Even a micro pond helps!

I was so excited this afternoon! I built a micro pond back in April from an old washing up bowl so it really is tiny....

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 ...that's how it looked when I was filling it, but I planted a couple of marginal plants in there and built up the surrounding area with pebbles and a mixture of alpines, heathers and herbs....

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 ....so it soon began to look a lot more natural (even though you can still see the bowl when you get up close!). There's not been any real activity apart from spiders, hover flies and quite a few tiny wriggly creatures in the water itself, so,imagine my delight this afternoon when I saw this....

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 ....I can't tell you how thrilled I am!

I've now wedged a couple of clay pots on their sides near the pond, partly filled with soil and leaves and I'm going to look into building a proper winter frog home - mind you, I think there are probably plenty of natural places for a frog or two to find a snug place in my garden...it has quite a few messy parts to it! My excuse is always that it's a wildlife garden!

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  • HI Lindsay4,

    I love this image and although we have built a much bigger pond in the part of our garden (well almost a sixth really) that is a pond ever time it rains! I am really enthused by your idea. I am wondering if I can create something similar in a part of the garden near my raised vegetable beds; or really anywhere as I so like the idea. I will be pondering on this for a while. I love frogs newts and toads.

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,168

    Lindsay, that is spectacular! How do you stop the water from becoming stagnant, or do you have a pump and a fountain of sorts?image

    My garden is not large, but I would love to do something like that. Is it in sun or shade?

  • Forester2Forester2 Posts: 1,478

    He's a whopper Lindsay and he obviously approves.  I started off the same as you and slowly got bigger by using the base of a plastic dustbin, then got slightly bigger still by digging deeper and using a liner.  Mine is still quite small but I have several frogs in residence and the boys hibernate at the bottom over winter.  I've also had a newt but he's gone now.  That's a good idea you have to put pots on their side by the pond as hidy holes.  It's so rewarding.

  • Hi frensclan, a few people did scoff when they saw how minute the pond really was, but it's proved me right after all! It was really easy to make - I just made sure the old washing up bowl was clean (no residual soap or cleaners) then dug a hole large enough to take it. It wasn't even a very even hole as I discovered when I added the water - even though I'd supposedly checked with a spirit level!

    I did put some gravel at the bottom of the hole to add support to the bowl, then popped it in and backfilled round the sides to stabilise it. I sieved agricultural gravel (quite small) to clean the dust out of it and then put a good layer in the bowl. Next bit was the fun part - adding a selection of small stones, pebbles and mini clay pots to create shelters and shelves that would allow anything to climb out.

    I filled the bowl with water and then landscaped the area around it to make it look more natural. Finally I bought two marginal plants and popped them into the bowl, weighting the pots down with a few more stones. I told the guy at the garden centre just how small the pond was and took his recommendations on which plants would suit.

    I did have some rather grim looking red algae after a couple of weeks but that cleared up and I noticed quite a few tiny wriggly worms and other mini creatures in there. The water was nice and clear. It looks fairly overgrown now and the water is rather more green and murky now - I tend to just reguarly remove any slimy green stuff with a stick that I keep nearby for just that job.

    Anyway - I guess that the frog pretty much confirms that whatever I've done is working so I'm really thrilled. It was easy to do, doesn't take any time to look after and just needs a top up in the hot weather as it's so small. Win win really! Only thing now is that I can't stop nipping outside to see if Mr frog is sitting there!

    Hope you decide to go ahead with one and look forward to seeing some photos!

  • Thanks for the positive comments. I don't have a pump or anything fancy and the "pond" (even I think it sounds pompous to call it a pond!) is in quite a sunny spot during parts of the day. I planted some taller plants near the edges to give some shade when it gets really warm.

    As for the water - it did stay very clear for ages after the red algae cleared up, but it does get the rather unpleasant blanket weed now - at least that's what I think it is. It doesn't appear to be much of a problem though...no stagnant smell or anything. I just make a point of very regularly taking the blanket weed out with a little stick. It's actually quite a satisfying job and only takes a few moments.

    I think it's probably best to place a mini pond in a slightly shady spot, or to add some shading plants as I did. Keep an eye on the water and remove any green sludgy weed.As far as I know just having a couple of marginal plants is enough to oxygenate the water without the need of a pump.

  • Hi Lindsay4,

    thanks for that summary of the process as that was going to be my next question. You can see from other responses that we all think your idea and result was/is great. Hopefully you will be enjoying it for many more years to come. I have left some piles of twigs covered in bits of soil and grass near  my bigger pond with old roofing tiles and bits and bobs stacked haphazardly in the hope it will provide some winter shelter.

  • Hi Forester2,

    interesting about the male frogs wintering at the bottom of your pond. I didn't know that they did that. Do they come out and about at all? I expect that is a silly question but wondered how I would know if I had some at the bottom of my pond. Whenever I clear out the weed with my net I have to rescue and return tiny newts which I am supposing are baby ones but have never found a frog although my husband sees the odd one when he is watering in the area.

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,168

    Lindsay, thank you for all the info; it has made me think...image...of where I could fit a little pond in dappled shadeimage

  • artjak - Lol! I've been wondering where I can fit another little pond myself!

  • Forester2Forester2 Posts: 1,478

    Hi Lindsay,

    I didn't know that frogs hibernate in the pond until a couple of years ago when I decided to give the pond a 'spring clean' in the middle of winter (stupid I know).  When I had removed the oxygenating weed and other plants I scooped out nearly all the water into a very large plastic container and was nearing the bottom. As I was getting closer to the accumulated sludge there were a lot of wriggling squirming bodies and I discovered all these frogs.  Realizing my mistake I stopped and put back the water and thinned out the weeds and replaced them.  I then looked up about the life of frogs and found out that it is mainly the males that hibernated at the bottom of ponds in the mud and the females find places under rocks and stones to hibernate.  They do pop out in the winter if it is mild enough. I have only just thinned out the oxygenating weed this week as it was clogging up the tiny pond but other than that I just leave it alone now.  I did have a tiny water lily in pond but have decided to get rid of it as there was just not room for the wild life as well. 

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