Tuesday, 1 March 2011

End of month view, Feb 2011

As promised, it’s time to reveal progress with the new wildlife pond build at the end of the month. However, the last day of February 2011 was a glorious one and my camera was drawn to other areas of the garden first ;-)


Front garden: Narcissi ‘Ice Follies’ with sunlight revealing flowers inside.


Front garden: Sedums forcing fresh growth through gravel mulch.


Front garden: A lone yellow crocus, radiant like a buttercup in summer.


Front garden: A few stragglers along the boundary edge – bird planted ;-)


Front garden: Crocus 'Pickwick', a small clump by some rocks.


Front garden: ID unknown, near Pickwick, nice colour contrast.


Front garden: Escaping out in the open, pretty and delicate.


Front garden: A warm welcome awaits at the garden gate.


Front garden: A welcome sight, a ladybird sunbathing on the fence.


Back garden: Behind the garden gate, shy hellebores, flowering soon.


Back garden: Beneath the walkway, a curve of Narcissi ‘Ice Follies’.


Back garden: Pieris with a few blossom bunches, flowering soon.


Back garden: First of the deep purple crocus, opening very soon.


Back garden: Heucheras, catching the sunlight, wonderful foliage plant.


Back garden: Native Primrose, leaves bulking up, flower buds growing soon.


So, how is the progress of the new pond build? Ahem… well, I won’t lie. There’s been none… no spade has been lifted and no stones lifted or turned. Being honest, it looks a tad neglected as you will see below.

Nope… no sore backs during February here! In fairness, the weather hasn’t been in my favour until now. That’s my excuse anyway and I’m sticking to it ;-)

Sticking to the plan in my head for this pond build is another matter entirely. It keeps changing. My OH keeps suggesting detailed plans, but I need to get outside and walk around the area looking at it from every angle and at different times of the day.

Taking lots of photos does help but that still isn’t the same. I tend to use only the very basic of sketches especially when I have a good number of irregular and non-matching stones to work with. Basically, I like to build as I go and have great fun doing it that way.

Looking last night at the photos I had taken, I realised that perhaps I should lower the stone dyke/wall at the back. I am concerned about the light levels here. This area loses sunlight at around 3pm. I’m hoping this isn’t going to be a problem with algae.


Back garden: The new wildlife pond in waiting, top view as it is now.


I’m also trying to blend this area out/in to it’s the surroundings. I have a grass mound to the right of my arbour which could be mirrored at a smaller scale on the pond side. I like the idea of bringing the grass over too but not necessarily going into the water as an edge.

You can roughly see this idea in the lower images below yesterday’s progress photos where I’ve used Photoshop to copy the grass area over to see how it looks. Don’t laugh now, but I’m seeing small sand dunes (golf bunker style) with a mix of lawn grass and ornamental.


Back garden: Looking towards the new pond area, top view as it is now.


The larger round, light coloured rocks that I have to relocate will nestle in the grass and on beach like sand strips that will go into the water as a shallow first layer ledge deep enough for birds to drink and bathe.

Rocks will also need to be positioned so that any passing wildlife that takes a drink can get out if they slip in. Hedgehogs can swim but they will need a good ledge to get out of water otherwise they will drown. Really don’t want that to happen :-(

Vision over, I do hope someone is getting it with me. Oh yes, low growing wild flowers will be in the mix too. Dare I say… suggestions are welcome at this stage? Moving swiftly on…

It’s been Patient Gardener, Helen’s idea of looking at garden views at the end of the month. She has invited others to join her by leaving a comment on her post with a link to your post there. Lol… so I blame her when I’m embarrassing myself with my slow progress ;-)

Until the next time … oh dear, has someone moved my boots ;-)


Window view: Snowflakes catching sun’s rays, planting in partial shade.


Finally, just in case anyone missed my last post on snowdrop visiting, if you are planning a trip, you might like to browse the links there.


All photos above were taken in my garden on 28th February, 2011.

17 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Your progress isn't so bad what with winter not being encouraging with weather. I love seeing the crocus and hellebores. That is about all that is going on in my garden right now. I can't even make myself get out and cut back perennials. Must get going.

Gerry Snape said...

Shirl...your garden is already looking alive. What a great idea to put up a monthly post of the end of each month. Will try to remember.
We did the Dunham Massay snowdrop walk last weekend .It was stunning. To see the banks of flowers really lifted our spirits. Wonderful!

Plantaliscious said...

Hi Shirl, your beautiful series of spring pics gave me a happy sigh. I've fallen a little in love with Pickwich and your stragglers.

On the pond front, my comment about all the grassy mounds would be, looks lovely, how on earth will you look after it? If it is going to be wild grass no problem, but personally I always find cutting small areas of grass a pain in the posterior... You could always have a gentle enough mound to cover with plants instead?

I'm like you in that I constantly re-plan up until - and often after - the job starts. Enjoy your dreaming, look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Gardeningbren said...

Your photos showing "spring awakening" is so inspiring, especially to those of us with snow covering!! Beautiful.

As for the pond,...how to trim that small piece of grass planned by the pond? Whatever you decide, if I might offer some advice...go as big as you can, because once in, ponds seem to look smaller than one had envisioned.

Ours gets far less sun than it should and did suffer with duck weed for years until this one past. We used barley as a filter and that seems to have helped. We get good lily bloom but true, I am sure with more sun it would do better.

How exciting..can't wait to see the photos of progression.

Liz said...

Hi Shirl,

Lovely photos, it really feels like there's so much going on in your garden at the moment.

I hope you managed to get out in the garden today to get the pond started!
I decided to have a break from work and go out for a spot of planting whilst the weather is nice.

Hanni said...

What happy crocuses! And the little sedum coming through the gravel...sedum is the plant that just keeps going and going, isn't it?
Good for you with the pond - hope that the project goes smoothly. I look forward to seeing its progress!

patientgardener said...

How exciting a new pond. I love all your new shoots, I feel quite excited when I go in the garden each day to see what is appearing. I love this time of year. Thanks for joining in the EOMV again

Orchids and Nature said...

I can't just see how large your new pond is going to be. My only advice is to dig it as large as possible the newly dug hole always looks larger empty than when it is filled with water and the edges around the pond have been landscaped. The larger the volume of water the easier it is control against algae and the more oxygenators the better. Good luck I'm looking forward to seeing your new project.

Giga said...

Wiosna i pierwsze piękne kwiaty a my musimy jeszcze troszeczkę poczekać na nie. Ja mam malutki stawik, który jest po południu w cieniu galezi drzew i mam kłopoty z glonami. Nie życzę tego oczywiscie Tobie.Pozdrawiam

shirl said...

Hello everyone, I had a feeling the crocus would make everyone smile :-D

Lisa, perhaps… but it didn’t progress much during 2010. Yes, I was seeing your new blooms too. I’m sure you are delighted with them and will soon be in the mood to get out with your pruners :-D

Gerry, it just came alive almost overnight too! Yes the EOMV is a great idea, I’m going to try to keep it up. Just looked at you snowdrop post… oh I love that triangular area with the white birch bark… I bet it looked stunning for real!

Janet, so glad you enjoyed them. Yes, Pickwick is quite special. Yes, I hear all you are saying re grassy mounds. I have one on the right of the Arbour and have kept some slopes gentle enough for the mower and others I just rush straight up! However, I’m not too fussed about keeping them neat all year and hand clip them too. Having guinea pigs, this grass is like a cut and come again veg ;-) Thanks… lol… I’m looking forward to what I come up with too :-D

Brenda, I hoped you would catch these blooms when you have so much snow. Trimming (as I said above) may be by hand and the cuttings would be eaten by our guinea pigs. I’m keen on a slightly wild look too. Yes, although I will be using a flexible liner here, I’ve put in moulded ponds before and completely understand the shrinking even they do. I’ve barley straw in my rock pool pond and together with a pump running keeps it fairly clear. I’m excited to see this finished and look forward to frogs finding it :-D

Liz, thanks, yes things do seem to have changed a gear, However, I never rule out more snow at this time of year so each warm day is precious. Oh… this afternoon I did get out… I so wanted to go to the pond area too. However, heavy snowfall sitting on my shed roof has caused probs with the roof and the outside walls need some (late) winter/wet care. Today I was filling nail holes in prep for giving it a few new coats of stain. I’m guessing you enjoyed your planting more ;-)

Hanni,thanks for stopping by! They are happy aren’t they :-) Yes, that sedum has a bit of growing to do yet. This pond project needs to up a gear or two so we and the wildlife can enjoy it for this year. I (think) I’m going to enjoy sharing how it goes :-D

Helen, lol… it would be if I ever get it finished! Yes, there’s nothing quite like new shoots is there :-) May is my favourite time, enjoy your garden time just now. I hope I’m brave enough to join you next time ;-)

David, to be honest I haven’t measured the space yet. Thanks, yes I was planning to make it as large as I could. I’m looking forward to the reflection and light it will bring too. Thanks, I didn’t realise, larger ponds are better against algae. Thanks again, I’m going to need a bit of luck here :-D

Giga, nice to see you again. I’m delighted you enjoyed seeing our flowers :-D

My Hesperides Garden said...

I think your progress looks fine, sometimes having extra time to think can mean you come up with some new ideas. Tou mentioned my Stipa tenuissima in your comment on my blog, you could use an ornamental grass near your pond, a Carex perhaps? Would be easier to maintain than 'lawn' grass. Christina
PS I love your blog.

Layanee said...

All in good time and you have blooms! Nothing here yet. Another few weeks although the days are getting much longer.

ShySongbird said...

Lovely to see the new growth Shirl, I love that little lone yellow crocus, radiant was exactly the right word :)

Good luck with the progress of the pond, I would be quite daunted by it but I know you will enjoy developing it and I can't wait to see the finished result.

Anna said...

Enjoyed your February end of month tour Shirl. I like the feathery markings on 'Pickwick'. No signs of ladybirds here yet - perhaps I have just not been out at the right time :) Good luck with the pond project.

Becky said...

I enjoyed the garden walk since mine is still a sea of white. If I lived where you are and I wanted to plant something low around a pond, I would jump at the chance to try Corsican mint. It would never have to be trimmed and the aroma while weeding is as delicious as drinking a grasshopper without the calories!

Shady Gardener said...

I know I'm late in visiting, but you are still very inspiring to those of us who are waiting, still, for Spring's arrival. (It's coming, though!) :-)

Aren't you going to enjoy your new pond??? Happy Days to you!

greenfingersmum said...

Love the pics on here!

http://greenfingersmum.blogspot.com