noticed that the netting (which was earmarked for replacement) at the far end of the pond had sagged into the water and the frog population was using it as a platform for frog-spawn laying. Time to replace the netting as a matter of urgency, otherwise when it gets pulled taught out of the water the frog-spawn won't be in the water any more! This is what happened last year, and it was quite sad that so much of the frog-spawn didn't turn into tadpoles.

Our fish pond is pretty extensive. It is around 5m across and maybe 7m long. It takes two lots of netting to completely cover it. It has to be done though, otherwise the heron that lurks around here thinks we are providing an all you can eat buffet! The upside is that ever since we've had the netting our fish population (and frog population if it comes to that) has blossomed.

You can see our big fish (Jaws) and some of his gold fish friends here. There are about twenty times as many mud coloured brown fish as there are gold fish, you can only see them when the sun falls onto the pond at just the right angle!

We finally managed to get the old netting off the pond. It was a bit of a rigmarole as it was all tangled up in the remains of last year's reeds. We then managed to eventually get the new netting installed. We had to encourage a few pairs of frogs out of the swampy corner where the netting had fallen into the pond and collected leaves.

Here are some of our latest inhabitants. These new frogs are quite camera shy, not like the inhabitants of our smaller 'frog' pond! All set for frog-spawn season now. Let's just hope that the fish don't eat it all!

Whilst out in the sunshine I did a few other bits of tidying up. We're supposed to be getting a really big storm next week, so we moved the potted plants into shelter. I also potted my cherry tree I bought the other week. Very strangely I have a Yucca plant living in my garden. Probably not the usual habitat you might expect. I have had this particular plant for over 10 years! Originally it lived in a (much) smaller pot on my desk in my office. Over the years it followed me around various office moves, until we moved into a tower block with 'serviced' planting, and all the old plants were to be left behind! So, at this point the Yucca came home with me. For a while we tried various locations around the house, and the plant got bigger and bigger... and eventually ended up outside. Its been about 18 months now, and no particular ill-effects have been noted!