An Update from my Wildlife Pond in Early Summer

An Update from my Wildlife Pond in Early Summer

I love growing edible plants, so I grow a few rhubarb plants around the edges of my wildlife pond. Pictured on the 3rd May 2021.

Summer has finally arrived!  Hello and welcome to my wildlife pond in summertime.  It’s so lovely to be able to share my wildlife pond with you through these updates; I am looking forward to taking you on a tour of the aquatic and herbaceous plants growing in this area of my garden.  I can’t wait to share my personal photographs with you and show you the insects and wildlife I’ve spotted in and around my wildlife pond.  I’ll also let you see just how bad the blanket weed in my wildlife pond has become!

Celebrating Marsh Marigold flowers!

Here’s another view of my wildlife pond on the 3rd May 2021. In this picture you can see just how narrow the border around my pond is! I’ve got a tiny strip because I have a small garden. I’d recommend creating a much wider border around your pond, if you can. Caltha palustris ‘Alba’, Caltha palustris, and Caltha palustris ‘Honeydew’ are all flowering in my pond at the moment.

I’ve written a lot about my love of Marsh Marigolds (these plants are also known as King Cups, or by their botanical name, Caltha palustris); I adore these cheerful and upfront aquatic plants, they’re great fun!  I’m growing three types of Marsh Marigold – Caltha palustris ‘Alba’, Caltha palustris ‘Honeydew’, and the wild species: Caltha plaustris, in my wildlife pond.  My Caltha palustris plants are all growing in aquatic planters, which I’ve lined with hessian and filled with peat-free, aquatic compost.

Here’s a closer view of the Marsh Marigolds in our wildlife pond. The bulk of these flowers are Caltha palustris blooms – the common wild species, but Caltha palustris ‘Honeydew’ is still in bloom and there are still a few Caltha palustris ‘Alba’ flowers about.

Although some of my Marsh Marigolds came from my old wildlife pond, these Marsh Marigold plants were all all potted up at the same time (in spring 2019).

Here’s a closer look at Caltha palustris ‘Honeydew’ flowers. This variety produces softer yellow coloured flowers, with much larger sized blooms than my other Marsh Marigolds. The plants tend to be a bit more sprawling and their flowering stems protrude out further across the water. Pictured on the 3rd May 2021.

Marsh Marigolds are wonderful plants that thrive in the margins of ponds; these plants will also grow happily in marshy, boggy ground.  My Caltha palustris plants’ pots are positioned in and around the outside edge of my wildlife pond, where the water is shallower.  The level of the water just covers the top of the aquatic planters that hold my Marsh Marigolds.

Marsh Marigold flowers lighting up my wildlife pond with their golden light. Pictured on the 5th May 2021.

Watching bumble bees around my wildlife pond

I don’t get to spend as much time at my pond as I would like. However, in previous years, I’ve barely seen any insects other than pollen beetles tending to my Marsh Marigold flowers. This year, I’ve watched many bumble bees, hoverflies, and solitary bees feeding from the Marsh Marigold flowers, growing in my wildlife pond. Pictured on the 5th May 2021.

This year, I’ve observed bumble bees, solitary bees, hoverflies, and butterflies feeding from my Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris) flowers.  I’ve seen many more insects than usual around these plants, yet I’ve not spent any more time here.  I am lucky if I manage to take five minutes out of the day to visit our wildlife pond and sadly I don’t manage to get to see the pond every day.  I share all of my personal photographs of my pond and every one of my waterside experiences with you in these updates.

I enjoyed watching this bumble bee feeding from the Marsh Marigold flowers, in my wildlife pond. Pictured on the 5th May 2021.

I suspect that the reason I’m noticing more bees and pollinating insects around my Marsh Marigolds is because these plants have grown larger and formed more substantial plants, which therefore have produced a greater number of flowers.  Bees in particular, tend to visit flowers from the same type of plant in one excursion.

I love to watch bumble bees tending to the Marsh Marigold flowers in my wildlife pond. Pictured on the 5th May 2021.

As my Caltha palustris plants have each increased in size and become more substantial, they have also become more visible.  All of my Caltha palustris plants now form significant plants within my garden.  These aquatic plants have produced a greater quantity of flowers than ever before and because of this the plants are quite simply worth the effort for the bees to visit.

I couldn’t get any closer to this bumble bee, but I got a nice view of this bee’s bottom as it was busy enjoying these Caltha palustris flowers! This Marsh Marigold is the wild species plant that we can see in wild ponds, streams and boggy areas. Pictured on the 5th May 2021.

I am growing three types of Marsh Marigold, but I have more than one plant of each variety growing together in this pond.  All of these plants were purchased as single plants but over the years they have developed into larger specimens, which I’ve then divided and re-potted into additional aquatic planters.  All of my aquatic baskets were lined with hessian and filled with peat-free, aquatic compost.

Here’s a view over my wildlife pond. Around the outside of my wildlife pond, I’m growing rhubarb, daffodils, wild flowers and perennials. Pictured on the 5th May 2021, while my daffodils were in bud.

Hooray for the first damselfly of the year!

I’ve been on the look out for damselflies for a while.  I was so excited to spot our first damselfly of the year, on the 5th May 2021!

I was excited to spot my first damselfly of the year emerging from my wildlife pond! This damselfly climbed up one of my Marsh Marigold plants and waited for his new damselfly wings and body to dry out. Pictured on the 5th May 2021.

I think this damselfly is a female melanotum form of the Large Red Damselfly – a very common damselfly species that’s often seen in this area of my garden.  Unsurprisingly given its name, the standard and more commonly seen form of the Large Red Damselfly is red and black in colour with yellow markings on the thorax.  These damselflies are on the wing from March or April, through until August or September.

I adore Caltha palustris – the Marsh Marigold – these flowers are so pretty! Pictured flowering in my wildlife pond on the 5th May 2021.

Although I’ve not used my net since before I posted my last pond update; in the past when I’ve dipped a net into the pond water, I’ve seen many different damselfly and dragonfly larvae.  I hope that many more damselflies and dragonflies will breed successfully in our wildlife pond this year.

Damselflies have fascinating eyes! I spotted this Large Red Damselfly in my wildlife pond, on the 18th May 2021.
Some days I see so many damselflies around my wildlife pond. I find these insects utterly fascinating! I spotted these Large Red Damselflies resting on the Marsh Marigolds in my wildlife pond, on the 18th May 2021.

More Marsh Marigold flowers!

Caltha palustris flowers fill most of this picture, but there’s a sneaky Caltha palustris ‘Honeydew’ flower just making it into this picture (on the right hand side of this image). Pictured on the 5th May 2021.

Look at these gorgeous Caltha palustris flowers!  I really admire the strength and resilience of these stunning aquatic plants; my Caltha palustris plants have produced a multitude of flowers, with a luminosity and cheerful disposition that have beautifully brightened up this area of my garden.

‘Honeydew’ flowers fade as they age, their petals turn a soft cream colour. Then the petals fall and if the flower was pollinated successfully then the seeds will start to form. These Caltha palustris ‘Honeydew’ flowers are on their last stand. Pictured on the 5th May 2021.

My Marsh Marigolds haven’t complained about the cold, delayed start to this year’s spring; or the late frosts, snow, and gigantic hailstones that we’ve endured this season.  These aquatic plants have a great presence and an admirable strength and beauty.

Can you see the log piles around my pond? Log piles are a really important habitat for all kinds of wildlife, beetles and other insects and invertebrates, plus amphibians, like frogs, toads, and newts, all benefit from a log pile and may occupy this area. If you can add a branch across your pond, you’ll attract species of dragonflies, who lay their eggs on wet rotting wood. Position the branch so it is half in and half out of the water, for maximum wildlife value. A view of my wildlife pond, as pictured on the 6th May 2021.

In my updates, I always write about any maintenance work that’s happened in and around my pond, so you can see exactly what to do in your own gardens.  Since my last update, I’ve not touched anything around my pond.  No maintenance work has been carried out – nothing has been done.  I’ve just been enjoying my plants and the insects and wildlife they’ve attracted.

Garden weeds and bees!

Rhubarb, Narcissus poeticus var. recurvus, Caltha palustris and Pentaglottis sempervirens in flower on the 16th May 2021. All of these plants have open, accessible flowers for bees, butterflies, moths and other pollinating insects.

This Green Alkanet plant (also known by its botanical name, Pentaglottis sempervirens) self-seeded itself in the tiny narrow border around my pond.  I wouldn’t have chosen to plant Green Alkanet here, but I’ve left this plant where it is for the moment, as the bees are enjoying feasting on Green Alkanet’s china-blue flowers.

This bee was feasting from a Pentaglottis sempervirens flower from a self-seeded weed that’s growing in the narrow border around my wildlife pond. Pictured on the 9th May 2021.

I’ve watched all kinds of bees, including bumble bees, Red Mason Bees and other solitary bees, enjoying nectar from Pentaglottis sempervirens‘ flowers; it’s a great plant for bees.

Pentaglottis sempervirens (Green Alkanet) is a commonly seen wildflower in the UK. I’ve got a couple of plants that have sprung up around my pond. I’ve left these plants alone for now, so the bees can enjoy the flowers. Pictured on the 9th May 2021.
I adore watching bees as they feed and then buzz from flower to flower as they visit the Marsh Marigolds I’m growing in my wildlife pond.
My Marsh Marigolds bring undeniable cheer to this area of my garden. My aquatic plants are increasing in size but they’re further behind than usual, due to the cold weather we’ve experienced this year. A look into my wildlife pond, as pictured on the 8th May 2021.

May weather: hailstorms and rain

Many of my Caltha palustris ‘Alba’ flowers have faded and are now forming seed heads. Pictured on the 8th May 2021.

The weather so far this year has been crackers!  This May, we’ve endured so many hailstorms.  On a number of occasions, I watched helplessly as scarily large hailstones quite literally battered and bruised my plants.

I took this picture after rain and hailstones battered my pond! All the hailstorms and cold weather we’ve had this year will be making the water colder than usual in my wildlife pond. Pictured on the 8th May 2021.

Marsh Marigolds are such resilient aquatic plants.  My Caltha palustris plants have been savagely pounded by hailstones goodness knows how many times during April and May this year; yet these plants have regained their composure and have continued to hold strong, despite the bitter harshness of our weather.

I’m growing three types of Marsh Marigolds in my wildlife pond: Caltha palustris, Caltha palustris ‘Alba’, and Caltha palustris ‘Honeydew’. This picture was taken after my garden was battered by another heavy hailstorm.

Some of my Marsh Marigolds’ petals were plunged into the water following a hailstorm.  Thankfully, there were many more flowers and buds left on the plants.  I must say that away from my pond, my bulbs and some of the other plants I was growing didn’t fare anywhere near as well as these Caltha palustris plants; I found a number of flower buds littering the ground around my bulbs, after this storm.

This rhubarb plant (at the front of the picture) is looking fantastic at the moment! If you’re growing edible plants, be sure to label your plants using long-lasting label so you can remember where your edible plants are. If you’re unsure if a plant is edible or not, please don’t eat it. Rhubarb stems are edible and delicious, but their leaves are poisonous; the foliage makes good compost though. A look into my wildlife pond, as pictured on the 8th May 2021.

A beautifully scented daffodil: Narcissus poeticus var. recurvus

April 2021 was cold and dry. We had some welcome rain in the first half of May, but temperatures have still been colder than usual for this time of year. We’ve also been battered by several hailstorms that have featured huge hailstones! Pictured on the 8th May 2021.

I love daffodils!  I grow quite a few types of Narcissus in my garden.

The past four or five years have delivered quite challenging growing conditions for daffodils.  We’ve experienced at least four unseasonably warm spring periods year after year, for a minimum of four years in a row (the last being 2020).  During these previous spring periods, temperatures were hot and extended periods of drought were commonplace across the UK.  The intensity of the temperatures felt in these past spring seasons caused many of our springtime flowers to bloom and then fade in record time – I remember my apple trees went from having almost no visible flower buds to being in full bloom and then fading – all within the space of two days!

Narcissus poeticus var. recurvus flowering in the narrow bed around my wildlife pond. I mulched these bulbs after planting with Dalefoot Compost Double Strength Compost. Mulching helps to prevent weeds, adds nutrients and improves the water holding capacity of the soil.

This year, we’ve had a very different springtime with a period of extended cold temperatures, late frosts, and snow!  We did however experience yet another springtime drought – this is something that’s become a seemingly standard feature of our spring weather in recent years.

Daffodils, snowdrops, and other spring flowering bulbs all need to receive sufficient rainfall in spring and early summertime to sustain themselves and give them the power and strength to bloom again the following spring.  I was absolutely delighted that the Narcissus poeticus var. recurvus daffodils I’m growing in the tiny border around my pond have flowered so well this year.

Narcissus poeticus var. recurvus is one of my favourite daffodils; I can’t resist this daffodil’s intoxicating perfume – it’s incredible! Pictured growing in the narrow bed around my wildlife pond, on the 9th May 2021.

I haven’t watered my daffodils at all this year; so I fear that it’s unlikely that any of my Narcissus will flower for me next year.  If you’re growing late flowering daffodils, your flowers may just be a memory now, but it really is worth taking the time to water your daffodils now, as the extra moisture will sustain these plants.  It’s the daffodils’ leaves which help to supply the bulbs with energy for flowering; watering these plants now will make a dramatic difference to the number of daffodil flowers you can expect to enjoy next year.

Not all of the daffodils in my garden have made it to 2021; so I am particularly grateful to see these Narcissus poeticus var. recurvus flowers. These bulbs were planted around our wildlife pond a few years ago. Pictured on the 9th May 2021.

I have been saving my rainwater for my orchids, which is why I’ve not watered my daffodils, the roses, or any of the other plants around my pond.

Narcissus poeticus var. recurvus flowers produce a gorgeous sweet and heady perfume. They are just divine! Pictured on the 9th May 2021.

Feeding the bulbs will also make a huge difference to how many flowers your daffodils will be able to produce next year.  Daffodils can be fertilised using liquid fertiliser, if you wish.  Alternatively you could do what I do – I simply mulch around my daffodils with Dalefoot Composts Double Strength Wool Compost.

Narcissus poeticus var. recurvus is a later flowering daffodil with reflexed petals and a narrow red outline on each of the flowers’ coronas.

I’ve mentioned this particular type of compost so many times in my articles simply because I love it!  Dalefoot Double Strength Wool Compost is a nutrient-rich, powerful, concentrated compost, which means that just a small amount of this product goes a long way.  If you mulch with Dalefoot Composts Double Strength Wool Compost, you won’t need to remember to mix up or apply a liquid feed – a mulch of this compost will supply all the nutrients your plants need.

I’m growing Narcissus poeticus var. recurvus in the narrow border around my wildlife pond. Slugs and snails adore daffodil flowers; as you can see, my plants have sustained some slug and snail damage. Pictured on the 12th May 2021.

Dalefoot Double Strength Wool Compost will enrich and enhance your soil.  This compost is absolutely ideal for sandy soils, (like mine) as it is packed full of nutrients and has an amazing water holding capacity.  A mulch of this compost helps my soil to hold more moisture and nutrients, which really helps my plants.  I am certain that my Narcissus poeticus var. recurvus daffodils would not be flowering now if I hadn’t mulched these plants with Dalefoot Compost, back in 2019.

Narcissus poeticus var. recurvus flowers have the most amazing perfume! These flowers are growing in the narrow border around my wildlife pond; pictured on the 13th May 2021. If you’re growing daffodils, don’t forget to water your plants and allow their leaves to grow and age. Daffodil leaves nourish the bulbs as they die back, so they’re super important. It’s worth feeding daffodils as they flower and after their blooming finishes, as the flowers are fading; this will help ensure your daffodils can flower next spring.

I adore Narcissus poeticus var. recurvus flowers’ perfume, it’s sweet, musky and utterly delicious!

Narcissus poeticus var. recurvus pictured in flower, alongside my wildlife pond, on the 13th May 2021.

I really can’t emphasise enough just how narrow the border around my wildlife pond is, yet this tiny strip of soil holds an array of plants and enhances my pond and garden.

If you’re thinking of creating a pond, I’d always advise creating a wide border, full of plants, around the water’s edge.  However, because I am short on space and have limited options available, we opted to create as large a pond as possible, with a thin border around the perimeter.  I would much rather have a pond with a wide border with hundreds of plants and space around all sides; however in these updates I’m demonstrating what can be achieved in a smaller space and explaining the drawbacks for the choices I’ve made for my pond.  I hope this will help you decide on the best course of action for your own ponds and water features.

Narcissus poeticus var. recurvus in flower alongside my wildlife pond, as pictured on the 15th May 2021.

Growing aquatic plants for bees!

I love to grow plants that are popular with bees, butterflies, and hoverflies. Aquatic plants may be grown in water, but I like to ensure that any plants with flower parts that rise out of the pond have the opportunity to supply pollen or nectar to insects.

I find it very relaxing to spend time watching all the bees, hoverflies, and damselflies around my wildlife pond.  Visiting this area of my garden and spending time with beautiful plants in a calming waterside setting, with entertainment from furry bees, and darting damselflies, is both relaxing and inspiring.

This bee is laden with Marsh Marigold pollen! There’s also at least one damselfly in this picture. If you can spot the damselfly, look at the stem of the flower the damselfly is resting on and trace it downwards to see this damselfly’s old skin, which has been shed and is left clasping the green stem this damselfly crawled up from.
Caltha palustris is the wild Marsh Marigold plant, which is found growing in the UK, across Europe, North America, parts of Asia, and Russia.

Ponds are our gift to nature but they’re also a gift to ourselves.  Every moment I spent by my pond feels so rejuvenating and reinvigorating – having a pond is a true blessing.  I love to watch my plants grow and observe the damselflies, bees, and other interesting insects that are attracted to this area of my garden.

Marsh Marigold flowers bring a warm glow to my wildlife pond, which is warmly appreciated by many bees and hoverflies. Pictured on the 9th May 2021.
Marsh Marigolds make a superb marginal plant. I enjoy watching the bees and other insects making the most of my Marsh Marigold flowers.
This spring, I’ve observed many different bees and hoverflies visiting the Caltha palustris flowers in my wildlife pond. Pictured on the 9th May 2021.
A bee pictured visiting the Caltha palustris flowers in my wildlife pond, on the 13th May 2021.
I observed this bee making the most of the Marsh Marigold flowers in my wildlife pond, on the 13th May 2021.
This year, I’ve seen so many insects on the Caltha palustris flowers I’m growing in my wildlife pond. I spotted this bee on the 13th May 2021.
Bees and flies on Caltha palustris flowers, as pictured on the 13th May 2021.
Each time I visit my wildlife pond, I always see something uplifting or exciting, despite only spending a few minutes by the water. I enjoyed watching this lovely bumble bee feasting from Menyanthes trifoliata flowers, on the 12th May 2021.

Dazzling damselflies I’ve seen near my wildlife pond!

As well as a bee, you might be able to spot a damselfly resting on the Caltha palustris flowers in my wildlife pond. I took this picture on the 9th May 2021.

I haven’t seen a dragonfly yet this year, but I’ve observed plenty of damselflies around my wildlife pond.

Can you spot the left over damselfly skin left on the Menyanthes trifoliata flower stem on the right hand side of this picture? I took this photograph on the 12th May 2021.
I spotted this damselfly resting on leaf at the edge of my wildlife pond, on the 22nd May 2021.
I spotted this damselfly and winged aphid resting on this rose bud on the 28th May 2021. I’m growing this rose in the border around my wildlife pond.
I spotted this Large Red Damselfly resting on a Menyanthes trifoliata leaf, on the 29th May 2021.
I spotted this male Large Red Damselfly in my wildlife pond, on the 29th May 2021.
I spotted this Female Large Red Damselfly, resting on a rose that’s growing next to my wildlife pond. Pictured on the 29th May 2021.

I see large numbers of red damselfly species around my pond; these are the most common damselflies I observe around my wildlife pond.  I am always on the look out for damselflies and for dragonflies.  I was so excited to spot this Beautiful Demoiselle at the end of May 2021!  This stunning damselfly is incredibly beautiful.  I’ve seen so many of these damselflies, but each time I spot a Beautiful Demoiselle its stops me in my tracks and surprises me with its magnificence and exquisite beauty.  Beautiful Demoiselles always stun me with the sheer intensity of their metallic colouring and iridescence, these are incredible insects!

The Beautiful Demoiselle is a truly beautiful damselfly (also known by its scientific name, Calopteryx virgo). I spotted this damselfly in my wildlife pond, on the 31st May 2021.
I’ve seen a number of damselflies mating and laying eggs in my wildlife pond. This isn’t easy to photograph, as damselflies are so much faster than me! Pictured on the 2nd June 2021.
I spotted this female Southern Damselfly by my wildlife pond, I spent a few minutes admiring its dainty baby blue highlights. The more I look at damselflies and dragonflies, the more I love them. Pictured on the 3rd June 2021.
I spotted this red damselfly on Hesperis matronalis var. albiflora flowers growing near by wildlife pond. Pictured on the 3rd June 2021.
I spotted another female Southern Damselfly by my wildlife pond. Pictured on the 3rd June 2021.
I spotted this Large Red Damselfly as it paused for a moment near my wildlife pond, on the 5th June 2021.
It doesn’t matter how many times I see a Beautiful Demoiselle, I am always struck by this damselfly’s magnificent metallic sheen, its intense colouring and unique beauty. I spotted this damselfly in my wildlife pond, on the 7th June 2021.
I see so many of these red damselflies in and around my pond. I watched this damselfly resting on the Cupressus sempervirens that’s growing alongside my wildlife pond.

Stunning aquatic plants: Menyanthes trifoliata – Bog Bean

Menyanthes trifoliata produces these exquisite flowers borne of cherry-pink coloured buds that open to reveal snow-white, lacy flowers. Pictured in my wildlife pond, on the 15th May 2021.

The more I look at Bogbean flowers and take in their flowers’ intricate lacy form and elegant beauty, the more I love these plants!  I am so happy to have Bogbean (Menyanthes trifoliata) plants growing in my wildlife pond.

I was somewhat disappointed by my Bogbean plant’s flowering last year; although my plants haven’t blown me away by producing an abundance of blooms this year, I am happy to see an improvement on the number of flowers that were generated last year.

Since they were planted up in spring 2019, my aquatic plants have only received a single dose of fertiliser (specially formulated aquatic plant fertiliser tablets) which were administered in February this year.  Admittedly, this lack of fertiliser has probably had a negative impact on these Menyanthes trifoliata and my other aquatic plants’ flowering capabilities.

 

Water snails and pond skaters

A water snail pictured resting on a Caltha palustris flower, as seen in my wildlife pond on the 9th May 2021.

I’ve not bought or added any water snails to my wildlife pond, the snails just arrived at my pond in the days after this pond was filled up.  I’ve always found that wildlife are surprisingly quick at finding new ponds.  Dragonflies and damselflies make journeys flying above our gardens and countryside scouting for ponds and places to find a mate and lay their eggs.

I spotted this Pond Skater (Gerris lacustris) in my wildlife pond, on the 12th May 2021.

Growing Rhubarb around my pond

I’m growing a number of different varieties of rhubarb in the narrow border around my wildlife pond. Pictured on the 12th May 2021.

I absolutely adore growing fruit and vegetables.  Although I feel so very grateful to have a garden, I must admit that I positively ache for a larger area to grow edible plants and wildflowers.  I squeeze in edible plants wherever I can; I’m growing a number of rhubarb plants around my pond.  Rhubarb look fantastic when grown as waterside plants.

For the avoidance of any doubt, I must stress that my rhubarb plants are not growing in either my pond or in a bog garden; these plants are growing in the narrow border around my pond.  I garden on sandy soil and this narrow border around my pond is exactly the same – my rhubarb are all growing on free-draining sandy soil.

Magical Marsh Marigolds!

All the plants in my garden have endured numerous batterings delivered by over sized hailstones and frequent rain. However, my Caltha palustris flowers are still going strong, as pictured in my wildlife pond on the 13th May 2021.

Of all the aquatic plants that I’m growing in my wildlife pond, it’s my Marsh Marigolds that are the most resilient and require the least attention. Caltha palustris are strong and reliable plants that will flower beautifully even without regular feeding.  If you’re looking for aquatic plants for your pond, these plants won’t let you down, I promise.

My wildlife pond, as pictured on the 13th May 2021. My clematis on the fence are now beginning to extend their growth and the plants I’m growing around my pond as also coming into leaf and flower.

I am by far the clumsiest person I know, I’ve fallen into every pond I’ve ever visited – with the exception of this pond (and this pond’s predecessor).  There’s a simple reason as to why I’ve not fallen into my pond – I cannot manage to get up the step to the pond myself – so I can only admire my pond from the path.

Not being able to get nearer the pond is frustrating, as I can’t tweak or perfect things in this area by myself.  I am reliant on my husband to do things like lifting the plants out of the pond, adding fertiliser tablets, etc.. Thankfully, these tasks don’t need to be attended to very often – we haven’t moved any of the aquatic plants since we planted the pond and we’ve only added aquatic plant fertiliser tablets once since 2019.

Pond algae or blanket weed

Sadly, there’s still a considerable amount of algae in my wildlife pond. Menyanthes trifoliata is pictured on the 12th May 2021.

I’ve continued adding weekly treatments of Ecopond Eco-friendly Barley-Bio Algae Control, as this product is reputed to control algae.  I’ve not seen any improvements in the quantity of algae in my wildlife pond, but as I have already purchased this product and it’s safe for wildlife, I’ve continued using it.

A look down into our wildlife pond, as seen on the 12th May 2021. There’s a considerable amount of algae in my pond, but there’s plenty of wildlife too.

Since my last update, I’ve not so much as dipped my net into the water, twirled a stick, or used any other techniques to attempt to lift any algae out of the pond.  I haven’t wanted to do anything that would risk upsetting or disturbing the newts and other pond life in our pond.  I’ve just enjoyed spending time watching darting damselflies around my wildlife pond.

A look into my wildlife pond on the 18th May 2021.
There is still a considerable amount of algae in our wildlife pond. We haven’t dared to scoop any algae out for some time – for fear of harming any newts or pond life. Pictured on the 23rd May 2021.
Here’s a look into my pond on the 27th May 2021. As you can see, there is a considerable amount of algae in my pond – this has been an ongoing problem.

Growing scented roses

Rosa ‘Strawberry Hill’ pictured on the 13th May 2021 with rather stunted looking buds – an effect of the drought we’ve experienced in March and April 2021.

I am growing Rosa ‘Strawberry Hill’ at the side of my wildlife pond.  On warm summer days, the scent from this climbing rose’s flowers fills the area around it with a sweet and at times slightly soap-like perfume.

Rosa ‘Strawberry Hill’ pictured in bud on the 18th May 2021.
Rosa ‘Strawberry Hill’ in flower in amongst the Stachys sylvatica, as pictured on the 27th May 2021.

Ferns

It’s lovely to see this Asplenium scolopendrium fern’s fronds unravelling under the rhubarb, next to my wildlife pond. Pictured on the 12th May 2021.
Narcissus poeticus var. recurvus, Rhubarb ‘Livingstone’, and Pentaglottis sempervirens growing in the narrow border around my wildlife pond. Pictured on the 22nd May 2021.

Bees and hoverflies

I spotted this teeny, tiny bee resting on a Stachys sylvastica leaf alongside my wildlife pond, on the 22nd May 2021.
I spotted this tiny bee resting on one of the Stachys sylvatica plants that I’m growing alongside my wildlife pond, on the 22nd May 2021.
I spotted this bee having a rest by my wildlife pond, on the 22nd May 2021.
I saw this hoverfly (Eristalis pertinax) resting on the Inula hookeri leaves from one of the plants that I’m growing around my wildlife pond. Pictured on the 22nd May 2021.

Find more information on Inula hookeri, here.

A hoverfly resting on a Leucanthemum vulgare leaf, as pictured on the 27th May 2021.
A mating pair of Helophilus pendulus, as pictured on the 27th May 2021.
Narcissus poeticus var. recurvus, Pentaglottis sempervirens, Rhubarb ‘Livingstone’ and Inula hookeri growing in the narrow border around my wildlife pond.
Another view of my wildlife pond, as seen on the 23rd May 2021. Leucanthemum vulgare, Stachys sylvatica, and Narcissus poeticus var. recurvus mingle in the narrow border around my pond.
After the recent rains, the plants in the narrow border around my pond are coming into growth after a delayed start. The plants were slow to start growing due to the cold weather and drought we experienced earlier this spring. Pictured on the 27th May 2021.
I love growing edible plants. At the front, right-hand-side of this picture is one of the many Rhubarbs I’m growing around my pond. Pictured on the 27th May 2021.
Here’s a look at my wildlife pond on the 27th May 2021. This area of my garden has become a lot leafier over the past couple of weeks.

Border flowers

I’m growing lots of plants with gorgeous green leaves in and around my wildlife pond. My roses are just coming into bloom. Here’s a view of my pond, as pictured on the 31st May 2021.

I’ve packed a range of different plants into the narrow borders around my wildlife pond.

Hesperis matronalis var. albiflora mingles with Pentaglottis sempervirens in the narrow border around my pond; as pictured on the 27th May 2021.
I don’t like butter, but I love buttercups! These buttercups are growing in the narrow border around my wildlife pond. Pictured on the 29th May 2021.
The plants in the border around my wildlife pond are now springing into growth, fuelled by the rain we received earlier in May and the recent warm temperatures. Pictured on the 31st May 2021.

This pretty buttercup is Ranunculus acris ‘Citrinus’.  I am growing this plant both in the water in my pond – as an aquatic plant, and in my garden soil – as a border plant.  Ranunculus acris ‘Citrinus’ is thriving, both in the pond and in my pond border.

Ranunculus acris ‘Citrinus’ produces a charming bright glow when it’s in flower. Pictured on the 31st May 2021.
Rosa ‘Wild Edric’ in flower near my wildlife pond. Pictured on the 31st May 2021.

I’m growing Rosa ‘Wild Edric’ in the border just behind my wildlife pond.  This is gorgeous rose that produces large, double petaled, yet open centred flowers which are accessible to bees, hoverflies, and other pollinating insects.

I adore the fragrance of ‘Wild Edric’ roses.  I have relished and savoured every rose this plant has produced over the past couple of weeks.

Geum urbanum, pictured in flower alongside my wildlife pond, on the 29th May 2021.

Geum urbanum have self-seeded themselves around my pond.  These Geums have woven themselves in and amongst my other plants and because of this I’ve found they’re really difficult to remove.  I’ve not noticed these Geums’ flowers being particularly attractive to bees or butterflies, so I would be happy to remove these plants from this area and switch them out for something that would be more beneficial to wildlife.

Foxgloves (Digitalis) are one of my favourite flowers so I always grow them in my garden. This foxglove has self-seeded itself in the centre of my Inula hookeri.

Other self-seeded plants are more welcome, (even if they are in the wrong place!) like this foxglove, which has sprung up from the centre of my Inula hookeri plant!

The Leucanthemum vulgare flowers I’m growing around my wildlife pond are just opening their first flowers this week. Pictured on the 10th June 2021.

I am excited to see the first Ox-eye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare) flowers of the year opening this week.

I am hoping that my climbers will put on my growth which will help to disguise my fence this summer, as pictured on the 31st May 2021.

More Bees!

I didn’t plant this Pentaglottis sempervirens plant, it just popped up in my garden. Pictured on the 28th May 2021.

It has been lovely to watch the bees feasting upon this Pentaglottis sempervirens plant’s flowers.

I am not a fan of Pentaglottis sempervirens but I’ve left this plant to flower in my garden for the benefit of the bees. Pictured on the 28th May 2021.
Pentaglottis sempervirens is commonly known as Green Alkanet. Pictured on the 28th May 2021.
This bee took the opportunity to feast from a Pentaglottis sempervirens flower growing in the narrow border around my wildlife pond. Pictured on the 28th May 2021.
I spotted this Red-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius) tending to the Cupressus sempervirens tree that’s growing alongside my wildlife pond, on the 2nd June 2021.
I spotted this Red-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius) tending to the Cupressus sempervirens tree that’s growing alongside my wildlife pond, on the 2nd June 2021.
I spotted this Red-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius) tending to the Cupressus sempervirens tree that’s growing alongside my wildlife pond, on the 2nd June 2021.
Green Alkanet (Pentaglottis sempervirens) is a great plant for bees. This plant sprang up by my wildlife pond and I’ve left it for the bees. Pictured on the 5th June 2021.
Hesperis matronalis var. albiflora is a superb plant to grow for bees, butterflies, and pollinating insects. Pictured on the 5th June 2021.
I managed to take a close up picture of this bee before he flew away.
I spotted this bumble bee on the Hesperis matronalis var. albiflora flowers that I’m growing in the border around my pond, on the 6th June 2021.
I especially enjoyed watching this lovely bee feasting upon the Hesperis matronalis var. albiflora flowers that I’m growing by my pond, on the 7th June 2021.
Hesperis matronalis var. albiflora is an excellent plant to grow for bees. Pictured on the 6th June 2021.
This bee was enjoying the Pentaglottis sempervirens flowers growing by my wildlife pond. Pictured on the 10th June 2021.

Spotting a Small White Butterfly

I spotted this Small White Butterfly feasting on Hesperis matronalis var. albiflora flowers on the 5th June 2021.

Since my last update, I’ve only spotted one butterfly around my wildlife pond – this Small White Butterfly.  I adore butterflies; I grow a wide range of plants especially for butterflies, so it’s disappointing not to see more of these insects.

This is a Small White Butterfly feasting on Hesperis matronalis var. albiflora flowers, as pictured on the 5th June 2021.

If you want to encourage and support insects, like bees and butterflies, then it’s vital to avoid using any pesticides and insecticides.

Do you spray your roses to control aphids?  Spraying roses (and other plants) can kill bees and butterflies.  Aphids are a valuable food source for Blue Tits, ladybirds, and other interesting and exciting wildlife.  If you leave your aphids alone they will attract ladybirds, birds, hoverflies, and other wildlife to your garden; having aphids in your garden makes your garden immensely more interesting!

I spotted this Small White Butterfly feasting on Hesperis matronalis var. albiflora flowers on the 5th June 2021.

Aquatic plants for wildlife ponds!

I am thrilled with my aquatic plants!  I’m delighted with my Caltha palustris plants growth and development, and I’m looking forward to seeing more aquatic plants coming into bloom over the summer months.

Ranunculus acris ‘Citrinus’ in full flower in my wildlife pond. Pictured on the 31st May 2021.

Birds enjoying the pond!

I caught a fleeting glimpse of this Thrush bathing in my wildlife pond. Pictured on the 3rd June 2021.

I managed to take this terrible picture of a bird that is either a Thrush or a Sparrow.  I watched this sweet bird take a quick dip in the pond and then enjoy a brief peck around the logs for just a moment before it decided to move on to somewhere else and flew up onto the fence and away.

Sensing my presence, it wasn’t long before the Thrush was up, over the fence and away.

On the 5th June 2021, my husband and I nipped down to our pond in the morning to look for emerging damselflies or dragonflies.  We were just arriving at the side of the water when four Sparrows swooped in and quietly landed on the fence; this was a real heart-warming moment, as we don’t see Sparrows very often, they’re something of a rarity in our garden.  As the Sparrows dropped in, we were stood in a fairly prominent position in full view of the Sparrows, directly opposite the birds, and as close as we could be to the fence (just at the side of the pond).  One of the Sparrows surprised us by boldly but gently floating in towards us and hovering in mid air just above our rhubarb and aquatic plants before picking out a damselfly from the foliage and then flying away with its family in tow.

I spotted this very smart Sparrow on the fence by my wildlife pond, the 5th June 2021.

I recently wrote about the Blue Tits that were nesting just opposite opposite my wildlife pond.  I am very concerned for these birds, as I haven’t seen any Blue Tits in my garden for almost two weeks, which feels like an eternity.  I hope that Ken and Brenda are OK.

Beetles

I spotted this particularly smart beetle taking a jaunt over this Inula hookeri plant that’s growing in the narrow border around my wildlife pond, on the 28th May 2021.

I’m always impressed by beetles.  I was so happy to see this dark, dashing fellow as he made his way across the border around my wildlife pond.

I spotted this tiny little 14-Spot Ladybird searching for aphids on one of my Leucanthemum vulgare plants, on the 31st May 2021.

I adore Leucanthemum vulgare!  Find more information on these fabulous daisies, here.

I spotted this 14-Spot Ladybird on one of the ‘Strawberry Hill’ roses I’m growing in the narrow border around my wildlife pond. Pictured on the 5th June 2021.

If you’re interested in this rose, you’ll find more information about Rosa ‘Strawberry Hill’, here.

I spotted these Woundwort Shield Bugs (also known by the scientific name) Eysarcoris venustissimus walking along the leaves of my ‘Strawberry Hill’ rose that’s growing near my wildlife pond. These beetles were walking along whilst mating, which I thought was impressive!
I spotted these eggs on one of the many Stachys sylvatica flowering stems that are emerging in the narrow border around my wildlife pond.

To head straight to the next update for my wildlife pond and see the pond in midsummer, please click here.

Other articles that may interest you……..

To see all of the updates I’ve written about my wildlife pond, please click here.

For more articles about wildlife gardening, please click here.

For ideas of plants for pollinators, please click here.

For tips on growing tomato plants, please click here.

Other articles you might like:

One thought on “An Update from my Wildlife Pond in Early Summer

  1. Barb

    June 19, 2021 at 3:29pm

    Hello! Thanks for the update on your pond. We dug our small wildlife pond this spring and I had never had a pond before, so your comments and experience have been encouraging and reassuring. Excitingly we already have a regular visit from a large frog, and have seen damselflies, birds bathing, and loads of other life around the pond, just a few weeks in. It seems like a miracle – we have an urban garden next to a road! I look forward to when our planting is as lush as yours!
    Best wishes
    Barb

    • Author

      Pumpkin Beth

      June 19, 2021 at 3:48pm

      Hello Barb,

      Thanks for your message; it’s so lovely to hear about your new pond! How wonderful that you have a frog; I love frogs! I have a small garden in town, with two busy roads either side of me. The pond is our sanctuary – I love it. I am so happy that you’ve made a pond, I hope you have a wonderful summer ahead. If you have any questions, ask away – I am always happy to help.

      Best wishes
      Beth

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