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I'm still here!


Hi to everyone, I hope you have all recovered from the heat. Also that all your gardens are surviving and coming back to life, let’s hope that we have a long Autumn so that they recover enough to survive when the frosts do come.
I have been reading your blogs but it is some time since I put one on myself.
I am so ashamed of the garden at the moment, it’s all in such a state, much of it work in progress – or should be, but the progress is not progressing!

The view from the kitchen window over the pond used to be very soothing,

but is now an eye-sore due to the area we live in. This is Fenland, the earth moves! (No sniggering allowed over that remark).
The pond has sunk at the back meaning the water level can’t be brought up at the front, though there is still plenty of depth for the fish at the back – for now.

We are having it re-done, completely re-hashed, dug out, re-lined and a waterfall put at the back. The firm is very busy, good in one way as you know he is in demand, annoying in another as it needs to be done.
Start date is given as 5th November so not too much longer to stare out at the netting etc.

The fish are still about and thriving, they will all have to be put into holding tanks while the pond is done.

All the netting, plant pots and string is to keep this person out!

However much you add netting he was adamant that he could get in, with the newly done pond the water is going to be too deep and there will be something to stop him landing on the sides – not sure what yet.

The heap on the side lawn near the pond is the remains of the Yew which was growing at the back of the pond. All this has to go to allow this to be repaired. Also the huge Poplar in the hedge is going – later this week when the Yew will be chipped as well.

The other eye-sore is the sort-of-pond. When we moved here there was a large boat shell left behind, this sort of thing happens in the countryside, things get left behind (gas canisters, tyres including a huge tractor tyre, wire and garbage) and the boat has been moved round several times to get it out of the way. Eventually it got dropped into the ground (friendly digger people who happened to be about), WAS levelled, left for about three months, then when I filled it – lo and behold, it wasn’t level.
It is NOT coming out again, so will have to be planted in such a way that it’s disguised! Few more rocks in the end for things to climb out and some trailing plants.

You’ve got to have some imagination there!

There is however still some colour in the garden amongst the weeds.

With Summer drawing out, the harvesting of the fields done and those ploughed, it’s that time when the country rats head for the comfort of gardens.
Difficult to poison rats as we have at least one hedgehog about. Last night the live trap was baited in the old greenhouse where I had seen the rat. This morning’s catch was of course the hedgehog!
Disgruntled when I let him out, but he soon disappeared, probably into the back of the semi-derelict shed.
Mice rustling near the back door whenever you go out in the evening. I insist OH doesn’t feed the Peacocks near the back door – but that’s a losing battle! Just a few crumbs down for the Robin, the odd bit for the Guinea Fowl and all these oddments are more than enough for an army of mice. At least I have (I think) convinced him to keep the back door shut so they don’t come in and help themselves. As for the loft – well you can’t keep them out of there, so it’s poison and traps up there I’m afraid, I do draw the line at wildlife somewhere!

Now, thank you for reading this far, you must excuse me I have to go out and move a million or so flowerpots, where they have been ‘stored’ (thrown) so that eventually the pond area will look tidy.

More blog posts by honeysucklegold

Previous post: A mystery to solve!

Next post: Pond heading in the right direction



Blimey HSG! What a tale. I empathise. When we moved in there was so much rubbish in our garden. We did manage to get rid of it all eventually, but so annoying. I would never , ever leave rubbish in a property I was selling. Bad manners in the extreme. Anyway, I also empathise re. pond levelling. Its so bloomin hard to get the thing level isn't it. Mine is also slightly off, but not too bad....its almost impossible I think to do it well if you are a one-woman band with a spade and a plank of wood with a spirit level. We do our best!

I see your visitor is not deterred in any way by the pretend Herons! I think one has been to my pond and taken all the wildlife that was in it as I haven't seen anything since the spring in there. But you never know....perhaps they are still lurking in the pond weed. I don't have any fish have a shoal in there! And so brightly coloured wonder he keeps coming back. Its a wonder you have any left!

Good luck with the re-ponding. I hope they get it fixed for you and that the earth doesn't move again! ;0)

9 Oct, 2018


I really enjoyed reading this Honey and the tour around the garden, I sympahise as regards the pond, ours tilted many years back, yes its built on clay, no-way is it ever coming out in my lifetime, I guess it would be different if I was paying someone to do it for me, unless I win big time on the lottery it just is not happening. I love hearing about all the creatures that reside in your garden with you, I could just picture the grumpy little hedgehog, made me smile to think of him scuttling away when you released him, its the way you have of describing everything, think I would have a fit if any mice or rats came too near or into my house though...Your hubby is never going to listen to you as regards feeding the peacocks is he, lol....

9 Oct, 2018


I love all the red goldfish. November 5th seems late for redoing the pond. It's also holiday season. I suggest you hold off until Spring after the threat of freezing weather. The masonry, bonding agents, paints, etc needs a couple weeks to set & cure properly. Rainy & cold weather would ruin it.

9 Oct, 2018


oh dear what a sorry tale re the pond. but you have a good collection of fish. are there many generations or did you buy them all at the same time? Herons like to walk into a pond to fish. we have a raised pond and although there has been a heron in the garden they have never fished. [herring gulls however.....]

Hopefully they will use a 'winter mortar mix' if forecast is poor. certainly housebuilders alter mortar mix in the winter. our daughter is buying a new build [ready in feb/march hopefully] and asked about building over the winter months. when we got our current house the builders certainly used a different mix depending on the job and weather they were doing.

You have some lovely plants to give you plenty of colour.

9 Oct, 2018


...or, he just wants a big pay day because Christmas is a couple weeks away, then charge again later for repairs when the ground sinks and causes the pond to crack because it was too cold for the materials to set properly.

9 Oct, 2018


Thanks Karen for your sympathy. We've been here 10 years and as the property is big with lots of backs of barns and things, we still haven't cleared out all the rubbish he left! It was 3 months before he took all the stuff he wanted to take as he didn't have anywhere to put it, so eventually we gave up on the rest.
I haven't seen the Heron lately, but to get into the pond would be a real feat now with all the netting and string over it. I am really looking forward to not seeing that!
The fish are some that were here (or their descendants), some from my late Father's, some from my daughter when she had to more and a couple of big ones from someone else who decided they were too big for their pond. There are loads of little fry there too so will have to make sure that they all survive when they empty it.

9 Oct, 2018


It lovely living on clay isn't it Lincslass? Nothing stays put, the ground cracks open when dry and is unworkable when wet - but the roses love it!
As for the un-level pond, it's a boat shell, made from fibreglass about 4 foot wide and over six foot long, so is not moving again. Sadly I found out after this was put in that the top of it is on the roof of one of the sheds! If I had known that I would have got them to bury it underneath. More junk left!
As for the mice and voles, I did catch two under the boot box outside the back door, they were voles, but I saw a (very pretty) field mouse amongst the Iris's at the end of the bungalow the other day. And..we have a frog which lives under the waterbutt and moves about amongst the flowers, so you are never quite sure whether it's him or a mouse.

9 Oct, 2018


Thanks Bathgate, I shall have a word with him when he gets in touch again about making sure it's going to be OK during November, but I'm not expecting bad weather that early, might get a ground frost but probably not anything else. As for the holiday season, not over here it won't be, so no worries there.
The pond is going to be lined with a butyl liner which is where all the expense is and it won't last until the Spring before being done, they only have a matter of inches of water at the front and if the back goes any further - that will be it!

9 Oct, 2018


I'm sure you're right Seaburn, the builders know what they are doing, they never stop building in the winter and houses are much more important than my pond to keep stable! The fish are several generations with lots of little fry coming on, they are also some really big ones in there, Koi, which are not in the picture, so the majority have kept out of the way of the Heron even when he could get in.
All the talk of 'they need a wingspan clear to get in and out', they won't land in open water', they won't go near a string line' - someone needs to tell this one all that as I have seen him fly up off the bridge between the string (2 foot apart), fly down and land in the space at the front and even sit on the weed floating at the back, looking just like a duck! Determined is not the word for this one!

9 Oct, 2018


at work we had a large ornamental pond and the decoy heron worked for about 2 weeks then stopped being effective. the groundsman then started moving the heron decoy around every 3 days. no more live heron problems. people climbing over to fish/steal fish was an ongoing problem however. Covert security cameras eventually got them arrested/convicted :o).

our raised pond wall is over 20 yrs old and has coped with -27c back in the winter 2010/11 so clearly our builder gave us the right mortar mix to use. Hubby and he built it as well as the double garage. the brick quality is also important. the lower courses are engineering bricks and tend to be 'harder'.
there is the odd brick that has 'blown' its face off over the years.

9 Oct, 2018


Where are the geese in all this? It would be great if they could learn to frighten off the heron wouldn't it? You seem to have a right character with that one - he clearly hasn't read the rules about how herons are supposed to behave. Goodness what a lot of ongoing work - makes me feel quite tired just reading it all... It will be great when your lovely view from the kitchen is restored to you.

9 Oct, 2018


I can see that a move round might work Seaburn, with the Heron that is, not with any toe-rags that decide to steal. We have nothing too exotic in the pond, not as if it has more than a few Koi, but there is always someone about who will steal, regardless of what it is.
The wall of this is block-work and seems good in most places but has a really bad crack at one side. However OH has decided he would like it rectangular and neat, I would like it odd shaped, but you have to know which battles to fight and which to give in to, so it will be tidied up!

11 Oct, 2018


The idea that Boris might frighten away a Heron is delightful Stera!! He, despite his size, waddles off if looked at by a chicken and does his interpretation of a run when one of the Peacocks wants his food. Not that he goes without. His girls are a bit more feisty and will bite (do Geese bite or is it called something else) the chickens or the Peacock if they get caught.
The tree man came yesterday so I will add a blog on that!

11 Oct, 2018


You know I have always envied you your bird acquisitions. Now I have to add fish to the list! What a colourful sight yours make in your pond. We seem to have lost all our smaller fish yet again and for a while thought even the larger Koi had been taken. It's really depressing!

Husband actually saw the heron the other day so my complaint that I hadn't seen the fish for a few days suddenly took on an ominous turn.

I wonder if a scarecrow would help? I do like scarecrows and it might prove a better deterrent than our model Heron. He is absolutely useless!

11 Oct, 2018


Nice to hear from you :)

That's a lot of work but it will be worth it :) I'm glad it's going to be done soon for you.

I hope you'll be able to keep the herron out of the pond. Your fish look pretty and it would be a shame to loose them.

We also have rats. I can hear them in the night - eery sound they make. They come from the fields and ditches all around.

12 Oct, 2018


Thanks Hywel, let's hope that the work all goes well and vastly improves the pond, for us and the fish!
Rats are one of the joys of the countryside, we have the pleasure of living away from the concrete and noise, but have to share it with some things we would rather be without. Still they get rats in towns and cities too, all that food and waste to live on, no scrounging for veg and oddments for a town rat - fast food outlets must be a boon for them in the winter.

12 Oct, 2018


We have 2 big problems with koi I haven't found a solution for...Hawks & Raccoons. Netting won't stop them, they are too clever & persistent.

12 Oct, 2018


Oh poor old Boris. Have you ever tried trainng peacocks to be guardbirds? Maybe you could start a trend...

12 Oct, 2018


Hello HoneySG....I have so enjoyed your blog.. Such a beautiful view from your kitchen window, you normally have.. And such a lot of work now to get the water, level once again in your pond, fingers crossed the workmen can get on and get things sorted before winter sets in, we all need an inspiring view during our winter months! I have a small preformed pond liner that I'm planning to install into my garden next spring, nothing on the scale of yours, but I'm sure it will attract more wildlife into the garden...mainly airborne ones, dragonflies, bats etc. Mine is walled round, so as yet only get half mice, usually the bottom half (!) as gifts from my large Tom cat..and of course the slippery sliding kind, that can't get out even if they wanted to, which they don't!
Well I wish you well with your pond renovations, hopefully the regal heron will find a more peaceful location and choose to remain there when alls done...
Looking forward to seeing how things progress..

12 Oct, 2018


Wow Bathgate! I wouldn't want either of those to contend with. My greatest dread is Otters, which though delightful to watch, are protected and also just about impossible to keep out of a pond. I know it's great that this Country thinks about re-introducing species to areas where they have disappeared, but Otters don't know they are not supposed to clear out ponds and private fisheries!
Talking about re-introduced species, did anyone watch the programmes on Nutria in the USA or wild pigs in Australia?
Frightening what can happen when species escape where they don't belong.

13 Oct, 2018


I'll give you "poor old Boris" Stera! He is the most spoilt bird we have, by OH that is. He gets spoken too first when OH comes home, gets his paddling pool bath placed in just the right spot, not too windy or cold, and the treats he gets makes you wonder how he can waddle anywhere! So getting chased away from a bit of corn probably does him good. He obviously doesn't know that most Geese live on grass only and with the field at the back he shouldn't need all the extras.

13 Oct, 2018


Thanks Janey, it will be nice to look out again without the netting and without worrying what might be sitting watching the fish.
I have a small, pre-formed top of a waterfall piece, which is dropped into one of the garden beds and works well for all sorts of things. It has a small log which U-bends into it for things to climb out and it has had damsel-flies and Blackbirds drinking from it and a frog which more-or-less lives in it. Always a shock that when you stick your hand in to clear fallen leaves from the bottom - something moves - and though you know it will be the frog, there's something primordial that cringes you back from it, something in us that goes back to pre-historic times I suppose and why we survived.
So regardless of the size, a bit of water will always sustain something. Where did that water-boatman come from in the bird bath and why would it want to live there?

13 Oct, 2018

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