When we had all our visitors the other weekend, I was asked what the large snake was in the bog garden. Some time ago I planted out lots of Meconopsis seedlings at the back of the border, the following day I was dismayed to find that most had been pulled up and were just lying with their roots exposed.
They were planted as small plug plants that I had grown from seed and I think that the culprits were the blackbirds that we have living in the garden. Most of the time the birds root through the leaf litter in the borders, flinging bits left and right and I think this is what happened to my seedlings, before they had time to put roots into the soil around them.
Action had to be taken, so out came some netting from the shed to protect them from being uprooted again, you can see it behind Primula florindae.
They are doing quite well in there, I had a look today and think I will be able to remove it in a couple of weeks as they are rooting nicely.
This then lead to us telling our visitors about the grass snake that occasionally visits the pond, but that we don’t often see it, I think only 3 or 4 times in the 23yrs we have been here. All of a sudden the undergardener was telling everyone that there was a snake in the pond.
He has a habit of teasing everyone and no-one believes a word he says, but there it was, for all to see. I thought it was maybe a plastic one and so did the others, when suddenly it moved!! It was real! Can you see it in the centre of the photo, it’s tail is towards us and it’s head pointing upwards. It was early morning and relatively cool when we saw it, so was very lethargic. It was a grass snake, which are harmless, it was unfortunately probably eating up the few tadpoles that survived the frost earlier in the year, as I haven’t seen any since. As the snake warmed up, we could see it’s tongue flicking in and out and then suddenly it swam away and hid in the greenery round the edge of the pond.