A Watery Success Story
takes us to her small walled garden in the heart of
Bristol, and describes one added feature, which she's
particularly proud of...
Yes at last we've
got around to building a pond. It's been on the 'to
do' list for some time now! To be honest it was my husband who finally got around to
getting out the spade and drawing some plans, with the
help of Ian our fabulous gardener.
Anyway, I think
the photos prove that even a small courtyard garden
can have a wildlife pond. As I've said before, size
is not important when we're talking ponds! Our country
needs more garden ponds, our wildlife relies on it so
any size is valuable.
It all started
with a lot of back-breaking digging. We had already
drawn a plan and marked out the exact shape. The design
included various habitats, depths, a few slopes and
edges, all-important for wildlife. We then built a wooden
frame around the top of the pond so that the edges would
be level. We removed all the roots, sharp rocks and
stones so they didn't puncture the liner. We packed
the bottom with sand and covered it with some old underlay.
The liner was then put down and the pond was filled.
During the filling process
we stretched the liner and folded the creases. It's
best to do this during the filling before the pressure
becomes too great. We then folded the liner around the
wooden frame, put a few bricks in and plants, and hey
presto, a lovely garden pond!!
All this was
also done for a bargain price. We hired a skip for £100
to get rid of most of the debris. We bought the liner,
a pump and oxygenating native plants all for £200. (It's
really important not to buy foreign invasive oxygenators).
Obviously you can spend as little or as much as you
like on the plants, so far we've spent about £80. So
it also goes to show that it's not expensive to build
a pond. It does need a bit of effort but it's definitely
If you want
to keep your pond wildlife friendly it's really important
to keep all the plants native and not to introduce foreign
fish. The plants we've put in are: spiked water milfoil,
fringed water lily, water crowfoot, water buttercup
and hornwort. No doubt we will put a few more plants
in at a later date. The great thing about ponds is you
can evolve them. We still have to finish the edges and
add the pump and water feature, which will introduce
movement into the pond. The water feature is still in
the design stage!!
tip is to add some mud and insects from another established,
native and disease free pond. A friend brought round
a jar of beasties from his pond and added them to ours
so it can evolve much quicker.
Already a huge
range of insects can be seen in and around the pond,
and we've already seen lots of birds and our squirrel
enjoying the benefits. I would definitely recommend
it as an attractive and invaluable addition to all wildlife
So stay gardening
wild and watery! Michaela xxxx
reprinted with permission from Greenfingers.com