Tadpoles, Tulips and a Kingfisher

The wildlife pond awakes with frogspawn and tadpoles. The garden has been decorated by tulips and we have a surprise local kingfisher.


The garden wildlife pond woke early this year with signs of frogspawn in mid February. Despite the cold few weeks in April tadpoles appeared. Masses of them enjoying the shallow end of the pond. Watching their movements is one of spring’s joys as nature’s rhapsody sings in movement, colours and fresh green. Accompanied by the local crow and a wren in full voice.

Garden pond in spring

There in the brakes of May Spring has her chambers,
Robing-rooms of hawthorn, cowslip, cuckoo flower —
Wonder complete changes for each square joy’s hour,
Past thought miracl
es are there and beyond numbers.

From ‘By Severn’ by Ivor Gurney

Now in its third year, the pond has settled comfortably into the garden landscape. It has required very little maintenance. During last summer’s drought the pond plants thrived while elsewhere many border plants struggled in the heat. The No mow meadow area waits nearby to reveal new treasures this summer.

yellow tulips


As with the pond, things start early in the tulip world. First to appear in early March, true to name, is Tulip The First followed by the species tulips. Here are T. bakeri ‘Lilac Wonder’, T. sylvestris, T. turkestanica. These species look after themselves coming up each year and do well naturalized in grass.

With the daffodils over the tulips fill the gap till the early herbaceous start flowering. Favourites among the show tulips are the Van Eijk tulips, the lily flowered types, like White Triumphator, and Ballerina. Also Princess Irene recommended in Anna Pavord’s book The Tulip. Anna’s book tells of the colourful history of the tulip from its origins in the hillsides of Turkey to the development of the show types and the excitement of Tulip mania. Tulips have graced the paradise gardens of sultans, the palaces of princes and kings, public parks and private gardens.

Tulips in pots
Van Eijk and Lily flowered tulips
Tulips and Wallflowers

Red tulips

Massed tulips at Arundel Castle

To mark the King’s Coronation on May 6th this display of massed tulips has been on show at Arundel Castle, just down the road from here.

White wedding cake tree
Just coming on show -the Wedding Cake bush Viburnam plicatum Mariesii
Blue scillas

Scilla peruviana, the Queen of the scillas. We love the geometric design of the unopened buds,

purple wisteria

Everyone should have a wisteria. It need not take over the house walls!

Robin eating grub

In the garden there is always help at hand!

The sparrows round their new nests chirp with glee
And sweet the robin Spring’s young luxury shares
Tootling its song in feathery gooseberry tree
While watching worms the gardener’s spade unbares

From Home in May By John Clare


A friend’s grandson, Joel, recently photographed this kingfisher flying along the brook that runs through our village. A pair seem to have nested here. It is only about 200 metres down the road from our house! Wildlife is nearer than we think. What a treat!

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;

….-for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men’s faces.

From ‘As Kingfishers catch fire’ G.M.Hopkins

Hopkins, who saw Christ in the beauty of the bluebell, sees him everywhere. Each creature, each natural sound has its place in Creation. So do we humans. Christ’s handiwork is seen everywhere.

For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Colossians 1: 16–17 

4 thoughts on “Tadpoles, Tulips and a Kingfisher

    1. Sorry about the deer, Clare. We have most of our tulips in tubs so that we can move them out of the way when the flowers are finished. At the end of summer we harvest the best bulbs from the tubs for planting next year.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. As with many garden plants each has its moment of glory. The tulips certainly make the most of theirs. The pond has been a delight. A great place to sit and watch. I hope you can enjoy your local pond and its wildlife, Andrea. We always appreciate reading about your visits there.

      Liked by 1 person

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