It’s all too easy to let your garden pond look after itself, but ponds need maintenance. Here’s a quick checklist of tasks that need to be regularly attended to:

Change your filter regularly.

Make sure the water level remains steady.

Remove fallen leaves and other garden debris.

Remove algae build-ups.

Feed fish regularly.

Divide and replant water plants such as lilies.

Check for holes in your liner and patch, if necessary.



Pruning for herbs

Why prune your herbs? Pruning herbs keeps them growing well. By pruning, or cutting off leaves and parts of stems, it signals the plant to continue in the growth stage. Regular pruning also alerts you to disease and insect problems that can be removed before the entire herb is affected.

Pruning leafy herbs

Some herbs, like basil, are grown specifically for their delicious leaves. This means that left un-pruned, your plant will grow, blossom and start to die back. With leafy herbs, pinch or cut them back to the leaf nodule to encourage a bush habit. This ensures plenty of new leaves for future harvests.

How to Create A rock garden

Rock gardens don’t just LOOK good, they’re relatively easy to maintain. But building one requires careful forethought. Here’s a plan of campaign:

Start by totally clearing the site. Working with a blank canvas is far easier than adapting an existing scheme. It helps to level the plot too. As to soil, if you aren’t naturally blessed with perfect soil, then you can address the issue by starting with a simple pH test. You can then add some organic compost and rock phosphate into the mix, while also eliminating any chemical weed killers.

Using a pencil and piece of graph paper, sketch out your new design. If lacking in inspiration just ‘Google’ rock gardens online and create a pin board of those you like.

Locate your rocks – either by collecting them in the wild or by going to a garden centre.

Install the main landscaping rocks first. Work on the basis that everything pivots around the largest pieces of material.

Choose the plants best suited to your terrain bearing in mind that they need to be particularly resistant to a lot of sun. Ideal plants are: cacti, euphorbia, alyssum, red-creeping thyme, and Irish moss.

Tuck your plants in. Be sure to use a little compost and make sure the drainage is perfect before firmly bedding your chosen plants into their new homes.

No rock garden is complete without some moss, which should cover your larger boulders. Choose a shady and humid spot for your moss and either gather some from the wild or transplant some existing moss to your desired location, in much the same way as you would a cutting. Create a culture with buttermilk or yogurt and fresh or dried moss and smear it on the rocks where you want new moss to grow..

Pruning woody herbs

Some herbs, like rosemary, sage, and thyme, will become woody with age. These herbs should be trimmed back to keep them from being all woody stem.


Pruning is as easy as pinching with your fingers or using secateurs of shears for heavier work. As a rule, when pruning leaves and flowers, a simple pinch of the fingers is adequate. Remember to pinch cleanly through the stem of the leaf, instead of crushing it, for the best results.

Article by Jane Barsby