I mentioned the other day in my Plans for 2013 post my intention to make a very small water-feature in my garden, not as an ornament, but as something to provide drinking-water for animals, birds and insects. I have looked round for inspiration and found that plenty of other people have done something similar - for instance Mike Rogers, aka Flighty from Flighty's Plot, who showed me a couple of good examples, like this one, and Hazel Dene over there in Australia, from whom I have borrowed the term "micro-pond" (whether she invented it or not...). I also had a close look at what Sue from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments wrote about her "Puddle-Pond", and many others. Well, the time has now come for me to join in and make my own one.
As I'm sure you are aware, space in my garden is strictly limited, so my water-feature is going to be of very modest proportions. I am basing it on this:
It is a 17" / 43cm plastic pot-saucer, which I bought from our local "Poundstretcher"-type shop for £2.45. I had originally intended to use a recyled washing-up bowl, but the only one I have that does not have drainage holes drilled in it is bright yellow and I didn't think that would look very nice in the garden!
This saucer is very shallow - about 3 inches or so. I don't want to have something deep, into which animals could fall and possibly drown; I just want something from which they can drink.
The first part of the task was to choose the exact location. I decided to put it right next to the shed, in an area of dry shade where it would be secluded and hence hopefully attractive to potentially shy animals.
Another consideration was to put it well away from the part of the garden where the cats from next door normally come over or under the fence. Incidentally, these cats love my insect hotel, because it helps them to get over the 6-foot fence that much more easily! At present, our neighbour's cat Archie comes every day to drink from the watering-cans next to my water-butt. I wonder what he will make of the new pond...
Prepration of the site was a 5-minute job with the spade and trowel. That patch may have looked completely vacant, but actually it was full of Lily Of The Valley rhizomes. I was careful to remove the ones directly under the pond site.
Once the "pond-liner" was in place and fairly level, I arranged a few stones and pebbles around the periphery to make it look a little less harsh. Rounded stones would look better, but I didn't have many. Perhaps I'll get a bag of them next time I visit the Garden Centre.
As you can see, I made a sort of island in the pond, which is intended to help with the escape of any little creatures that fall into the pond by mistake.
The whole thing looks very harsh and bare at present, but in the Spring I'm sure lots of plants will grow up and help the pond look a little less artificial. To assist this, I have re-located to its periphery a few little volunteer plants which I found elsewhere in the garden, like this Red-veined Sorrel.
So that's it. One of my 2013 jobs done already!
I think this is a lovely idea, I would love a pond in my garden but how do you stop the water from going all slimy or does that not matter? I've never had a pond before so not too sure how you keep it nice and fresh.ReplyDelete
Kay, I think with a pond that small it will be possible just to splosh a bucketful of fresh water in every so often, washing away the stale stuff, and with the amount of rain we have been getting I reckon it will also be refreshed naturally very frequently! The animals etc don't seem to mind too much about the quality of the water: I have seen cats drinking from puddles very frequently.Delete
You could maybe have room for a small oxygenating plant available from nurseries/garden centres that sell pond plants.Delete
Kay I have two ponds on the plot, the dustbin lid that Mark has kindly linked to and a washing up bowl, and neither have any plants in them or go slimy. I do check them when I'm there and if need be top them up with water. It's as Mark says and I've seen bees, birds and foxes all drinking from mine.Delete
Fabulous thanks for all the help everyone. I think I'm going to give it a go :-)Delete
Maybe some holly twigs or similar placed on top of the bug hotel will deter the cat without actually harming it.ReplyDelete
I'm sure your micro-pond will soon look at home.
The amount of wildlife which a bit of water in the garden attracts is amazing. I've got a (very) tiny wildlife pond in my garden.ReplyDelete
A Happy New Year to you too. Excellent job with the wildlife pond, it already looks good in the location you picked for it. Maybe a small flexible overflow pipe from the water butt/shed, would push some water through it.ReplyDelete
great idea, been reading about these and how they are beneficial to have, happy new yearReplyDelete
Mark thanks very much for the mention and links.ReplyDelete
I like the look of yours, and in just a few months it'll look as though it's been there for years and there'll be plenty of wildlife activity.
That is such a cute little micro pond. At my last house I had a mini pond with a tiny waterfall (size of a half whiskey barrel). But since it had a pump it was a PITA to take care of every year. I made it with my son, so when he left I took it out. He wasn't interested in it anymore.ReplyDelete
I have just made a pond from a washing up bowl,I used pea gravel, and pebbles I collected from the beach. I washed them thoroughly to make sure they were clean before I put them in. I then arranged some stones so any creatures had a way out and couldn't drown.Finally I added a Loose Strife plant obtained from the local garden centre,up until now, I have had hover flies buzzing around it checking it out, and all the birds using it to bathe,I am really hoping to have some natural predators come into my garden because I am blighted by slugs, but I won't use any pesticide,I would rather let frogs and toads control them.ReplyDelete
That's such a clever idea. Do you find you get a lot of visitors to the pond? I'm currently in the process of building a big pond and wondered if any readers had advice on pumps - I've been told to get the Aquamax Pond Pump (for ref here) but I don't really know if a pump is needed.ReplyDelete
No, I don't get many visitors - at least not in the daytime. What happens at night time is anyone's guess! I have seen cats drinking from it, and there is an obviously-resident Hoverfly which I often see there. For a big pond I'm almost sure you would need a pump to keep it aerated.ReplyDelete
I'm so happy to see this idea. I'm working on a mosquito "bio control" micro pond in my garden and you have made it look great. I'm looking forward to seeing the ones in your links. Google Images brought me here via a newer post called "growth spurt."ReplyDelete
I recently made a pond out of a child's snow saucer. The birds love it. I also get mourning doves and quail. I also got a tree frog living around the edge where the plastic meets the ground. Great ideas!ReplyDelete
how did this shallow pond work out....? Only ask as i'm about to trial something myself...only a bit bigger...ReplyDelete
It is well established now. Fit for purpose, I think. At this time of year it is more-or-less submerged in a sea of Lily of the Valley leaves.Delete