Ponds and Water Features
A cheaper way to have an attractive corner for Wildlife
When we think about installing a Pond it's easy to go down the road of Liners, Waterfalls, Fountains and more, but much can be done for virtually zero cost, it just involves a bit of digging with Wildlife in mind.
The top picture shows my 'Pond'. It is in fact an old sunken plastic bath with the plugs sealed, surrounded by some heavy old planks (found), a few log slabs, a centre piece of an upturned Breeze Block with a tatty but characteristic old Watering Can.
Inside the Bath I've purchased some oxygenating plants and sunk Barley Straw in to keep the water reasonably clear. Quite a few rocks and old bricks have been put in to make the water slightly less deep which attracts Frogs to sit on them.
The Photo below is an old Plastic Dustbin from which I sawed off the base about 18" high and again sunk into the Ground.
Once more a few bricks to make parts of it shallow and removed a couple of Irises from the Stream and away we went.
Surrounding the top with old bricks and left to grow natural moss and weed, you wouldn't know it was a Plastic Bin. With this feature I haven't used anything to clear the water with, just left it to natural procedures. It has formed a nice think muddy bottom which I hope has attracted some frogs to hibernate in.
Next to the larger Pond I have a Frog / Toad house hidden amongst the One Day Irises and next to the smaller Bin Feature I have my Bug House.
If you have Children and are worried about any safety issues, just sinking an old Cat Litter Tray will attract the same Creatures. You just have to worry that your Pets or anything passing by won't drink all the water !
Although Hedgehogs can swim, ensure that should they go in, they can get out, vertical sides with no 'steps' are a no no. Many Hedgehogs meet their end this way (see Hedgehog Pages).
Not only will Frogs enjoy your water features, many more creatures will as well, especially birds.
If you decide to keep Fish and live close to a River, larger Stream or Lake, make sure they are protected by Netting or Chicken Wire. Egrets and Herons love a quick snack!
Water is the source of life and every Garden should have some, large area or small.
Relaxing before they go and clear up some Slugs for you!
A close up of one corner of my pond, a large thinly cut log overhanging. Gives good shade and protection.