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New wildlife pond - what should we expect to colonise it first?



  • HippophaeHippophae Posts: 154

    What aquatic and bog plants are you going to add to the habitat? Sedges and rushes like Butomus umbellatus are great to allow insects to climb in and out of the pond. Ragged robin, Yellow flag (Iris pseudacorus) and Caltha palustris are all great choices.

    Also read here -

  • Katherine WKatherine W Posts: 410

    Malcolm, to my knowledge the tiny water snails that live int he water will not harm the plants, but rather clean up some of the algaae sticking to the sides and bttom of the pond. Big land snail can damage plants on the edge of the water, but they will drown in the water itself so no danger to actual water plants.

    But I am not a water snail expert, I admit.

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,520

    Hi Malcolm - I've always had snails in ponds - they don't do any harm as Katherine says. They're useful creatures for balance. Ponds will always take a little time to settle and achieve that balance though. Introducing the right planting round the pond is as important as what goes in it. I use watercress to combat blanketweed and algae. image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Thankyou Katherine W and Fairygirl,i can rest more easily now  with the knowledge that the snails are unlikely to damage my pond plants,i can concentrate on defending  the rest of my garden from an invasion of slugs,thankyou again from a rainy Scotland.

  • OTrishOTrish Posts: 1

    I've also got a relatively new wildlife pond - about 18 months old now.  It's a second pond in my garden.  Both are quite small but, because this one is more central I wanted to grow something a bit more interesting than the kingcups, yellow flags and stripy grasses that thrive in the old one.  Amongst other things I put in water hawthorn and a small water lily neither of which is looking happy.  In fact the leaves of both plants are considerably smaller than they grew last year and neither has flowered this year.  I do, however have a load of blanket weed and a reasonable amount of snails, water skaters, water boatmen, prawns things and frogs, which spawned in Spring.  The ph was tested yesterday and is over 8.5.  Could that explain the problems my plants are having, or is it just teething troubles and I need to be more patient?  Any ideas?

  • @@@@ Posts: 10

    I miss my pond so much, had to move house and tne new garden is way too small for any kind of decent pond. One I'd keep the plants potted up as I took some irises out of their pot after a couple of good years of them but they then run amok the next season.Although, foolishly of me, I hadn't really done any homework other than how to build it.

     I felt obliged to build one as, year on year, for the first 8 years there, before the pond, we had lots of frogs and quite a few newts and regular visits from dragon flies. The neighbour told me that the people before us had had a pond for as long as the could remember but had filled it in because their grown up children had young children. A pond brings so much more interest to the garden, I suppose the young children could have been educated.


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,520

    OTrish - water hawthorn isn't very hardy so that might be part of the problem. I couldn't get it to stay alive here in Scotland. It's also been very cold through spring - my pond plants have been very slow to get going. They were only put in last year as small bare roots so they'll take time to establish. It does take time to get a balance and blanket weed always appears as the water warms up. As you may have seen from my post further up the page, I use watercress to get rid of it. My little pond is lovely and clear just now. image

    @ - I had a pond when my girls were very small. They were taught to respect it and weren't left unsupervised. They loved watching everything in it and it brings so much pleasure. I've had gardens with ponds of all sizes and when I moved here, I couldn't stand not having one so I factored one into the design. I collected some frogspawn earlier this year on a walk in the Campsies and they've all grown and left the pond. I spotted one the other day when cutting some rocket for lunch. He'd made his way from the pond across the new lawn and into the little border across the path image 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Sadly my wildlife pond will be filled in when the new owners move in with their young children. We built it about 12years ago and, left to its own devices, it very quickly filled with wildlife, almost heaving with frogs in the early spring and full of the marauding newts that picked off the tiny tadpoles. The dragonfly larva also took their toll but my garden has always been full of frogs so they didn't all get eaten! My children loved the pond and spent many a happy hour pond-dipping. None of our nearby neighbours have a pond so I'm a bit concerned as to where all the inhabitants will go......perhaps they will have to move with me, there's a large pond at our new place!

    Fairygirl, interested to hear about your watercress - I love the stuff, but I thought it only grew in moving, very clean, chalk streams. If I could only grow that in my new pond.......

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,520

    Hi Merryweather - I've used watercress in every pond I've had to keep blanketweed at bay. 

    The handfuls I chucked in mine a few months ago are flowering just now and doing a great job of keeping the water clear. The tadpoles had somewhere to hide too image

    We have quite soft water here (Scotland) so I don't know if that makes it easier to grow - but I've never tried growing it to eat. Perhaps I'll try it!  I think you can buy seed and grow it in buckets or troughs so it might be worth researching. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • maureen60maureen60 Posts: 193

    good evening all.

    I also have a lot of blanket weed, if I buy a punnet of watercress from grocer, and immerse said punnet in pond, should that do the trick?


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