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.