When we lived in Old Trafford in Manchester, we had a small two bedroom terrace in the middle of a street of small two bedroom terraces, surrounded by other streets of small two bedroom terraces. 'Nature' consisted of strips of sky between rooflines, and the oasis of the local park.
Don't get me wrong, there were lots of great things about living in Old Trafford and so much that we still miss, but I did wish I had a garden a bit bigger than a tablecloth, and so that was high on the hope-list when we moved to Derby. The promise to the boys at that time, was that if we got a garden, they could each have a patch for themselves.
It happened. We bought a house with a garden and the boys each got their patch to do with whatever they wanted. What they wanted...both of them... was a pond with fish! Which is how we ended up with a three-pond garden!
Eight years later, this is Mark's pond.
The problem began with the water hawthorn. It looked a healthy, innocent plant when we bought it but, within a couple of months, we had a serious attack of pond weed, which has been an ongoing battle ever since.
Then there were the cats/crows/foxes. I'm not sure which the guilty party was because I've seen all three 'fishing' for frogs. Over the course of this spring, I saw crows tearing at least five frogs to pieces! Sleek, black and mean, they would sit on top of the line pole, watching and waiting. If chased away, they flew no further than the big sycamore tree at the bottom of my garden and then straight back the second my back was turned! The busily mating frogs didn't stand a chance.
Of course, a by-product of this illicit fishing was that the pond liner was punctured. It's already been emptied and patched twice, but once again, it's sprung a leak!
And so, we were left with a half full hole of slimy green sludge! And it stank! Believe me, it really did!!
In the end, we decided that it was more trouble than it was worth, and so, last Saturday morning, I donned my old clothes and wellies, grabbed a bucket and and went to work.
To be continued...