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Author Topic: Plants and fish, a diary from my parents garden.  (Read 3198 times)

André

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Plants and fish, a diary from my parents garden.
« on: May 08, 2014, 11:02:55 AM »
Hello every one!

I have been lurking here for a while and thought it was time to start writing.

My name is André and i live just out side Stockholm. I'm fairly new to gardening and plants (I've been at it for four or five years), but biology and particularly aquatic life is a life long passion of mine.

As i don't have a garden of my own i have appointed myself head gardener of my parents garden, and spend allot of my time there tending it (paying for the plants as well  ::) )

André

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Re: Plants and fish, a diary from my parents garden.
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2014, 11:32:03 AM »
Oops, I hit reply to soon...

My garden interest started when the ant hill, that i had spent most of high school protecting from my parents who wanted to remove it, started to become to wide, and I needed to contain it somehow. I happened to come up with the idea of creating a raised bed around it, and the second i stepped foot in the garden center i was hooked. Previously I kept planted aquariums so I guess other plants was just an extension of that, and my general biology interest.
Well that border looks really bad at the moment since I had no idea what i was doing at the time and most plants died, but the ants are happy   ;D

In this  thread im going to talk about my garden and houseplants, but also about my fish if that is alright on this forum? At the moment I only have pond fish so it's garden related at least.
I'm going to upload some pics later and talk some more, but now I have to get back to work.

Maggi Young

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Re: Plants and fish, a diary from my parents garden.
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2014, 12:51:31 PM »
Hello André and welcome.

An interest in plants, animals and wildlife  (including fish !) is something that can teach us a great deal and give a lifetime of pleasure and learning. We'll look forward to hearing what plants most catch your eye and find out how your  "garden grows".  Not sure that too many gardeners are actively "farming" ants, though!  :-X :-\
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

Editor: International Rock Gardener e-magazine

André

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Re: Plants and fish, a diary from my parents garden.
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2014, 01:53:54 PM »
Thank you Maggie :)

I've newer found a slug anyway near the anthill though they are abundant in the rest of the garden, so they do some good ;)

Steve Garvie

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Re: Plants and fish, a diary from my parents garden.
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2014, 02:25:05 PM »
Problem with farming ants is that many ant species will actively "farm" other insects -sapsuckers such as mealy-bugs, scale-insects & aphids.  :o
WILDLIFE PHOTOSTREAM: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rainbirder/


Steve
West Fife, Scotland.

André

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Re: Plants and fish, a diary from my parents garden.
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2014, 02:51:04 PM »
To clarify the ants are Formica rufa (wood ant?), and I've never seen them farm any pest on any plant at all. Even though they've got something going on in the Norwegian Spruce, but that tree has been there for at least a century and it looks happy, so I'm not to worried.

Plus sap sucking insects tend to be rather host specific and since i don't grow any other kind of spruce i dont think there's much risk of them transferring insects to something else. I have however seen them conduct mass attacks on nests of Lasius niger (black garden ant?) witch do farm aphids on my rose.

And I don't farm ants, I just leave them alone ;)

reifuan

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Re: Plants and fish, a diary from my parents garden.
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2014, 03:13:24 PM »
welcome to the forum André, looking forward to your pictures. Never knew wood ants had an effect on slug populations. Too bad they seem to prefer sandy soils as opposed to our clay. We could do well with reduced numbers of those nightmarish creatures from the genus Arion.
Anything else of interest living in your ant  hill? I've found them very popular with slow worms, especially pregnant females.

André

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Re: Plants and fish, a diary from my parents garden.
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2014, 09:54:00 AM »
No reptiles unfortunately.

This years project is to separate my small fish species from the ones that will grow large, in particular the Leuciscus idus (the blue breed) will eat anything that fit in its mouth . What i did was too build a small pond at the top of the little creek that runs from my filter.

This will house my Notropis chrosomus (Rainbow shiner). These fish are one of the most beautiful fish in the world, and since they only grow to about 6cm and are easy to care for i would recommend them to every one. They only need about 1-1.5m of horizontal swimming-room so they can be kept in small ponds, just read up on fish keeping and go for it :D. I don't have any good pictures of mine but heres a youtube clip to show just how beautiful they are.

I will also keep a couple of Macropodus Erythropterus (Paradise fish) here, these fish need even less room and are really hardy. In fact they where among the first ornamental fish imported to Europe since they could survive being transported in barrels by boat from India. Not that you should give them less care than other fish if you decide to keep them, ofc.

Since I will upgrade the larger pond next year to give the growing fish there some more room, i decided to incorporate a plant filter in the smaller pond. I also wanted a bog-garden so i built a small one at the end of the pond.

088



As i turned out i had the perfect place for a raised bed (where the mustache would go if the pond was a happy mouth), so i just put pondliner over every thing and cut a couple of holes in the mustache area to prevent standing water.

I forgot to take pictures of this part  ::)

What it looks like now:

the unfinished part along the fence will become the plant filter.



fish



whats going in the bog



And the anthill :D


André

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Re: Plants and fish, a diary from my parents garden.
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2014, 12:22:33 PM »
Some other random photos.











Rock garden :)












André

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Re: Plants and fish, a diary from my parents garden.
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2014, 07:47:35 AM »
Do any one have any ideas on what to put in the bog and in the raised bed? They get  about 2-3 hours of shade around noon, but are in full sun the rest of the time. The compost in both are coarse peat and some kitty litter, so its really acidic. The raised bed will stay damp all the time and the bog is obviously wet. I live outside Stockholm so the plants need to be quiet hardy.

I put a couple of alpine rhododendron in the raised bed and carnivorous plants in the bog but there is room left. The feeling i want to recreate in with  the plantings i is that of a alpine heath just above the tree line. Is there any orchids that would be happy in the bog? And any Ericaceae other than Rhododendron that would like the raised bed?

reifuan

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Re: Plants and fish, a diary from my parents garden.
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2014, 09:21:28 AM »
orchids huh.. Dactylorhiza and Platanthera bifolia? also Pogonia ophioglossoides and Calopogon tuberosus. Other plants that come to mind are Gentiana pneumonanthe and Narthecium ossifragum

André

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Re: Plants and fish, a diary from my parents garden.
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2014, 11:10:49 AM »
Thank you for the tips :)

I feel I have a lot of reading to do when it comes to orchids, I like them and always notice them in the wild, but I don't know nearly enough about them to try them in my garden. Except Cypripediums.

I liked the Narthecium and especially the Gentiana, I'll look for seeds of that one.

André

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Re: Plants and fish, a diary from my parents garden.
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2014, 12:39:51 PM »
Of the orchids I think I'm mainly interested in Dactylorhiza. And I just found some good info on caring for them! :D

I think i might place an order soon, just a little more research needed...

Maggi Young

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Re: Plants and fish, a diary from my parents garden.
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2014, 12:46:30 PM »
Dactylorhiza do well here  in our garden in North East Scotland, André - but none of them are in a bog. They do really well  all over the garden , even in drier areas.
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

Editor: International Rock Gardener e-magazine

André

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Re: Plants and fish, a diary from my parents garden.
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2014, 11:08:49 AM »
The weather has been terrible here the last few weeks, cold and dry  :-X

I just thought i would post a few pics from the garden.


pinguicula vulgaris


unknown cyp. from the local supermarket


moss


teeny tiny, unknown wildflower


Filipendula ulmaria, with aphids that became fish food after the shot.


Trollius chinensis

 


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