Last weekend, with a little help from my sister we built walls made from old pallets around the compost heap. I dragged a lot of the current heap over and exposed some good mulch at the bottom of the pile. I’ve used that in my flowerbed to increase both the water retention and drainage in the soil. That may sound a bit counterproductive, but my flowerbed drowns in the winter wet and dries into cracks in the summer sun. A thick mulching now will get the worms pulling the yummy compost down to where the roots of established plants are, improving the nutrition of the soil, and keeping my plants in the best of health. A healthy plant will better resist disease and hot weather, and next winters rain will have somewhere to drain down to, not sit on the top so easily, saturating and drowning the roots of my beloved plants like this year.
Even though the ground is as damp as the sky today, you can still feel that spring has definitely sprung. With this in mind I’m trying to get all my hard landscaping done before the ground turns to rock. I’ve wanted a wildlife pond ever since I moved in and now is the time to dig it out. Obviously not by me, but a friend who needed a workout and foolishly offered to help.
I’ve followed some basic guidelines from the Wildlife Trust to try and get it right both for the wildlife, and keep it aesthetically pleasing for me. It’s been some years since I last created one and that was too shallow, and too close to the boundary fence for maintaining. Cold wets socks in your wellies whilst fishing out dead leaves, yuko! This is the link I’m using to find lots of helpful information – http://www.suffolkwildlifetrust.org/ponds
I don’t think I’ll get the digging, lining and filling up done in time for my local frogs and toads to spawn in, but you never know. I’m hoping that if I part fill it with tap water a rainy spring will top it up nicely. I’ve plenty of rocks to provide cover for wildlife and I’m looking forward to buying some native plants to add around the edges.
A pond, no matter how small, is such a useful and elemental item to have in your garden. Can’t wait to sit in the sun by the pond with a cool glass of something delicious, and see my first Water Boatman or even better a Dragonfly . . . !