My Wildlife Pond

Gardening Gone Wild have invited us bloggers to write about water in our gardens so I thought I would show you my wildlife pond.  At the moment I am quite pleased with it but about a month ago I was despairing.

The pond was dug about 4 years ago.  Its not in the ideal location for a pond but we removed a ridiculously big conifer when we moved in which resulted in an equally ridiculously big hole – so the pond was born.  Of course the original hole wasnt the right size, shape or depth so there was still lots of earth moving before the liner could be put in.

At first I lined the edges with turf to create that ragged wildlife look but it was a disaster, the turf did exceptionally well and grew into the pond causing it to choke.  So I lifted it and turned it over hoping this would resolve the problem – again despite being laid on the overhanging liner the grass grew back.  I have struggled to trim it over the last couple of years as most of the pond is hidden behind a deep border and is only really accessible from the ends.  Luckily the plants are beginning to bulk up and cover the edges so the grass is being shaded out.

 

For the last couple of years I have struggled with blanket weed in the pond. I dutifully scoped it out with a rake or net and even tried barley straw.  This year no blanket weed – hoorah but plenty of duckweed – not so good.  I continued to perserve with this until we came back from a few days away and the water had gone milky and was covered in duckweed.  Even after getting out as much as I could the water quality did not improve.  So I gave in and went and bought some water balancer – its meant to be organic and kind the the animals etc but who knows.  The water has improved dramtically and for the first time you can see the bottom of the pond.  There is still some duckweed (as seen in the photos) but I think it is quite pretty.  To my relief the resident frog (or frogs there may be more than 1 but I only see them one at a time) is still very apparent along with lots of pond skaters and water boat men.  The birds love it and perch on top of the planting baskets in order to get a good drink or wash.  Most entertaining are the pigeons who strut down across the gravel beach bit into the water like prissy Victorian maids going for a swim.

Would I recommend a wildlife pond – absolutely but they are very time consuming especially when you just sit and watch.

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About Helen Johnstone

I live in Malvern, Worcestershire and am a very keen gardener. I started the Patient Gardener Blog in January 2008 as a way of recording what was happening in my garden and connecting with other like-minded people. I started a second blog PatientGardener 365 January 2013 in order to try and post a photo a day to capture what is growing in my garden or places I have visited
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8 Responses to My Wildlife Pond

  1. Your pond is lovely Patientgardener – I particularly like the gravel “beach” bit. The planting around the outside gives it a lovely lush feel.
    Warm regards
    Karen

  2. Leigh says:

    What a lovely pond! A pond is on the 2009 wish list for Larrapin Garden so reading your post was very helpful. How often do you have to change out the water — or do you?
    Thanks again for the beautiful post and pic.
    Leigh from A Larrapin Garden (Arkansas, USA)

  3. Victoria says:

    I love your pond, and the planting around it. I’ve had a problem with blanketweed this year, so I’m going to try barley straw and see if it works for me. I tried it before to get rid of algae, but without success. Perhaps it might be more successful with blanketweed. At the moment, I pull it out by hand. Eeeuch.

  4. patientgardener says:

    Thank you for your positive comments about my unruly pond.
    Victoria – I tried barley straw as well and wasnt that impressed, though I have seen a barley straw liquid which might be more effective.
    Leigh – I never change the water, the pond doesnt have fish or a pump so I just leave it be. My understanding is that this is best for wildlife ponds. I have topped it up in the past when the level has dropped but with all the rain we have had this year it hasnt been necessary.
    Karen – I like my gravel beach as well, I have a bit of driftwood log on it where I like to balance with my mug of tea

  5. hayefield says:

    I was so delighted to see your wildlife pond! A feature like this would be very fitting for my own garden. You’ve given me a new project to add to my to-do list; many thanks!
    -Nan Ondra

  6. Pingback: GBDW - Water in the Garden Wrap-Up

  7. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Now this looks like about the size I could use in our small garden. Am I right thinking this isn’t too big? Is it in full sun? If so I am shot. I have mostly shade to work in. Your pond is lovely

  8. patientgardener says:

    Hi Lisa – the pond is about 8′ x 4′ (though thats a guesstimate!). It is in partial shade from a large Prunus. The problem with this is the leaves are always going in the pond and its difficult to cover with a net. I think if a pond is in full sun you have more problems with algae .

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