Lockdown Diary: Tuesday 16.6.20

A the weekend I acquired some Frogbit plants for our garden wildlife pond. I had been trying to clear some fo the duckweed from the surface for a while, and the addition of Frogbit (which look like small lily pads) has instantly made the surface of the...

A the weekend I acquired some Frogbit plants for our garden wildlife pond. I had been trying to clear some fo the duckweed from the surface for a while, and the addition of Frogbit (which look like small lily pads) has instantly made the surface of the pond much more attractive.
Also at the weekend, I found a pile of Spiked Water Milfoil which had been dragged out of a narrow fishing ‘lake’, as it annoys the fishermen (perhaps the fish hide in its subaqueous mass of leaves, or their hooks get caught in it). Anyhow, I took a couple of carrier bags of the stuff as it looked to be still alive, and introduced this to our pond.

Part of our pond (Peterborough), now with added Frogbit (the little lily pads) and Spiked Water Milfoil (under the surface). There is still a bit too much duckweed, and the other plants you will notice are Water Dock , Greater Spearwort and Pendulous Sedge.
The long and short of all this is that the Smooth Newts seem to love the changes to their aquatic environment, and are getting busy presumably laying eggs in among the new vegetation.
When I originally dug the pond in 2007, I stocked it with various native plants from friend’s garden wildlife ponds in Peterborough. But, people move house, ponds disappear, and evolve. Very few of the original plants I introduced have survived, and this is partly down to me letting too many leaves from surrounding trees accumulate in the bottom of the pond, subtly altering the chemistry and making it too nutrient rich. It probably needs a good dredge, but for the time being, I am attempting to oxygenate it and alter the ecology with what plants I can acquire.