24 March 2017

Dorset Garden Diary - A Pond full of Tiny Tadpoles and the Blue Tits are Nesting

Hi everyone,

An early blog this week as we have a full weekend coming up. It's been a busy week though:

Monday - and still the wind continues. I don't know what the fish were up to this morning but as I walked to the pond I could see lots of them near the surface then, as I got nearer, they all dived for cover as if they were guilty of doing something they shouldn't be lol! I put out the plants again to harden off, I think they might have had a rough time of it today in the wind. The radishes needed planting up

and I have put them in the greenhouse as it's going to be cold tonight.

Tuesday - cold and windy but sunny...a lovely day for gardening. I seem to have a plethora of pepper seedlings but not to worry. I've not had much luck with them so far - I can grow the plants but the peppers don't develop properly so now I've got lots to practice with. I made a start on the plants that arrived last week. With the order, I received eight free ornamental lily bulbs which I dotted around the garden then, when I was checking on something, I read that they should be planted on their sides so that they don't fill with water and rot. So I then had to try and remember where I'd planted them then re-plant them on their sides.  I found seven, so not bad. I also received twelve free trailing fuchsias some of which I've planted in pots. I planted the eucalyptus in a large pot for the patio to keep the mozzies away when we're sat out on a summer's evening with a glass of something, and also in pots a fireball lily, silverbush and the purple geranium because I'm not sure where it's going yet. I planted the anchusa azurea in the cottage garden (a gorgeous royal blue perennial), in the top bed the callicarpa profusion which has purple fruits in the winter that the birds love. I then gave the fruit bushes a high nitrogen feed. The peas and courgettes have started growing

but still not the cucumbers. I may have to buy more seeds.

Wednesday - raining but mild this morning then it turned into a glorious day, the temperature reached 68F 20C in the greenhouse this afternoon. I fed the fish first thing but they didn't appear. The surface of the water was rippling and when I peered in I saw thousands of tiny tadpoles. By lunchtime the fish still hadn't appeared so I got the small fishing net to scoop out the food and the net was full of tadpoles so I had to put it back in and scoop out the food a bit at a time. The pond is full of them. If the fish don't appear tomorrow then they are obviously on their sabbatical at the bottom of the pond and no doubt there will be lots of fishlings in the near future.

There were four birds in the garden that I can't identify. They were tiny and had splashes of yellow, black and brown and they flitted about the garden for a while. I haven't seen them before. It was difficult to see them properly as they were so fast but they were either great tits or goldfinches. One of the nesting blue tits appeared later in the morning with a beak full of nesting material. I spent most of the afternoon pottering. I decided I might as well plant out the perennials as they are quite robust so I planted the gentian, the viburnum kilimajaro, the calendulas and lupins I've grown from seed that have hardened off then I potted up the mimosa and orange bougainvillea into pots and put them in the greenhouse until the threat of frost has gone. After that I potted on the tomato plants into individual pots. The forsythia I planted in the autumn is in flower
and the fritilaria (snakes head) flowers are close to opening

Thursday - it rained all morning, cleared up in the afternoon then became very windy. Still no sign of the fish. After all the activity yesterday the pond is still today. The courgettes, peas and kale have shot up.

Friday - thankfully the wind has dropped. I potted on the courgettes and peas (they all have good strong roots on them)

and the kale and then planted out the first of the potatoes (Duke of York) in one of the veg beds rather than in the potato grow bags, as they will break down the clay.

Well that's it for this week. The weather's looking good for the next few days and hopefully into next week. Have a good weekend and catch up next week.



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