Sunday, January 6, 2019

My Pond was a Mucky Mess

Happy 2019 to everyone. 

As weather and time permit, I've been able to putter in the garden, tackling the few winter projects that really need doing. For instance, the outer pond in early January needs an overhaul now because soon the newt and frogs will be laying their eggs and I don't want to disturb them.  

For reference, here are a few summer photos of this pond. As you can see it is swallowed up in plants which means I'll need to do some thinning out as well as refresh the stagnant water.

The water is completely covered with waterlily pads.

I was so pleased with the flowers on my pitcher plant.

Parrot's Feather, shiny Water lily leaves, and a ridiculously large and expanding clump of Juncus patens.

What is the point of growing Water lily plants if you can barely see the flowers when they bloom?

The pond is to the left of the Japanese Blood Grass.

Finally, my clump of Pickerel Weed was happily blooming last summer. (Pontaderia dilatata)

Now for the muddy winter mess. This was yesterday after I had already gotten rid of the Juncus, cut many of the edging plants back and scooped about half of the water out.

Mud and roots must be a foot deep!

On the right is my scooping bucket. I've gotten most of the gunk out and I'm refilling it with fresh water.

I wanted to leave some muck in there so it will remain a wildlife habitat. Such a fine balance.

I used this net to gather up the free floating leaves and such.

Here, the water is full. I purposefully left some of the green Juncus blades because the frogs attach their egg sacks to them.

So much better!

In other news, here's a few highlights of the rest of the garden. 

'Sunshine Blue' Blueberry plant.

Geranium palmatum foliage, looking lovely despite several light frosts.

Arbutus enedo flowers, hummingbird food!

Dwarf Nandina looks so lush and vibrant, a stalwart winter interest plant.

A Gardenia flower ready for spring.

Clematis cirhossa var. purpurescens 'Freckles' still going strong

Viburnum bodnantense 'Dawn'

Melianthus is looking so good this year.

Pelargonium 'Filbert' is still blooming. I've covered it with a blanket three times so far during cold nights.

Fuchsia 'Neon Tricolor' also covered during the brief cold snaps.

One of my favorite new containers.

Look at all the little flowers on my Chimonanthus praecox!

So fragrant!

Daphne 'Eternal Fragrance'

Daphne odora

Helleborus getting ready to bloom.

Oxalis crassipes 'Rosea' fixing to bloom.
And there you have it. It's winter but so far it's mild. Let's hope it stays that way.


  1. Very impressive, Grace. The pond is looking fresh and happy, although I kind of like it filled in with plants, too. Of course, as you say, it's a pond, after all, and you want to see the water lily blooms (they are incredible, by the way!). The potted plants and your "Freckles" Clematis are fun, too. Everything looks great. I wish I could do more work outside during the winter. Actually, this winter is mild enough that I've had a few days here and there to putter around a bit.

    1. The plants will take over again, I'm sure of it. By July you won't know that I cleaned it. :) Spring, hurry up!

  2. Cleaning out the pond looks like no fun, especially as I expect your temperatures have been even colder than ours. However, with a summer display that fabulous, it can't be ignored. I love the neon fuchsia!

    1. Thanks Kris. Yes. It is a royal pain. But like all garden jobs, the results are worth it.

  3. Always, always a treat to see your wonderful gardens, any time of the year.

    Have a fantastic 2019 ~ FlowerLady

  4. Beautiful pictures of your garden!
    Thank you,

  5. What a messy job cleaning your pond must have been. Congratulations on sticking with it and the stunning result. Lots of pretty happening in your garden. I agree, let's just keep the mild temperatures for the rest of the winter.

    1. I'm wondering if you got snow. Hopefully spring is right around the corner.

  6. Good job, Grace! That pond needs to be seen! Although, I should admit that I like how the water lily flower looks amid all the greens!
    As for the rest of the garden ... oh-la-la - you have spring there! So many buds and blooms! Viburnum Dawn is beautiful! I bought mine just a year or two ago, and I love its January blooms. Melianthus... What a stunning plant! Mine is gone, unfortunately.
    Thank you, Grace, for showing your garden. It is so nice that we can garden even in winter!

    1. I tried unsuccessfully for years to get a Melianthus established. I think I've finally succeeded. Knock on wood. :)

  7. So much lovely green, and all we have is white!

  8. My garden is sound asleep or under construction but I have 50+ pots of seedlings under lights in the basement. I thought your pond was much larger based on how many plants there were! Do you have frogs or do the plants hog all the water?

  9. What is the blue flower at the back of the pond?

    1. That is Pontederia dilatata or Royal Pickerel Weed. Very easy to grow. I think mine needs to be divided.

  10. I tried to leave a comment but I don't think it went through. Your pond looks huge with all those plants! Do you have frogs or do the plants hog all the water?

    1. The pond is really small--100 gallons. I do have frogs and newts. I think they like all of the plants because they come back every year.


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