Building a wildlife pond in your garden is extremely worthwhile, it creates a range of habitats enhancing the biodiversity in your garden. It also looks beautiful at the same time and can be designed to suit the Garden and your needs.
To attract the greatest amount of wildlife to your pond it is best to situate your pond at least partially in the sun, with a gently sloped edge allowing different creatures to enter the pond. Also, creating a pond with different depths such as shallow, deep and even bog areas will create different micro climates within the pond which is fantastic for wildlife! Even tucking the pond liner slightly under the grass will allow grass and pond too meet, creating a fantastic place for newts to come and lay their eggs. You can also add wildlife friendly habitats such as log piles and a dense area of planting around the edge of one side of the pond. This creates an area that is safe from predators for creatures such as young frogs and create a wildlife corridor where creatures can move around the garden safely. Below you can see a sketch drawn by us showing the cross section of a wildlife pond. Including a bog area, gentle slope with pebbles, submerged, surface area and poolside plants.
This is where you can really make the pond your own and create it so that it adds a beauty to your garden as well as encouraging a variety of wildlife to your garden. It is good to add a different range of plants to your pond, for example:
- Attractive poolside foliage such as Hosta’s and Purple Loosestrife.
- Late summer flowering bog plants such as Mimulus. (Not only do these look nice in the garden when most plant species have finished flowering, but they also allow a late pollen for the bees)
- Spring flowering bog plants such as your Primula’s.
- Summer flowering marginal plants such as iris’s.
- Surface area covering plants such as waterlilies, though it is nice to leave a area uncovered.
- Submerged plants such as curled pond weed and spiked milfoil.
Here is a dragonfly from one of the gardens we maintain using the stem of a Iris plant to lay its eggs in to the water.
Here is a from one of the gardens we maintain using the vegetation around the edge of the pond to move around safely.
It is a good idea to top the water levels up where possible, though using rain water is generally best as tap water can cause a pH imbalance which could affect the creature living inside the pond. Late summer is the best time to clear out the pond, removing leaves (which can add toxins as they rot) and silt, though cleaning out half the pond at a time will work best as it allows the wildlife to recolonize from the areas that have been left undisturbed. You can add a netting around the outside of the pond to prevent leaves and unwanted debris entering the pond. If you do choose this option it is often best to make sure the netting is kept tight to prevent hedgehogs and other wildlife getting caught in the netting.