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newbie wildlife pond question!

susiebowersusiebower Teignmouth, DevonPosts: 46
Hello - I'm a newbie gardener and recently had a wildlife pond put in. It's lovely, but several times the aquatic plants have come loose and had to be re-anchored. This has caused silt/sludge/soil from their baskets to cover the bottom of the pond, which looks pretty grungy. Anything I can do about this? (I have tadpoles, by the way, so don't want to endanger them).
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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,270
    How have they come loose? If planted correctly, and with a layer of gravel on top, that shouldn't happen.  :)
    I wouldn't worry too much about some soil getting onto the base, that will happen over time anyway. A build up of debris in the bottom of a pond is normal - and often necessary as it means plants can seed into it   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • susiebowersusiebower Teignmouth, DevonPosts: 46
    Ah, thank you, Fairygirl (you have been a real fairy godmother in terms of advice, so thanks!). The aquatic plants were planted properly by my eco-gardener but came loose and he's away. He'd wrapped them in some kind of cloth, but I've now put the marsh marigold into an aquatic basket just to stop the soil going everywhere. Will try and wedge it in. I guess I had a (probably daft) idea that the 'beachy' bit of the pond would have lovely pebbles in the bottom and look beautiful - when actually it just looks sludgy and silty! Will learn! :) 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,270
    It's just one of those things @susiebower. You're right, we all want the beached bits to look perfect, and unfortunately, they rarely are, especially after umpteen birds have been in for a bath! It usually settles after some time though.  :)
    All my pond plants are in baskets in fairly ordinary soil with gravel, but I usually put a bit of landscape fabric around to keep it all contained, and I sometimes just wrap small pieces of plant in that, with a bit of clay from a nearby border, to wedge into a shelf, or in between rocks etc. 
    He might have done something similar with hessian. That's often used. They've maybe just not been firmed in well enough though. 
    The marsh marigolds are good at pond edges too, as well as in the margins, if it's moist enough.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • susiebowersusiebower Teignmouth, DevonPosts: 46
    Thank you, @Fairygirl! It's reassuring that it's not just me who likes things to look pretty! 
  • JellyfireJellyfire SuffolkPosts: 1,008
    As @Fairygirl suggests it sounds like he has used hessian to wrap them in, Ive done this too and it does have a tendency to come free. Using baskets topped with gravel will definitley work well, but again as above, you will absolutley get a build up of dirt and sediment on the bottom anyway, which is vital for all the dragonfly larvae, caddisfly larvae, tadpoles etc which will colonise, so I would learn to embrace it if you can. Once the water warms up a bit more your plants should take off and you likely wont be able to notice what they are planted in 
  • susiebowersusiebower Teignmouth, DevonPosts: 46
    @Jellyfire I will indeed learn to embrace it - sounds as if the wildlife benefits definitely outweigh the aesthetics! Thank you! :)
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,270
    All part of the joys of a pond @susiebower:)
    It'll all settle down. The point of the beached edging is to make it easily accessible for all the wildlife you want to attract. It'll get stirred up now and again, but most of the time it'll look fine.  :)
    I created a new pond at this time last year, with lots of shallow edging. It's settled well now


    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • susiebowersusiebower Teignmouth, DevonPosts: 46
    Wow, @Fairygirl - that's beautiful! :) 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,270
    Very kind @susiebower .
    Unfortunately, my computer went a bit bonkers, and froze completely when I was trying to resize that, hence the big gap! It shouldn't have come out so small. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • susiebowersusiebower Teignmouth, DevonPosts: 46
    @Fairygirl I love the variety of stones and rocks you have. :)
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