After the excitement of the pond in the snow – here’s a wee reminder of how exciting that was:
– I could no longer ignore the fact that water level in the pond has been falling slowly. I had lots of explanations: It’s just evaporation (in March in Scotland, I don’t think so), the cat drinks from the pond (well yes she does but surely not that much), the birds splash about in it and splash water out (maybe, but again surely not as much as that). I checked my various gardening books and they all seemed to suggest the possibility of a leak. We first made the pond on a wet February weekend seven years ago. Robbie, our old cat, helped to make it:
It has served us very well, bringing flowers and wildlife and causing endless joy to Bella:
But we had used a relatively cheap pvc liner, which all the good books say is not as good as a rubber one. So perhaps it had failed, or a bird, cat or something had punctured it somewhere. Time to replace it I thought. I acquired a new, rather expensive, rubber liner and set about emptying the pond and putting the new one in. Again, I checked the good books, which advised to keep as much of the old pond water as possible so as not to lose any tiny creatures lurking in the mud and undergrowth. So I donned my waterproof gardening gloves and waterproof trousers, regretting somewhat leaving my wellies at the allotment, and set too with buckets to bail it out.
It wasn’t as difficult as I anticipated. The main problem was the huge amount of grass, moss and plants that were choking the pond all round the edge. I put these in a couple of buckets, to protect any wildlife:
Then I removed the plants that I wanted to keep. The waterlily in the middle had grown gigantic, so I divided it up a bit:
There were two frogs and a whole family of newts lurking in the mud. They went into another big container along with the plants. Fortunately there were no dead rats or anything really disgusting at the bottom of the pond. In fact, it all looked a bit too tidy;
Now to add the a new liner, and start the laborious process of refilling it with all the water I had taken out:
Which involved a lot of mud and trundling backwards and forwards to the water butt, as somehow there wasn’t enough of the original water in all my buckets and containers. But now here is the pond, more or less reinstated, if a little muddy.
In the process of dismantling and remantling the edges, I discovered the remains of a frog house that we had built with the original pond. It was completely covered in moss and grass and the ‘house’, made out of a clay pot, had collapsed. So I made a new one, with a new pot, some new logs and covered up again with moss:
I also relaid the ‘wildlife beach’, necessary to let small creatures get in and out of the pond safely.
I tidied up our giant Mexican frog, cleaning up some of the moss which had covered her and giving her a new wallflower to welcome the spring:
I made sure that the frogs and newts in my bucket went back safely into the pond. Then I let Bella come out to inspect:
I think she approved. It is a little muddy but I’m hoping that I’ve solved the leak problem and got rid of a lot of overgrown grass and moss, so that it will all look lovely again once spring finally arrives.