Forum home Wildlife gardening

New pond

So, after 3 attempts my very small pond is finished. There are no plants in it or around it yet, so I'd be really grateful for tips about what plants to buy or request from other gardeners.

Also need advice on what things to put around it to act as shelter for wildlife - large stones, logs etc.

Lastly, any suggestions on how to create a cat-free zone around the pond? I don't want to create a haven for frogs etc only for my cat to eat them. My only idea so far is to stick bamboo canes in the area around the pond to make it more difficult for cats to get near it. There isn't really room for a fence, and cats are good at climbing fences in any case image





  • LeadFarmerLeadFarmer Posts: 1,256

    Any chance of a few photos of your pond please?

  • Yes, but not until tomorrow because it's dark now image

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  • I'm sure you're all racked with jealousy on seeing my new pond image

    Yes, it needs some water, but i read that you shouldn't put tap water in ponds, so I have to wait for the rain to fill it.

    It's hard to see in the photos but the smaller side is about 30cm deep, whereas the larger side is just over 60cm deep. The middle is very shallow when full of water - apparently a shallow area with a gentle gradient is needed for certain creatures to get in and out of the pond.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,198

    Tap water's fine 30x7 - if you're introducing fish to it, just leave it to sit for a few days and it'll be fine. 

    A slope is ideal for a wildlife pond as you have done. Adding some rocks and gravel etc into the shallower parts, to provide a foothold and little areas for birds and insects to perch and bathe, is also a great idea. It also helps disguise any bits of liner. Some  evergreen planting near the edges gives cover for  wildlife as they emerge from the pond. A mixture of things like grasses (especially the Carexes) and ferns, and also standard perennials like Heucheras, works well. It depends what sort of aspect you have and any other planting you have around. Hostas are a big favourite as they provide good contrast and can hang over the edges of the pond - that's always attractive. Spring flowering plants like Pulmonarias and Primulas are also good to give early cover. Just remember that anything deciduous will have falling leaves in autumn, so you may need to net it at that point.

    Add planting into your pond too - it's vital for health and also for aesthetic purposes. There are loads to choose from, and lots of online specialists to get them from.

    Hope that's a little help. Can't help much with the cat issue - I'd suggest a simple chicken wire fence round it which would be fairly unobtrusive. Just leave some small holes at ground level for animals to get in and out. The bit at the fence would be the best place for those. image

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

  • Thanks for the tips, I'm looking forward to getting on with it!

    I think the chicken wire suggestion is a good one, so I'll have a think about where to put the posts to attach it to.

    Do garden centres usually sell plants which can be planted in the water?
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,198

    Some of the bigger ones will - but there are different types for different levels in your pond so do a bit of research first. There are so many good specialists online so I'd take a look at those first. GCs tend to stock the most common plants only. Nothing wrong with that of course, but you might want more variety, and something a bit unusual image 

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

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,286

    Many garden centres have aquatic sections.  Or you can try these people They're really helpful and their plants are really good quality and value for money.  (I'm not related to them).  If you need advice you can Contact Annette (see the link on their site) who will advise you.

    The thing is most aquatic plants aren't sold at this time of year as they're dormant - you'll probably have to wait for the spring.


    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Okay, thanks, I'll have a look at those websites - even if I need to wait until spring for planting.

    I can't wait for spring, my garden is so depressing at the moment. I need to plant more variety so that the garden has a bit more colour next winter.
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