A POND IS GOOD
Adding water to a garden helps nature
Adding a fish pond to your garden is an excellent way to help the environment and attract beneficial creatures.
Are you a modern gardener? One who plants and nurtures your own garden space with an eye to enhancing the biodiversity in your community? It has taken a few generations, but now we are at a point where we have torn up our property deed, figuratively, and replaced it with a consciousness of the impact our outdoor activity has on nature, up and down the street.
If one of your garden goals is to maximize the attraction of beneficial insects, songbirds, butterflies and hummingbirds: welcome.
The most impactful addition you can make to your garden is to add still water. A half-barrel, a pond or any small container filled with water and ‘managed’ will attract amphibians, dragonflies and many more helpful critters in the local environment. Here are some top tips for still water features in the garden:
Amphibians. When you are successful in attracting frogs, toads and salamanders to your water garden, you have achieved a very special level of success. These creatures breathe through their skin and as such are very sensitive to environmental changes and pollution. Provide habitat by placing water plants in your H2O garden.
Locate your water feature in part sun. Ideally about 60% of the surface of the water should be shaded. You can provide shade using a nearby shade tree, water plants that float and by planting broad leaved water lilies that produce leaves up to the surface of the water.
Avoid mosquitoes. The objection that I hear most, where water features are concerned, is ‘I don’t want to encourage mosquitoes’. Just put some gold fish or koi carp in your pond. I have a 10 meter X 10 meter pond and I have about 30 small fish that do the job very nicely. You can have too many fish though, as they create a carbon-rich environment that encourages algae growth.
Butterflies and dragonflies love ponds. Especially where water lilies and other broadleaved plants sit on the surface of the water. These flying insects do not use bird baths to either drink from or bathe. They are both ‘top heavy’ and prefer to drink from water droplets on the surface of water plants or in mud, which can occur at the margin of your pond. Note that dragonfly nymphs live in still water for up to 4 years before they mature into flying adults. Another good reason not to clean your pond too thoroughly each spring.
Marginals. The plants that you establish around your pond are as important as the ones that you place in it. They provide cover for egg laying and drying post for emerging dragon flies. Consider native marsh marigolds, water iris, tall water forget-me-nots, hibiscus and Joe Pye Weed (a butterfly magnet).
Adding a fish pond like this one to your garden is a good way to help the environment and attract beneficial creatures.