Posted in Environment, Gardens, Nature

Creating a Wildlife Pond

The new pond

Last autumn, Simon dug a pond in the newly cleared decking area of the garden.

The old pond, a large black container which was placed in the hens’ garden, had been dug out a few months prior. It was too deep, in an area which was sheltered with overhanging trees, hard to access or even see because of surrounding shrubs, and, perhaps worse of all, the chickens kept insisting on drinking from it!

The water had turned stagnant and smelt dreadful and I do not know what happened to the pond plants I had put in there a few years ago. The cobbles I had once delicately placed around had gradually slipped in over the last two years and there were no life forms living in or around this hostile environment.

So we took the large tub out, dug compost over the hole and relocated the pond – this time using a small (albeit heavy) sink. Duckweed and water plantain were planted in the pond and cobbles decorated the edges. It was all set and ready for wildlife to visit. In fact, a mere five minutes or so after completion, a little robin arrived and perched at the side of the pond as if giving his approval.

The old pond in the chickens’ garden, guarded by Florence

Pond Facts

1. Wildlife loves ponds, whether it’s as a habitat or watering hole. In fact, I’ve heard that one of the best things you can do for wildlife in your garden is to dig a pond. For example, frogs are dependent on garden ponds as they need water to breed.

2. My first pond was in an awkward place, not helped by overhanging trees. Christine and Michael Lavelle suggest trying ‘to avoid a site that is shared by trees because they will not only cut out light, but their leaves will drop into the water, enriching it with mineral nutrients.’ This attracts algae in the warmer months.

3. There are three types of plants for ponds – oxygenator (for oxygen), deep-water aquatics (shades water from too much sunlight), and marginal/emergent plants (offers shade and cover for animals at the edge of pond. They are also used by dragonflies and nymphs to ‘crawl out’ and pupate).

Information taken from The Illustrated Practical Guide to Wildlife Gardening by Christine and Michael Lavelle.

Author:

Interested in environmental issues, wildlife, spirituality, gardening, self-sufficiency and mini-adventures. There are two blogs, one is https://mysabbatical2014.wordpress.com/ and the other, more recent one, is - https://cosycottageandthequestforthegoodlife.wordpress.com/ ☺️

15 thoughts on “Creating a Wildlife Pond

  1. Just wondering, I have issues with ponds turning into mosquito breeding swamps…. would treatment for mosquitoes kill the vegetation?

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  2. When I bought my first house I had a water feature…a waterfall, which sounded lovely and was pretty, but it was poorly installed. Still, it provided a water source. i have no pond here but do supply water year round. Would love a pond but will have to be satisfied with the one down the hill a bit.

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    1. I love waterfalls, very beautiful to look at. A waterfall in a garden does sound lovely although I wouldn’t have the first idea how to install or maintain one. I found the idea of a pond daunting enough before it was made. ☺

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    1. Ponds can be complicated or simple. I always felt daunted about creating a pond but with a container and a few pond plants, it can be quite simple. Although my partner Simon did most of the work in creating the pond so maybe that’s why it seemed relatively easy to do! ☺ I do think wildlife appreciates water in any form. Simon has a sunken sink in his front garden and the birds love bathing in it. ☺

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  3. That’s great you’ve already had your first visitor Clare … I agree about not being near trees with the pond. Even a birdbath near a tree gets those wiry little worms that drop from the trees. They are very tiny and skinny but are difficult to get rid of. Good luck – I’ll look forward to seeing pictures once the nicer weather arrives for good!

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    1. Thank you Linda, yes, you’re right about the trees. There are too many things that can drop from trees. I could barely see the water of the old pond as leaves kept falling in. I’ll post pictures later on in the year. ☺️

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      1. Great – I hope it works out for you and look forward to seeing the photos in warmer weather. A fellow blogger who lives in Pennsylvania is moving in the next two week. She had a pond in her backyard and she and her husband are downsizing so will not have a pond at the new place. I liked seeing it with its water lilies, fish and frogs. She had to thwart a local heron who would fly over and make a meal on her koi fish.

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