My pond again

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Pauline

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My pond again
« on: April 27, 2015, 08:18:07 AM »
There has been progress in the face of great difficulty obtaining anything and everything I need. Am currently trying to work up a water feature thingy and am not finding it easy. I used to have a very simple old-bit-of-garden-hose one but this pond seems too formal for that. I wouldn't bother but the fish will appreciate it and I do like the sound of running water.

The bits of rock on the marginal shelf, but the way, are for birds of varying sizes to drink and bathe. They might also serve as an escape point for anything daft enough to fall in.



Can't preview this for some reason so am hoping that it will be OK if I just post it.  :-\

An amateur and a complete novice in mediterranean stuff, attempting to establish a garden in Andros, Cyclades, Greece. We're about 45m above sea level. Steep learning curve? Vertical straight line.

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Fleur Pavlidis

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Re: My pond again
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2015, 05:57:02 PM »
Cheer up Pauline, what would be the fun if you could just walk into a shop and get what you wanted? Your pond looks as if it’s coming along fine and I must say you were wise to have raised sides. I’m afraid I’ve had two drownings in my pond, a tortoise and a hedgehog, and a second hedgehog was only saved in the nick of time because I heard him struggling. I did what all the pond books say (and I think they just copy each other) and created a ‘beach’ for the animals to use, but animals of little brain don’t think to walk all round the perimeter to find their designated entrance. They see water and go straight for it and slip straight in. As it happened the indestructible butyl lining I used rotted in the sun after a couple of years so I covered the edge with cheap artificial grass and this gives a good gripping surface for thirsty beasts. Animals of slightly larger brain are not convinced though, and my cat has fallen in twice.
MGS member, Greece. I garden in Attica, Greece and Mt Goulinas (450m) Central Greece

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Pauline

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Re: My pond again
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2015, 06:38:39 PM »
Thanks, Fleur. I know what you mean about the books all copying each other - I think the 'beach' idea is intended for newts and frogs but hey, I have no idea if they have any more sense than the creatures of the land. Most of the drownings in my pond so far have been bees, and I've managed to rescue a few of them. The half-in-half-out thing was primarily intended to stop too much stuff being blown in - this isn't called the island of the winds for nothing - and to allow me to perch on the edge so I can more easily see what's going on in there. Preventing drownings of hedehogs and tortoises is an umforeseen bonus. The local cats clearly appreciate the supply of decent-quality water, but none has managed to fall in yet.

Tomorrow I plan to remove my marginals from the ordinary plastic pots they came in and replant them in those plastic baskets that greengrocers use, lined of course. I can't see why this shouldn't work, and planting baskets as I knew them are utterly unheard of in this neck of the woods.

Frankly I should be used to having to find lateral solutions: I've spent my life working around being left-handed. ;-)





An amateur and a complete novice in mediterranean stuff, attempting to establish a garden in Andros, Cyclades, Greece. We're about 45m above sea level. Steep learning curve? Vertical straight line.

David Dickinson

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Re: My pond again
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2015, 12:19:30 AM »
Hi Pauline,

Seeing projects such as your pond project and the new garden by Oenz always sets me thinking "What would I do?". Unfortunately, I have only a balcony in Rome. No tortoises or hedgehogs get to the fourth floor. But when I was in the UK (some 30+ years ago! shudder at the thought of how time flies:-( ) I had an old bath tub sunk into the ground in my small garden for growing water lilies. One morning I woke up to find a drowned hedgehog. I promptly put a sheet of transparent plastic netting into the water from the ground and never found any fatalities again. The netting, being transparent, was only visible close up and ever less so as it got dirtier and dirtier. The idea was that the animals could get their claws into the netting either to climb up immediately and back onto solid ground or could at least grip it to get their strength back until rescued the following morning.

Maybe it worked or maybe no other creature ever fell in. I'll never know.

With your raised pond I can't imagine tortoises making it high enough up the wall to fall in. The idea of them trying did make me think of a piece of music though - Carnival of the Animals by Saint Saens. A fun piece in which several animals are depicted. The ponderous gait of the tortoise is there too. Listening a little bit more carefully, it is easy to understand the musical joke. Here is the original by Offenbach. "Infernal Galop" from "Orpheus in the Underworld" perhaps better known as "The Can-Can". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dB7EzXaDJjg
And here is the version for tortoises. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ba_kOUmlDME

As they say in modern English, "enjoy" (translates into "enjoy it" for anyone more of my era :-)).
I have a small garden in Rome, Italy. Some open soil, some concrete, some paved. Temperatures in winter occasionally down to 0C. Summer temperatures up to 40C in the shade. There are never watering restrictions but, of course, there is little natural water for much of June, July and August.

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Pauline

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Re: My pond again
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2015, 02:54:50 PM »
David, you have "only a balcony in Rome"? In my world that's no excuse. ;-) If you can arrange some shade you can have a half-barrel "pond". Here's the one I had on my balcony in Brussels: a marginal or two, an oxygenator, a water hyacinth, Nymphaea pygmaea "Helvola", a couple of happy goldfish and a garden-hose cascade. And I'm sure you realise you're not looking at a pygmy water lily - it's a monster that self-seeded in the same pot. I hoiked it out eventually and the littl'un was still there. Brave little plant. :-)






An amateur and a complete novice in mediterranean stuff, attempting to establish a garden in Andros, Cyclades, Greece. We're about 45m above sea level. Steep learning curve? Vertical straight line.

David Dickinson

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Re: My pond again
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2015, 12:26:15 AM »
Now you really have got me thinking. Any ideas on how to convince my two flat mates and where to put our 3 bikes gratefully received. I won't sleep tonight as I'll be mulling things over. Uhm.... :-\
I have a small garden in Rome, Italy. Some open soil, some concrete, some paved. Temperatures in winter occasionally down to 0C. Summer temperatures up to 40C in the shade. There are never watering restrictions but, of course, there is little natural water for much of June, July and August.

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Pauline

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Re: My pond again
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2015, 07:23:31 AM »
Easy-peasy: one of those frame things they put on the backs of cars but so that you can store the bikes on the outside of the balcony railing.  ;D


An amateur and a complete novice in mediterranean stuff, attempting to establish a garden in Andros, Cyclades, Greece. We're about 45m above sea level. Steep learning curve? Vertical straight line.

David Dickinson

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Re: My pond again
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2015, 10:14:04 AM »
If only it were so easy. Local bye-laws block hanging anything outside of a balcony - even washing. I suppose there is some sense in it. A bike falling on the head of a passer-by would not be good news. Don't think my sheets would do much damage though. At one stage I was planning on attaching the bikes to the inside wall. But I have attached clothes driers on pulleys to the balcony above in an effort to utilise space.

Perhaps we need a page on the blog for "Balcony Gardening" which is not the same as "Terrace Gardening". In the latter plants can be arranged in a tiered system so that all are visible, as they grow inwards from the terrace wall. On my balcony, with railings, everything grows outwards. Also terraces usually don't have all-day shade from the balcony above rendering the back of the balcony useless in summer when the sun is high.

But that water tub is still tantalising.....  :-\
I have a small garden in Rome, Italy. Some open soil, some concrete, some paved. Temperatures in winter occasionally down to 0C. Summer temperatures up to 40C in the shade. There are never watering restrictions but, of course, there is little natural water for much of June, July and August.

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Pauline

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Re: My pond again
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2015, 02:42:36 PM »
OK. Sigh. I'm throwing in the trowel.    :-\


An amateur and a complete novice in mediterranean stuff, attempting to establish a garden in Andros, Cyclades, Greece. We're about 45m above sea level. Steep learning curve? Vertical straight line.

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Pauline

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Re: My pond again
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2015, 01:55:44 PM »

At last, livestock! Many goldfish were added yesterday. They're only babies so they're not even starting to be gold yet, but I'm delighted to have them.





And here is an overview of the pond is it is at the moment. I'm so glad to have it - it and that view, of course.  :)







An amateur and a complete novice in mediterranean stuff, attempting to establish a garden in Andros, Cyclades, Greece. We're about 45m above sea level. Steep learning curve? Vertical straight line.

David Dickinson

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Re: My pond again
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2015, 10:41:37 PM »
Must resist, feel that cardinal sin "envy" coming on again! Send us a close-up of the water feature you finally settled on. Are there any natural waterways nearby? This might lead to colonisation by wildlife. It would be interesting if you could keep us updated with the arrival of such things as dragonflies, newts, frogs etc. Look forward to you sharing the development of your pond with us. Thanks:-)
I have a small garden in Rome, Italy. Some open soil, some concrete, some paved. Temperatures in winter occasionally down to 0C. Summer temperatures up to 40C in the shade. There are never watering restrictions but, of course, there is little natural water for much of June, July and August.

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Pauline

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Re: My pond again
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2015, 02:02:32 PM »

So far we have an awful lot of water boatmen, whose population explosion has already been halted by the fish consuming the next generation, the inevitable pond skaters and at least one water snail that arrived on a plant. Airborne visitors include dragonflies and damselflies, the local crows and assorted small birds. The local cats, of course, come to drink, as does a kounavi (which I could live without as it trashes my plants!).

There are nearby water sources - I've heard the frogs singing from one, but I suspect they may dry out in Summer. In any case I'm fairly sure that newts or frogs won't be able to get into a pond that's this high off the ground and lacking in surrounding ground cover. (I still shudder when I recall the year I inadvertently made a death-run for migrating newts. I spent an awful lot of time in the garden watching for them, ready to transport them rapidly across the dead zone.)

The "water feature"? It's a ceramic jug that I had - we drilled a hole in the bottom to take the hose - plus chunks of stone left over from hard landscaping the rest of the garden. The pond has also acquired a guardian angel. I've been looking for a place to put that terracotta cherub for years and if anyone thinks it's naff, tough!  ;)





An amateur and a complete novice in mediterranean stuff, attempting to establish a garden in Andros, Cyclades, Greece. We're about 45m above sea level. Steep learning curve? Vertical straight line.

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Alisdair

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Re: My pond again
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2015, 10:26:16 AM »
The jug works really well, Pauline, and you must be so pleased with how the whole pond is developing! (...and I do like the little angel, but then I had a gnome with a fishing rod in the tiny pond I botched together for my childhood garden  ;))
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

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Pauline

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Re: My pond again
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2015, 10:30:40 AM »
Thank you, Alisdair, I am indeed really pleased with my pond. I suspect, however, that we may be in a minority of two as regards the little angel. And gnomes. I find I have something of an urge to introduce them to Greece, but maybe I'd better not lest my countrymen lynch me.  ;D

An amateur and a complete novice in mediterranean stuff, attempting to establish a garden in Andros, Cyclades, Greece. We're about 45m above sea level. Steep learning curve? Vertical straight line.

Daisy

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Re: My pond again
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2015, 07:23:20 AM »
I love your pond Pauline. I bet you already find that time just disappears when you are sitting on the side, watching the fish and all of the visitors.
I love your cherub too. I have a really naff, comical frog which sits on the side of my pond. It stays there because it was given to me by a very dear friend and I love it.
Is that Acorus gramineus variegatus beside the cherub? It looks perfect there. Where did you find it?
Daisy :)
Amateur gardener, who has gardened in Surrey and Cornwall, England, but now has a tiny garden facing north west, near the coast in north east Crete. It is 300 meters above sea level. On a steep learning curve!!! Member of both MGS and RHS