Sunday, 17 April 2011

Pond Ups and Downs

It's nice to see that not all my pond plants were a victim of the cold winter. This is Caltha Palustris - Marsh Marigold and it's bright yellow flowers bloom over a long period. It's not only plants which succumbed to the snow and ice. Whilst giving the pond a bit of a clean out last week, we came across a dead frog. He probably tried to spend the winter at the bottom of the pond, with fatal consequences. Our pond is very shallow and will freeze right to the bottom. I feel very guilty and will now cover the pond in autumn after ensuring any frogs have vacated it beforehand.

My first early potatoes - Arran Pilot got planted in their containers earlier in the week. They're in the garden at the moment but I'll move them in to the greenhouse if a frost is forcast. My maincrop potatoes - Maris Piper are still chitting whilst I get their patch prepared at the allotment.

In my post on 28th March I mentioned that my everbearing strawberries - Flamenco hadn't done so well. I had emailed Thompson and Morgan and they were sending replacements but not until October. Well, a couple of days ago a parcel arrived with another dozen strawberry plants inside. Hubby has potted them up in to a container for the moment but I hope to get them planted outside soon. They probably won't do as well as the originals this year as they were potted up in to plant pots in autumn and have already got flowers on them even though they're still not planted out.

At the end of my last post I compiled a list of things I needed to do. I hoped to have had more crossed off after this weekend, but the sad fact remains that the only thing yet crossed off is planting potatoes, and even then it's only the first earlies which I've got round to planting. Yesterday, the cricket season started at our club so I've lost both hubby and son for at least one day each at the weekend. Add to that a sunny day today with a farmer's market and craft fair at the local park, and that adds up to neglect for the allotment. Let's hope I can spare some time in the week otherwise the allotment is going to feel very neglected indeed.


  1. So many things to do; so little time in which to do them!

  2. Dear Jo,

    Like everything else in your garden, your pond flowers are way ahead of mine. My pond is still in winter mode -- we are hoping to open it this week. I'll post on the pond when we open it.

    You are so busy! I haven't done anything on my list yet, and have no excuse. Hope your weather continues to be fine. It's cold, wet and windy, here. P x

  3. Our Caltha has almost gone over - it's flowered very early this year. Don't beat yourself up about the dead frog - we have a deep pond and sometimes we find a dead one. Chances are it simply died of old age and fell to the bottom. They all have their time to go don't they?

  4. I'm sure that the continuing good weather will entice you to the plot, and that you'll soon be on top of things again! Flighty xx

  5. We have a lovely splash of yellow marsh marigold in our pond too - it was a nice surprise as I had forgotten that I had planted it last year.

  6. The weather's warming up nicely and with a few days off work over Easter I'm hoping to catch up with those jobs. I'd love to have a pond in the garden when the girls get a bit older, we benefit from frogs from next door's pond network which keeps the slugs down.

  7. Last year I fished over 20 dead frogs out of my very very tiny pond! The cold winter last year (09/10) killed nearly all of them. Usually this time of year I have nearly 20 frogs in my pond, this year I have counted 7 at a maximum. They don't seem to spawn so I really hope they don't suffer! Laura xx

  8. Poor little frog....

    Glad to hear you have some replacement strawberries Jo. I'm hoping mine do as well as last year - they are flowering like mad in this lovely sunny warmth!

    The fine weather will certainly draw us away from working on our gardens and allotments this Easter, but it does no harm to have a nice break and come back refreshed.


  9. Sorry to hear about froggy - we are mid pond- construction ourselves at the moment, so I have made sure to leave a nice deep bit in the middle. What pond plants do you recommend for a small pond which is only in sun for about half the day?

  10. Very true, Mark. I'm hoping to have a little more time this coming weekend though, I love four day weekends.

    You had snow until recently, Pam, so it's no wonder everything there is a little behind, though you've got plenty of colour in your garden to say you've only just got rid of the white stuff.

    I feel much better about the frog now, Kath, though I will still take precautions next year to stop any trying to spend the winter in the pond, it's far too shallow for that.

    I think I just need a good few hours to tackle things, Flighty. It's amazing how much you can get done when you set your mind to it, so I'm sure you're right.

    I love Marsh Marigold, Sue, it's so bright. It's nice to get a surprise like that when you've forgotten you've planted something.

    It's certainly good to have frogs in the garden, Damo. Our pond is very small, but it still attracts lots of wildlife in to the garden, and some not so wild life such as next doors cat who comes to drink from it.

    How sad, Laura. I'm definitely going to take measures this year to cover the pond in autumn so that frogs don't get stuck in it when it freezes.

    I know, Jeanne, poor thing. I'm looking forward to the Easter weekend, and the weather's supposed to be nice too which is a bonus.

    I'm no expert on ponds or pond plants, Rachael, but the ones I planted in my very small pond were Marsh Marigold, Monkey Musk - Mimulus Luteus, Mini Bulrush - Typha Minima and Oenanthe Japonica Flamingo - Variegated Water Celery. They're all still there except the Monkey Musk which only lasted the one season, and I've recently added an iris so I'm waiting to see how that does.

  11. Love the marsh marigold, I've been wondering about planting some of that myself. Its hard at this time of year, never enough time, and on a nice day there are (shh, don't tell anyone) other things to do other than weeding and sowing... Good luck with the balancing act.

  12. I agree, Janet. I could really do with spending the whole bank holiday weekend at the allotment getting it ship shape, but I won't, there's plenty of other things to do too. I can recommend Marsh Marigold, it's withstood the last two harsh winters very well, and it's always such a cheery sight when it flowers.

  13. Hey Jo...thanks for the wonderful package...I loved everything in it and I'm very glad I was a winner!!

    Also this post is great for me as i was trying to find out the name of the exact plant that you pictured so I'm glad I came by today.

    Hope you managed to spend some time down the plot!

  14. You're welcome, Tanya, glad you received it ok. Marsh Marigolds are lovely flowers, I'd definitely recommend it if you're looking for plants for your pond.


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