Sunday by the pond

A volunteer in the bog garden.

Fishies playing around in the shallow end of the pond.

Dragonfly whose name I can’t come up with. Maybe a blue dasher?

Sweet baby robin, looking for a place to put in for a bath.

Joe Pye Weed blooming in the bog.

I spent the afternoon doing some work around the pond. The heat is causing the usual algae problems in the shallow end of the pond. The water is crystal clear (thanks to the UV light), but the little pebbles that line the beach are covered with slimy algae. I have this contraption called a *Muck Vac* which I use to suck up some of the junk that accumulates in the pebbles, but using it is a nightmare! Whoever thought to combine a vacuum with a garden hose must have been delirious. I spend most of the time fighting with the various hoses and trying to keep some sort of suction going. What isn’t sucked out I blast away with the hose. Labor-intensive, but it works and now the rocks are clean and it doesn’t look like a swamp out there. For a few days anyway. I trimmed the yellow and brown leaves off of the water-lilies and hacked away at the mint that is taking over the edge. The parrot’s feather and water lettuce were reduced by half, but I still have too much of both. They provide a lot of shade for the fish, but do get carried away with themselves!

8 thoughts on “Sunday by the pond”

  1. Have you read anything about using barley straw to control algae? I don’t know all the specifics, but I remember reading that it controls some kinds of algae.

  2. I always read your blog. Even if I don’t always leave a comment. I enjoy your flowers and fish, and bunnies. your writing is very expressive and personal. I like what you say and how you say it. I like the way you see the world. Always positive and optimistic. there are so many cynics in the world.

  3. Laura, your mention of Parrot Feather caught my eye. The worst kind of house guest is a know-it-all who tells you everything you are doing wrong with home and garden and I have no intention of being that sort of intrusive visitor. With that caveat and the best of intentions, I though it worth sharing that Parrot Feather or Myriophyllum aquaticum is considered invasive in freshwater habitats as far north as southern New England. The Invasive Plant Atlas of New England provides information on this species and its potential impacts in native freshwater systems at

    This information may only be important for you to consider if a) your water garden has a natural outlet to native freshwater habitat or b) there is a chance of pieces of your Parrot Feather getting inadvertantly introduced to such systems. It can reproduce from parts of itself and is also rhizomatous. If you are pulling out any of this plant, it is best disposed by placing it in a really hot compost or a thick walled black plastic garbage bag.

    Hope this is useful information for you.

  4. Susan: I have heard of barley straw, but think it’s mostly used to control string algae. We don’t usually have that problem, but when I do, I just remove it by hand. The problem is that the water is only a few inches deep in that part of the pond, and the circulation isn’t great, and the water really heats up. Not sure how barley straw would help.

    Silverlight: I’m glad you enjoy it and thanks for saying so. I have fun doing it!

    Thanks, John. These are very common in my yard and like to be photographed!

    Tim: Thank you for the reminder. Usually I am careful to add the cuttings from pond plants to my worm bin (for the reasons you mentioned), but yesterday I made quite a pile that would overload my little bin. I’ll have to go out and empty the wheelbarrow before my husband does. The water lettuce isn’t a problem here because it dies back in winter, but I’ve seen how parrot’s feather can spread – I’ve been yanking it out of my bog garden all summer long! I’m kind of surprised at the info in your link – that it can survive that far north because it seems like such a delicate plant. Thanks again.

    Orlando Bun: Thanks – come *vacation* with us anytime. Seriously, I try to leave out most of the craziness – it seeps in sometimes though!

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