Wednesday, 14 July 2021
Tuesday, 13 July 2021
After Blur's 1994 track, Parklife.
Ponds could be the new therapy; certainly works for me... Overcome by the enormity of the world's problems? Build a pond, even a titchy one. There's something reassuring and meaningful about taking a dull bit of lawn, digging a hole and inserting an overlooked sink/water trough/washing up bowl, introducing water, a few plants, stones etc and watching a whole new, small scale, and without vast problems, world unfold before you.
Our local organic veg producing friend gave us a large round plastic tub which had been destined to be part of a reed bed idea, now rather put to one side. When our own reed bed was installed I asked the man wielding the small yellow digger if he could make an extra hole, which he did. I filled in the drainage hole with silicone, let it dry and we filled the pond from the river via many hosepipes joined together.
For about three days it looked like a disappointing muddy mistake then the water started to clear due to the oxygenating plants Mark had bought, including an extraordinary floating nomadic 'water lettuce' plant that trails its roots and requires no permanent fixture. The first visitors to our watering hole were about 4,000 mosquito larvae - eek! . . . I scooped a few hundred out then gave up - something would surely snack on these?
On our favourite forest/lake walk we stole three baby frogs, and later from a river, a few minnows. They seem to have happily taken up residence and the mosquito population has vastly reduced. The latest arrivals are a huge water beetle and many small ones, various snails, a family of pond skaters and several dragon fly larvae. I can happily spend several minutes just staring into the now-clear depths of the tub, delighted at the glimpse of a fish or a new addition to this small universe. Watching from our back window in the house gives also glimpses of the bird and animal life that have started to view the pond as a good garden addition.
We have now installed an old kitchen sink and will be adding a bath I got from the local recycling emporium. A biodiversity corridor, I heard it called on one wild gardening channel. And . . . if one day I get a film deal, win the loto, whatever, we'll add a natural swimming pool . . . pond is fine for now.