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Hand building a clay pond

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PondDragon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PondDragon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Sep 2014 at 11:41pm
Interesting photo, Chris. I'll try to take some photos of the garden pond tomorrow and start a new thread. An image search for 'Hippuris vulgaris' does throw up various photos of ponds quite dense with it, so clearly it is quite capable of taking over (although, so are a great many other aquatics, including many of those commonly planted).
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GemmaJF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Sep 2014 at 9:04am
I think one significant factor with a home pond is we can manage it often. I'm keen on heavy vegetation bashes in late autumn to break the nutrient cycle and keep a pond held back in the early stages of succession. Not adverse to a complete clear out every five years or so if needed. 

The problem I imagine with Mare's tail is it would root very quickly in my clay liner and be almost impossible to manage in an effective way. I've come across a post on another forums where someone was asking how to eradicate it from a clay pond which it has taken over. Apparently it's easy enough to pull the stem out, but the root is always left behind. I usually find with stuff like water mint it is fairly easy to get a lot of it out, root and all, making it relatively easy to manage it.

Thanks for posting the picture Chris and looking forward to your pictures PondDragon.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Sep 2014 at 10:03am
Ordered some Purple loosestrife this morning, plan is to put in a boggy bit where the pond drains which should be a good spot for it. More pictures of the pond next week, waiting for my topsoil to arrive so I can finish the surrounding areas and make the wildlife garden look a little less like a building site!


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Chris Monk View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chris Monk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Sep 2014 at 4:49pm
I am sure you are right Gemma that if Marestail became established in your pond you would only be able to pull off the stems and the rhizome would remain in the clay sending up new growth.

I always think that a few purple loosestrife plants look good around a pond - but only in this country. In America it's their equivalent of Himalayan Balsam in that it is invading wetlands and forming dense stands that shade out and prevent germination of the native species.
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GemmaJF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Sep 2014 at 8:40am
I read recently about the trouble in the States with Purple loosestrife it seems it is a real menace over there. 
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Suzy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Sep 2014 at 9:32pm
I have purple loosestrife and it self seeds mildly - not a problem for me. Mine are next to the pond, not in it, so possibly plants with their feet in water really get going.
I do remember it from my Lake District fishing days as a kid. It grew along the banks of a few rivers, but not in great abundance. So it holds happy memories for me.
Suz
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GemmaJF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Sep 2014 at 9:11am
Same as my memories of it Suz, I often find single plants around gravel pits or just small stands in the wild, certainly a lot or my childhood memories are being condensed into my pond planting scheme Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Sep 2014 at 5:17pm
Was going to take some pictures of the pond today but it was so gloomy I thought I would leave it until the sun comes out. 

The pond has been in the grips of the predictable algal bloom thanks to being initially filled with tap water and nutrients from the necessary top soil seeping in, add the sunny weather and a perfect recipe for algae trouble.

It's calming down now though and a little less pea green and frothy! I've been gently removing any floating organic material today whilst trying hard to not stir up the bottom so with any luck the algal bloom will be short lived and the pond will find a natural balance as the bacteria get going. Water level is keeping up well so from now on it is top ups from rainwater butts only which should help the situation. 

Species spotted so far, lesser and greater water boatman, they were first to arrive and I suspect were around before the second rebuild of the pond. Spotted a whirligig beetle the other day and also plenty of gnat larvae. Watched a common darter pair busy egg laying too, so should have plenty of mini dragonfly larva next year. Strangely no pond skaters though which I expected to be quick to arrive. We have water stick insects locally too so will be keeping an eye out for them as they are one of my favourite pond mini-beasts.

Water still needs to clear a bit so I'm hoping there will be more to be found when it does. Some of the plants have also managed a bit of growth in the warm weather with the water mint and brook lime already above the surface and looking healthy.





Edited by GemmaJF - 29 Sep 2014 at 5:17pm
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GemmaJF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Sep 2014 at 9:21am
Sun is out this morning so some pictures!

Green hose pipe is from our medium sized water butt fed by the shed roof, yellow one is supplied by a big butt that collects the rain water from our garage roof.



Grass is coming up around the edge of the pond, this is a small bog garden adjacent to the pond planted with purple loosestrife plugs.



Larger bog garden, also has some purple loosestrife, but I'm planning on more extensive planting in the spring. The cat scarer tends to drip a bit and also wet the ground around it when activated, so it makes sense to put it in the bog garden to keep it wet. It's usually connected to the yellow hose pipe to the mains water supply.



View, looking towards my extensive goth pumpkin field LOL Not long to All Hallow's Eve Wink



Bird table is bare because the adjacent arch has just been painted, I don't want the birds to get paint on their feet!



New stepping stones, hopefully it won't be such a battle through wet clay on New Year's Eve this year to get to the pond and photograph newts!



I think that's job done now in the wildlife garden other than putting in a hawthorn hedge right at the back. To the right of the stepping stones I'm planning extensive decking, to the left is my veggie plot, carrots and parsnips shown above are very tasty Smile



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will View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Sep 2014 at 10:49am
great effort Gemma, I'm very jealous (and too lazy to even contemplate doing anything so industrious myself)..
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