Helen's Garden Renovation Project

Sunday 15 March 2009

First day of spring

Filed under: Brimstone butterfly,Progress — Helen @ 2:43 pm

Today is the first day of spring because I saw a brimstone butterfly. I didn’t have my glasses on at the time, but it definitely was one. This gives me an excuse to use the picture that my friend Sharon kindly sent me last year.

Brimstone butterfly

Brimstone butterfly

I continued with my pond transfer, and unfortunately the news here wasn’t so good. When I tipped out my buckets of plants, newts, snails and pond water into the temporary pond, I found that several of the newts appeared to have died. I have no idea why. I wondered if I might have physically damaged them in getting them out of the pond, but they didn’t look injured. I have a small hope that the shock may have put them back into hibernation and perhaps they are not dead, just resting, but I think they are dead really. I put them into my current compost bin, which has only a small amount of plant matter in it, so they will be safe from predators if they do wake up, and can easily crawl out if they are so minded. And if they are dead then they can contribute to the garden lifecycle.

I was going to repot the plants, but I decided it was too cold to be messing about with pond water unnecessarily, so I put the ones that were already in baskets into the temporary pond, and I put the ones that had escaped from their baskets into ordinary plant pots and put them in the temporary pond too. I will try and do something with them in July or August. I think I will have to buy some more pond baskets – big ones. I may also buy a different water lily. The one I have is so vigorous it’s a liability.

I started to take up the path that runs along the straight edge of the old pond. This is quite an easy job as some of the slabs were already loose. I used a crowbar to lever some of them up, but some of them were so loose that I could just pick them up off the ground. I put the slabs around the edge of the temporary pond so they can hold down the edge of the liner and make the pond look slightly pretty. Under one of the slabs I found two newts fast asleep, but it must be spring; the brimstone butterfly says so. So I put them near the temporary pond so that they can wake up and get in it as soon as possible.

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