As expected, emergent plants died back and the frogbit and water soldiers sank. The winter was very mild though and we only had a couple of frosts that were hard enough to freeze the surface and even then it was only a very thin skin that melted as soon as the sun got round.
As promised, the water hawthorn really does flower all year round and one of its little flowers can be seen here surrounded by ice
One of the first things to regrow and start flowering this spring were the marsh marigolds in the hanging pouches. These haven't been a huge success, I obviously haven't yet found the right plants for the situation. I am going to try some thrift (Armeria maritima) in the top-most ones next
I now have a little floating solar fountain too. I'm hoping that by creating some movement at the water surface it will help reduce the duck weed before it becomes a problem. Apparently duck weed prefers still water.
Over the autumn and winter a lot of leaves blew into the pond from the mature field maples behind my garden. I scooped out as much of this as I could by hand, checked through it for little critters and left heaps around the pond edge for a few days, so any I missed can get back to the pond. The pond snails are breeding, the red ones are still alive and I think they're breeding too. I now have several pond skaters, water boatmen and whirligig beetles darting about and the damselfly larvae have grown well over the winter. I'm really looking forward to the adults emerging.
Sadly no frogs found my pond this spring and no-one has any frog-spawn this year either so I couldn't get any that way. Will have to wait another year now for frogs.
There are so many blue damselflies emerging from the pond now, they don't even wait for the sun to come out. There are certainly Azures and Bluetails amongst them and the emergent plants are littered with exuveae.
Some large red damsels have been in, a male is clearly visible here but a tandem pair were also ovipositing nearby.
Also on a patio shrub beside the pond: and Alder fly and yesterday a super Caddisfly larva was spotted crawling around in the floating plants, sporting a super jacket made up of bits of vegetation. I was too excited to get a pic unfortunately, but both these species indicate that I have really good quality water in there
I was pleased to see one of my Marsh Peas growing again as I thought I had lost both of them. The Willow Moss is doing exceptionally well and will probably need thinning out a bit next year. My blue iris has a flower coming but I'm disappointed the yellow one hasn't flowered.
Over the last couple of days we have had a huge amount of rain and it has nicely filled my pond right up again. The level rose so fast that floating plants such as frogbit and moss are now submerged and need to make their way back to the surface.
My first blue iris flower has opened :-)
Over the summer we had plenty of damselflies and dragonflies. The dragonflies were harder to find as they always seemed to emerge in the small hours of the morning. There were plenty of exuviae littering the pod plants but very few adult dragons
|New dragonfly with its exuvia|
Last autumn I decided to let nature take its course regarding leaves, as natural pond would get a certain amount of leaves in. However, I was not banking on the entire contents of five mature trees and quite a lot of garden shrubs being dumped in my pond en masse. It was too much and wasn't going to do it much good. This year I decided to net it. The pond is an irregular shape with a stone patio on two sides so this was not going to be easy. Fortunately I happened to spot these pond net pyramids with extendible legs. Anchored down with pegs on the lawn side and plant pots on the patio side, it is perfect.
|Newly put up net pyramid|
|after a few weeks and some strong winds it's starting to earn its keep|