Worth the Effort

Nothing became trapped in the basin overnight.

The angle of the branches was easily fixed by propping them on the plant baskets. The corkscrew rush Juncus effusus Spiralis is sat on top of an upturned flower pot to put it in the right water depth level and the spiked water milfoil Myriophyllum spicatum is placed on the bottom, it is just visible in the photo. The ducks are my whimsey to act like pingpong balls to keep it from freezing over and splitting the basin.

More whimsey but it made me chuckle. 97 million views!

Thinking of freezing, I wonder how bog plants survive when the roots become iced in?

Still more planting to go as the aquatics center didn’t have many of the plants on my list. The small pallet is my ‘stepping stone’ for weeding and plants will be encouraged to grow through. The mound of fallen leaves is where Toad Hall is going – suitable clay pot awaiting Mr Fluffy’s day off for construction.

Two wild ferns were found elsewhere in the garden and transplanted. The other, paler fern is Onoclea sensibilis, sensitive fern, apparently because the fronds are sensitive to frost but allegedly thrive in constantly damp soil – hmm, seems this will need constraining in a pot to stop it from taking over. It has no known wildlife benefits but I think it will make nice cover to keep Toad Hall sheltered during heatwaves. And I like the leaf shape and colour.

Other bog plants are 2x Mentha aquaticum and 1 each white and yellow Caltha palustris. I want these to hang over the edge of the basin into the water making more ways for creatures to enter or exit safely. The search function recognises common names (water mint and marsh marigold) and shows icons for wildlife that appreciate the specimens at https://www.nativeflower.co.uk/details.php?plant_url=184

I started cannabalising the edging plants from other beds, rescued the self sown Viola tricolor discovered, they certainly live up to their common name Heartsease whenever I see them. These edging plants will disguise the visible liner, in theory.

In honesty, I’m a novice in this and expect all sorts of adjustments will be needed over time. Already wondering whether the basin should be higher, will give it time to see how it settles. But I am very pleased how it has turned out so far.

Considering adding a Hosta sieboldiana; they are magnets for slugs and snails but those are a food group for amphibians and some birds. Plus they are magnificent plants.

I feel I’ve earnt a day off, from anything strenuous at least.

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