Spurred on by the appearance of Pandora, David and I set about turning round the wonder that was our garden pond. Early Sunday morning last week, I went out and dredged the last of the mud and dried grass from the bottom of the pond. David had ripped out a veritable medusa's mane of grass and clogged up dirt prior to this, and cleaned up the paving tiles, so my job was easy. The frogs hated me, mutely leaping away, or suffering themselves to be handled for a moment, before being released into the hedges.Once David came out we got all the materials together - that is fleece, pond liner (£30!) scissors et al. Now as I'm utterly useless with anything approaching accurate DIY, it was in Mr Millers hands, and he did a stellar job. Whereas I was in my scrubs, he was there in customised houndstooth pants and chelsea boots. What a pair.
Started by lifting off the paving tiles and laying down an initial layer of fleece. Once this was in place, supported by said tiles, David then laid down layer number two. The pond liner was unwrapped, folding out like a pterodactyls wing, fairly swamping us both. It had two sides, green and black. We chose black. Although it was much thicker than the fleece, it was much easier to cut. Once we had it nicely tucked to the contours of the pond bed, the tiles were replaced and some compost added 'twixt the cracks. Previously the grass had kind of glued them all together, so some were very loose. When in doubt call it rustic.
Then the hard part came. Lacking the means to rig up a hose and fill up the pond in double time, we co-ordinated, filling a trug and a kitchen bin full of water and pouring it in the newly lined pond. Fairly took us an hour. At the end we had a celebratory beer, cooking ourselves under the sun, planning what to plant in there...
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A week on and we now have two water lilies submerged at the bottom of the pond and two water soldiers. No wildlife as yet, unless you count a drowned, utterly pale worm and some wood lice. Come back Kermit!