My pond is bereft of life. At least that is the way it seems. It has been overgrown for years. The bottom is a thick layer of waxy Red Oak leaves. The flag irises in the sun have bloomed. Those in the shade have not. It sits, draped in duckweed, with no light piercing the surface. Not a single dragonfly has been seen. This is a pond in need of a makeover.
Yesterday two experts came over and we spent an hour discussing what we might do with it. They had some excellent ideas. They were both on the faculty of Sparsholt College at one time, I believe. It showed. They knew their stuff, naming plant after plant including a past mystery one, which remained so until yesterday. This it transpires is Himalayan Honeysuckle, Leycesteria formosa. And it is reputedly attractive to Bullfinches. This makes sense as we have a pair in the garden.I thought I might do a ‘Before & After’ so I can at least record the transformation for my benefit if not for anybody else. I went out this afternoon and took a few photos of the area. This is how it looks today. As you approach it you would hardly know there is a pond here. Walk around the side and you can just see the stone bridge. Here is the section that has done absolutely nothing. This end produced a splendid display of Yellow Flag Irises as it gets the sun. Alongside the Himalayan Honeysuckle are plenty of pondside weeds. Whichever way you look it is a dark, overgrown place. Beyond you see the stepping stones that once crossed the moat of the Japanese water-garden.
In keeping with the Oriental feel there is a clump of bamboo growing.In estate agent speak I think this has ‘bags of potential’ or ‘ideal for a new owner to put their own stamp on it’. I call it neglected, wasted, wild and wonderful.
So a plan will be forthcoming. We have already determined that the pond needs to be emptied completely. The plants need to be thinned out. The pond will be refilled, replanted and rescued from its current ignominy. Spaces will be created from where I can create photographic masterpieces of emerging odonata. We shall have
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing,–
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble
I am rather hoping that we get the whole newt and the whole frog.
And hot off the press, I have ordered a bat detector! The bats fly around the garden quite a lot and I want to know whether it is always the same species or could we have several? Will the pond bring in more? I do not know when the work will be undertaken but the consensus was sooner rather than later. Don’t switch off and certainly Do Not Adjust Your Set (Yet).