Your Pond in Summer.

Your Pond in Summer.

What a great time of year to sit by your pond on a balmy summer evening, with a glass of Prosecco, with the birds singing and the gurgling of the fountain.  Water lilies are in full bloom and you may have several beautiful colours in your pond.

There are some jobs necessary to achieve this image.   You  may have  pond weeds which have been growing enthusiastically since April and which need thinning out. Most fish have finished spawning by now so you will not be taking out the eggs, which normally adhere to the plants so this is a good time to act.

Most importantly, as the water gets warmer, there is less oxygen in the water and unless your pond has very few fish, this is one of the most common causes of fish deaths. A fairly advanced sign is when the fish start gasping at the water surface.  It is important to use an airpump, such as the Blagdon PondAir range to aerate the water in addition to the filter until the weather cools down.  I use mine from now until the Autumn.

Some people think only of Koi for their pond. Personally, I prefer other varieties such as goldfish, shubunkins and tench.

I have three ponds in my garden. The largest is a formal pond 4.5 metres diameter which has mainly goldfish. Unfortunately this pond is badly sited and lilies are not enthusiastic in it, but the fish and the pondweeds such as hornwort grow well.  The other two ponds are devoted to wildlife. Both of them have an abundance of lilies as shown in the picture.

Middle wildlife pond – no fish but four colours of lily

By now, most adult amphibians such as frogs and newts spend much of their time on land but they do visit water occasionally particularly in dry weather. Toads spend less time in the water.  We used to be visited by grass snakes but I haven’t seen one for about five years.  I don’t know if they are preyed on by the badgers. Wildlife ponds are also essential for dragon flies and damsel flies as well as providing drinking water for birds

In our garden, there seem to be very few dragon flies at present, maybe because of the hard winter, but damsel flies in abundance. You can Google the difference between these two lovely insects but basically damsel flies are much more delicate than dragon flies. The aerial leaves of pond plants are very important for the flies to lay eggs and care has to be taken in cutting them back.

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