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Fish on a dish - starring the hungry mink…

Posted by sheiladearing on 09 May 2011 at 02:41 PM

 

    A truly splendid way to spend half a day

Our herb garden pond over the years has always been a focal point of beauty and tranquility, mostly attracting awe struck kids to sit on the edge and watch the many fish swimming around and their amphibious friends going about their day. Lately though the pond has been sitting empty with no fish to be seen. 

The problems began soon after a mink was spotted in the garden, reported by volunteers and members of the public to have been casually swimming up the stream one sunny afternoon. We realised soon after, the reason why it probably looked so happy and content was because the beast had eaten all of the fish!

We went about setting traps over the next few weeks but the mink had slipped through our nets, and was long gone, probably enjoying a tasty snack at the expense of another fond pond owner.

There has been a small leak in the pond for a while and with the fish out of the way (eaten) it was an ideal time to drain the pond and repair the cracked rendering that lined the basin. Kitted in waders and armed with buckets, myself and student James Brennan started bailing out the now murky water. We put aside most of the plants and pond weed and even some of the foul smelling  sludge to reuse when refilling. The ornamental pond grass (Cyperus longus) was removed and composted.

  

The removal of the large clump of pond grass using my fave tool the root axe!

 

Star guest and legend James Brennan removing a barrow full of pond sludge

 

Me wrestling with something foul

 

Dumping in our work yard.


The pond cleaned and swept, you can just about make out the cracks in the old render.

 

Cleaning up begins!!

With the pond drained and swept we began chiselling away at the old layer of render removing the first coat. Local contractors  were then hired to re-render and apply a special sealant which consists of  k11 and SBR Bonding agent  (which can both be brought commercially). Two coats were applied and left to dry making it water tight once again. The pond was refilled with clean water and left to sit over the next nine days, this neutralises excess chemicals still present from the sealant.

 

Safety goggles to be worn when chiselling! “Where’s your safety goggles!”

 

Fully Chiselled

The Pond has been brought back to life recently with some fresh planting of Nymphae (water lilies) and some of the pond plants and sludge that was stored has been reused. The Fountain has been switched on and we have already excitedly had a report of the first pond skater within just hours of refilling! But sadly still no fish as of yet. We noticed the pond has started to be used as a wishing well, just a few pennies so far but if every body chipped in it might speed things up a bit……..

John Bridge.

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