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Clearing the Pond

Tuesday, 20th November 2001, West Yorkshire

raking the pondI RAKE OUT the floating plant that has taken over the pond. Its circular, lobed leaves now extend across the entire water surface. As I pull out the roots, which are like a mat of vermicelli, I notice newts wriggling amongst them. Two or three Frogs get dumped unceremoniously on the bankfrog along with the tangle of water plants.

This particular plant, which I believe is a garden variety and not native to Britain, has been a bit of a disaster for the pond. It appears to have shaded out all the oxygenating plants. I don't find the water planta single piece of pondweed as I rake. I leave the debris piled up around the pond to give any aquatic creatures trapped amongst it the chance to make their way back into the water and I'm careful not to puncture the plastic liner with the rake.

At least the frogs and newts are surviving, despite things getting out of balance in the pond.


shallots We were in such a rush with various projects this summer that I didn't get around to harvesting the Shallots, which disappeared, out of sight and out of mind, amongst the weeds. I'm clearing the beds now and digging over the soil to allow the frost and air to get to over the winter. I'm surprised that the shallots are still fine for harvesting and that a few decent onions have survived amongst the nettles, thistles, spurge, buttercup, coltsfoot root and chickweed.

tomatoes There are plenty of Maris Piper potatoes in the adjacent bed. Considering how little time I put into gardening we get a decent amount of produce. I notice that a yellow tomato has ripened in the greenhouse and there are probably just enough green ones left for us to make a batch of chutney.

Well, for Barbara and her mum to make a batch of chutney, I should page

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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