A Stuck Foot On The Other Side of The Pond

DSCN3647
“Let the past drift away in the water.”  ~Japanese saying

 

 

As spring started, I wrote about all the projects we would be working on this spring.  And fixing the pond edges was one such project.  Grass and weeds have grown in, choked out the edges and grown into the pond.  And one section had eroded leaving a steep slope that prevented birds from wading in and bathing.  So I thought I would do a bit of a modified Stuck Foot post showing the other side of the pond, and the edge clean up.

I featured the pond last year, in a Stuck Foot post.  But then, I was on the far side away from the patio and waterfall.  This time, I am a few steps from the waterfall, and just off the patio, as I look out across the pond.

So what’s a Stuck Foot post?  Generally, it means I plant my foot, and take in the views from that vantage point. This process originally came to me from Lucy@Loose and Leafy with her idea of a Stuck Foot meme.  For this post, I will feature things I am seeing from my vantage point on this side of the pond as I work on the pond project on the other side of the pond.

 

So let’s look at the Other Side of The Pond…..

 

 

pond collage

It was a cool day looking out across the pond.  The trees were just leafing out, and the sun was glaring off the pond and waterfall (inset).  You can see the water-lily foliage just breaking the surface.  I love how it begins as red lily pads, and then turn green and purple, as they get bigger.

 

 

 

frog collage

And when I look across the pond, I see a couple of frogs daily sunning themselves.  At least 2 look like Northern Leopard frogs.  One might be a Green frog.

 

 

 

DSCN3467

And when I look down on this side of the pond, I see a special critter’s leg surrounded by these black beads.  If you don’t recognize the leg or beads, this is a American Toad who has laid her eggs in our pond this year.  I am observing the toad eggs as they develop, and will have a Wildlife Lessons post this summer on my other blog, Living From Happiness.  You can also read my Ode To A Toad poem too.

 

 

 

DSCN3543

So this is the section,  I identified needed work.  Under all the grass and weeds is a base of pebbles or pea gravel.  See how far out the grass is extending out from the shore.  I thought, it won’t be hard to pull up the grass and weeds from the mud.  What I didn’t realize was the roots were wrapped around the stones using them as an anchor.  It was like a woven mat of roots, I had to yank up or cut through, and then work the pebbles free.  A lot more work than I thought it would be…yikes!

 

 

 

pond weeded collage

And this is what the shoreline looked like after I cleared it.  Our next step was to add more pea gravel to the shore line and then out into the pond 2 feet.  

 

 

 

DSCN3722

Here is the finished product.  A new beach area, as I call it!

 

 

 

DSCN3723

Here’s a closer view.  We tried to create a gentle slope down to the water, and a shallow area where birds can wade in to bathe.  As we watch the birds use this area, we will adjust it as needed.

 

 

 

DSCN3725

As soon as we finished, we had our first visitor, although not a winged visitor.  This tadpole was hanging around in the shallow area warming himself.  I’d say the finished project was a success already.

 

 

 

DSCN3810

I also cleared out other areas leaving a few a bit more wild.  This is the area of where the cattails grow, next to the waterfall.  There was also a pond weed here, that had taken hold, so we pulled it, and cleared out some of the cattails.  I hope to fill in the shallow area, with large pebbles, to keep the weeds and mosquitoes down.  

The area in the foreground is a pond iris.  It too needed to be weeded.  Now the frogs bask here.  We need to replace more pebbles along the edge and then the pond will be finished for this year.

 

 

UPDATE:

 

robin bath

If you build it they will come…..and how true.  About a week after we fixed the pond edge to make it flatter for birds to bathe, a male robin took the plunge.  And more have followed suit.  I hope to see the Baltimore Orioles taking the plunge too.  And soon the Cedar Waxwings will be here…..they love to bathe.  So the pond may be quite busy!  We might even need to take reservations if we get too filled up, and there are long lines!

 

 

What garden projects are you working on in May?

 

 ______________________________________________________________________________

 

In A Vase On Monday 

 

 

DSCN3783

I saw that many daffs were still blooming as the weather has cooed again.  There were an abundance in the White Garden.

 

 

 

DSCN3790

I love this vase, and really like white flowers in it.  So I picked 2 different white daffodils, and filled the vase.

 

 

 

white vase

I thought they looked wonderful next to the birdhouse on the mantel.

 

I am joining in with a few memes this week as I prepare this vase:  Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her wonderful meme, In a Vase on Monday, Today’s Flowers hosted by Denise@An English Girl Rambles 2016 and Judith@Lavender Cottage who hosts Mosaic Monday. 

 

 

______________________________________________________________________________

Next up on the blog:  
Monday, I hope to have an update on the veg garden.  It has been quite cool so not much has been growing very quickly.  Of course on the other hand I may do a wildflower profile!

I am linking in with Michelle for her Nature Notes meme at her blog, Rambling Woods.  It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Monday. 

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2016.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only. 

75 comments

  1. Susan says:

    I just love ponds–they add so much to a landscape and it’s always neat to see what critters come to use it.

  2. Christina says:

    Great job! But isn’t it always the way, the jobs you think will be relatively easy turn into very hard work indeed. The new ‘beach’ is perfect, I’m sure all the wildlife in your garden must be as pleased as you.

  3. Rose says:

    I have weedy grasses that encroach on parts of the garden, and I know they are not easy to pull or dig out, even without rocks. Good job on getting this accomplished. I’ll have to click over to read your “Ode on a Toad”–we always have lots of toads here, and they provide entertainment for the grandkids and the dogs:)

  4. Judith@Lavender Cottage says:

    I really like the beach area created for the pond and ease for the critters Donna. Ours is sadly lacking a feature like this but escape is possible through the waterfall. The frogs will eat many of the toad tadpoles unfortunately, they even eat their own little babies.
    Our pond is losing water this year, a nightmare of having to empty it and likely replace the liner – it’s @ 10 x 20 feet.

    • Donna says:

      Oh no Judith…I hope you find the leak quickly and it is an easy repair….I hope a few toad tadpoles make it.

  5. Annette says:

    Hi Donna, we’ve just made a second pond as I just love watching the wildlife they attract. Could sit and watch for hours! Your new beach area is looking good. Your wildlife pics are great, thanks for sharing them. And your bouquet so beautiful and elegant. Have a great and hopefully sunny week 🙂

    • Donna says:

      That is why I didn’t want to change it too much. Just a bit of upkeep and it is good to go! So glad you enjoyed the post!

  6. Hannah says:

    I am in process of cutting the rhizomatous grasses out of my vegetable garden border, they get under my deer fences. It is horrendous work with a knife, so I sympathize with your grass removal trials. I am nearly finished with one bed and more to do on the other. I will be done in time to plant pole beans soon, a little each day. I admire your pond, I tried to have one in San Diego many years ago but it was too small and the raccoons managed to eat all my fish but one flashy little male guppy. There are raccoons here too and I am not up to the work but would love to see the frogs, toads, and birds enjoying it. Congratulations on getting it cleared up. Your daffodils are so lovely in the green vase, I like the pure white ones. What an ornate lovely birdhouse, Donna!

    • Donna says:

      We have loads of edging to do but oh it is tough to get through the grass. Too bad about the raccoons. Luckily we do not have raccoons. Enjoy planting those beans Hannah!

  7. Kris P says:

    It’s such a surprise to see daffodils in your vases, Donna. Mine are but a distant memory.

    As to your pond, what a lot of work! But it does look great and the birds and other critters clearly appreciate the effort you took. I need to take my fountain apart and scrub it out but I keep putting it off. Luckily, the birds don’t seem to mind the algae.

    • Donna says:

      It was a surprise for me too Kris…daffs are lingering and I will have more in vases as the garden is slow to bloom.

  8. eliza waters says:

    That pond updating looked like heavy work, but you’re rewarded by the birds making use of it.
    Love the simplicity of white narcissi together and that birdhouse, too!

    • Donna says:

      I think some of the weeding and daff dividing will be harder work than the pond, but boy my hands were cramped for a few days.

  9. Eileen says:

    Hello, I love to see the toad eggs and tadpoles in the pond. Very cool images. Cute images of the Robin! Your vase arrangement is lovely.
    Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Aaron….we do have to watch the shallows that have vegetation as that still water can breed skeeters. But we use dunks in early spring. The main part of the pond moves with the waterfall to discourage skeeters…and yes the critters take care of most once summer rolls around into fall.

  10. Diana Studer says:

    Does your pond have a liner?

    Last time I battled to keep the plants from climbing in over the edge.
    This time we have a concrete paver edge, and then the plants.
    We made a sloping beach for the birds … but I have yet to see them in the water.

    • Donna says:

      Yes there is a liner that is covered on shore by the pea gravel, but the plants just grow right around it and then over and through the gravel. I like the idea of a concrete edge and then plants….give those birds some time. We had one and then others watched and followed.

  11. Beth @ PlantPostings says:

    The vase arrangement is so pretty! I love the clean theme of the blue and white European look. And how wonderful to have so much wildlife enjoying your pond. That is really fun!

  12. debsgarden says:

    Weedy grass is always difficult. Hooray to you for a successful clean-up! I was fascinated by the photo of the toad leg and eggs. I think how lovely a pond would be, but I am sure if I had a pond, what would most please me would be the wildlife!

  13. Chloris says:

    Oh well done! How satisfying to get this job done, it looks so good with your little beach and how wonderful for the birds. You have such exotic wildlife with unusual toads and frogs and gorgeous birds.
    I love your vase with the white daffs.

  14. Donna says:

    Thanks for reminding me that my common critters are exotic to others who don’t see them often as I do….I will have more pictures of these critters in the months to come as they arrive daily to their summer garden home.

  15. Kathy Sturr of the Violet Fern says:

    Oh my gosh as soon as you said “grass” – I knew the project would be more work than anticipated. There is nothing worse than weeding grass! But you prevailed and I love that it is now a bird and wog spa! So great to have a pond. I think I am actually going to forego making a pond in the now Violet Fern garden since I have two small natural ponds on our lake property – with frogs! I think I will opt for some sort of fountain. A little less work as you have reminded me! Beautiful vase arrangement next to that wonderful bird house!

    • Donna says:

      I am digging out grass from garden beds too Kathy…whew! How wonderful to have natural ponds….so a fountain sounds perfect for your Violet Fern Garden! The critters will love it.

  16. Cathy says:

    I really enjoyed reading about your pond and the work you were doing on it – and whi the residents were! I am enjoying my own white daffodils for the first time this year so it was really nice to see yours in a vase – thanks for sharing

  17. rickii says:

    The beastly grass wants to encroach on every bed and border. It’s a constant battle. Your efforts have created a fascinating community to provide hours of entertainment, so…time well spent.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Ricki we are enjoying the pond as much as the critters…I am almost daily digging out the encroaching grass from beds….makes for sore knees and hands.

  18. Cathy Thompson says:

    The new beach area is perfect. Wish I were a bird (or a frog) so I could enjoy it properly. Lovely coolly pretty vase – nice to see such perfect narcissus after ours all all gone.

    • Donna says:

      I do look so forward to who else will show up soon…we should see dragonflies once it warms more…they are wonderful to watch!

  19. Beth says:

    Your pond is so marvelously clear, Donna. I’m glad you took the time to share the closeups and the before and after with us. Best, -Beth

    • Donna says:

      It will stay clear in spring but by summer we have to keep up the protocol for clearing the algae. Glad you enjoyed the post Beth!

  20. Cathy says:

    I do hope you manage to get photos of other birds bathing there Donna! I am always too slow in getting the camera when the blackbirds have a bath here. Love the pale lemony narcissus next to the birdhouse. 🙂

  21. Laura Bloomsbury says:

    a job well done Donna – your pond is a magnetic watering hole for critters – the mistake people often make with wildlife ponds is they are too deep – as proved, tadpoles like to be in the warmer shallows – not to mention the bathers

    • Donna says:

      Many folks create ponds for fish so they dig them deep….then the other critters are not able to use it….no fish were ever planned for our critter pond and I am glad for that decision.

  22. Nadezda says:

    I love my pond in the garden and I can understand the heavy work you did in yours. I see you have water lilies in your pond. Do they winter in depth or you take them away for winter time, Donna? Lovely vase with daffodils, this spring I have a little of them, have no idea why 🙁

    • Donna says:

      The waterlilies overwinter in the somewhat shallow depths between 1-3 feet deep. And the pond freezes over. My daffs are still going strong due to our chilly spring which has continued through May.

  23. DeniseinVA says:

    Fun post Donna, full of nature and wonderful things. I loved seeing the toad with its pretty necklace of eggs. Your pond is so natural looking and your vase of flowers and the birdhouse truly elegant. Thank you very much for linking with Today’s Flowers. Happy weekend to you 🙂

    • Donna says:

      The toad was an amazing sight this year in our pond….now added to that the bathing birds….have a great weekend Denise!

  24. Helene says:

    Oh, I am soooo jealous of your pond – and especially the waterlilies! When I moved in here a year ago I had big plans of opening up again what seemed to be a raised brick pond, but I have slowly realised why it might have been filled in. There is no sun there! Only a sliver of sun on one side, the rest is in shade all year round. That’s not good for waterlilies from what I have read….so I will have to admire your pond and others online instead I guess!

    • Donna says:

      Oh that is too bad Helene about the shady pond….yes the water lilies need some sun. It is a joy, and I am glad it can bring some joy to you too. I always look forward to the first water lily opening up. Once we warm up again I expect it to be soon…..it is still quite cool at night in the 30s.

  25. Island Threads says:

    Donna the grass you describe sounds a bit like the tough horrid grass that covered much of my garden, really dense matting roots that smother everything and don’t let anything grow up through, it looks lovely when you finished I’m sure the wild life will thank you with the pleasure of their company, Frances

  26. Clarissa says:

    These are such beautiful photos, Donna. I love the way ponds can be almost any size – even a couple of square feet is enough room for a frog (or toad) to find a home, or for a bird or other animal to visit for a drink – and a place for autumn leaves to settle!

Comments are closed.