Monday, 26 March 2012

What I did this weekend

What an absolute treat the glorious weather has been this weekend.

My next door neighbour's Magnolia looking lovely against the cloudless blue sky

Unable to go out anywhere because my poor little lad is suffering with chicken pox, we had a day in the garden.

Both my little ones love to be outdoors. We have built a large, enclosed decked area for them to play safely with minimal supervision but they yearn for the grass beyond.

I have two ponds in my garden. Tragic news stories regularly remind me about the dangers of water in gardens. I have been giving much thought on how to make the ponds safe so that the children can have the freedom to explore the whole garden. I have plans for garden parties over the summer and I don't want to be constantly worrying about where the children are in between serving drinks and decorated cakes.

We have decided that the best option is to fence off both ponds.

Whilst the ponds were very much front of mind, I also realised how in need of some work they both were. Our fish population has been decimated by the recent cold winters, a cat with far too much interest in them and a visiting heron that, although stunning, is really not welcome to use my garden as a handy snack bar. There are also a couple of ducks that occasionally come for a swim and bob down under the water. I'm not even sure if they eat fish but they are certainly enjoying something in there.

Our filter systems needed a bit of a rethink to get them working efficiently and one pond was overrun with lilies and pondweed whilst the other had practically no plant life at all.

We decided that the good weather presented a window of opportunity, before the frogspawn turned into tadpoles, to empty one of our ponds and start from scratch. We transferred anything living that we could rescue across to the other pond then emptied it, cleared the leaves and slime and blanket weed, and finally refilled it.

It was not an easy job!

The pond was one that we inherited when we bought the house six years ago. It is a concrete construction which is quite unusual these days with the flexible liners being so reliable and easy to use. I am very fond of it.

Although it was a dirty, smelly job, it was a real pleasure to see it clean again, especially with the flower beds around it weeded and tidied up.

I thinned the plant life in the overcrowded pond (which was very much harder than it sounds) and transferred some into my new clean pond. Hopefully they will establish quickly and before long I can have the pleasant task of taking the kids to an aquatic centre to buy some new fish.

Lilies exploding out of their planting basket

Thinning the plant life in my second pond has given that one a bit of an instant makeover too.

The next job is to get the fences constructed and I am very much looking forward to making my garden a paradise for my children and having the peace of mind that they can play safely.

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