Saturday, June 11, 2016

Pond life.

Zephirine drouhin, a truly thornless rose.
The title of this post refers to a natural eco system rather than to certain politicians either side of the pond.
 One of the first things we made when we first moved here was a small pond, we wanted to encourage frogs  and other wild life into the garden. It takes some time to establish a natural ecosystem but this year we were rewarded with frogs choosing to spawn in our pond. We have three different stage tadpoles, some just very fat but without their legs developed yet, others have their legs and others are now froglets, yet we have never seen an adult frog in or even near the pond.
 Removing some of the duck weed that appears in ponds from nowhere  we found all sorts of interesting pond life, Dragonfly larvae, not the prettiest of things, also a predator of tadpoles,
Rams Horn snails, and fresh water clams, the clams and the snails must have come in on various plants that we have put into the pond.
The clams are tiny but there's a lot of them.
The clams are very small at the moment I wonder just how big they will grow and whether they will ever get big enough to eat!
I am very pleased that a blue water Iris that was a gift from a friend has started to flower this year, much more interesting than the common yellow flag Iris.
Our poultry numbers have increased significantly in the past few days.
We had a good hatch of quail, and at last we have our long ago ordered ducklings,
Just arrived.
they are so cute at this age, and we will do our best to provide them with a good if rather short life before they have to go in the freezer.
Pekin ducklings.
We have timed the ducklings so they will be ready at the same time as the Hubbard chickens so they can all be processed at the same time by 'The Friendly Farmer', meaning just one trip instead of two.
Living in such a rural area means we get to see quite a bit of wild life, we have pheasants, red squirrels, the dreaded Pine Marten , Mink, rabbits and  Hares. There seems to be more hares around here than rabbits,
we followed one down the road yesterday, and for a change I had the camera with me.
At last we have had a little rain,
it has brought out all the roses and other flowers that seemed to be at a stand  still during the very hot and dry month that we have had.
The garden is in full bloom now.
The cats and digs are also happier now it's slightly cooler.
Tess our golden lab doesn't expend too much energy at the best of times,
during the very hot weather she seemed to only wake up if there was food in the offing.
We are still getting strawberries from the tunnel and the first of the Cambridge favourite in the garden are now showing colour, we should have a continues supply for a while longer, then it should be the turn of the gooseberries and raspberries.
Lots of broad beans as well, it seems to be a good year for them.
Elder trees are full of flowers, last year they didn't flower until autumn, we will go gathering in the next few days and I will make some elderflower cordial, lovely on a warm summers day.
Simon liked the mug that I had made for his birthday, we celebrated with a lovely homemade coffee and walnut cake.
They look like roses but they are Ranunculus.
A smug looking cat.
   In a nearby town one of the many empty properties has been beautifully given some life, I love these painting showing what might have been a long time ago.
I wonder if he has a name?
Snowball bush, a cutting we brought with us from Spain, now is a real bush.
The alums are good this year.


  1. Awww, I don't think I've seen Tess on your blog before, isn't she beautiful? Such a gorgeous girl. I wouldn't be without my little pond, it's really very tiny but it still attracts so much wildlife in to the garden. We even found a newt under a log I keep at the side of it some time ago. Your garden is looking very colourful.

    1. I have posted photos of Tess before also some of Meg our little Jack Russel, I will have to post some more.
      You mentioned you had found a newt near your pond, I wonder if that's what has happened to you frog spawn as newts will eat them.

  2. Arent doggies so lucky they can sleep with legs all akimbo and no one says a thing except, awww how cute. Im sure id get rather more distressing comments if i did the same. Tilly sleeps like this as well. Your pond sounds fascinating. I loved keeping tadpoles when i was little. Trust you to think of another food source.

    1. I guess that dogs lie like that as it's the biggest expanse of skin that they can expose to cool off. Yes if there's a chance of something being edible I'm ready to experiment!

  3. Good news about the frog spawn! Fingers crossed you get fully grown frogs to help you out with the slugs! That cake looks delicious. The garden in full bloom is just gorgeous, looks so established like you have been there for years and years!

    1. It's nice having the frogs spawn, I think the pond probally has a good balance. We are so pleased with how the garden has evolved in less than five years, there colour in it most months of the year.