Six ideas for garden ponds
Last week I wrote about the benefit of having frogs and toads in the garden, so this week I thought I would like to inspire you with ideas for garden ponds. All these ponds fit in smaller sized gardens, because I want to show that it isn't necessary to have acres and acres of land in order to provide water for the wildlife. I know I keep going on about the importance of creating habitats for animals and insects in the garden, so I here are a few ideas of what these habitats may look like. With that I hope that at least one person may be encouraged to add some water to their gardens!
As these two small pond attached to a walls show, adding water to the garden doesn't need to be a very big project that requires an enormous amount of upkeep. In fact, the fountain above is charmingly neglected with a lot of fallen leaves in it. On the other end of the spectrum, the modern wall mounted fountain below is a perfect example of decorative minimalism, and yet both provide water and habitat for birds and water insects such as dragonfly nymphs.
The modern garden pond below has been invaded by common duckweed, which often happens if the water stands still. It is not as much of a problem as you may think, as it actually provides shelter for frogs and toads. More of a problem is if a source of water has only blunt edges as this prevents animals from climbing up from the water, which indeed both frogs and toads need to do to hunt for food amongst other things. My recommendation for ponds such as the ones above would be to hide an access bridge in a corner.
This modern Asian pond pictured below is set in two levels and decoratively visited by a small heron on the upper level. Ponds can be lined (as seen in the edging where lining fabric is just visible) or unlined, but it is quite rare to have unlined ponds as the soil bottom requires much upkeep. Lined ponds are fairly easy to maintain. The plants are often set at the bottom of the pond in pots, which facilitates acmes and management if they need to be divided or replanted. Bamboos are decorative, but for wildlife some native aquatic plants should be added as foreign species provide little nourishment for our garden visitors.
A more natural style pond such as the one below can be added even into a formal garden. By planting marsh plants in groups next to the trees in the background, this pond melts into its otherwise formal surroundings. What makes this pond valuable for wildlife is the combination of native "weeds" ie wildflowers at one end, and sloping "messy" edges which allows wildlife easy access in and out of the water.
However, do note: IF THERE ARE CHILDREN LIVING ON OR VISITING THE PROPERTY PLEASE ENSURE THE PONDS ARE GUARDED BY RAILS ALL THE WAY AROUND OR METAL NETTING ABOVE THE SURFACE TO AVOID DROWNING.