Ponds and pumps and the origin of dub

It’s been a busy couple of weeks at Weeds HQ; the builders are in doing some work and a fair bit of clearing up has been done in the back during a couple of days dedicated to just gardening. Also after years deliberating, a solar powered pump is now in action in the pond, all for the bargain price of 40 odd quid and what a difference it makes! The new load of fish bought from the Lewisham pet shop now with a net over them (to stop that pesky heron here from murdering this current batch) are looking well happy and so are the frogs and newts too! The bottom of the pond can now be seen, which is a first!The builders had some stuff delivered on a nice mini-pallet (above) which has now been utilised for the mini herb garden just outside the back door. Apart from a couple of leaves being nibbled in the night everything is doing fine. The first chilli is now showing (below).The weekly comfrey liquid feed around the garden is turning up trumps what with the giant tomato (below) that is nearly ripened. The comfrey liquid might pong a bit but it don’t half work wonders.This week the following radio show has been on constant replay. It’s Jah Life‘s excellent Backawall University from July 7th and this episode contains something very special indeed. It features dub plates from King Tubby’s younger brother Stagga (aka “Young Tubbs”) made in Brooklyn, New York in 1970 before King Tubby began his dub experiments in Kingston. There’s some great dubs on here: Phyllis Dillon’s “One life to live” (with the vocal just about audible), The Sensations “Everyday is just a holiday”, The Jamaicans “Baba boom” (retitled “Boom Baba”) and more. More on Stagga Ruddock here. Big shout to Dubby Doo for alerting us to this show which is musical history!



I don’t know much about garden ponds but we discovered we had one after I got rid of a lot of nettles and brambles around the bottom of the garden one afternoon after we moved in. A few weeks later I cleared out 12 years of rotting leaves and gunge out of it which went straight onto the flower beds.

After cleaning the pond out I stuck a tarpaulin over it to stop water getting in, and was going to fill it in with soil a few months later. In that time, water filled up (how did that happen?) and taking the tarp up one day saw it was home to thousands of tadpoles! I couldn’t fill it in after that, could I?

It’s taken a few years to get sorted and because it costs a few bob to get electricity down the garden, there’s no fountain or flowing water to keep it fresh so it’s dependent on the oxygenating plants in there and the odd regular clean-out by yours truly. I also usually put a net over it in the autumn to stop the leaves getting in and that’s about all for maintenance.

Pond before - murk

It was looking well ropey a few months ago (above) so I bought a couple of bokashi mud balls off ebay for a few quid (no, I didn’t know what they were either before getting them.)

them ballsThe pond is starting to look a bit better, you can even see the goldfish now (below) There’s also frogs, who love the slugs and snails in the garden (one of them is chilling out in the top RH corner of pic below), a couple of minnows and the odd newt. Not bad for something we didn’t even realise we had when we moved in. Expense is minimal, all plants were off ebay or from the garden centre/pet shop (and they multiply like billy-ho), the fish were cheap and the only cost now is the fish food which is a couple of quid a month. The only drawback is you have to watch out that you don’t get bitten by those pesky midges in the summer!

Pond after- kleer