Have You Thought Of Creating A Miniature Pond?
Ponds and water features are usually associated with large gardens but you can still enjoy a ‘pond’ in a small space by creating one from a washing-up bowl or similar sized water-tight container.
Introducing a mini pond to your garden is great for your garden’s eco-system as it will attract a whole range of new insects. It’s also lovely to sit and watch the different species using your homemade pond. If you’re lucky you could see a diverse collection of wildlife from pond skaters and water lice to tadpoles and dragonflies.
Creating your miniature pond
First, find or buy a suitable container. It needs to be water-tight and a size that you can easily fit into the space available. A washing-up bowl is perfect, particularly if you are going to create a sunken pond but if you’re going to keep the pond above ground, you might prefer something more decorative. If your container has cracks or holes, you can use a pond liner before adding water. Always put your container into position before adding water as it will be difficult to move once filled.
Sunken or standing?
Create a sunken pond by digging a hole for your container to sit in. Alternatively, you can stand your pond on a surface, although it is often easier for insects to visit your pond if it is sunken. Either way, you can make it easier for wildlife to get in and out by adding rocks, bricks or logs to create stepping stones at the edge. Wherever you choose to position your pond, it’s best to opt for a spot that receives a good amount of light but isn’t in strong sunlight all day.
Add rocks, plants and water
To create the right environment for your pond, you’ll need to add some stones and pond plants. Gravel, small stones or larger rocks can be used depending on the size of your container. Then introduce a selection of aquatic plants. You can buy these online or at a specialist garden centre and they are designed to provide a healthy environment for your pond to attract wildlife and keep the water clean. Of course, the most important element in creating a new pond is water. If possible, use rainwater to fill the pond as this is more natural and better suited to attracting wildlife than tap water which has been chemically treated.
In the first few months after creating your pond, you might find the surface of the water is topped with algae. You can easily remove this using a stick. After a few months, as your pond becomes established, you will find that the visiting wildlife helps to keep the water clean. Once mature, your pond will look after itself; the only thing you may need to do is top up the water levels in hot weather.
Children love water but even a very small amount can be dangerous for young children so always ensure they are supervised when playing near the pond.