In this installment of Alice Whitehead’s gardening with children series we learn how to make a mini pond in 6 easy steps. Read on…
Alice Whitehead is a third generation allotmenteer that likes to grow, eat and get muddy – then write about it! With two urban allotment plots, an award-winning school garden club and an enthusiastic nine year old son to help. In this new blog series Alice shows us how to get children outdoors and into the garden this summer.
Part 5 – How to make a mini pond
by Alice Whitehead
You don’t have to have a big garden to have a water feature – and a pond of any size can still attract lots of wildlife
Here’s how to do it:
- Large garden trugs or half barrels are perfect for mini ponds, as long as they are watertight and don’t have any holes! But even an old washing up bowl or large pot plant lined with pond liner, will attract insects and birds. Make sure the container you choose is frost proof so it doesn’t crack in the winter.
- Choose a place in your garden that gets lots of light but isn’t in full sun all day.
- Get mum and dad to help you dig a hole in the ground the same depth and height of your container. Pop the container into the hole, making sure it is level with the surface, and pile up some bricks, logs or stones on one side of your container so the top stone is level with the surface. These will help amphibians and other creatures get in and out. If you’re lucky enough to have hedgehogs in the garden, they might like to take a dip too and they will use these as stepping-stones to get out.
- Fill your container with water (preferably rainwater from a water butt) and plant up your mini pond with aquatic plants, such as marsh marigold or spiky submerged grasses such as Umbrella Sedge. Limit yourself to one or two plants so there’s enough space to grow. You want to be able to see the water too!
- On the margins (the edges of your pond) you can create a ‘paved’ area with pebbles – perfect for frogs to sunbathe on – or seashells. Soften the edges of your container with flowers such as Water Forget-Me-Not.
- Check your pond regularly for signs of life. Pond skaters, water boatmen and water lice are common. Water will also attract birds for bathing and drinking, and possibly damselflies or dragonflies too. Keep a record of what you see – and get mum and dad to share on GardenTags!
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