The Forecast is rain solid for the next three days so I can say with some certainty that the Annual Monsoon Season has arrived here in Scotland. (Well we must be allowed to call the rainy season from June till the kids go back to school in August the Monsoon Season especially if we can now officially can call the high winds that we get hurricanes. I refer to the impact that ‘Hurricane Bawbag’ had on the worlds media.)
With rain and water in mind I thought I would be appropriate to do a water related blog. The idea came not long after reading a really interesting blog on rain gardens by The Soulsby Farm. It was the next day actually when I was out weeding in the garden around the Rockery and the Pond when it eventually dawned on me that I already had a rain garden. The Rockery and the area around the Pond are on a slope and the water runs off the orchard and the tarmacadam paths around the house down towards that area. The rainfall seems to head to that point in the garden from other directions too. In fact during the flash floods we had a few months back, before the field behind us was planted with this years crop, the water was running off the field and straight up our drive towards this area. So there are several clumps of marsh grass around too. It is really quite boggy down there.
OK it was looking a bit neglected but it was a rain garden. I confess that I had to give the rockery a bit a wee bit of a weed before I took this photo. I also removed the Duckweed from the pond with the garden rake. I took out a load of Elodea pond weed back in March but the duckweed had taken its place. It must have been the hot weather that encouraged the duckweed to thrive. I have left some of the weeds as they are obviously native plants that like boggy ground. You cannot see them in this shot of the pond. There are also some pieces of pipe placed around to divert water to this area. More photos are required I think.
When we first arrived here, nearly five years ago now, the pond had an Iron Cage over it. At first I thought the cage was because the previous owners of the house had a small toddler and never gave it anymore thought.
Then the following year some friends came to visit on a May Day Bank holiday. The guys were very keen to do something in the garden to help. They were drawn to the garden pond as they were a little concerned that the pond looked a little over grown and the fish did not have enough room to swim about. So they took off the Iron Cage off the pond, they caught the goldfish with a net and put them in a bucket to keep them safe and got to work. I put the BBQ on. A few hours later the pond and been cleared of Pondweed and Bull Rushes. The water was still a bit cloudy when they popped the gold-fish back into the pond and went off home fed and watered but without replacing the Iron Cage. The next day I checked on the goldfish, just to make sure they had survived their surprise house keeping. All was well and they were swimming about quite happily. I checked again the following day and the goldfish were gone, they had completely vanished and were never seen again. Why? The iron cage was not to prevent small children falling in the pond after all. I was later told by some previous owners that it had been put there to stop the Herons from getting the goldfish, as all other methods including a plastic decoy heron had failed.
Anyway, the cage remains off the pond and there are no fish in it but there are loads of other interesting stuff. Pond skaters, toads….etc.
Another view of the pond. This is our cat Crieff. He is in charge of furry pest disposal. He is quite camera-shy and it took quite a few attempts to get this photo. He came to live here two years ago from the Whinney Bank Cat Sanctuary. He loves to sunbathe on the rock garden. He also follows me around the garden when I am weeding to take care of anything that might appear out of the undergrowth.
The Rockery contains bits of masonry from the Castle and probably from the Abbey down at Lindores too. This bit might be the central boss from the abbey.
Look what I spotted by the pond …..
A Dragon Fly….. I was so excited I had never seen one in the garden before. I only spotted it when I went to take pictures of the Yellow Flag Irises that were growing around the pond. These Irises are an example of a native plant taking advantage of a boggy area.