Bloom Monday

Monday 15th January is thought to be the most depressing day of the year and you can understand why. It’s the middle of winter here in the UK, it’s cold, it’s dark, you don’t have much chance to get out to do any gardening because the weather is so rubbish and you probably have no money left either. Never fear! I’m taking part in Hugh’s mission to brighten this gloomy month with photos of my colourful blooms from summer. Find out more in Hugh’s blog post and make sure you take part on Twitter with the hashtag #SummerGarden.
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I built a wall.

A few weeks ago I hit the jackpot. I found a huge pile of sandstone up for grabs at the allotments as I collected from the communal wood chip pile to make my first path. I had already spoken to Stevie who arranges the deliveries and he said I could take as many as I liked! I didn’t know what I wanted them for at the time so I just loaded my barrow with as much as I could carry.  Five, ten, fifteen, then twenty or more I wheeled up a small mountain hill to my allotment.

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It isn’t frogspawn!

What I thought was frogspawn in my pond turns out to be newt spawn!  It was only when I played back my video and zoomed in, that I realised the tadpoles had tiny gills on the top of their heads and some had developed their front legs. This, in my opinion, is even more exciting than having frogspawn! They will be most welcome to stay on my plot and gobble up all the slugs and snails.


It makes sense when I think about it. Last year around June, I managed to capture footage of a newt’s mating ritual (see below, sorry for the shaky camera!). It’s something I learnt about in one of David Attenborough’s awesome documentaries. Check out how the male newt wiggles its tail at 0.17. So I knew that I had sexually productive newts in my area, but didn’t think they would be back to mate again and lay eggs in my pond! I think they are smooths newts, but I can’t be sure. What do you think?



Spring Equinox Suprise

It seems quite appropriate that on the first day of Spring I was rewarded with frogspawn in my Belfast sink pond for the first time ever! 🐸😁🎉

My up-cycled pond has a lot of visitors year roud but I’ve never had frogspawn, so this was a pretty special find! Plus, frogs are known to return to their place of birth to lay their own eggs which means I should have baby frogs each year, eek!

Pond Area Re-Design ~ Garden Therapy

Well it’s been a pretty depressing week of constant rain and news of the E.U referendum result. Without getting into the politics, on Friday 24th June I left work feeling angry, worried and emotionally charged, thinking of all the implications that the ‘leave’ result would mean. I had to do something about my mood, so I went to my quiet place to escape from it all and set upon tidying & re-designing the pond area that was engulfed by weeds up to 5ft high. Seriously, you try and find the pond in my ‘before’ photo – and that was taken before the evil hemlock shot up!
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It’s World Earth Day today which makes me stop and appreciate the things even more than usual. Especially at this time of year when everything is coming to life I’m reminded of how beautiful this place really is. The greens are suddenly so vibrant and the cherry blossom just punches through it. The narcissi have also been in flower for the past few weeks and the tulips are ready to bloom any day now. I remember planting these bulbs on one of the coldest and windiest November days, which makes their blooms that little bit more rewarding and so welcoming as I step into the plot.
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Pond Update | New Residents

It’s been very quiet in the wildlife pond over winter but I had a surprise waiting for me on Good Friday, followed by an even more rewarding surprise last night! It’s only a small pond, one that I upcycled from a Belfast sink last summer. As you open the garden gate the pond sits next to the main path just passed the brick, herb bed so it’s always the first and last thing I check. Continue reading “Pond Update | New Residents”