I have a small and very overgrown pond at the end of the garden that’s been woefully neglected over the last few years. It was pretty bad when we moved in, as the previous owner hadn’t thought to net it in the autumn so it was very silted up with leaves and stank to high heaven.

I had been getting on top of that problem – last year I almost had it clear – but I’m cursing now because I didn’t get around to putting down the net in October, and now have a pond full of leaves again. It doesn’t help that the pond is sited under a willow tree, with a big old forsythia the other side. It’s also at the “woody” end of the garden, where all the apple trees are, and also close to our tree-lined boundary with next door. Clear proof of the old advice never to site a pond near trees.

Anyway, so I spent some time today doing a repair job on the leaves situation, as best I could, and then put the net down anyway as the forsythia is still hanging on to some yellowing leaves on a particularly large branch overhanging the pond itself. The words lock, stable, horse and bolted come to mind, but there we are, it can’t be helped. I have lots of ideas on developing this area in the long term, but for now it’s a clearance job. Lots of hard work ahead here, I think.