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What I dun made...

Those who know me well would never, even on a good day, call me a practical boon to a household. I am a woman at whom pies leap at from the tops of fridges, I am one who sets fire to spoons without intention. I am one flummoxed by the boiling of eggs, one who could lecture on the smoking altars of Moloch rather than use an oven to cook a pizza. I am, frankly, useless.

But I made a pond! And it is not entirely rubbish!

I dug it out, fighting my way through strange contradictory advice from pond makers across the web. It should be shallow and wide, no, it must have a deep point for hibernating amphibians over winter, it should have tiles around it for things to bask on, no, they may get stuck to those tiles, it must have rungs and ladders to help them get out of the water, no, froggies never drown, they'll find a way out...I was confused.

But I dug it all myself, except for one five minute stint from larians where he used a pickaxe to chop out the sides and make it a bit more shelf-like. I would have done much more except that larians evinced untoward alarm at the idea of me using a pickaxe; I could do it, how hard can it be? But he was very unhappy about it, either cos he thought I'd make the pond too big or cos I might take my own foot off. Apart from the pickaxe moment, I am proud to have done all the work. It feels like I've achieved something.

I lined the hole with old clothes and stretched butyl rubber over it, then dug it in and covered the surrounding lining with peat. To my consternation, a frog turned up; I was like the maitre d of a hotel which is about to open but doesn't have clean sheets in all the rooms yet. I ran around delightedly flapfull, adding bits of old masonry to the water so he could climb out. When I have lots of plants in the pond I may never get to see the grace of frogs swimming. In clear water I could watch him move, his eyes all golden and black. Sometimes he just kicked back and hung there like a little man suspended in space. Beautiful. Since then, I have seen two in there, one of them very small. They hide in this ramshackle honeysuckle bush right next to the water.

Trouble is, there ain't much access to the right kinds of pondplants...web experts frown upon the use of Canadian pondweed to oxygenate the water, even though it does the job very well. Apparently it's invasive - but I can't find anything else, so it will have to do until I find an indigenous effective water oxygenator. I have a rather sweet little water lily which I swore was too small for the depth. 'They stretch,' said the man in the shop, 'You won't believe how they stretch...' Well, he was right. They look rather nice. The area around the pond looks somewhat bare right now; I'm glad the frogs like it but it isn't pretty. Garden centres don't seem to have that many pond plants. Still it's a start. Those chums who enjoy icons take note of mine above. It isn't entirely accurate; my next project is not to build an Indian palace beyond the lilies.

Though I quite fancy a tiny maze...

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
smokingboot
Jul. 8th, 2010 12:11 pm (UTC)
Water features are truly lovely. I may have shot myself in the foot by using peat around the edges, cos it colours the water brown, which is not so pretty. But the beasties are pretty joyful!

I recall thinking your front garden was beautiful!
larians
Jul. 5th, 2010 09:30 am (UTC)
My concern was to do with the structure of your foot, not of the pond!

Well done Boot!
blackcurrants
Jul. 5th, 2010 12:42 pm (UTC)
Oh congratulations! That kind of making and achieving puts things like boiling eggs and knitting scarves to shame. That's OUTDOORSY making! Which lasts! For other creatures!
I am so impressed. And would happily coo over pictures...
smokingboot
Jul. 8th, 2010 12:09 pm (UTC)
I am dead pleased with my Amazonian powers of, um, digging. Maybe I will be a terrier in my next incarnation!

I will see what can be done about photos:-)
caddyman
Jul. 5th, 2010 12:50 pm (UTC)
Furtle wishes a pond in the garden of our Ilford abode.

As a veteran of the genre maybe you could supervise? I shall drink Pimm's and offer helpful suggestions.
smokingboot
Jul. 8th, 2010 12:06 pm (UTC)
Confounded Gmail!

I have to confess I am not great at the cleverness of ponds, with spirit levels and string etc...all I did was dig a big hole in the ground! Within my remit, my pond making and pimms drinking skills are entirely at your command!

Let us speak then, of great dates for such things!
lucyas
Jul. 5th, 2010 03:59 pm (UTC)
Congratulations! Ponds are lovely.
smokingboot
Jul. 8th, 2010 12:08 pm (UTC)
Well, it's not pretty yet... peat around it might have been a mistake! But the flies and froggies are happy!
november_girl
Jul. 6th, 2010 09:41 pm (UTC)
It sounds lovely, and reminds me that I haven't seen you for ages. Must remedy that.
smokingboot
Jul. 8th, 2010 12:06 pm (UTC)
I would like to remedy that asap:-)
november_girl
Jul. 8th, 2010 12:10 pm (UTC)
When are you free?
smokingboot
Jul. 11th, 2010 07:44 am (UTC)
I shall pursue my beau, keeper of dates and bastion of diaries, and see if we can sort something out asap!
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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