I’ve got my fingers crossed that this period of beautiful weather lasts over the Bank Holiday weekend as I’m hoping to make an attempt on the ‘flower beds’ – currently indistinguishable from the lawn. I’m intending to try a slash and burn technique this year, usually I try and save any flower seedlings that I recognize, but as they’re so swamped by couch grass and buttercups I think it calls for a clean sweep! Only established clumps of perennials will remain, gulp!
Mr Stoatie has managed to give the lawn a couple of cuts, the race track is slowly disappearing but it is terribly rutted and uneven. It will take a hammer and chisel to break up the soil and level it off.
The sunshine has encouraged the blanket weed and the top pond is starting to bubble and thicken into a green broth. I try and remove the weed by winding it round a stick but I have visions of giving it a stir and finding various body parts slowly floating to the surface. It really is vile. There are wildlife friendly treatments available and this year I think I’ll give it go.
Despite it’s appearance this pond is absolutely teeming with tadpoles, whereas the larger one, despite it’s clear water, doesn’t seem to have any at all. This is all rather disappointing, as there were some large clumps of spawn. After a bit of research it seems that the most likely cause is the large colony of smooth newts – I counted at least seven in one small sunlit 1’ x1’ space this afternoon and I expect there are quite a few more. This site has a video which illustrates just how voracious they are – tadpole lovers may find it a bit disturbing!