Helen's Garden Renovation Project

Tuesday 5 June 2012

Who’s been eating my pond plants?

Filed under: Pond,Progress — Helen @ 10:29 am

I have, I think, partly solved the mystery of why my Callitriche (starwort) and Hottonia (water violet) have failed to thrive. Something has eaten them. This thing has also taken chunks out of the Myosotis palustris, Ranunculus aquatilis and Veronica beccabunga. It hasn’t touched the Myriophyllum crispatum or the Equisetum japonicum. I am at a loss to work out what it could be, as the plants are far enough from the edge not to be in danger from land snails. I have seen pond skaters, but they eat insects. And of course, newts are also carnivorous, catching most of their prey on land. So I am completely baffled about what is eating the plants.

I think the problem is that the pond is out of balance. There is not much plant matter in there yet, and so it’s easy for whatever is eating them to eat the lot. I am hoping that the Myriophyllum and the Ranunculus will survive long enough to grow very big and healthy and oxygenate the pond themselves. If not, then the best thing is probably to buy a large quantity of oxygenators cheaply from a mail order company, and put them all in at once so that they can’t all get eaten.

The peony has no buds on it, and so I don’t think it will flower this summer. On Gardeners’ World, Monty Don said that peonies hold a grudge against being moved and can refuse to flower even three or four years after being moved. Since I moved it in 2007, and it has flowered at least twice since then, I think the time for it to register a protest has passed. Unfortunately there does not seem to be any statute of limitations for crimes against plants.

I made some more progress on pot reduction by planting the very congested flag iris in front of the thuja.

Number of pots = 63.


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