I can see the cobwebs, but the sun is shining so I'm going outside for a spot of spring-cleaning....
My diddy little pond created from a huge old wash pan has been a great success since it went in a few years ago and attracts frogs, toads, dragonflies and the like, and the local blackbirds perch there for a drink. However as it is so small it does need a bit of a clean out once a year and the reed clump reduced in size if the tiny waterlily has a chance of flowering - I did that on Friday.
I upset the two big frogs sitting in the mud at the bottom and disturbed a couple of amorous toads nearby, but pressed on.
Obviously I didn't upset the frogs too much because this morning the pond is full of frogspawn!! Exciting!
It's remarkable how much difference a tiny amount of water can make to the wildlife in our gardens - most of whom will (hopefully) eat the slugs that also thrive. I made a huge mistake a couple of years ago when we had frogspawn, topping up the pond during a particularly warm spring with tap water, instead of rainwater. Killed all the frogspawn - I won't make that mistake again.
Wild flowers also happily do their own thing as you can see - these lovely violets colonising a crack in the paving beneath the back door.
In my wild patch the fritillaries, anenomies, primrose and cowslips are spreading well and I'm very happy. I'd be even happier if squirrels hadn't dug up and eaten all the extra fritillary corms I planted in the autumn, but at least they left the snowdrops alone and we enjoyed them for the first time.
For the gardeners among you I wonder if you've discovered spent coffee grounds to deter the slugs and snails? Our local coffee shop gives away bags of the stuff and as far as I'm concerned it works like a miracle!! Worth a try if you haven't.
Thank you for looking