Never trust B&Q. Never rely on Homebase. Go to Shirley Aquatics instead! http://www.shirleyaquatics.co.uk/
Having scoped out some marine soil from B&Q and done a stock check with the Solihull branch, David and I mounted up and headed out into a day as grey as a used teabag. It was raining HARD. Where was the sunshine the boffins, or should I say BUFFOONS in their wonky Olympus, predicted? Scuppered as a politicians promise. So yeah, over to the industrial estate, bleak and yet more grey than the sky. In the thousands of cubic metres known to all as Solihull B&Q there was not one bag of aquatic soil. Not even a crumb. Ergo, Costa del Solihull is not the destination for pond lovers.
On a hope and a prayer we went over to Shirley Aquatics. We weren't even through the door before we saw hundreds of bags of the stuff! My spirits were lifted considerably. Finding out each bag was almost double what they were charging at B&Q didn't put a dent in my mood. Not when you had big tanks of Koi Carp (c'wor they fucking stank). Some of them were going for £75, I think they were worth every nickel. Putting one of those bad boys in our pond would be like putting a conger eel in a pint glass.
We had a good walk around, being watched by an Alsatian the size of a man. They had everything from luminous gravel to fish tanks that looked like they'd been designed by apple. Our port of call was outside, where they had tubs of elodea, water hyacinths, pond lilies, grasses, and tonnes of marginals. I grabbed two bunches of the elodea, and a cheaper version of the aquatic soil....go on say it's all the same you ding dong! David bought a water hyacinth and a lobelia. Bagged and tagged we went home and slapped it all in the pond. The newts love it: for the record I think we have four. Sir Isaac Newton, Oliver Newton John, Newton Faulkner, Thandie Newton. All together they are NEWT KIDS ON THE BLOCK!
The frogs don't seem to mind it either. The russet coloured tank who sometimes emerges has such a saucy look in his amphibian eye he'd make a demon blush!