How to build a wildlife pond in your backyard
Home & Garden
A wildlife pond can be an interesting way to add a water feature to your garden while helping the local ecology. The great thing about wildlife ponds is that they are mostly natural. You simply create the pond and then let nature take its course, meaning that there is little maintenance required. Here is how to build an easy wildlife pond in your backyard in eight easy steps.
- Decide on the location. The best location for a pond is somewhere where it can be in direct sunlight for at least part of the day. You can always add shade later by planting around it. Decide whether you would like your pond to be out of the way or a main feature of your garden.
- Decide on the size. Your wildlife pond doesn't have to be big; in fact, it can be as small as a washing up bowl. The choice is yours.
- Get everything together. To create a large pond, you will need a pond liner, which can be bought from your local garden or hardware store. If you're on a budget, an old sink, washing up bowl or baby bath make excellent ponds. You will also need a shovel, large pebbles or some bricks to act as steps and plants for inside and around your pond. To line your pond, get sand (preferably clean play sand which won't bring harmful organisms into your pond) or gravel.
- Dig a hole and secure the pond. Make sure that you dig the hole slightly bigger than your pond liner or container so that it will fit in comfortably. Secure it by filling in the gaps around the edges with the dirt you dug up.
- Plant and decorate the edges. Place oxygenating plants in your pond to create hiding places in the water, which will be beneficial for frogs who make your pond their home. Create some shade around the pond with plants. These may also help to attract dragonflies to your garden. You could also scatter pebbles or gravel around the edges for decoration.
- Put in the floor and some steps. Line your pond with a layer of sand, pebbles or gravel. Be aware that if your container is white, the sand will make it look a strange colour, whereas gravel will encourage the growth of algae. If you would like to attract frogs and birds to your pond, place bricks as steps leading from the edge of the pond down to the bottom. This will allow amphibians to get in and out and create a handy perch for drinking and bathing birds.
- Add the water. Try to avoid using tap water as it will have been treated to make it suitable for consumption. Instead, collect rain water, which will be much kinder to the wildlife, and use this to fill your pond. If the rainy season is approaching, you don't need to fill it to the top—nature will take care of this for you.
- Wait. Sit back and wait for the wildlife to discover the new home you've created.
For more information about setting up a water feature in your garden, contact a company like Watergarden World.
25 November 2014